Useful Information - Communicate School

On this page you’ll find a range of helpful information. We want you to feel as informed as possible before you start your studies with us. If you have any queries which are not answered here, please email us:

To Top

Level Assessment

There are two stages: written and spoken assessment.

1. The written part is in the form of an online grammar test on the school’s website. The speaking skills are assessed by the Director of Studies when you first arrive in the school.

2. The Director of Studies will choose the most suitable course for you and give you information about your level, class times, course book and classroom allocation.

3. Should the Director of Studies be unavailable, this will be carried out by another senior member of the Academic Team.

To Top

Course Books

A course book is £40 and you must buy it before your course. Students who study short courses, up to 6 weeks, can borrow the book for a deposit of £35, which is refundable on a strict condition that the book is returned in exactly the same condition as when it was borrowed. Students who study intensive courses will need more than one book.

To Top

Example Timetable

Full-time courses

15 hours per week (18 lessons):
Monday 12:00-14:30
Tuesday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Wednesday 12:00-14:30
Thursday 12:00-14:30
Friday 12:00-14:30

20 hours per week (24 lessons):
Monday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Tuesday 9:00-11:30
Wednesday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Thursday 9:00-11:30
Friday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30

25 hours per week (30 lessons):
Monday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Tuesday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Wednesday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Thursday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30
Friday 9:00-11:30 and 12:00-14:30

The above are example timetables. Please note it is also possible that on some days your classes will be starting at 12:00.

Part-time courses

Example timetable for 3 days per week:
Monday 12:00-14:30
Wednesday 12:00-14:30
Friday 12:00-14:30

We also have morning, afternoon and evening part-time courses.

*Please note that each 2.5 hour class includes a 10 minute comfort break

Conversation classes are comprised of 3 lessons of 50 min.

1 class = 2h30min (= 3 lessons of 50min)

There is always a 10 minute break in the middle of a class.

If you study a full time or intensive course:

a) you may have more than 1 class in one day.
b) you may study with more than one group of students during a week.

You will get the timetable after the level assessment, before you start the course. If there are any times or days during which you cannot study, inform us before you register and we will try to adapt your timetable if possible.

To Top

Continuous Enrolment

When you join a class, please remember that you may join in the middle of a course and that other students have studied things before you. This does not mean you will be behind with the material. You may already have studied the material or you will do it in the future. We will give you a course outline before you start so you can see what you will be doing in your course. You will start on a Monday. Our teachers start a new topic and a new grammar point on Mondays so it will be easy for you to join in. If you have any worries after your first class, please speak to your teacher.

To Top

Punctuality and Attendance

It is important that you arrive on time for lessons. If this is not possible, for example due to work commitments, please let us know in advance. lf you arrive after the class start time, your attendance will be marked as late. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late after your class has started, you may not be able to enter the classroom until break time.

If you are absent for more than one day, please telephone or email the school or send information with a classmate. We will call you at the end of the week if you have not attended lessons that week to check that you are OK and if there is anything we can do to help you.

To Top

Moving Levels

The teachers regularly have meetings about the school and students and we discuss your progress together with your test results. If it is clear that you have achieved the standard required at your level, we may recommend that you move up a level. One of the things that helps us decide if a student can move up is a result above 85% in 2 consecutive tests. Please remember that this is not just based on your test results, but on your performance in class, your attendance, your homework, and your spoken English.

To Top

Exams & Test

There are several formal exams you can take to prove your level of English, and at Communicate we have some classes to help you prepare for these (FCE, CAE, IELTS).

The exam costs in 2022/23 are approximately:

£160 Cambridge B2 First (formerly known as FCE) for CEFR B2 or Upper Intermediate level
£163 Cambridge C1 Advanced (formerly known as CAE) for CEFR C1 or Advanced level
£175 – £195 IELTS (depending on location)

You can take the B2 First and C1 Advanced exams at the following exam centre in Manchester:

British Study Centres Manchester, Indemnity House, Manchester, Manchester, M1 3AQ

We are not an Cambridge exam centre but you can take the FCE and CAE examinations at the following location in Manchester:

British Study Centres Manchester, St Margaret’s Chambers, Newton Street, Manchester

We are not an IELTS exam centre but you can take the IELTS Exam at the University of Manchester Language Centre and the exams are every month.


