06/11/2012 02:11 EDT | Updated 08/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Registration grows at Lower Mainland independent schools

The ongoing teachers' dispute has some parents checking out of the public school system in favour of independent schools, according to the Federation of Independent School Associations.

Spokesperson Peter Froese says parents are lining up to register their children for September admission to the Lower Mainland's independent schools.

"Over the past year we have noticed that families are choosing to go to independent schools because they are unhappy with what's been happening in the public sector," Froese said.

He said some of the job action taken by teachers has had a negative effect.

"One is the lack of report cards for students," Froese said. "The other is really a concern to students and parents and that is the lack of extra curricular activity in the public sector."

About 70,000 B.C. students currently attend the province's 360 private schools.

"Our schools are very full in the Lower Mainland, but we still have a high interest in parents wanting to send their kids there. There are waiting lists," Froese said.

Froese said he's seeing the biggest jumps in stand-alone schools, from faith-based to elite private schools, which now make up nearly 12 per cent of overall enrolment, up from about four per cent 40 years ago.