EDUCATION: Exam boost for independent schools

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The Independent Online
Students in selective independent schools make more progress in the sixth form than those in non-selective schools and colleges, according to early findings of a study of more than half a million pupils.

The analysis, carried out jointly by the Department for Education and London University's Institute of Education, was designed to examine which institutions added most "value" and which students benefited most. The study measured the progress between GCSE and A-level of every sixth-former in England taking A-levels in 1993, 1994 and 1995. The results offer an alternative means of measuring educational success in place of pure A- level results. Though the research suggested selective schools helped students make most progress, while further education colleges added least value, the report's authors warned numbers in each institutions were too small to permit firm conclusions.