About us

Learn more about our programme, vision and meet the management and teachers of ESB!

Our unique Programme

These are the main reasons ESB is completely different from any other school in Budapest!

Practical teaching method

ESB's teaching method greatly differs from the one used in public schools based on Prussian, content-driven "whiteboard and chalk" style method. We want to develop not only the English spelling and vocabulary but communication and cognitive skills as well, primarily the critical and creative thinking. Our classrooms are vivid and teaching raises attention.

Unique School

We are a unique school in Budapest: A mini British school, running an innovative programme for students who attend Hungarian or non English speaking schools. Our school allows children to gain all the benefits of their own national education system, but combines this with a British education. Our programme costs less than tenth of a full time British international school, so we are able to be affordable to a much wider part of the community.

Performance Events

Our students also explore children’s literature, especially drama and poetry. This Literature programme leads to performance events: a Christmas Show and a whole school Poetry Recital Competition.

Engaging Teaching

Our classrooms are vibrant, teaching is highly engaging: activities range from mummifying a tomato, to making a digital party political manifesto and campaign broadcast, or creating a human museum of Celtic gods. We skype between our two school sites to allow inter-class projects.

English-speaking Community

Our children and their parents see our school as their English-speaking extended family. We are very pro-active users of social websites, posting weekly photographs of learning activities and our events. The community is also built through these events. We hold an annual Halloween Celebration, Christmas Show, Poetry Recital Competition, Interactive Storytelling Morning, Digital Family Quiz evening, World Book Day, Red Nose Comedy Week and Family Summer Fayre.

Summer Programmes

We offer a rich variety of summer camps, including an annual themed camp, a Young Business Entrepreneurs Camp and a 3D Art Camp, all hosted by English native speaker experts.

Native teachers-British Curriculum

Our English native speaker, trained classroom teachers, use a cross-curricular approach to learning founded on the best practice of the New National Curriculum for England. This means that grammar, spelling, phonics and vocabulary development are embedded into the teaching of non-fiction topics, chosen for their ability to engage students. In Foundation classes children learn to communicate on a range of practical topics. In Literacy classes children explore the sciences and humanities. They therefore develop the ability to use English for both general and academic purposes.

Skills Focus

Alongside developing children’s English, we aim to foster communicative and cognitive skills, especially critical and creative thought, using iPad research, group and class projects, planning and giving presentations using digital technology and collaborative/competitive interactive whiteboard learning.

Home Learning

We have our own learning site, updated weekly to provide digital learning for students at home, including Pearson’s Active Learn and Rapid Plus. Although Rapid Plus was designed for struggling Key Stage 3 readers in the UK, we use it successfully with our teenage second language learners. We also use Pearson’s grammar and phonics resources regularly in class to great acclaim and effect.

Parent Involvement

Our parents are actively involved in the school, through our Parent-Teachers Association, which meets every term. We consult with our parents regularly about their children’s learning and we issue fully written reports bi-annually.

Join us!

Registration is possible throughout the year, so do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting, when we will introduce you to the school and our learning programme, as well as assess your child’s level of English and recommend the right class. Come and join us and experience a genuine community of English speakers and English learners in action.


At ESB we value the contribution our parents make to the school and to their children’s learning.
All ESB parents are automatically members of our Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

Our PTA is modelled on PTAs in UK schools. It acts as a forum for parents to give feedback to the School Director on the Programme, for new ideas to be put forward on school development and for school events to be planned.

Meetings are held every half term and usually timed to precede a major school event.

The English School of Budapest Vision

Envisioned future

ESB teaches English to children in a uniquely effective and innovative way. We will become recognised as Hungary’s centre of excellence for teaching and learning English for children and educators.

Teaching and Learning

The English School of Budapest is a community for effective teaching and learning. We believe in pupil-centred learning, which is rigorous, creative and structured.

Personal Development

At ESB we value honesty, courtesy, active participation in school life, enthusiasm to learn and cooperation with others.


