CLAC Director Interview for Quality English


Cambridge Language and Activity Courses (CLAC) joined Quality English a few months ago and have been on some of their missions. Find out more about them from one of their directors, William George.

Why do you think your school is a Quality English school?

During the past 35 years that CLAC has been operating we never thought we could be a part of any association. We always thought we were too small, that the industry groups we heard of were just for the big schools. It was only last year that we discovered Quality English and realised it was different from other groups and perfect for schools like ours. We have always put quality over quantity, focusing on students not profit. In QE we have found an association with similar values where we can share our experience with other similarly minded schools.

What made you join Quality English?

We have always considered CLAC to be at the higher end of the market, both in terms of price and quality. Two years ago we decided to shout a bit louder, be proud of our approach and our ethos. When we heard about Quality English it seemed the perfect way to crystallise the importance of ‘quality’ within the school, as well as building our reputation with a new network of agents. In the past the majority of our students were direct bookings but as competition has increased, we have had to work more with agents. The QE agent network has allowed us to do that without sacrificing quality or wasting time with agents who are tied to the big chains.

Why would you recommend Quality English from what you know so far?

Although a member for only a few months, we have already had great success working with new agents following three missions to Turkey, Italy and Spain. More than that, we already feel part of a club of like-minded individuals who represent schools with a similar ethos. QE events are great for business but also great fun. It’s a cliché that other associations may use, but Quality English really does bring people together. More than that, the friendships that we have already made are genuine as no-one is a direct competitor; we are all carving out a niche in our own market with our own offering. Being able to share information freely, ask for honest advice, and even pass on students, is a really lovely and liberating experience for an industry association.

What are the main reasons to recommend CLAC to an international student wishing to study English?

CLAC offers a ‘traditional’ summer course programme, but with ice cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles and a cherry on top. The courses are tried and tested with small English classes, excellent teachers, a hugely varied social programme, great trips and outstanding levels of care. But it’s the unquantifiable things, the difficult to articulate things, the easy to say yet hard to show things, that mean students give us a 98% satisfaction rating. We have more staff to students than perhaps any other course. We know every student’s name and we know their parents too, even for a two week course. We write every student’s report by hand. We do mindfulness before classes and use essential oils at bedtime. All parents are given the mobile number of the course director, for unrivalled service and a fast response when there are queries. Perhaps most importantly, as one agent recently tried to explain, it’s all about the atmosphere. That agent awarded us A* based on the students’ feedback. For us, for parents and for agents, that’s what matters: happy students. So happy they cry when they leave.

Full story can be found on Quality English website here.

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