Comparisons Against Independent Schools

Independent schools provide a useful point of comparison for selective schools. The private sector educates roughly 7% of pupils, while selective schools educate between 3-4%. Many independent schools were themselves once grammar schools, selecting to move into the private sector rather than become comprehensives.

In 2013/14 (data available here) the independent sector outperformed state schools. But if we look at the difference in results between types of school in the state sector, we see a much smaller gap than the national average between selective state schools and independent schools.


A* A B C
Independent 18.4% 30.9% 26.3% 14.4%
Selective state-funded 13.9% 26.9% 28.4% 18.4%
Comprehensive 6.1% 14.7% 26.4% 26.8%


If we aggregate these results, we see that 49.3% of independent school results are at either A* or A grade, while the figures for selective state and comprehensive schools are 40.8% and 20.8% respectively. If we extend the figures to cover A*-C grades (what the government considers to be ‘good’ grades), we see the following:

  • Independent school grades A*-C: 90%
  • Selective state-funded school grades A*-C: 87.6%
  • Comprehensive school grades A*-C: 74%