"I would be interested in hearing the answer to why State School students do better at university than students from Independent Schools."
@LiveGreen, yes I am generalising but I can only try to be helpful by answering your question via generalisations as the theme is so broad.
"However the considerable evidence totally contradicts this"
I don't think it does, we've already agreed (I think) that indy school children get better results for the same base level of intelligence. Without any other proxy for quality of teaching the evidence shows exactly the opposite - children do better.
I'll give you a specific example. There is a large indy school in SW London in which, during GSCE season, the teachers will get the first paper of a GCSE topic then "question spot" which topics they think will come up in question 2. This isn't pupils, btw, it's the teachers.
Then they run a clinic on a Saturday morning between the two papers where they teach the children how to answer the question they've predicted will come up.
The average difference between the grades achieved by their pupils between paper 1 and paper 2 is 10%. That can be two grade boundaries. It is a totally unfair but incredibly effective advantage. The children don't have to go to the clinic, it's totally optional, but they do go with their own accord (and believe me they're motivated to go) because 50% of the time the teachers are right. It's incredibly effective but you need resources and money and staff who aren't running around like headless chickens to do it.
I understand why people may claim that indy children "aren't motivated" or are "coached and pushed too hard" but if you've seen an indy class of 15 children quietly working away in lessons under the guidance of a happy, motivated teacher versus a state teacher who is silently screaming
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... udget-cuts
then you'll see why it's a weird argument as it just doesn't resonate with what we see in real life.
Private education is one of those areas of UK life where many many people have irresolute and chippy opinions without having any experience of it first hand.
I will agree with anyone till the cows come home that it's a) unfair b) elitist c) socially divisive because it is. But I won't agree that it somehow gives a poorer education - it just doesn't. Attack it for it's unfairness but not on the quality of the product.
If I can now flip to other side, I think the very best schools, out of state/indy/grammar are large mixed comprehensives with strong discipline, academic rigour, an inspirational head and supportive parents. The problem is it's incredibly hard to get that mix in London on any scale, there is the odd one (and it's where left wing politicians send their own children).