Which is the largest chain of Schools in India in 2024?

Written By Pragya | Edited By Varsha & Adi | Updated on 30th Jan, 2024

Searching for a school can be a real headache! With the trend of school chains, you might be wondering: what are they, and why should I go for them? So, chains of schools are like the big brands in education which have a lot of schools under them providing the same resources and curriculum throughout! Still confused? To make it all easy for you, we have listed the top 10 chains of schools in India so you can make your decision wisely and find the perfect fit for your kiddo!

Quick Summary

Largest chain of Schools in India in 2024

  1. What are Chains of Schools?
  2. Why choose a Chain of School? 
  3. Top 11 School Chains in India 
    • Vidya Bharti School: Headquarters in Lucknow
    • Kendriya Vidyalaya: Headquarters in New Delhi
    • Delhi Public School: Headquarters in Bangalore
    • DAV School: Headquarters in New Delhi
    • Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools: Headquarters in Bhopal
    • Ryan International Group of Institutions: Headquarters in Mumbai
    • Podar Education Network: Headquarters in Mumbai
    • Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya: Headquarters in Noida
    • The Vibgyor Group: Headquarters in Bangalore
    • Billabong High International Schools: Headquarters in Mumbai
    • Army Public School: Headquarters in New Delhi
  4. FAQs

1. What are Chains of Schools?

School chains are networks of educational institutions that operate under a common brand, sharing resources, curriculum, and administrative support. These chains can span across regions, providing a standardised educational experience and often boasting impressive infrastructure and facilities.

2. Why Choose a Chain of Schools?

Alright, let’s break it down—why would you want to go to a school that’s part of a chain? Turns out, there are some pretty cool perks:

1. Same Learning for Everyone

Do you know how sometimes the education vibe can be different from one school to another? Well, in a school chain, they keep things consistent. Same lessons, same quality—no surprises. 

By adhering to a consistent curriculum and set of educational standards across all branches, students receive a uniform learning experience. It’s like having a reliable pizza joint where you know the taste is gonna be the same every time.

2. Fancy Facilities

Imagine going to a school with all the cool stuff—awesome classrooms, labs, libraries, and sports areas. That’s what school chains can offer. They pull resources together, making sure you get the best learning environment possible.

3. Access to Resources

School chains create a collaborative ecosystem where resources are shared among institutions. This includes educational materials, technology infrastructure, and teaching aids. The interconnected nature of these schools allows for a dynamic exchange of resources, ensuring that each institution within the chain has access to the latest tools, technologies, and methodologies.

4. Teachers Getting Even Better

The teachers in these school chains get special training to be even more awesome. They learn new tricks, cool ways to teach, and all the latest trends in education. So, you’re not just learning from any teacher, you’re learning from the ones who’ve got some serious teaching game.

5. Support Squad

Going to a school in a chain is like being part of a big team. You’ve got buddies from different places, all working towards the same goals. So, it’s not just about books, it’s about having a crew that’s got your back when things get rough.

6. Brand Recognition

School chains often develop a strong brand identity associated with quality education. This recognition can instil confidence in parents, students, and the community. People know them, trust them, and think, “Yep, that’s where quality education happens.” So, when you say you’re part of one, it’s like having the coolest ticket in town.

7. Thinking Global

Some school chains extend their reach beyond national borders, offering students exposure to global perspectives. International collaborations, exchange programs, and standardised curricula with global relevance prepare students for a more interconnected world, fostering a broader understanding of diverse cultures and ideas.

3. Top 11 School Chains in India

1. Vidya Bharati Schools

  • Year of establishment: 1952
  • Number of schools: More than 13,000 formal schools and more than 10,000 informal schools.
  • Board of Affiliation: Most of the Vidya Bharati schools are connected with either the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) or the educational boards in their local states.
  • Number of students: More than 30 lakh students.
  • Number of Faculties: Around 1.5 lakhs.
  • Overview: Vidya Bharati, started in 1952, is a group of schools linked with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. They aim to teach not just subjects but also cultural values. It began as a response to changes in education during British rule. They plant the “seed of culture” in children, promoting Indian heritage. Vidya Bharati operates independently and focuses on early education in the mother tongue, aiming to build a strong connection to culture and heritage.
  • Official website: https://vidyabharti.net/ 

2. Kendriya Vidyalaya

  • Year of establishment: 1963
  • Number of schools: 1,253 schools (1,250 in India and 3 abroad)
  • Board of Affiliation: Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE)
  • Number of students: More than 1.4 lakhs.
  • Number of Faculties: More than 43,000.
  • Overview: Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV Schools) follow a common syllabus, offering bilingual instruction in English and Hindi. They are co-educational and teach Sanskrit as a compulsory subject from classes VI to VIII. French, Russian, or German language options are available in some schools. 

