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The London School of English celebrates its centenary


The London School of English celebrates its centenary in 2012 with a series of events, activities and projects that highlight the importance of language and communications training around the world.

As the oldest accredited English language school in the world, the London School of English has played a significant role in improving the practical English language and communication skills of thousands of individuals over the last 100 years. The school specialises in short-intensive training for business professionals as well offering a range of general English courses. Its clients over the decades include foreign politicians and diplomats, security service personnel, senior business people, international footballers and global pop icons.

“It is a great honour to be presiding over the school for this remarkable anniversary,” says Chief Executive Timothy Blake. “Throughout our history we have offered a top-quality, personal service and this core aim remains the same. I am well aware that to keep our place at the high end of this competitive field, we need to keep evolving and looking forwards. “

This forward-looking approach saw the London School of English launch online learning in 2008. In 2012 it rolls out its first blended learning course and launches an English for Young Engineers course.

The London School of English offers general communications skills training as well as language courses. “Excellent language skills will take people along way but when combined with a flair for communication, the impact is far greater,” Timothy Blake explains, adding: “Our recent expansion into cross cultural and voice training has proved especially popular.”

To commemorate its centenary, the school is working with a range of partners to celebrate the influence of the English language worldwide, as Hauke Tallon, Director of Sales and Marketing, explains: “We are working in partnership with the Oxford University Press on a project tracking the changing trends in business English over the last 100 years and we have undertaken market research with the UK corporate sector to measure attitudes to language and cross cultural training.”

A big party is planned at the Kensington Palace Orangery in autumn 2012, for which the London School of English hopes to secure a high-profile guest to unveil a commemorative plaque at its headquarters in Holland Park.


The original London School of English opened in Oxford Street in 1912 and by the 1950s was seen as a leading member of a growing sector. When the British government established an accreditation scheme, the London School of English was the first school to be inspected and approved.

In 1960, the school was instrumental in the formation of ARELS (now EnglishUK) and Peter Fabian, Director of the School at the time, was one of the earliest Chairs of ARELS. Later Timothy Blake was also Chair.

In the late 1960s, the school moved to the upmarket residential area of Holland Park and concentrated on offering high-quality, full-time intensive language training to serious-minded individuals. This focussed, personalised approach remains in place today.

In the 1970s the London School of English was one of the first schools of its kind to offer specialist business courses. By 1998, demand had again outstripped supply and the school opened another building in nearby Chiswick. The London School of English joined IALC in 2003 along with its sister school in Canterbury, Canterbury Language Training.

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