A survey showing that two in five parents think every child should have the chance to go to private school, regardless of their family’s income, has been described as ‘flawed.’

“Like every survey the answers you get depend on the questions asked and in this case it appears that the question not asked was about reintroducing grammar schools,” said Paul Nuttall, MEP, UKIP Education spokesman.

“I am sure if that had been among those asked in this education charity commissioned survey there would not have been the same result about all children having the opportunity to go to private school.

“All parents want the very best education for their offspring and they see private schools as offering that opportunity. But top quality grammar schools can meet the same standards and provide a level playing field regardless of background and income.

“It is imperative that the existing grammar schools remain but it is vital that more are opened. The survey is about social mobility and grammar schools provide the best gateway,” he said.

The survey commissioned by the Sutton Trust  also found that more than a quarter of the parents quizzed are in favour of at least some state school places being allocated randomly, or by ballot, with a further 19 per cent agreeing that half of places should be allocated in this way and the remaining places handed out based on distance from home to school.

“I have great reservations about introducing allocation by ballot. This could mean children living just yards from the school of their choice have to travel miles to another one with all the difficulties that would create.

“It is difficult when schools are over-subscribed but lessons need to be learnt about why they are so popular and that knowledge used to raise standards at the other schools,” said Mr Nuttall.

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