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English UK appoints new chief exec

English UK has appointed its new chief executive: Sarah Cooper, a board member and former chair of the association with considerable experience in ELT, is taking up the position at the helm of the membership association for English language schools.

“Sarah combines deep experience and understanding of the industry and knowledge of English UK, and she has extensive business experience”

Cooper, who has represented the state sector on English UK’s board for nearly seven years, will be the association’s first chief executive to come from within the sector – she is currently dean of management & professional studies, international English at South Thames College in London.

“Eddie kept our priorities under constant review and I will be doing the same”

She will take up the role in August and having worked closely with Eddie Byers, the former chief executive who died suddenly late last year, has pledged to continue the work he started.

“Eddie kept our priorities under constant review and I will be doing the same: it’s an increasingly diverse industry and global markets have become ever more challenging in the almost two years since we put that strategy together,” said Cooper.

“He had a very clear vision. He emphasised the importance of English UK being a trade association and that it was all about members doing business: that’s very dear to my heart,” added Cooper, who also has a background in business.

Prior to her career in ELT, Cooper held roles in advertising, marketing consultancy and at a large American private hospital company, where strategic planning, new market development and stakeholder engagement were central to her role.

She retrained as an ELT teacher and worked in both the public and private sectors before moving into management 10 years ago.

“Sarah combines deep experience and understanding of the industry and knowledge of English UK from her time as chair, and she has extensive business experience,” commented Steve Phillips, current English UK Chair. “I am really looking forward to working with her to take our association forward.”

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