Kingsway English Centre, Worcester
Kingsway English Centre was an English language school in the UK city of Worcester started by Rick and Sue Johns from their home in October 1988. The school closed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel in September 2020 after 32 years of service.
St Mary’s Street 1990-1994
The school moved into its first premises in 1990 at 3 St. Mary’s Street above Mike Ellison’s dentistry practice. There were 4 classrooms, and administration office and communal area which was part staffroom and part student lounge.
Northwall House 1995-2002
Over the Christmas holiday in 1994 the school moved to a newly renovated building by the bus station called Northwall House. This had many years before been the Worcester Grammar School for Girls, so coming back to educational use was very fitting. There were 7 classrooms, 2 administration offices, a staffroom and a kitchen/lounge for the students, as well as an outside courtyard.
Foregate Street 2002-2020
Kingsway English Centre grew quickly through the late 90s and in September 2002 moved to its final home at 40 Foregate Street – the main street through the city. A year later in November 2003 Kingsway expanded into the next door building, 41 Foregate Street, bringing the total floor area up to around 800 square metres.
The Covid Pandemic 2020
Some 17 years later in March 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe and the UK government announced a country-wide lockdown. All of Kingsway’s students had to return home, and like many thousands of businesses world wide the school was faced with no income but continuing outgoings for its premises and staff costs.
The government introduced a furlough scheme which paid employees’ salaries through the pandemic. This enabled the school to extend its resources and keep operating, however with the end of the furlough period approaching in September and still no sign of any customers returning Rick and Sue took the difficult decision to close the school. Kingsway English Centre Limited was put into administration on 8th October 2020. All of the staff were made redundant.
The Kingsway Logo
The famous Kingsway back-to-back K logo was designed by David Court at Severnside Studio in Bewdley as part of a makeover for our move from Northwall House to Foregate Street in 2002.
The logo remained unchanged for the next 18 years until the school closed in October 2020.
Kingsway House Business Centre
After Kingsway English Centre closed its doors, the building, which had been known as Kingsway House, became a business centre for local start-ups and established businesses to make their home through renting serviced offices and meeting rooms. The old Kingsway ‘buzzy’ atmosphere continued though where the sounds of many accents could once be heard, there were now the tones of native English speakers going about their normal day’s activities!
Kingsway House still operates the building today and has its own website https://www.kingsway-house.co.uk
Worcester School is a new venture that was set up by Rick and Sue Johns in 2021 to utilise their 30+ years’ experience in the EFL world. It offers unique work-related training programmes where professional adults from abroad can come and improve their business skills immersed in an English speaking environment.
The training centre is located in Kingsway House business centre and rents rooms as required for tutoring purposes. It has complete access to the communal areas of the business centre at all times, so no matter how many or how few participants there are, there is always space to relax outside of classes.
Worcester School is a ‘demand led’ operation which means it expands its programmes and facilities according to the demands of its customers. This means that it is a stable business model and participants can book programmes with confidence.