25 years young...and still going strong!
In 1991, Manchester Academy of English first opened its doors to the thousands of students who, over the next quarter of a century, would travel from the four corners of the globe to improve their English.
It began as a small, private, family-owned establishment. Initially located in the building round the corner from the current school in Piccadilly Gardens, it is now situated in St. Margaret’s Chambers on Newton Street. A great central location in a bustling multicultural city! It’s strange to think how different the school was back then. Reception, the classrooms and the offices were all on the first floor with the library being in the now student lounge. But it wasn’t long until the school needed to expand. So, classrooms were opened on the floor above. But the school was still growing. As other businesses in the building began to close, classrooms were introduced on the third and fourth floors. Every classroom was equipped with a blackboard and chalk and we had a computer room with six computers – how times have changed!
Manchester Academy of English now occupies the whole building. The blackboards and chalk have been replaced with whiteboards, and more recently the introduction interactive projectors as well – all state of the art! Our computer room has doubled in size and Wi-Fi throughout the building equips the whole school as a learning zone. The student lounge is the hub of the school where students gather to meet at break times. There is always someone around to chat with or something interesting on the projector. With original artwork on the wall, comfy sofas, a working area and a football table (we are a city of football after all!) it’s the perfect place to relax and get to know people.
The school has also developed from its humble beginnings. We are now part of English UK and accredited by the British Council, Eaquals and ISI. Not only do we continue to offer general English classes to adults and young learners, but we also run business English classes, exam preparation courses (Cambridge English, IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC classes), CLIL, ESP and 1-to-1 classes. In 2015, we opened the City Football Language School in association with Manchester City Football Club – a unique, totally immersive course written by our expert teachers in collaboration with the professionals at Manchester City.
What’s more is that Manchester Academy of English is one of the biggest Cambridge English Teacher Training Centres and Cambridge English Exam Centres in the north-west. As a Teacher Training Centre, we were awarded ‘Best Teaching Qualification Centre’ at the Cambridge English Centenary Conference. As a Cambridge English Exam Centre, we are rated Fully-Compliant by Cambridge English. Our Exam Centre works with our expanding group of Preparation Centres to deliver the widest range of exam dates to students in the region throughout the year, in 2015 we introduced the Cambridge English Placement Test and we are also a Pretesting centre.
The couple who originally opened the school no longer own it, and the school has changed ownership over the years. Now, Manchester Academy of English belongs to Real Experience Group, who own other language schools in the UK and Ireland. Despite having changed hands, Manchester Academy of English remains a close family – our staff have worked together for many years and most of our teachers were trained here (even those who decided to travel abroad once they became qualified teachers come back year-after-year to rejoin the team.)
This year we celebrate our 25 years. While we take this time to look back fondly on our history, we are excited for what’s to come. So, here’s to the next 25!