But their findings don't seem to support the return of grammar schools - rather, it argues that too much emphasis is put on education as an engine of social mobility.
"'If education could have an independent effect [on increasing social mobility], then Scotland should show it - but it does not,' the report said. 'The similarity of social mobility experience to England and Wales shows that wider social and economic reforms are more important.'Indeed they are not - and if comprehensives haven't done working class kids many favours, neither has this emphasis on the extrinsic social benefits of education. It may come across as pretty simple-minded but it's occurred to me before that one of the reasons for the declining social mobility between classes must be due at least to some extent to the fact that the social ladder is so much longer than it used to be.
Professor Paterson said there was a danger that politicians were heaping too much responsibility on schools to remedy society's problems.
He said: 'Fiddling around with education systems does not in itself make much difference to people's social mobility chances. We tend to lump everything on to schools and want them to solve everything from drugs to health and relationships, but they're not that powerful.'"