May Edition 2023

English Speaking Board International Ltd.



Celebrating 70 years

Message from our Chief Executive


70th Anniversary celebrations with Europalso, in Greece

4 -5

Showcasing the achievements of our neurodiverse learners

6 - 7

Recognising ESB's Impact in the Chartered College of Teaching Journal 8 ESB's 2021-22 National Impact Report 9 - 10 Birthday wishes 11 - 12 We've listened to our centres feedback! 13

A new feature in ‘ MyESBHub ’ is now live Development of ESOL SfL Reading and Writing Reports

Distinctions all round!


Belfast Met College learners

Message from our Chief Executive Tina Renshaw

I am delighted to welcome you to this May edition of ESB News as this year is a very special one for us at ESB, it’s our 70th Anniversary! Yes, that’s right, 70 years of enabling learners to realise their full potential through the development of effective communication. As you know, ESB was founded in 1953 by two amazing entrepreneurs, Christabel Burniston and Jocelyn Bell. Who would have thought that the unique type of assessment experience created by these two educators, innovators and pioneers, which was so valuable then, could be bent and flexed over time as society has changed to still be relevant and effective today? What an amazing feat! The momentum of our 70/70 campaign to celebrate 70 years has seen us make a commitment to welcome 70 new centres whose learners face disadvantage and to support them financially through the Christabel Burniston Fund. ESB's determination to continue its support to close the disadvantage gap remains as steadfast as ever. Furthermore, what better way to celebrate our 70th Anniversary than with a whirlwind of multi-media live-streamed events that we have been busy hosting over the past few months, recognising the achievements of all our learners. From a conference with our partners Europalso, in Greece, to an event held at Belfast Metropolitan College celebrating our learners with additional learning needs and/or learning disabilities, followed by an event in Stoke-on-Trent to commend our state school learners who take our speech qualifications - we’ve had the most amazing time! We've two more events to share with you in our next edition too!

ESB Learners from Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, Stoke

Of course, no birthday is complete without a birthday cake and we've had plenty of those as well! Our event in Stoke also saw the launch of ESB’s 2021-2022 National Impact Report which outlines the impact of ESB’s externally assessed qualifications on the development of learners’ oracy and personal development. We’re so excited to share these findings with you. Much has changed since 1953 but ESB’s early ethos to inspire and place great value on every individual still holds true today. Here’s to 70 more successful years! I hope you enjoy reading this edition and that it keeps you up to date with what is happening. We are always open to feedback and welcome your opinion on what you would like to see in ESB News, so please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you. Best wishes, Tina


ESB’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations!

Tina Renshaw and Ben Jackson

Celebrations get underway with our exclusive centre, Europalso in Greece

She says, "This year is the 70th Anniversary of English Speaking Board International but it also finds us marking 15 years of working with Europalso. We have always had the word 'International' as part of our business name and our assessments have had an impact on hundreds of thousands of learners stretching eastwards from the UK, all the way to Australia. "“I am always humbled by the investment of parents and young people to fulfil their potential as they learn in preparation to take our ESB qualifications. The diligence, professionalism and care of their teachers, oral assessors, staff and Board of Europalso is ever present as is the friendship and kindness displayed whenever we visit Greece and meet so many of you.” Watch the video on the next page to learn more.

ESB’s Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw and Chief Assessor, Ben Jackson had the wonderful opportunity to attend Europalso’s annual conference in Greece where they caught up with the team and its language school owners. Tina was delighted to accept an award presented by the Europalso team to acknowledge its 15-year relationship with ESB.