Tuition fees are charged, but exemptions apply for certain categories. Daily prayers in Sanskrit or Hindi foster discipline and reflect a commitment to seeking divine guidance in education. KVs are recognized for their holistic approach, extensive subject offerings, and accolades from the Government of India for achievements in sports and language promotion.

Kendriya Vidyalaya is the largest chain of schools in India.

Official website:https://kvsangathan.nic.in/

3. Delhi Public School Society

  • Year of establishment: 1949
  • Number of schools: 900+ schools. 
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE, ICSE, other regional boards and Arya Samaj.
  • Overview: For more than sixty years, the DPS Society has been a strong force in education. Known for quality and nurturing students, DPS stands out for its academic achievements and success in various competitions. The lively classrooms, energetic sports fields, and friendly atmosphere contribute to students realising their full potential. 

DPS embraces innovation in teaching to match modern educational trends, focusing on enjoyable learning experiences. The curriculum incorporates cultural and intellectual diversity, addressing current issues, and emphasising values, environment, health, sports, arts, and personality development.

4. DAV Schools

  • Year of establishment: 1886
  • Number of schools: 206 in India, 11 abroad 
  • Board of Affiliation: All schools are affiliated to CBSE except DPS International, Saket, New Delhi, which is affiliated to IGCSE and DPS Kolkata and Singapore are affiliated to ICSE.
  • Number of students: More than 20 lakh students.
  • Number of Faculties: More than 50,000.
  • Overview: The Dayanand Anglo-Vedic Education Society (DAVES) oversees schools run by the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College Trust (DAVCT), managing over 750 educational institutions, including D.A.V. Public Schools. The primary language of instruction is English, supplemented by mandatory education in Hindi and Sanskrit or a regional language. DAV is the largest non-governmental educational society in India, with a budget exceeding INR ₹2 billion. In 2013, DAV College Managing Committee received the ‘Best Chain of Schools in India’ award from ASSOCHAM for its significant contribution to quality education.
  • Official website: https://davcmc.net.in/ 

5. Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools

  • Year of establishment: 1991
  • Number of schools: more than 150 schools. 
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE and other regional boards.
  • Number of students: More than 80,000.
  • Number of Faculties: More than 6,000.
  • Overview: Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools (MVMs) are recognized for their unique approach to education, blending traditional subjects with Maharishiji’s Consciousness-Based Education System. With over 700 global studies supporting its effectiveness, this system promotes intelligence, better brain function, and overall well-being. MVMs also emphasise practices like Yoga and meditation, helping students achieve higher consciousness and success in academics and personal life. 

The schools aim to equip students not only with professional skills but also a foundation in natural law, enabling them to lead stress-free lives and contribute positively to the world.

6. Ryan International Group of Institutions

  • Year of establishment: 1976
  • Number of schools: more than 150 schools across India and abroad. 
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE, CISCE, IGCSE, IB and SSC.
  • Number of students: A total of 2.5 million students, covering over 40 cities across India and UAE.
  • Number of Faculties: More than 18,000.
  • Overview: Ryan Group of Schools focuses on preparing students for the future with a 21st-Century skill set. Their academic foundation is complemented by unique learning experiences, including collaborations with Cambridge for English language assessments and participation in international benchmark tests. 

The school prioritises physical education and sports coaching from renowned professionals, fostering champions in various fields. Ryan Group also emphasises global awareness through initiatives like Indian Model United Nations and international exchange programs. With a tech-driven approach, the school ensures a seamless learning experience and has received numerous awards for its contributions to education and social service.

7. Podar Education Network

  • Year of establishment: 1927
  • Number of schools: 140+ international schools, 105 Podar Partner schools and 400 Podar Preschools.
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE, CISCE, IGCSE, IB and SSC.
  • Number of students: More than 2.3 lakh students.
  • Number of Faculties: More than 8,000.
  • Overview: They have achieved new heights in education with a strong commitment to quality and innovative learning methods. The school’s aim is to foster responsible, well-rounded learners who can contribute positively to society. As a result, they are now a trusted and acknowledged leader in education, with a wide network of top schools in India. They welcome you to join the Podar family and provide your child with the best integrated, holistic, and empowering learning experience.
  • Official website: https://www.podareducation.org/ 

8. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya

  • Year of establishment: 1986
  • Number of schools: 661 
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE
  • Number of students: More than 2.8 lakhs.
  • Overview: Navodaya Vidyalaya schools aim to bring out the best of rural talent by providing quality education to children with special aptitude, regardless of their financial background. This unique experiment focuses on talented rural children, offering modern education, cultural values, environmental awareness, and physical education. 