We aim to maximise student participation at school and at home. We encourage families to see the school as their English-speaking community.

Our Purpose

ESB provides to children in Hungary a British education focusing on English and literacy learning through cross curricular methodology and active student engagement.

ESB Commitment

The teachers at ESB are dedicated to supporting and inspiring the students and each other. Our whole team • Commits to excel • Builds a creative English world to engage children • Educates for both skills development and language knowledge


ESB recognises the importance of communication. We encourage and support effective communication between all members of the school community.

Management and Administration

Eszter Gulyás

Marketing Manager

Nora Vizi

Director of Administration and Admission

Andy Thompson

Founder and Managing Director

Mark Davies

Director of Operations

Meet the team

Lisa Gillespie

Director of Education

Daniel Russell

English teacher

Marcel Fanara

English teacher

Kelly Mackay

English teacher


We are hiring!


We are grateful for the kind words from the parents of the hundreds of children who already attended ESB.

We have three children attending ESB. With each year they enjoy the classes more; the child-centred methodology builds their confidence, through the engaging, thematic and group activities, they gain a taste of the British educational system and enjoy its advantages. The small group sizes and the warm relationships between teachers and students create a calm, positive atmosphere for them. We all appreciate the school programmes and events as well as the teachers’ structured approach to learning.


parent of Marci, Cili and Csabi

Samu started attending ESB 6 months ago. He was a complete beginner at the time. Now he speaks in sentences and has a vocabulary of several hundred words. In six months he’s made incredible progress, while also having fun and making new friends.


mother of Samu

Our daughter was a little shy when joining ESB, having had very basic English – but she liked the classes from the first moment. After 5 months she is making steady progress and starts to be able to express herself. ESB seems to create good motivation for them and the various activities built around the themes covered keep the children’s interest.


mother of Kata


Eszter Gulyás

Marketing Manager

Ms Eszter is responsible for marketing and communications at ESB.

Since graduating from university, Ms Eszter has worked in similar office roles at the British Council, City & Guilds and the Ministry of Education. She is always enthusiastic about creative projects, that is why she is happy to have joined ESB. When she has free time, she enjoys cooking, listening to funky, traveling and playing poker with her family and friends.

Nora Vizi

Director Administration and Admission

Nora is responsible for managing all new student admissons at ESB. She handles parental communications and manages payments and finances.

Nora holds an MBA diploma from Corvinus University of Budapest, a degree in Law from ELTE University and a BA in Finance, Accounting and Economics. She has 10 years+ experience in the field of Administration and Finance, working for multinational companies in management positions.

She has been working in education management for the last 10 years.

She and her family relocated back to Hungary two years ago after spending 16 years mostly in Indonesia, the Middle East and Spain.

Nora has two high school kids and she lives in Obuda with her family. She likes to spend her free time at lake Balaton, in Italy and in Spain.

Andy Thompson

Founder and Managing Director

A Big Welcome to our school! I started ESB in 2010 when it was clear that a number of parents were frustrated, like my Hungarian wife and I, that they could not provide a good and affordable English education whilst allowing their children to participate in a normal Hungarian school.

A British friend of mine (you know who you are) had just moved here from Paris where her children attended a school that taught English according to the English curriculum on Wednesdays, the day that French schools don’t teach. She and some other educators suggested we start a similar format in Budapest. And so the story started….

I have 5 children and in Budapest they have been to international, bilingual and state schools. Each was a compromise to some degree. At ESB we hope to make that compromise easier.

Should you wish to contact me, I would be delighted to hear from you. I look forward to meeting you.

Mark Davies

Director of Operations

We are delighted to welcome Mark Davies to the ESB management team as Director of Operations. Mark will be responsible on a part time basis for all non educational aspects of running the school. He is a highly experienced and respected educational leader, with 20 years school management experience in Budapest.

