13 June 2008
The British Council's £181m English language teaching and examinations business has a strong reputation and more than covers its costs, says the National Audit Office.
In a report published on June 11, The British Council: achieving impact, the NAO says the teaching operation also supports UK public diplomacy, notably by helping overseas governments expand the teaching of English in their schools and colleges.
But the report warns that the council will need to make greater efforts to secure contributions from external sources and commercial sponsors to maintain its operations, to reverse a downward trend that has lasted six years.
Auditor general Tim Burr said: '[The council] faces a difficult challenge in delivering a wide range of products and services in 110 countries worldwide. High performance in some areas, such as performance measurement and customer satisfaction, needs to expand across every strand of activity.
'Project and programme management need to be strengthened and customer relationship systems and service standards enhanced,' he added.