In 1991, 6.8 per cent of pupils of compulsory school age attended independent schools, but by 1996 this had fallen to 6 per cent. Now ministers hope that by raising standards in state schools they can encourage parents not to opt-out. <> However, despite the abolition of the assisted places scheme in 1997, the proportion of children going to independent schools remained at 6 per cent between 1996 and 2000.
Estelle Morris, the schools minister, revealed the figures in response to a question from Conservative MP Graham Brady.
Compiled by Jon Slater from Hansard. PQs can be found at www.parliament.uk