About British Study Centres
Our mission statement is to provide a creative, rewarding and successful learning and working environment for our students and staff.
Simon Cleaver, Chairman
British Study Centres was founded in the 1930's by Joseph Cleaver, grandfather of our current Chairman and Chief Executive, Simon Cleaver. To this day the company remains a resolutely 'family' firm, privately owned and managed by Simon and his family, and committed to providing a warm friendly environment for its customers.
In the early days the company concentrated on correspondence courses and as such was a precursor to the Open University which grew up in the 1960's. The company grew quickly, establishing offices and examination centres across the entire (then) British Empire and beyond, and in the process becoming the UK's largest group of correspondence colleges.
In the early 1970's the company, now run by Joseph's sons, James and Thomas, began to focus on 'face-to-face' tuition with the establishment of vocational colleges; West London College in London's West End, St Aldates College in Oxford and Hove College in Brighton.
In the 1990's the company moved into English language teaching with the founding of the group's first English language school in Oxford (in 1996). This was followed by Brighton in 2002 and London in 2004. The schools have grown quickly with both Brighton and Oxford moving to larger premises in 2008 to cope with increasing demand. The London school expanded its premises in April 2009 with the opening of a new first floor suite of classrooms and offices and grew further in spring 2010 with the opening of six new classrooms on the third floor at Hannah House.
In 2008 the company moved into the 'young learners' market with the acquisition of 'ICH' (International College Holidays), a specialist provider of vacation courses to children aged 10-15 years. Easter and summer 2009 saw the first intake of juniors at two prestigious independent schools: Ardingly College and Cheltenham College. The juniors division has expanded rapidly since 2008 and now comprises four centres in the UK – Ardingly College, Cheltenham College, Wycliffe College and Brockenhurst College.
This is a very exciting development for British Study Centres as it looks to build on its reputation for providing high-quality English language courses and services at accessible prices.
In 2009 British Study Centres was honoured to be nominated by readers of Study Travel Magazine as one of its 5 'Star' English Language Schools in Europe.
In 2010 the company was honoured again by Study Travel Magazine, this time with nominations in two categories, 'Star' English Language School Europe and 'Star' Junior Course Provider... and on 4th September 2010 British Study Centres was presented with the award for 'Star' English Language School Europe, a truly memorable and proud day for everyone involved in the organisation.
The award crowned an exceptional year for British Study Centres which also saw the opening of the company's fourth year-round school for adults in the south coast town of Bournemouth (in May 2010) and the opening of a specialist Teacher Training facility in central Oxford (in August 2010).
In 2011 British Study Centres was once again nominated by readers of Study Travel Magazine as one of its 5 'Star' English Language Schools in Europe.
In 2012 British Study Centres collected two awards at the Study Travel Magazine awards: 'Star' English Language School Europe and 'Star' Junior Courses for under 18s. This is the first time in the history of the awards that an organisation has done the 'double' in both Adult and Junior categories.
Our Chosen Charity: The Hotcourses Foundation
Helping HIV + Orphans in Africa
The Hotcourses Foundation was set up in 2004 to help fund the education of HIV+ children in the developing world whose access to education is limited or non-existent.
British Study Centres School of English and its parent organisation, British Study Centres, try to do what they can to help by making annual donations to the Foundation.
Our objective is to make a measurable, tangible difference to the lives of children in some of the poorest parts of the world. Initially we have focused on AIDS-orphans in Kenya, providing money to fund their education and provide school uniforms and related resources. The Hotcourses Foundation is particularly proud of the primary school it built in Kitui, eastern Kenya, which came top in recent assessments of schools in the area. We are now building our second school in the region. Please see the video made during a visit to the location of the Hotcourses Primary School and The Lawson High School in the slums in Kenya in September 2009.
What Can You Do to Help?
You can help us to help these vulnerable children and young adults by signing up to become a sponsor. You can either sign up for a monthly payment, make a one-off lifetime donation or make a general donation to the Foundation. Just go to www.hotcoursesfoundation.org for full details.