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The sharp achievement gap between state and private school-educated pupils means there is a "shocking waste of potential", according to the chairman of educational charity the Sutton Trust.
Sir Peter Lampl's remarks come in the foreword to a new report that shows private school pupils will earn significantly more than their state school peers.
"This is a shocking waste of potential. This report clearly sets out the advantages that can be gained from a good private education," Sir Peter writes.
The Sutton Trust is calling for more independent schools to take on able pupils from less well-off backgrounds.
The charity suggests private schools should get the same funding per pupil as state schools, with the ability to charges fees on a means-tested basis, with the poorest paying nothing.
Their study suggests extending such a scheme to 100 leading private schools would cost the Government about £215 million a year.
Children educated at private school are likely to earn almost £200,000 more over the course of their career than their counterparts in the state system, new research suggests.
A study by the Social Market Foundation found that between the ages of 26 and 42 a privately educated person will earn approximately £193,700 more on average than someone who went to state school.
The difference means an average private school pupil will earn 43% more than their state school peers by the age of 34, although this falls slightly to 34% by the aged of 42.