WINCHESTER’S private St Swithun’s school contributed £12.6m towards the city’s economy last year, according to a report.

St Swithun’s employs 310 staff, supporting 550 jobs in the UK economy directly or via its UK-based supply chain.

The report, carried out by Oxford Economics for the Independent Schools Council (ISC), says it supports 0.36 per cent of all jobs in Winchester either directly or via its supply chain.

The total contribution of the school to the national economy was £23.1m. In addition, the total savings generated for the UK taxpayer, as a result of attendance at St Swithun’s by the 615 pupils who would otherwise take up a free UK state school place was £3.8m.

During the 2018/19 academic year, St Swithun’s will have delivered 130 hours of enrichment activities to 560 local primary school children.

In addition, it is on course to provide 35 hours of free swimming pool access including tuition and transport, saving each participating primary school an average of £3,000 and ensuring their pupils can swim 25m. The school provides 20 hours of holiday activity sessions for more than 30 children.

Headmistress Jane Gandee said: “St Swithun’s is proud of its heritage as a Winchester institution. Our links with the local community remain strong with pupils visiting local nursing homes and cooking for the Winchester Nightshelter on a regular basis.”