International House World Organisation is thrilled to welcome LSI Portsmouth as a new affiliate to the IH network!
LSI Portsmouth was founded in 1985 by brothers Peter and Allan Gray. They had previously set up a tiny school in the Emirates before coming back to England. After a few false starts in rural settings, they decided that geographically and culturally, Portsmouth would be the perfect place for a school. And it was!
From humble beginnings in a house in Southsea, it has grown to be one of the best English language schools in the country*. According to Peter, their success has been “partly luck and partly instinct and a determination to be the best we can be ”. Today, LSI Portsmouth offers courses in IELTS, Cambridge, General English, 30+ General and Business English, University Preparation and English for Professional Communication. As well as being an IELTS test centre, LSI Portsmouth also offers the OET medical English exam and has recently introduced intensive OET preparation courses to its portfolio.
Despite its large size (the school has 55 classrooms and a capacity of 300+), and the fact the school is currently owned by FE college NPTC in Wales, the school has retained its family feel with a number of staff who have been at the school since its very early days. Students and staff alike comment on the uniquely welcoming environment that makes LSI Portsmouth a wonderful place to study and work.
The Principal, Lea Brophy, said, “We are delighted to announce this affiliation. International House is synonymous with providing an outstanding student experience, high quality, innovation and operational excellence. And like LSI, it values the development and nurturing of a highly skilled, trained and motivated staff team and places people and life-long learning at the centre of its values."
Located in the centre of Portsmouth, the UK’s only island city, LSI students can choose to enjoy the delights of a vibrant university town, or take advantage of the coastal location and relax by the sea or in one of the city’s many parks. With its rich cultural and historical heritage, Portsmouth has something for everyone, from the world famous Historic Dockyard to the designer outlet shops at Gunwharf Quays. Staff at LSI Portsmouth often take part in the social programme and are always keen to share their favourite local haunts with students. The school itself is located in the middle of the university district, providing students with plenty of opportunities to participate in local life at the university gym, library and social spaces.
Many of the staff and teaching team at LSI Portsmouth have IH qualifications and taught at IH schools, so they are excited to join the IHWO family. As Exams DOS Lewis Richards explained, “IH has long been a badge of quality in teaching and teacher training and we’re excited to be able to learn from and share with like-minded colleagues from all over the world. My first teaching job was at IH Cordoba, and I worked for IH around the world for a further six years. IH sets the standard in terms of educational excellence, and it’s a privilege to be joining the IH family.”
Beccy Wigglesworth, Director Member Services and Client Experience at IHWO, visited the school this week to formally mark their affiliation and welcome them to the International House network.
“It was an absolute pleasure to visit the school and welcome them to the network," Beccy said. "It is clear that they are a school with an excellent reputation which already shares the values and approach of the IH network. Its location, right in the heart of the vibrant and historic city of Portsmouth, gives students another wonderful choice for learning with IH in the UK.
"We are particularly pleased to welcome back into the IH family some members of staff who have trained and worked at IH schools in the past. We are both looking forward to contributing to your school, and benefiting from your contribution to our network.”
* According to the EL Gazette rankings based on British Council inspectors’ publishable statements, LSI Portsmouth is the joint number 1 school in the UK. They were proud to receive 100% in their recent British Council inspection (View full report), achieving 14 out of 14 areas of strength.