Most of you a being a bit binary about this; private school = rich / privileged, comp = poor? What a narrow view.
I wasn't born with a silver spoon, went to an average comp, and didn't make it to Uni. However, against all my political beliefs I have taken my own boys out of the state system which was failing them, and spent my whole life savings on sending them private. They have had great results, but they weren't given them on a plate. They have had to work significantly harder and longer than they did before, with more discipline and much more pressure. Now I have to see their achievements downgraded to level the playing field with kids who are not as capable and / or did not work as hard?
The fact that some of you are missing is how hard the entrance exam to the school was - it's not just about your cheque book. They take bright kids and teach them well and they achieve great exam results. That is not co-incidence, and to suggest that they only achieved because they had time and money is complete rubbish.
The real issue here is that this quality of education is not available in the comp system, and my view is that it should be. I can kind of understand why they did away with grammar schools, etc., but the comp system just seems to try to get everyone to the medium level of achievement whether you are academically gifted or challenged. Wouldn't it be great if everyone in society was capable of the same level of academic achievement? How fair and equitable. But who would do the rocket science and who would do the plumbing once they were in the workplace? If you happen to be "medium" academically, lucky you, but you are a minority in society and everyone else needs educating too.
Teachers on here are not going to like this, but my experience of today's comps is badly managed, inefficient, indisciplined, institutions held back from modernisation by political correctness and out-dated trade unions, that don't properly prepare kids for uni or for work. It really wouldn't be hard to get the system fit for purpose, and then there would be no place for the private sector. Instead it is booming in spite of a recession. Never wondered why that is?
Lights blue touch paper and retires.