This October, TEFL Org will be celebrating its 10th birthday! In honour of our birthday, we thought we would look back on the company’s beginnings whilst also reflecting on what we have been up to over the last 10 years!
After spending some time in Greece and France in the 90s teaching English as a foreign language, TEFL Org’s directors, Jennifer MacKenzie and Joe Hallwood returned to the UK to live and work in Leeds. After 7 years, Jennifer and Joe made the decision to move their young family to the North of Scotland and return to their teaching roots. With an evident demand for high-quality TEFL training courses, Jennifer and Joe focused on providing valuable and highly accredited courses to travellers seeking work abroad, leading to the launch of TEFL Scotland.
In the first few months of business, Jennifer and Joe built their own website from scratch, designed their own online courses, and conducted all their marketing – all whilst acting as tutors for the weekend classroom courses. 11 months of hard work later, TEFL Scotland relocated its headquarters from Jennifer and Joe’s garden shed in Beauly to an office space in Dingwall. With increased sales month-on-month, the TEFL Scotland team expanded, going on to employ a number of full-time staff members in Dingwall along with part-time school pupils from the local high school. The success of TEFL Scotland spurred on the launch of TEFL England, TEFL Wales and TEFL Courses Ireland. To manage the rapid growth of the company, the decision was soon made to combine all branches and come together as TEFL Org.
To accommodate the company’s expanding team, TEFL Org moved again in 2015 – this time to the Highland capital of Inverness. The TEFL Org team now has a total of 20 staff based both in Inverness and remotely throughout the UK, alongside more than 30 tutors internationally. Jennifer and Joe are particularly keen to demonstrate that you don’t need to be based in the central belt to thrive in the Scottish business scene – international success is possible regardless of where you are based.
Recent Years – Awards and Accreditation
Over the years, TEFL Org has proudly picked up a number of awards. Most recently:
- In 2017, TEFL Org was named APCRG Constituency Responsible Business Champion for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
- In 2016, the company was awarded the E-commerce Award at The Herald Scottish Business Awards
- Co-founder and Managing Director, Jennifer MacKenzie was announced as the Medium Business Director of the Year at the IoD Scotland Awards in 2016.
TEFL Org has also become the most accredited TEFL course provider in the UK – with accreditation from the British Accreditation Council, SQA, ODLQC, Investors in People and Investors in Young People.
Launch into the American Market
With the aim of making TEFL courses more accessible in the States and to meet the demand for teachers of “American-English” – TEFL Org launched its US arm in August 2017. It now offers classroom-based courses in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Since its launch, the US side of the business has seen over 1500 students gain TEFL qualifications through online, combined and classroom training programs. Due to its success, there are now exciting plans to add another four locations in the US over the next 6 months.
Commenting on TEFL Org’s 10th birthday – Managing Director, Jennifer MacKenzie said
“It’s really exciting and quite unbelievable to be celebrating our 10th anniversary in business! From a shed in our back garden in Beauly to signing ceremonies in Beijing with the First Minister to running our first courses in New York, it has been quite an experience. But one thing for sure is, we couldn’t have done it without the help and support of many others, especially the hard work of our team over the years.”
We will be putting our birthday celebrations to good use by hosting a charity quiz night at the Mercure Hotel on the 4th of October, in support of our charity of the year – Action Aid UK. For more info on our charity quiz night, follow this link: /tefl-org-uk-10th-birthday-quiz/