With a common core curriculum in Hindi and English, these schools promote national integration and serve as a focal point for enhancing the quality of education through teacher training and shared experiences. The objective is to empower students and foster social enrichment.

9. The Vibgyor Group

  • Year of establishment: 2004
  • Number of schools: 40+ schools across India.
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE, CISCE and CAIE.
  • Number of students: More than 50,000 students.
  • Overview: The school is committed to providing students with engaging learning experiences daily, utilising a well-researched curriculum, modern teaching approaches, and a range of extracurricular activities. They strive to cultivate future leaders, thinkers, change-makers, and contributors who will make a real difference in tomorrow’s world. Additionally, the school emphasises upholding cultural traditions as they work tirelessly to create a positive and impactful educational environment.
  • Official website: https://www.vibgyorhigh.com/ 

10. Billabong High International Schools

  • Year of establishment: 2000
  • Number of schools: 30
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE, CISCE and Cambridge.
  • Number of students: More than 20,000 students.
  • Overview: Founded by early childhood education leader Lina Ashar, the first Billabong High International School (BHIS) is part of the renowned Billabong chain. Lina Ashar, also the founder of Kangaroo Kids premium preschools, established BHIS to create an engaging and joyful learning experience for children. 

Recognized as one of the country’s most respected school chains, BHIS received the prestigious Best School Brand award from the Economic Times in 2016. The school emphasises an integrated approach, incorporating sports and performing arts into the curriculum to foster creativity, critical thinking, and practical application skills in students.

11. Army Public Schools

Image credits: apssriganganagar.in

  • Year of establishment: 1983
  • Number of schools: 137
  • Board of Affiliation: CBSE.
  • Number of students: More than 2,30,000 students.
  • Overview: Army Public Schools (APS) are a network of educational institutions established by the Indian Army to provide education to the children of armed forces personnel. With 137 schools nationwide, it’s one of India’s largest school chains. The Army Welfare Education Society (AWES), founded in 1983, manages the APS system, which includes 137 Army public schools and 249 Army pre-primary schools across the country, along with higher education institutions. The army’s regional commands oversee school management, following the CBSE educational pattern. Priority admission is given to children of army personnel. Each Army school is headed by a chairman, usually a brigadier, and a patron, typically a major general.
  • Official website: https://www.awesindia.com/

4. FAQs about Chain of Schools 

1. Do chains of schools offer any unique advantages over standalone schools?

Yes, chains of schools often provide several advantages, including a standardised curriculum, access to shared resources, well-developed infrastructure, and a collaborative community. Students benefit from a consistent learning experience and exposure to a wide range of facilities and opportunities.

2. Which is the largest network of schools in India?

Podar Group of Schools, Vidya Bharti Schools, and Kendriya Vidyalayas are the largest networks of schools in India.

3. Which school has branches all over India?

Delhi Public School (DPS), Kendriya Vidyalaya, and Vidya Bharti Schools have branches all over India.

4. Can students easily transition between schools within the same chain if they relocate to a different city or region?

Many school chains have a streamlined process for students to transition between their branches. This is often facilitated by a common curriculum and administrative structure. However, it’s recommended to check with the specific schools and the chain’s policies to ensure a smooth transition, especially if there are regional variations in curriculum or practices.

5. What is the meaning of a chain of schools? 

“chain of schools” refers to a group or network of multiple educational institutions, typically sharing the same brand, management, curriculum, and educational philosophy. These schools are often spread across different locations and may offer education at various levels, such as primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels. 


So, now you know that India’s educational landscape is enriched by esteemed school chains like Vidya Bharati, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Podar Education Network, Billabong, Army Public School, DPS, and others, which prioritise consistent learning, top-notch facilities, and holistic development. 

Opting for a school chain provides advantages such as standardised education, access to resources, and a supportive community. Highlighting the top 11 chains, including Vidya Bharati and DAV Schools, these institutions play a pivotal role in shaping education, emphasizing global perspectives, innovation, and cultural values. 

Choose the school according to your needs and remember whichever chain of school you choose, you will get the same resources and curriculum throughout, so there is nothing to worry about!

Varsha & Adi

Hi, we are Varsha and Adi, and we’re on a mission to help parents make the right choice for their kids’ education. Picking a school is like a 10-year commitment, and we realized parents needed clear, no-nonsense info. That’s why we created Candid Schools, where you can get the real deal on schools without the fancy jargon. Our goal is simple: to give parents the info they need to make the best choice for their little ones.

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