If you study General English or an exam preparation courses, you will regularly take tests that will allow you and your teacher to check the progress and what you may still need to work on. If you study IELTS you will write monthly mock tests.

These tests are written and include questions on grammar, vocabulary, and reading. You will also be tested informally in class based on how well you do in group activities, and your understanding of new language.

Sometimes teachers will give you smaller tests on vocabulary, spelling and grammar, but they will always tell you when these tests are going to be.

To Top


We have individual study booths (some with computers and some without). Students are welcome to use these computers for self-study, and there is a list of useful self-study websites and apps on the wall to give you ideas of useful activities. If a classroom is free, students can use it for self-study.

We have some books that you can borrow at reception: there are English novels, as well as graded readers (books adapted for English language learners). Speak to the reception staff in the office if you would like to borrow one.

Some of the course books come with a CD Rom which you can use to practise at home, (Total English and FCE Gold).

To Top

English only in School

We have a strict rule of speaking English only in the school. Always speak English, in your lessons and at break times. If your classmate speaks your language, speak English with them too. It may first seem strange but it will soon become natural.

To Top

Mobile Phone Use

Please do not use your mobile phones during lessons. Please ask permission if you need to make or receive an urgent call during class and move to an empty room to do so.

To Top

Holidays and Missed Classes

Each student is entitled to a one week holiday for every 12 weeks of study. If you are planning to take holidays and want to recover the missed classes, send an email with the holiday dates before you go away or speak to a Student Support Officer at reception who will record it in your file. You must book your holiday at least one day in advance.

If you are ill and cannot attend your classes, speak to a Student Support Officer at the school reception as soon as you can. You can get other classes if you miss more than 3 days but only on the condition that you bring a note from a doctor. Classes missed for any other reasons (job interview, one-day sickness, sickness without a doctor’s note, etc.) cannot be recovered and students will not get extra classes instead.

To Top

Bank Holidays

Our school will be closed on the following dates:


2024 Bank Holidays

Date Day of the week Bank holiday
29 March Friday Good Friday
1 April Monday Easter Monday
6 May Monday Early May bank holiday
27 May Monday Spring bank holiday
26 August Monday Summer bank holiday
25 December Wednesday Christmas Day
26 December Thursday Boxing Day
To Top

Applying to University

If you want to go to University to study in the UK you usually need to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS). Their website is – go to the section for International Students. See a Student Support Officer or the Director of Studies for more information and advice.

To Top

Certificates and Reports

At the end of your English course, you will receive a certificate showing your level assessment according to the Common European Framework (CEFR). The assessment will be based on the results from the tests during your study. The attendance must be minimum 80% to receive the certificate.

If you would like a written report when you finish your course, tell your teacher and they will prepare one for you.

To Top

School Policy on Abusive Behaviour

Communicate will not allow any abusive behaviour.

What is abusive behaviour?

Abusive behaviour can take many forms:

  • It might be physical – for example if you push, hit or kick someone (violence) or damage property.
  • It can be verbal – such as making fun of people, calling them names or threatening people.
  • It can be non-verbal – such as ignoring someone or excluding them.
  • Communicate School reserves the right to expel students with no refund due to abusive or inappropriate behaviour.

It can create a scary environment, or leave you feeling upset, vulnerable or threatened. It could happen anywhere – not just in school but on the street, in your accommodation or in your homestay.

You need to tell the Designated Safeguarding Lead (the Center Manager), the Director of Studies, your teacher or a Student Support Officer if you suffer from any of this type of behaviour from anyone – staff or student.

We hope all our students find studying at Communicate a comfortable, relaxing and safe experience and we are always happy to hear anything you have to say – good or bad.

To Top

Cancellations and Refunds

There are no refunds on courses that a student has started attending. Lessons cannot be transferred from one student to another.

