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IT is hardly surprising if the gap between average A-level points achieved by independent and comprehensive school pupils is marginally widening (TES July 28). As the Independent Schools Information Service must know, many independent schools now require pupils to leave after GCSE if their performance predicts low A-level grades. So mean A-level pointsscores can be expected to creep up in that sector.

Most comprehensives operate far less restrictive sixth-form admissions policies and many take in pupils "cleansed" from independent sixth-forms. In the circumstances the surprise is that the average achievement gap is not wider.

Helen Haddon

18 Thurleigh Road

London SW12

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