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​​Celtic English Academy strikes GOLD Fairplay Employer Award

18th August 2021


We are delighted to share the good news that we are the first private sector company and first SME organisation in Wales, UK, to be awarded a Gold Standard FairPlay Employer Award by the inclusive working experts in the FairPlay Employer Team at Chwarae Teg.

This award comes from an anonymous staff survey and benchmarking against other organisations. Achieving the gold standard is a result of our 3 years of working with experts at Chwarae Teg – an inclusive working charity and consultancy – in order to reduce unconscious bias and gender pay gap, improve recruitment and family-friendly policies, as some examples of our commitment to fostering a more inclusive working environment.

Then, harnessing opportunity in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, we had the chance to make further positive and sustainable change. With the help of the FairPlay Employer experts, we implemented an agile work environment, improved communications, digitisation and supported wellbeing. The new way of working has increased productivity, autonomy and dedication, creating a positive working environment overall for our staff and ultimately, customers, especially through a very challenging year with the pandemic.

Being recognised as a Gold standard FairPlay Employer is something we have worked hard to achieve by evidencing our solid commitment to fairness, inclusivity, wellbeing and workplace flexibility. We were the first UK English Language Teaching (ELT) centre to become a Real Living Wage employer and we hold a Wales Green Growth pledge. We are committed to sustainability all-round, as we continue to build a better, brighter, fairer and more sustainable tomorrow.

We recognise the role we have in our local and global communities. There is variety of backgrounds amongst our students and staff, not only culturally, but socio-economically, or with age or religion; it’s like a microcosm of the world, under one roof! The experts at FairPlay Employer have designed, and enabled us to implement, the most up to date people processes to create a truly inclusive workplace and to enhance our mission, vision and values.

“The pandemic has hit the tourism sector hard and especially for study travel organisations like CEA, who usually welcome international visitors from over 50 different nationalities a year. Achieving the award is a clear example of how valuable an organisation like CEA is – Wales and UK-wide educational tourism generates significant economic spend for local visitor economies, as well as promoting greater cultural understanding between nations and future opportunities” Andrew Campbell, Chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance

“I have seen first-hand the difference that Celtic English Academy, and the UK ELT sector, makes to students’ lives. What they do is highly valuable in our globalised world of today and this award proves what a successful organisation they are. I offer my warmest congratulations” Keith M Dunn OBE, President of the Consular Association in Wales and Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales

“In ELT we all have a responsibility towards diversity and inclusion. We have made it a priority and we hope our journey can inspire others. Even with the Gold Award, we know we can continue to go further still to building a brighter, fairer and more sustainable tomorrow” Shoko Doherty, Chief Executive Officer, Celtic English Academy

As an independent, Welsh organisation, working internationally, the Academy has been growing since it was established in 2004. James Doherty, Owner, Celtic English Academy has long held the motto of “quality, consistency and fairness for all”. He has always valued creating a workplace that takes care of its staff, who in turn take care of Celtic’s customers – from students and their parents, to educational tour operators and partners, homestay hosts and suppliers. When our study abroad partners have praised us for always replying promptly to emails during the pandemic, being flexible, forward-thinking and above all taking care of our students’ wellbeing, it is testimony to our workplace. For all Academy staff, students, and alumni, this is a proud moment to be shared together.

“I must congratulate everyone at Celtic English Academy. To achieve a Gold Award the client needs to be of a very high standard and their staff must also believe in those standards and really live and breathe the culture across the business. It’s testament to their dedication that they have also become a finalist in the FairPlay Employer category at the Chwarae Teg Womenspire Awards 2021.”Stephanie Griffiths, Commercial Director, Chwarae Teg

ELT is an industry with great diversity. A language school is a microcosm of the world where people from a variety of backgrounds meet and learn together – not just language, but acquiring a better understanding of one another’s cultures, behaviours, customs, or religions.


You can read the full press release here:

Celtic Engish Academy Staff

Accreditation, Membership & Exam Centre

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