Please see the full terms and conditions: TERMS AND CONDITIONS

To Top

Complaint Procedure

For students:

If you have any problems or if you are unhappy with anything (for example behaviour of a student or a member of staff, your progress, timetable, teacher, lessons, accommodation or anything else) you should speak to your teacher or a student support officer first. They will try to help you with the problem.

If you still have a problem:

1. Fill in the complaint form available at reception.

2. Give it to a Student Support Officer, the School Office Manager or Director of Studies.

3. We will write down a report which we will keep in the office.

4. We will take further action to resolve the problem and help.

If you prefer to file a complaint anonymously, you can do so by using our online form available here

We always try our best to help you with any problems but if you are still not happy, as we are an accredited English centre, you can contact British Council

For parents/guardians:

If you have a complaint, please email us on or call us on +44 (0)161 235 8480 and we will direct your complaint to the person most suitable to help.

To Top

Telling Us What You Think

During your first week at school, we will ask for your feedback to make sure you’re satisfied and that you know who can help if you have any questions.

Every 5 weeks we will give you a form to complete called a tutorial. This is a chance for you to speak to your teacher about the course, the course book, and your progress in the class.

We will also sometimes give you a questionnaire to complete about the school in general, and this is your chance to make suggestions.

Also, the students run a Student Council every term in which student representatives are nominated from each class to provide essential feedback on all areas on the school in order to meet student needs and expectations.

To Top

Student Safety

We want you and your things to be safe at school and around Manchester. We have an emergency contact number which is +44 (0)7482 660030 or in a medical, police or fire emergency you can call 999.

Follow these simple steps to help keep you and your things safe.

• Always be careful with your bags and phones, (for example when you are in a café do not leave your bags or phones on the tables or unattended).
• Be aware of your surroundings. If you want to use your mobile phone, make it quick and don’t get distracted (for example do not walk around on Skype or Facetime because this is when a lot of phones are stolen).
• Don’t be an easy target – travel in groups.
• Do not let anyone you don’t know into the school building.
• Stay in areas with lights and avoid shortcuts.
• If you want to travel by public transport, plan your journey. Visit to plan your journey.
• Put electronics (e.g. phone, tablet, iPod) away when not in use.

To Top

Student Study Agreement

The student agrees to attend lessons regularly and punctually and understands that the school will act in circumstances where students fail to do so.

The student will respect Communicate School rules, which appear below:

  • Speak English only in the classroom at all times.
  • Attend on time and on a regular basis.
  • Inform the school of a change of your local address immediately.
  • No smoking anywhere inside the building.
  • No mobile phone calls during lessons. lf it is urgent, you must ask permission from your teacher beforehand and then take the call in an empty room where you will not disturb other students. As a general rule, phones should be switched off or put on “silent”.
  • No loud talking in the corridor. You should not disturb other classes.
  • Respect classmates; understand religious and cultural differences and respect teachers and any staff who work in the building.
  • Take good care of facilities available to you such as computers, books, etc.
  • Return to the school any books and CDs borrowed or pay the relevant costs.
  • Pay tuition fees on the date they are due. The student may not be allowed into the classroom if they delay payment of their fees. Course fees are not refundable once you have started your course.


To Top


Manchester has bus, tram, train and coach services. For more information, please follow the links below:

Trams (Metrolink):

If you need any help booking a ticket, please ask our Student Support Officers at Reception

More information can be found on the Transport for Greater Manchester website:

To Top


All the services below are free and confidential:

Ambulance: In an emergency, if you need an ambulance for yourself or someone else, you need to call 999 and ask for the ambulance service. You will need to provide your name, address and you may be asked questions on your/the other person’s health.

NHS Direct: (telephone advice line) 111. For all health information including advice on finding a doctor, dentist, pharmacy and support groups. An interpreter service is available free of charge — ask for the language you wish to use.


Brook, Commonwealth House (only open to Under 19s)
Lever Street
Manchester M4 5AZ
Tel: 0161 237 3001

Alcohol and Drug Services:

87 Oldham Street
Manchester M4 1LW
Tel: 0161 834 9777

Mental Health:

If you feel depressed, seek help from your GP. If they think you need specialist help, they will refer you to a specilaist. If you cannot or do not want to speak to your GP, you can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08457 909 090. Their website is

Counselling Services:

If your GP thinks you need counselling, they refer you to a counsellor. Therefore, if you think you need this service, please contact your GP.

