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
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
Readers can email suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam
Saunders at J.P.Saunders@leeds.ac.uk