The company was established 50 years ago by Tony Abrahams with the founding of the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) in Germany. Our early activity was centred around helping the country change its first foreign language from French to English. The organisation’s vision was not only to recruit large numbers of native speaking English teachers but to ensure that they would form part of an effective educational reform initiative through the provision of structured professional and welfare support and coordinated project management.
Over the decades, CfBT has employed more than 10,000 teachers and has offered scholarships to enable them to take further degrees in applied linguistics or educational management; set up a distance-learning MA in linguistics; and, with Birmingham University, created a BPhil (Ed) in teaching English as a foreign language.
CfBT Education Services and Partners has been providing education services in Oman for over 30 years. With our global partners the Education Development Trust, we work with governments, schools and other partners, to make a difference to the lives of learners.
We have maintained an established presence in Oman since 1985 providing educational expertise and personnel to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education as well as leading employers in Oman, such as the Royal Oman Police the Intercontinental Hotel chain and Petroleum Development Oman. Throughout this time we have provided English for Academic Purposes courses designed to ensure success for those students engaged in educational programmes in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada.
From 1998 to 2012 we were engaged by the Ministry of Higher Education to support the development of English Language teaching capacity at the Colleges of Applied Sciences. We placed native speaking English Language lecturers throughout the country. In 1999 we became a limited liability company and set up a direct teaching operation through the establishment of the British Training Institute, offering English proficiency and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) preparation courses to the general public as well as soft skills and project management training to corporate entities in Oman.
The appointment of Neil McIntosh in 1991 marked a new era for the organisation that had become a registered charity in the United Kingdom in 1976. Previously chief executive of Voluntary Service Overseas, Neil saw the potential for international operations and steered the organisation with a new mission: to contribute to education in developing countries. Throughout the 1990s, we developed our expertise as a manager of aid-backed reform programmes in developing countries. The result is that today, CfBT Education Trust is uniquely experienced in aspects of education reform and in the relationship between public and private sectors in education.
During the late 90’s CfBT also recognized the importance of developing sustainable and longer-term relationships in the middle east and a number of local partners were invited to establish a joint Board of Directors in Oman, with the local representatives holding the majority shareholding. We are particularly grateful for the stable guidance provided by Dr.Walyam bint Ghalib bin Khalid Al Said as she has remained a local shareholder and passionate advocate for the company, from its earliest beginnings in the MENA region.
We established the Regional Teacher Training Adviser programme as a follow up to our support on the Leeds BA programme in Oman with the aim of developing the local teacher training capacity of each district. We also supplied experts to the Ministry of Education in the fields of English supervision, assessment and curriculum development departments. We continue to provide ELT training inputs directly to every district in Oman, through the Regional English Language Supervisor (RELS) network.
In November 2012, Steve Munby took over as chief executive. Steve, former chief executive of the National College for School Leadership, continues to keep the teacher-learner relationship at the heart of everything that we do and is driving the organisation forward to fulfil our mission of living in a world where everyone’s life can be transformed through excellent education.
Through our strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education in Oman we have provided consultancies on curriculum development, and teacher training initiatives for government schools. We presented the original strategy and design framework for what is now known as the ‘Specialised Centre for Professional Teacher Training’(SCPTT). We were engaged to continue with this initiative, by developing an implementation plan and seeing this through to the official launch of this organisation in March 2014.
Since then, we have continued to provide leadership support for operations at the SCPTT. Working with local trainers at the Centre we have developed national professional development programmes for over 3,000 teachers in Oman through the New Teachers’ Centre Associates and Expert Supervisors programmes.
CfBT Education Services also owns and operates its own training wing through the British Training Institute. At the BTI we offer general English and IELTS preparation programmes as well as CfBT’s International School Quality Mark (ISQM) to lcoal school and Cambridge University’s Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) programme
We now offer an extensive range of education services, but we are still renowned for our English language teaching expertise; indeed, we are one of the only organisations in the world that can combine our extensive experience in English language improvement with our cutting edge understanding of school reform, professional development and national level education transformation.