I agree it is interesting.
I believe that given good teaching and motivated parents, a reasonably bright child, not a brilliant one will
If parents are willing to pay school fees then they are by definition motivated re their child's education.I would hope that a school that requires fees to be paid would have an added incentive to monior the quality of teaching.
Yes I believe class size still matters too.At DD's school there are 180 in each sixth form year.( similar to Nonsuch) This has to make a difference.Although good teaching in this setting still produces results.(DDs' school coming 9th nationally for A levels).
However if I had a child that was struggling a little in some aspect of their A level studies, I would guess they would receive more help in the smaller indep setting.
Last point...in the Sutton/Croydon area, Sutton High is regarded as the more academic of the indep girls' schools. I have known two families turn it down for this reason.One took a place at an indep school in Croydon and one in Banstead.The girls that go to Sutton high are of a good academic standard whether it is because they have come through the excellent quality prep school or because they apply in year 6 and pass the test.
So LLL that was a long and inconclusive answer from me.Nice to see you back.Hope you had a good summer.