Domestic Violence:

lf you suffer domestic violence, you can call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you have any worries at all, please speak to a student support officer at the school reception.

To Top

Medical Treatment and Insurance

If you need emergency treatment in the UK it is usually free on the NHS (National Health Service) but you may have to pay for other types of treatment (non-emergency, hospital appointments, dentist).

If you are a visitor from the European Economic Area (EEA) then you are strongly advised to bring a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you, otherwise you may be charged for your healthcare. The EHIC means you can get healthcare free or cheaper than usual.

However, the EHIC is not a replacement for medical insurance. Some services that would be free in your home country may not be free here and medical insurance is important if anything serious happens. If you come from outside the EEA, we strongly advise you to get medical insurance.

If you want to register with your local health centre, you might need a letter of introduction issued by the school. Such letters may be issued to our registered students upon application.

Your local medical centres, GPs, dentists and hospitals can be found at The school can help you to find address and contact details of the above centres.

Speak to a Student Support Officer at reception to get more information.

To Top

Greater Manchester Police

Information: For useful information on crime reduction, personal security, physical security, bogus callers, home security whilst away, home watch and neighbourhood watch, tips on choosing accommodation, living in rented or temporary accommodation you can visit the Greater Manchester Police website

Emergency: In an emergency you can call 999 and ask for police. You will need to provide your full name, address and the reason for calling.

Arrest: You are advised to comply with the British law and not to break it. If you are arrested by the police, you have three rights: right to inform someone of your arrest, right to consult the law and right to access legal help (a solicitor).

The address of the police station located in central Manchester is:

31 Bootle Street
Manchester M2 5NS
Tel: 0161 872 5050.

To Top

The law in the United Kingdom

– It is illegal to purchase alcohol or tobacco products under the age of 18.

– All drugs (cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine etc) are illegal to buy, sell or possess. You can contact Alcohol and Drug Services Head Office on 0161 834 9777 or at:

87 Oldham Street
Manchester M4 1LW

– Driving — you must be at least 17 years of age and hold a full driving license/permit issued in your home country. You may only drive for up to 12 months from the date of arrival in the UK using this license. After 12 months you MUST contact the DVLA ( to find out what you must do.

– For information on roads and vehicles including operation and maintenance of national and local roads in England, traffic signs, insurance, penalties, required standards for vehicle efficiency, safety and registration, cleaner fuels and speed on roads visit the Department for Transport’s website

– If you have any problems concerning the law, housing, immigration and your Rights whilst staying in the UK then you can contact The Citizens Advice Bureau (free of charge) or call Manchester Central Citizens Advice Bureau on 0161 834 9057.

To Top

Manchester Central Library

You may be able to join Manchester central library where you can find resources such as course books, story books, CDs, magazines and many more. We will be happy to issue our registered students with a letter of introduction if they decide to join. The library’s contact details are:

Manchester Central Library
St. Peter’s Square
Manchester M2 5PD
Telephone: 0161 234 1900

ln order to join the library, you will need a proof of ID.

The library is open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 5pm on Fridays.

Telephone number is 0161 234 1972. More information can be found on the library website


Please note that it is illegal to copy books and other publications protected by copyright law without consent from the publisher. lt is also illegal to download software protected by copyright law without consent given by the publisher.

