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Internet insights

THE Laura Spence affair generated one of the most heated education debates of the year and raised many awkward questions about the elite universities' admissions policies.

However, Government exam statistics now available on the Internet throw up some

awkward questions of their own. Recently-updated figures for 1999 entries show, in eye-watering detail, that the comprehensive and independent sectors are still a long way apart.

In some ways, state schools hold their own. On average, comprehensive students are only half an A-level behind the 3.2 passes achieved in independent schools. But when it comes to converting actual grades into the 30-lus points that top university places demand, nearly one in three independent school students is in the running.

In comprehensive schools, the figure is just one in eight. A 43-page report, rich in tables,

covering GCSE and A-level age groups can be downloaded from: http:www.dfee.gov.uk

statisticsDBSBUb0163

index.html

It is part of a growing collection of educational statistics available on the Department for Education and Employment statistics site at: http:www.dfee.gov.uk

statisticsindex.html

Readers can email suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam

Saunders at J.P.Saunders@leeds.ac.uk

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