The fact is that independent schools, taken as a whole, admit pupils across a very wide range of abilities. Some of those pupils may enjoy undoubted advantages of home and income over some of their state-school contemporaries. Their schools give them advantages which you go on to point out: lower pupil-teacher ratios and higher capital spending and for which their parents pay handsomely. But the assumption you make, that their educational start line is far ahead of the others, is unwarranted.
RICHARD DAVISON Deputy director Independent Schools Information Service London SW1