Published 14th December 2019

You know what they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and the same is true when it comes to finding a job teaching English as a foreign language. We’re not saying that you need to make friends with school principals, but we are saying that you need to know who’s who in the TEFL zoo to give yourself the best chance to find the right job for you. If you’re in the United Kingdom or are looking for a job in the UK, you’re probably considering working at a language school. If we’ve hit the nail on the head, then this post is just for you. It’s a pleasure. How do we know which are the top language schools in the UK? Luckily for us, the EL Gazette compiles an annual report on the top schools based on inspections by the British Council. The British Council visits all the schools and awards points for areas of strength and deducts points for areas of weaknesses to come up with a total score. 

The following schools were all awarded perfect scores and are thus the joint top schools in the UK.

LSI Portsmouth

Situated in the historic city on the sea, LSI Portsmouth has a reputation for looking after its students. Though there is a strong focus on academics, the school prides itself on its individualized attention to its students and its relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

ELC Bristol

ELC Bristol is a family-run school in the lively town of Bristol. They also focus on their students to ensure they have the best experience possible. At the same time, they believe in ongoing training for their teachers to maintain their high teacher retention rates.

Wimbledon School of English

Situated just 15 minutes from London city centre, Wimbledon School of English is a friendly, welcoming school which boasts excellent teachers and the latest technology. The work hard on supporting their students on their learning journey and this is reflected in the students’ satisfaction with the school.

Other schools worth a mention are IH London and Bell International. While these schools didn’t get perfect scores, they scored in the top 2%, so they’re still pretty darn good.

International House London

As the name suggests, this is an international language school chain with over 160 language schools in 52 countries. IH London is considered by the EL gazette as the best value language school in London. At IH London you are able to teach young learners, teens and adults, as well as English for exams. IH London is a very technologically-savvy EFL school and this, as well as a busy social programme, make it a very popular choice among language students. 

Bell International, Cambridge

The Bell School has five branches all over the UK but Bell Cambridge was the original. Students are taught using a method developed by its founder, who was a professor at Cambridge University. It focuses on individual development and achievement and its friendly atmosphere makes it a great place to study and teach.

Why should you work at one of these top schools? 

The British Council inspections cover 15 areas, ranging from staff management and student administration to learning resources and course design. You can be sure that these top schools look after not only their students but also their staff. The top three schools retain close to 90% of their teachers every year which, considering the nature of this industry, is very impressive. If a school manages to keep their students and their staff happy, you can be sure they are great places to teach.

  1. I am TEFl graduate and have been thinking for a while to swap my career from care to teaching.
    I work as a care manager for local government office in Cambridge.
    I would love to have more information about Bell English School and job possibilities. I have studied at ARU and obtained master degree in sociology 6 years ago. Im 57 and full of creative ideas and spare time for charity.

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