At the age of ten he was sent with an aged uncle to England to study at Beaumont School in Old Windsor Park, then known as the 'Catholic Eton'. The Jesuit school was run on strict, well-ordered lines, with the priests claiming that they knew what any boy was doing at any time of the day. Leach thought the sadistic beatings likely to deter, rather than encourage, interest in education, and this bad experience prompted in his interest in child-centred methods of education put forward by the Italian educationalist Maria Montessori. At Beaumont, not surprisingly, he showed no ability at academic subjects and excelled only at drawing, elocution and cricket. Letters between Leach, his father and stepmother, thought not in the archive, record his anguish at deciding his future.