More than half of parents would send their child to private school if they could afford to, a poll suggests.
Many believe that fee-paying schools provide a better standard of education, according to the survey, which was commissioned by the Independent Schools Council (ISC).
And some thought they offered smaller classes, and a better start for their youngster.
Of the parents questioned, 57 per cent said they would educate their child privately if they had the money. This has risen from 51 per cent who said the same in 1997.
Of those that would send their child to private school, 51 per cent said these schools had better standards of education, 15 per cent said they would educate their child privately because they have smaller classes and 14 per cent said it was a better start to life.
Nearly three in five (59 per cent) said educational standards in state schools are lower than the standards in fee-paying schools, while 23 per cent said that they are about the same.
Just six per cent said standards are higher in state schools, and the rest did not know.
Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, the ISC’s deputy general secretary and head of research, said: “This survey shows that the public increasingly recognise the exceptional quality of education provided by independent schools.”