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Overseas branches grow slowly

Your article about British independents with branches overseas ("How the gold rush failed to materialise for UK elites", 2 December) is based entirely on a report by a researcher of whom I have never heard and who is based in Mumbai. I am pretty familiar with most of the British schools that have set up overseas in the past 10 years and I can tell you that virtually all regard them as a great success at this fairly early stage. No school expected to grow to "2,000 places pretty damn quick" - that is just nonsense.

The several schools I have been involved with planned to start slowly and grow as demand determined; most have exceeded expectations. Nor does anyone regard overseas branches as being a "Holy Grail". For most of us they are simply a way of supplementing the income needed to fund bursaries.

Barnaby Lenon, Chairman, Independent Schools Council.

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