There is a report on assisted places here
http://www.suttontrust.com/reports/APS% ... Report.pdf
I have qouted some interesting bits I found in the report
One of the major findings of the original research was that less than 10% of AP holders had fathers who were manual workers, with 50% of the sample having fathers in service class employment. Almost all the employed mothers of the AP holders were in white collar employment (Edwards et al 1989: 161). In the original sample, the majority of AP holders came from families with relatively high educational inheritance, leading to the conclusion that â€žon this evidence they are not clearly from socially or culturally disadvantaged backgrounds, despite the relatively low incomes of their parentsâ€Ÿ (Edwards et al 1989: 161).
Virtually all spoke of the fact that they could not participate in the â€žsemi-formalâ€Ÿ activities of the school curriculum, such as field-trips, cultural visits or foreign exchanges, because their parents could not afford them. The lack of participation in weekend and after-school activities was compounded by the very long journeys to and from school which were commonly mentioned. Although many of their wealthier classmates would also have experienced long travelling times, the relative poverty of our AP holders meant they had a greater reliance on public transport. It is likely that this lack of participation in activities more associated with the social dimension of the school contributed to the relatively high levels of detachment within our sample.
Why is it that our committed respondents are largely female and our alienated respondents entirely male? Our sample is small and imbalanced in terms of the number of men and women interviewed. Nevertheless, the difference is striking. It may be that our girlsâ€Ÿ schools embodied the forms of â€žacademic feminismâ€Ÿ identified by Arnot (2002), which underscored the importance of high academic attainment for competing with males.
However, the greater levels of involvement of our female respondents arise not so much from their acceptance of the academic dimension of their school, but from the acceptance and realisation of the social objectives of the school. After all, our â€ždetachedâ€Ÿ category is comprised largely of male respondents.
There is little doubt that many individuals benefited from the APS. The receipt of an assisted place enabled them to attend prestigious and well-resourced private schools which led to high academic attainments and places at elite universities. Previous analysis (Power et al 2006) indicated that AP holders were more likely to do better than state school pupils in this respect, although less well than full fee payers at private schools.
As to whether its better to spend Â£30K on one child or many, its very difficult to say but personally I see it as a way of bridging the soacial gaps and support it. Looking at the current mix of our leaders they are mostly privately educated and/or went to Oxbridge. Even with Nu Labour cabinet, they had a quite a bit more of these in cabinet. Should we therefore just accept that tommorrow' s leader will be from Eaton and Westminister where money talks? Giving a few other children APS may lead to it being perhaps a little more diverse mix of social backgrounds. Its all good to say we should make our state kids be at that same level but it will never be as long as there are issues to do with funding. The APS wasnt perfect and there are recomendations of how to make it better. I doubt we will see it soon considering money is tight right now for the government.
With grammar schools being a thing of the past which narrowed these inequalities, I can only see this problem becoming worse and statistics already show this now. Even with the current grammar's they are really being squezed and the government seems to have channelled all the money to failing schools. Perhaps more money to successful schools too would help them go that extra mile in providing first class education rather than channel all the money to academies.