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* The cost of a child's career in private education is now running at around pound;130,000. With fee inflation averaging 6 per cent, a child born this year and starting school in 2010 may cost his or her parents nearer Pounds 350,000

* Independent schools average one member of staff to every 10 pupils. Nine in 10 pupils go on to university

* Fifty per cent of parents told a Mori poll they would pay to send their children to an independent school if they could afford it

* Pupil numbers fell by 0.6 per cent this year, after nine years of steady growth. A lower intake of overseas pupils is partly to blame

* In 2004, pound;300 million worth of bursaries and scholarships was awarded by schools; a third of pupils in independents now receive some form of financial assistance

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