Communicate School does not permit the copying of course books or other published material or downloading software protected by copyright law without consent given by the publisher. Any such copying is in breach of copyright law and therefore illegal. Further information can be found on Copyright Licensing Agency website at

To Top

Places of Worship

Roman Catholic

St Augustine’s Parish and University Chaplaincy
Grosvenor Square
All Saints
Manchester M15 6BW
Tel: 0161 236 6762

Church of England

Manchester Cathedral
Victoria Street
Manchester M3 1SX
Tel: 0161 833 2220


Manchester Central Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre
20 Upper Park Road
Victoria Park
Manchester M14 5RU
Tel: 0161 224 4119


Krishna Dharma
20 Mayfield Road
Whalley Range
Manchester M16 8FT
Tel: 01923 857244


Gurdwara Sikh Temple
Monton Street
Manchester M14 4GP
Tel:0161 226 1131


Cheetham Hebrew Congregation
453 Cheetham Hill Road
Salford M8 7PA
Tel: 0161 740 7788

To Top

Manchester City Council

Manchester Advice: People living in Manchester can get free and confidential information and advice on benefits, housing rights, adult and social care, education, leisure, consumer law and basic immigration rights through Manchester Advice based in Town Hall Extension. Contact details of Manchester Advice are as follows:

Manchester Advice
Town Hall Extension
Manchester M60 2AF
(Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm, Wednesdays 10:00am to 4:30pm)
Tel: 0161 234 5678
(Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm)

Consumer Advice Service: If you have paid money for goods or services and you are not happy with what you have received, you can phone Consumer Direct on 0845 040 506 for advice. Their address is:

Consumer Advice
Town Hall Extension
PO Box 536
St Peter Square

Council Tax: Full-time students may be able to apply for exemption or a reduction in their council tax. For complete information and how to apply visit Manchester City Council website

International Society: Membership fee for students from £7 to £20 per year depending on when you join. The society has 3000 members from 130 countries and offers advice as well as organising social events.

William Kay House
327 Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PG
Tel: 0161 275 4959

To Top

Sport Centres

lf you would like to keep fit and do some physical activities during your stay and study in Manchester, you can have access to sports facilities at the centres below:

Moss Side Leisure Centre:

Moss Lane East
Moss Side
Manchester M15 5NN
Tel: 0161 226 5015
Email: (No joining fee)

Abraham Moss Leisure Centre:

Crescent Road
Manchester M8 5UF
Tel: 0161 720 7622
Email: (No joining fee)

Manchester Aquatics Centre:

2 Booth Street East
Manchester M13 9SS
Tel: 0161 275 9450
Email: (No joining fee)

Please note that there is no joining fee for the above centres, however you will need to pay a membership fee. Please contact the centres for their membership fees.

To Top

Travelling from the Airport to the City Centre

Most major cities have direct flights to Manchester. Getting to the city centre from the airport is easy! You can get the train, the tram or the bus.

  • Trains run every 10 minutes to or from Manchester Piccadilly, with an average journey time of 20 minutes. The ticket costs £4.30. Look for signs to ‘The Station’ in the airport. Make sure you buy a ticket at the machine before you get on the train.
  • Also at the airport is the tram station. Trams run every 12 minutes to Manchester City Centre and take about 35 minutes. Make sure you buy a ticket at the machine before you get on the tram. The ticket costs £4.30. The tram will stop at a station called Cornbrook. You need to get off the tram here and change onto a tram going towards the city centre (Bury, Piccadilly, Rochdale, Ashton).
  • You can get three buses to the city centre: 43, 44, and 105. You can buy the ticket on the bus from the bus driver. It will cost about £4.
  • Alternatively, we can book you an airport transfer by taxi. Just contact us and we will take
    care of it for you.
To Top

Homestay accommodation


What is homestay accommodation?

One of the most popular types of accommodation is staying at a local Manchester homestay. This means that you are a household member, and you eat and relax with your hosts. Mancunians (people from Manchester) are famous for their humour, generosity and friendliness. You may stay with one person, two people or the whole family. Staying with hosts in Manchester is a very enjoyable and beneficial experience which means you will get to know British people and it is an effective way to immerse yourself in the English language.

What happens when you stay at homestay accommodation?

The hosts will regard you as a guest and you will be expected to follow the house rules. All hosts provide a private room with access to all living areas in the house and two meals. In most cases students will be expected to share the bathroom. Experience has shown us that living with a host is the most interesting and effective way to become fully immersed in English language and culture.

