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Private sector booming;Review of the year;News

NUMBERS in independent schools continued to grow overall, despite the abolition of the Assisted Places Scheme.

There was continuing growth in the numbers of day pupils - especially girls - and a boom at nursery and primary levels.

There was good news on the academic front too, with half of all GCSE entries gaining an A or A* and more than one in three A-level entries winning an A.

However, James Sabben-Clare, headmaster of Winchester College and chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, attributed the improvement to the fact that it was had got easier to do well in A-levels. He said: "A-levels have changed over the years. The content has in most, probably all, subjects been reduced."

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