Europalso's Special Acknowledgement Award


To further recognise and celebrate these two significant milestones, ESB launched its Writing Competition to B2 and C2 level ESOL international learners across Greece. More than 700 learners entered the competition, encouraging them to boost their English Language skills and use their imaginative ideas to submit their entries answering the following task: 'As ESB International celebrates our 70th birthday and our 15-year relationship with Europalso, ESB is looking back at what it has achieved. We want you to look forward to 70 years in the future and ask yourselves – what will our world look like in 2093? Set out your vision for the future.' Europalso’s President, George Zikopoulos said: “This thought-provoking challenge mobilised our learners to put their skills into practice and incorporate their creativity and imagination into their language learning activities. Moreover, it gave our language schools an excellent opportunity to introduce the ESB assessments to a whole new category of students. This is the way forward. Happy 70th anniversary to our long-standing UK friend, ESB!” Out of the 700 entries, ESB’s panel of judges - made up from an experienced team of ESB markers and moderators - selected three winners, along with twelve special commendations. All entrants received a Certificate of Participation.

Ben and Tina with members of the Europalso board

For over 15 years, ESB and Europalso have been offering high-quality ESOL International assessments to over 230,000 young people throughout Greece. Adds Tina, “The response to the competition has been overwhelming! We can’t wait to see these same learners come back to complete their ESB exams in May and December this year, and we look forward to reading more excellent writing scripts!" If you would like to find out more about becoming an ESB centre for ESOL International qualifications, please email Our ESOL International assessments can be taken online by both UK and international learners.


Showcasing the exceptional achievements of our neurodiverse learners ESB put the focus on success stories and shone the spotlight on learners who

complete its accredited oracy qualifications at its recent live-streamed event, hosted at Belfast Metropolitan College. The event saw many ESB centres with their learners joining the event remotely, including Aurora Foxes Academy, based in Somerset; Wirral Metropolitan College in the North-West of England; TCES Group in East London; University College of Isle of Man; The Link Secondary School in Croydon, and Condover College, based in Shrewsbury. Young people and key representatives from Belfast Met College, including Michelle Devlin, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Sharon Rivers, Head of Department of Health, Wellbeing & Inclusion, as well as representatives from Northern Regional College, also attended in person. Curriculum Area Manager at Belfast Met College, Michael Patterson, said: “Belfast Met has had the honour of working with ESB and has witnessed first-hand the transformative impact that ESB qualifications have on individuals’ lives. Through our partnership with ESB, we have had the privilege of supporting nearly 2,000 students with learning difficulties and disabilities, helping them to overcome significant barriers. As a result, our students can now communicate independently, not just in the college setting, but also in their wider community.”

To honour ESB’s 70th Anniversary, Belfast Met College are planning to plant an ‘ESB tree’ on the College ground during Springtime.

Michael Patterson adds: "This tree will serve as a symbol to our commitment to working with ESB, to

support our individuals to achieve their full potential. Just as this tree will grow and flourish with care and attention, so too we can nurture and support those who face additional challenges in their everyday lives and gain meaningful qualifications in employment. Thank you for letting us be part of such a momentous occasion."

ESB learners at Belfast Met College


ESB learners at Aurora Foxes Academy

Another of ESB’s valued centres, Aurora Foxes Academy, a residential college and training hotel for 16-25 year olds based in Minehead, Somerset, told us what they like the most about ESB qualifications. "We’d just like to say how honoured and proud we are to join your 70th Anniversary celebrations today. We have a long-standing relationship with English Speaking Board and all of our students have an opportunity to take the assessment each year. "At Aurora Foxes, our aim is to prepare all our students to be ‘work ready, life ready’. Our curriculum provides students with the skills for both life and employability and the English Speaking Board assessment helps us to achieve this." Curriculum Lead at Aurora Foxes, Kim Williams and Aurora Foxes Principal, Mark Costello For more information about ESB’s qualifications, please contact us. You can also find out whether you are eligible for financial support through our 70/70 campaign.

