Our exports are probably the best in the world

David Martin

Your article "Why the world is buying what we're rejecting" (20 July) and the editorial by Gerard Kelly in the same issue make a valuable point about the value of British education as an export. However, both muddy the waters by confusing several different issues. British Council language schools are not in direct competition with British international schools. The former serve the needs of a local population seeking to develop their English language skills. The latter provide access to high-quality British education aimed at both expatriate children and the local community who desire an English medium education.

In addition, many local schools, for example in Pakistan, would not describe themselves as "international schools" but wish to offer access to UK qualifications. Such schools value the quality standards of UK exams and the access they provide to international higher education.

The British Council works in partnership with many of these schools and the UK exam boards. We also work more widely with the sector, supporting school improvement through international benchmarking and professional development.

David Martin, Head of schools, British Council.

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