This week, we interview Richard Day on the recent activities of the The English Network (TEN), a group of UK independent language schools.


Can you explain what the TEN group is and why it was established?

The English Network (TEN) is a group of ten established, independent English language schools in England that have a reputation in the market place for providing a quality student experience. The group was established to raise the profile of the quality independent sector and, very importantly, to share best practice so enabling members to continue to provide excellent courses and services for their students. 


What has the TEN group been up to over recent months?

In recent months, TEN has organised a number of conferences for staff.  In mid-November the Torquay International School hosted a conference for our admin teams.  In mid-January there was a marketing conference for members at the Wimbledon School of English. Most recently, English in Chester hosted a Management Day for senior members of staff from TEN schools. Members of TEN also continue their profile raising overseas. In December all our members travelled to Madrid for a meeting with members of [Spanish agency association] Aseproce. Last month, TEN had a presence at an agent fair in Serbia. 


How was 2013 for TEN and its members?

From the business point of view 2013 was a very satisfactory year for individual members of TEN. From the TEN perspective, it was an excellent year which has resulted in a much higher profile for the group. 


Are there any particular challenges that the group faces?

There are many challenges, especially with troubled economies in some of our main markets and the growth of large commercial players in our industry.  A small group of independents working together stands more chance of making their mark in the industry than individual schools acting alone. The very successful TEN fam trip last year brought some of the world’s leading agents to the UK to visit TEN member schools. Collectively we are learning from each other and can have a much greater impact on the market.


What activities do you have planned for the coming months?

During the remainder of 2014 TEN are planning more conferences for our managers, academic leaders, marketing staff and office personnel. There will be another fam trip and our members will be spreading the word, both collectively and individually, at a number of events overseas – the next event being planned for the Baltic States later this month.

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