Mark Davies is from the UK and has been working in education since 1979. He graduated in Engineering Science and Management and then gained his PGCE. Since 1983 he has held whole school management positions, initially as IT coordinator and more recently as head of an international bilingual school in Budapest and was responsible for the day to day organisation and leadership of a rapidly growing international school.

Mark has lived in Budapest since 1997, and is married with one son. He enjoys cycling and playing tennis as well as following football, especially his home team Watford. Cooking is another thing he enjoys, and especially like to experiment and adapt recipes.

Lisa Gillespie

Director of Education

Canadian born, Lisa grew up in Perth, a small town in Ontario. Growing up she followed her three older sisters and joined the local swim team. Her dream was to be able to swim through university and this came true when she received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Nevada, in the United States of America. In 2012, Lisa graduated with a BSc in Education concentrating in general sciences. Not long after she travelled to London, England to pursue a career in teaching.

She soon realised that her passion is working with young learners so most of her experience is at the primary level, teaching the National Curriculum for England. In 2017, Lisa moved from England to Hungary to gain experience teaching in the international schools and fell in love with teaching foreign students. For two years she taught English as second language to young learners at the English School of Budapest and has experienced first hand the benefits and confidence that children have gained from taking part in ESB’s English program. She is truly excited to start this new academic year and for her return to ESB as Director of Education. In addition to finding joy in teaching children from different backgrounds and learning about their cultures, Lisa also enjoys leading a balanced lifestyle which includes family, friends, fitness and of course swimming too!

Daniel Russell

English teacher

Daniel is from San Diego, California. As a third generation teacher, he knows the rewards of a career in education inside and out.

After studying history and German at San Diego State University, Dan embarked on his first overseas teaching experience in Austria by participating in the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship Program in 2013. Here he discovered his passion for teaching and learning new languages.

Following his two year teaching experience in Austria, Dan looked to expand his pedagogical background by completing a master’s in teaching degree in Spain.

Looking to continue to refine his teaching skills and experience a new language and culture, Dan first came to the English School of Budapest in 2017. It was a rewarding experience to be a part of the team at ESB and make a positive contribution to improving Hungarian children’s language skills in an engaging, student-centered approach to teaching during his two years with ESB.

After a short, year long sabbatical back in Spain while also completing his social science teaching credential, Dan knew it was time to return to the great community at ESB. He is excited to reunite with past students, families and colleagues as well as meeting many new ones.

Marcel Fanara

English teacher

Miss Marcel is from Brookeville, Maryland. Growing up, she watched closely as her mother taught English to international students and learned in turn about many new places and cultures.

She studied History, Literature, and Writing at both Franklin University in Switzerland and Swansea University in Wales. Wishing to share her passion for the English language with others, she obtained a CELTA in Edinburgh and has since taught English as a second language to international students and immigrants in the USA, as well as to Chinese high school students and Hungarian primary school students. Throughout all the twists and turns, love of travel and engaging with people of all descriptions is what really drives her adventures.

Kelly Mackay

English teacher

Kelly is from Cape Town, South Africa. She has always felt drawn to education and working with children. This led her to complete a TESOL diploma. From there she spent a year in China teaching English to children of all ages. It was in China where her real passion for teaching was discovered. Kelly returned to South Africa to complete her four-year Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of South Africa. 


During this time, she was a private English tutor for a number of children. She has spent time volunteering to help teach children to read in underprivileged communities in South Africa.
Over the last few years she has been a grade 2 teacher at a primary school, teaching a variety of subjects. She was the head of English language for her grade. She is passionate about children’s literature and teaching children the joy of stories and reading. As well as having a great interest in early childhood development. She enjoys immersing herself in new countries and cultures. Kelly is excited to start teaching at the English School of Budapest and to learn all there is to know about Hungarian culture.
In her spare time, she enjoys travel, running, all things about food and is an avid reader.

Registration for our 2021/22 courses has started, we still have available places in most of our classes.

25% discount off the registration fee in August

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