ESB also heard from The Link Secondary School, an ESB centre based in Croydon, providing a quality education for children and young people aged 4-18 with speech, language and communication needs, including autistic spectrum conditions and Pathological Demand Avoidance. Speech and Language Therapist at the Link Secondary School, Charlotte Yeung says: "We’ve participated in ESB exams at our school for over 20 years. Over the years, students have gained valuable speaking and listening qualifications. We chose ESB due to the range of courses on offer and the different levels of courses students could study at. It’s had lots of impact on our learners, different things, like structuring and organisational skills, attention and listening, social skills and public speaking skills."

Learners at Wirral Met College


ESB’s impact is recognised in the Chartered College of Teaching Journal

ESB is thrilled to have an article published in this month’s 18th online edition of the Chartered College of Teaching's peer-reviewed journal, 'Impact' .

Highlighting the impact of its external, employability-focused oracy assessments on Key Stage 3 learners, the article can be accessed below.

‘ A unique opportunity in the curriculum for students to have genuine agency over their choices and outcome’: A study of the impact on learners of employability focused, externally assessed Level 1 and Level 2 speaking and listening qualifications.

( Please note, in order to access the full article, you will need to be a member of the Chartered College of Teaching or please contact for a copy).

The published article is based on data collated from three of our secondary schools who face disadvantage and who have benefitted from the support of ESB’s Christabel Burniston Fund. This data forms the basis of ESB’s recently launched 2021-2022 National Impact Report. More detailed information on the Report can be found on Page 10.

Abstract from the article ….

This study investigates the impact of preparing for an external, employability-focused oracy assessment on a cohort of learners in Key Stage 3. A total of 561 learners in three secondary schools in England prepared for a Speech for Employability pathway in a Level 1 or Level 2 ESB Award in Speech in 2021-22 and data was collected from learners and teachers to measure the impact of the assessment preparation and process. After quantitative and thematic analysis, data from this cohort showed that the most impactful aspects of this focus on oracy for employability were the agency given to learners through their preparation and topic choices, and the importance of having ‘real-world’ experiences to build employability skills through externally assessed qualifications.

Written by: ESB's Product Developer, Lauren Kearney and Product Development Manager, Anthea Wilson

Says Tina, “We are thrilled to have our work recognised in such a prestigious journal, using data from our 2021-22 National Impact Report to demonstrate the impact to learners of schools investing in ESB qualifications that focus on oracy . "We wanted to add to the growing National Research Base about the impact of focusing on speaking and listening skills, particularly in ESB’s case, through a form of assessment that provides a confidence-boosting accredited qualification.”


Launching ESB's first ever National Impact Report at our third celebratory event

Learners from Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Stoke

Our third live-streamed event, hosted by our loyal centre Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews in Stoke, celebrated the achievements of ESB learners who attend primary and secondary schools and VI Form colleges from around the UK and who complete our speech qualifications. It also saw us launch ESB’s 2021-22 National Impact Report which highlights the impact of our externally assessed qualifications on the development of learners’ oracy and personal development. In attendance at the event were several learners from two other schools in the City - Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy, part of the Newman Catholic Collegiate MAT, and St Thomas Moore Catholic Academy. Joining remotely were learners and staff from Broadfields Primary School in Edgware, Mount Pleasant Primary School in Shropshire and Holly Lodge School in the West Midlands.

Let’s hear from some of our trusted centres and learners …


The video below tells us more about ESB's 2021-22 National Impact Report.

Please download the Executive Summary here. ESB would love as many of you as possible to interact with its National Impact Report. So, please do email to receive a full copy of the report and provide us with some feedback. If you would like to be involved in having your learners be part of the dataset, then please also get in touch. It’s crucial to understand that investing in oracy has its dividends and has both an immediate and life-long impact on learners. ESB looks forward to sharing more information about the impact of its qualifications on learners throughout the year, and in the future.

