I have observed this thread with interest and think that the arguments have probably run their course, but just wanted to say two things:
1. It's not entirely fair to state that the comparison is between outstanding state and private. There are very few outstanding schools that are an option to most (bearing in mind that unless you live on/near Northcote Rd and have access to Belleville/Honeywell, or are a strict practising Catholic and fulfil all the criteria - including tiny catchment distances - for the 'outstanding' Catholic schools in the area, you are facing a choice of some pretty decent schools but with some issues (whatever they may be), or, if you can afford it, private). But the problem with the 'decent' schools is that, due to demand in London, they are oversubscribed too. So you face the real option of being allocated a cr@p school (and, sorry, there are some - whatever you say, it's true - ones with behavioural issues, high absenteeism, low results, etc).
2. To me the only difference between sending you child to aforesaid outstanding state schools and private schools is that you can get a mortgage on your house loan but not readily for a loan for school fees (correct me if I'm wrong)! Why is it becoming a moral issue? Why are the private
school parents having a go at the state school parents and vice versa?
It is strange to me how emotive this whole subject is. We are unfortunate enough to live in an area where we are not particularly close to any state school, we are taking a gamble with the whole state school system, and we finally panicked and decided to go private instead. We are fortunate enough to have a choice but it will be a struggle and I still lay awake at night worrying about it.
If I could get my girls into an outstanding or even a good state primary I would have no hesitation in doing so.
Oh dear, I had better stop this outpouring of worry!!