Hosts will always do their best to involve you in daily conversation while making you feel as comfortable as possible in their home. Remember that they may have different customs and habits than perhaps you are used to. Meals will be prepared according to local tradition. All houses are within 45 minutes travelling time of the school and have easy access to public transport.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself if considering the homestay option:

1. Am I prepared to adapt to the lifestyles of the hosts?

2. Will I be happy to live by the house rules?

3. Will the hosts be able to satisfy my food and diet requirements?

How do I get the best out of staying at homestay accommodation?

Open and honest communication is perhaps the most important factor to successfully living with hosts. When all parties concerned know what is expected of them – and what to expect in return – an honest relationship can develop. To avoid cultural confusion after you move in, make sure to clarify certain details before you begin your stay. Ask about sleeping arrangements and where to store your possessions, ask about the routine when it comes to meal times.

It is also important to familiarise yourself to laundry facilities, communication technology such as the Internet and telephone, pets and younger children who are living at the home.

You should also ask if the hosts have any curfew rules and whether you are free to drink alcohol or smoke.

Cleanliness is an important issue

Cleanliness is an important factor when showing respect and consideration to the hosts.

Please put dirty laundry in the laundry bag, wash it on a regular basis, hang up wet towels and clean your bedroom regularly.

There are other cleaning tasks you should do during your stay such as: changing your sheets now and then, washing up after you have eaten or prepared food (if you chose self-catering option), wiping down all kitchen surfaces you may have stained, keeping all school or work supplies neatly tucked away, leaving any room as clean as you found it and pitching in during a general family clean up.

Care and considerations

If students care and respect the hosts, they will receive the same treatment in return and the stay will be all the more worthwhile.

Anyone can pay rent and become a tenant, but becoming a part of the family and making lasting relationships requires caring.

Living with a host should be a time for you to experience a new culture. With a small amount of communication, cleanliness and caring, living with a host will be a superb experience that you can take home and cherish.

Overview of the House Rules


  • In the case that you’re unhappy with something, please discuss it with your host. If the problem continues, speak to a student support officer at the school reception and alternative accommodation may be found.
  • Find out what the protocol is for internet and the telephone when you arrive. A suitable arrangement regarding phone and internet use should be discussed on the first day.
  • Smoking is only permitted with the prior agreement.
  • If you are planning to eat out, let your host know beforehand so that they do not prepare a meal for you.
  • Show respect for the property. If you break or damage anything, be honest about it and offer to pay for it.
  • If you are cold, ask for extra bedding and blankets.
  • Remember to switch lights off when you leave the room.
  • Be punctual for meals.
  • Don’t help yourself to food unless it is clear you can do so.
  • Keep your room tidy.
  • Change your sheets and bed linen.
  • Leave the bathroom clean after you have finished. Any questions regarding the use of bathing/toilet facilities, discuss these with the host. Women should ask about the arrangements for the disposal of sanitary towels.
  • Make yourself aware of the house rules regarding health and safety.
  • If you want to invite friends to the house remember to ask permission first.
  • If you are under 18, you must always let your host know where you are and you must come home by 10:30pm Sunday to Thursday and by 11:00pm on Friday and Saturday.
To Top

Halls of residence

Halls of Residence

What are Halls of Residence?

Halls of Residence are usually big buildings where lots of students live at the same time. They are sociable places and you will have freedom to come and go when you like, but they can also be busy.

Will I have my own room?

Yes. You will have a single room with a bed, wardrobe and a desk.

Can I have my own bathroom?

Yes, all rooms are en-suite, which means they have a private bathroom.

Is there somewhere to cook?

Yes. You will share kitchen facilities with other students.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself if considering halls of residence

1. Am I happy to live with other students from all over the world?

2. Can I cook for myself and keep the communal areas clean?

3. Will I remember to lock my door and keep my valuables safe?


A benefit of student halls is that you have freedom to come and go whenever you like. However, this also means that halls of residence are busy places and people go in and out of them all the time. You must make sure that you lock your room and keep your windows shut when you are not there. There will sometimes be a receptionist, but not always, so you must make sure you do not let anyone into the building you do not know.

Accreditations and memberships

How to find our Manchester English School

Our Address

Communicate School
Murray House
85 Piccadilly
M1 2DA


+44 (0)161 2358 480