Celtic English Academy is the first private sector company and first SME organisation to be awarded a Gold Standard FairPlay Employer Award by the inclusive working experts in the FairPlay Employer Team at Chwarae Teg.
As a local, Welsh organisation, who work internationally, the Academy has been growing since it was established in 2004. The Academy’s owner director, James Doherty, has always desired to consolidate their foundations based upon “quality, consistency and fairness for all”.
Pre-pandemic, the English language school began its FairPlay Employer journey through Chwarae Teg’s Agile Nation 2 Business Programme, which is fully funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government. In late 2020 they continued their support by subscribing to the FairPlay Employer Award, accessing bespoke consultancy support from the FairPlay Employer solutions team, supporting the transformation of the organisational culture, driving the Academy to achieve the Gold standard.
The need for remote working during the Covid 19 pandemic was new and challenging to the Academy. Even before the first day of the UK lockdown, when all their teaching moved online overnight, the Academy was dealing with cancellations, postponements, and the rapid return of students to their home countries in the months and weeks prior. As an organisation working with international visitors, usually of 50 different nationalities each year, the pandemic was hard-hitting for the educational tourism sector especially. Yet through this crisis, with all the changes they had to navigate, they saw an opportunity to go further – to be a more inclusive and diverse organisation, with better communications and working practice. Thanks to the FairPlay Employer Team, the Academy implemented an agile work environment, alongside improving communications and supporting wellbeing. The new way of working increased productivity, autonomy and dedication, creating a positive working environment overall.