Wow Livegreen! That is a lot of research you have pulled together.
I don't disagree that London schools are improving, but London state comprehensives do not compare with London independent secondary schools both on terms of grades and number of places gained at top universities.
On this link you can see the top 100 state schools vs top 100 independent schools. There are barely any London schools on the state schools list yet many that are local to us on the independent school list. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educa ... 94994.html
I am not anti-state schools at all, just want to provide the best that I can afford to for my kids, and like most parents I imagine, want to provide them with the same or better than I had.
I don't really see how sending them to a nurturing prep school is not letting them enjoy their childhood, my limited experience of the UK education system is that kids in comprehensive schools often have to grow up faster than those in bubble-like independent schools.
Anyway, my post was not to slag-off state schools, just to say that I don't understand the shock-horror attitude of people wanting to pay for their kids education.