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Evolution of the independents

Martin Stephen claims that independents are pricing themselves out of the market when the Independent Schools Council annual census shows the numbers being privately educated have risen, despite the recession. He says that they are not evolving when, by pioneering uptake of the International Baccalaureate, Pre-U, IGCSE and the Extended Project, they have led academic change.

He says that independents are being propped up by foreign students. Non-British students make up 5.2 per cent of our pupils, and we welcome the fact that independents are known to be among the world's best. Indeed, 20 of our schools have set up campuses abroad. This is not a sign of weakness but part of the evolution Dr Stephen cannot see.

Barnaby Lenon, Chairman, Independent Schools Council, London.

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