Learners from Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, Stoke

Tina says, “For 70 years, ESB has witnessed the life-long impact of our Accredited oracy qualifications on learners, who from Early Years to their steps into training, employment and continuing education, grow and develop their sense of self, their confidence and their knowledge and skills of how to talk and listen; present to others; use language richly and broadly; persuade; promote; challenge and connect." In 2021 we were part of a report to the Westminster parliament about Oracy. Research outlined in the published report stated how children from low-income homes consistently start school with lower language levels than that of their more advantaged peers, and these gaps widen as children move through school. Of children who persistently experience poverty, 75% arrive at school with a below average level in language development. Around 50% of children in some areas of deprivation begin school with delayed language. Adds Tina, “We’re so excited to announce the launch of our first National Impact Report on a range of our primary and secondary schools who face disadvantage and to whom we offer financial support to enable them to invest in their children and young people’s oracy development."

Learners from Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Stoke


Birthday wishes from our ESB family!

Happy birthday, ESB! So lovely working with you.

Thank you for such a wonderful celebration and for inviting the TCES Group!

Karike De Klerk, Bedford College

Olanike Popoola​, TCES Group

This has been the most brilliant celebration of ESB's 70 years. Christabel and Jo would be so proud to have seen and heard such disadvantaged youngsters doing SO well, against all the odds. Many congratulations to them all and to the current ESB organisation. Well done Tina for your exemplary leadership!

Karen Butler, Friend of ESB

Happy Birthday ESB and thanks for all your continued support!

Happy Birthday ESB!! A lovely presentation with some great stories!

Gateshead College

Michael Killin, Curriculum Manager at Dudley College of Technology,


It was wonderful to see evidence of the truly functional use of language enhanced by our ESB assessments. Thank you.

Ian Patterson, ESB Trustee

Linkedin Post from daughter of ESB's 70/70 Ambassador, Avril Newman

We enjoyed being part of your special day.

This is so wonderful to watch! Thank you so much and a big happy birthday to ESB!

Kim Williams, Foxes Academy

Clare Courtney, ESB Assessor


Responding to your feedback

A new feature in ‘MyESBHub’ is now live ESB has launched a new feature in its ‘MyESB Hub’ to make it easier for centres to collate learners’ results and data.

Says Tina, "We are so pleased to launch this new feature which will improve the ‘MyESB Hub’ experience for all our centres. Positive feedback has already been received from centres who have tested it and they are pleased with the outcome. "ESB is always looking at ways to improve its service for its centres and this new feature does exactly that." How to download a new master report from your 'MyESBHub'? 1. On the ‘Bookings and Quotes’ page, please click the blue ‘Master Exam Report’ button. 2. You can then filter by qualification and date range to download an Excel spreadsheet with learner names, qualifications, levels and results.

Centres are now able to view their learners’ composite results for all qualifications in their ‘MyESBHub’. Please watch the video below which demonstrates how to use the new feature.

Development of ESOL SfL Reading and Writing Reports Our ESOL Skills for Life centres have

Your feedback is very important to us and helps us not only to empower positive changes at ESB but also enables us to continue to provide an outstanding customer experience for all. Please forward any comments, thoughts or feedback to Together, we can continue to raise - and celebrate - the achievement of our learners!

requested individual feedback for their learners' Reading and Writing results to enable them to view what Assessment Criteria their unsuccessful learners have not achieved. Says ESB's Product Development Manager, Anthea Wilson, "We are working on this to go live in the next academic year. We know how valuable it will be for learners to be able to see their strengths and weaknesses and how to progress, and are looking forward to supporting our centres with this new feature."


Distinctions all round! Congratulations to Year 5 learners at Hertfordshire's Stormont School, who all received a Distinction in their recent ESB Entry Level Award Speech qualification.

Stormont School recognises and rewards every student for their efforts as well as their achievements, to develop happy and confident individuals who are effective communicators, mirroring ESB's goal. Our qualifications build confidence which is key to unlocking learners’ potential, raising achievement and enabling them to reach their personal and professional goals.

Well done to all learners who took part, we are very proud you!


ESB's 70th Anniversary Multi-Media Event hosted at Belfast Met College

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