English Online – Terms and Conditions of Use


These Terms apply to your use of English Online, including English Online IELTS Coach and English Online English for Life or English for Work courses. English Online provides an online course taught by expert teachers, providing easily accessible and customised study plans tailored to your skill level. By signing up or using any of the English Online services, including all associated features and functionalities, as well as all digital content and software applications associated with our services, you are entering into a binding contract with the British Council.

Please read these Terms carefully before you use the English Online Service. By clicking “Agree and continue” to the terms and conditions of use before using the English Online Service, you are confirming that you agree to be bound by these Terms.

If you do not accept these Terms, you may not use the English Online Service or access any classes.

These Terms are structured in the following parts:




Part 1

General Terms and Conditions

These terms apply to all orders.

Part 2

Location Specific Terms and Conditions

These are specific terms (if any) that apply in the location in which you are normally resident. These terms take precedence over the General Terms and Conditions.

Part 1 – General Terms and Conditions

Please be aware Location Specific Terms and Conditions may apply to this Contract in the location in which you are normally resident. If so, they will be set out in Part 2 and any General Terms which conflict with the Special Terms and Conditions will not apply to the extent they are limited by the Special Terms and Conditions.

1. Definitions/


British Council means the British Council, incorporated in England and Wales by Royal Charter and registered as a charity (under number 209131 in England and Wales and number SC03773 in Scotland), whose registered office is at 1 Redman Place, Stratford, London, E20 1JQ.

Cancellation Period means the 14-day cancellation period for English Online described in clauses 11.5 to 11.7 of the General Terms and Conditions.

Content means any material from classes delivered online or other digital content or material that is made available through the English Online Service (whether real time content or self-access).

Contract means the legally binding contract between you and the British Council on these Terms.

English Online is described in the Introduction to these Terms.

English Online Service means any services provided on English Online, including all live classes, associated features and functionalities, as well as all content and software applications associated with the services.

Fixed Plan means a particular type of plan that you choose to purchase. A fixed plan is defined by a one-off payment.

General Terms and Conditions means the terms set out in Part 1 of these Terms.

Location Specific Terms and Conditions means the terms (if any) set out in Part 2 of these Terms and which set out any additional local law variations to the General Terms and Conditions.

Order Confirmation means an order confirmation emailed to you in accordance with clause 2.2 of the General Terms and Conditions.

Payment Processor means the British Council’s third-party payment gateway provider for English Online.

Plan means either a Fixed Plan or a Subscription Plan.

Subscription Plan means the particular type of monthly subscription to access the English Online Service that you choose to purchase, including Silver, Gold and Platinum, which determines how many live classes you can join each month.

Terms means these terms and conditions of use (including the introduction, these General Terms and Conditions and the Location Specific Terms and Conditions) and any other documents referred to in them.

Trial means a trial by you of a Plan for a specified period without payment or at a reduced rate.

we, us, our means the British Council.

you means the person agreeing to these Terms.

Your Content means any content created, developed or in any way added on or to English Online by you or through your password-protected account, such as during a class or any other part of English Online.

2. How the Contract is formed

2.1 The pages of the English Online website will guide you through the steps you need to take to purchase a Plan. The order process allows you to check and amend any errors before submitting your order.

2.2 Once the Payment Processor receives a legitimate payment for the Plan into its designated bank account, your Order Confirmation will be emailed to you. When you receive your Order Confirmation, you will be able to access your dedicated English Online account straight away.

2.3 The Order Confirmation confirms the British Council’s acceptance of your order and the Contract will only be formed, and become legally binding, when the Order Confirmation is provided to you. If you have received a gift voucher to use for class credits, the Contract will be formed and become legally binding when you redeem the voucher for class credits.

3. How to pay for a Plan

3.1 All prices for Plans offered on English Online will be displayed during the order process. All prices quoted include applicable taxes and charges incurred by the British Council for use of debit or credit cards unless otherwise stated. You may incur additional charges for the use of debit or credit cards from your provider and those charges are in addition to the advertised price.

3.2 Payment can be made by credit or debit card, or e-wallet (or any other payment method permitted by English Online such as gift vouchers) as explained in the order process. In all cases the British Council treats payment as confirmation that you are the person authorised to use that credit card or debit card and that you are over the age of 18 years.

4. The British Council’s Payment Processor

4.1 The British Council uses a Payment Processor to facilitate your payments in respect of English Online. To allow our Payment Processor to verify and process your payments, it is necessary to provide certain personal information to the Payment Processor (including your name, financial details, billing address and telephone number).

4.2 When you purchase a Plan, payments by credit or debit card are processed immediately via the Payment Processor over a secure link (unless you are making use of a Trial). No card details are held by the British Council.

4.3 Our Payment Processor will only use your personal information for the purpose of processing payments and in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

5. Trials

5.1 From time to time, the British Council may offer Trials or other promotional memberships for certain Plans. The pages of English Online will set out the Plans that are eligible for a Trial and the duration of the Trial.

5.2 The British Council will require you to provide your payment details to start the Trial. By providing those details you agree that:

(a) for Trials of a Subscription Plan, we may automatically begin charging you for the paid Subscription Plan on the first day following the end of the Trial on a recurring monthly basis or another interval that we have informed you of in advance; and

(b) for Trials of a Fixed Plan, we may automatically charge you the one-off amount for the paid Fixed Plan on the first day following the end of the Trial.

5.3 If you do not want to continue with the paid Plan following your Trial, you must cancel the Plan before the end of the Trial. You may at any time during a Trial or promotional subscription choose not to convert or continue to a paid or non-promotional subscription as set out in these Terms and in the promotional membership terms. To exercise this option please use the Account Status function and click on the cancel option before the end of the Trial period.

5.4 Trials are only available for first time users. You agree not to make use of the same Trial on more than one occasion. We reserve the right to cancel your Trial and/or refuse your membership to a Plan if you attempt to make use of the same free Trial on multiple occasions.

6. English Online Service options

6.1 You can find a description of our English Online Service options on the English Online website, and we will explain which English Online Service options are available to you when you create an account.

6.2 For Subscription Plans you automatically receive a set of class credits each month upon payment. The number of credits you receive will depend on the Subscription Plan you have signed up to. Class credits are used to book onto classes. The number of class credits required to book a class will be displayed on the English Online website. You choose how to use your credits during each month. It is not possible to ‘roll over’ class credits to the next month of your subscription. You are responsible for using all your credits within their expiry date (30 days from the date of payment). Any credits not booked before their expiry date will be lost and cannot be refunded.

6.3 For Fixed Plans you make a one-off pre-payment giving you access to a teaching course or another part of the English Online Service for a specific time period.

6.3.1 English Online English for Life or English for Work courses: You can start straight away or up to 4 weeks from the date of payment. Once you start, you will have a total of 6 weeks to complete each module and you are responsible for booking and attending 1 class per week before the end date of the course.

6.4 For class credits purchased by way of a gift voucher, you will receive a certain amount of class credits depending on how many were purchased by the voucher. You must redeem the voucher for class credits before the voucher expiry date. Once redeemed, you will have 30 days to use the class credits. Any class credits not used within 30 days will be lost and cannot be refunded. You may not re-sell the voucher(s), including on any internet auction sites or otherwise.

7. Your obligations when using English Online

7.1 As the English Online Service and the Content will be provided through a third party web browser (such as Microsoft Edge, Chrome or Firefox) you should also read the terms of use and privacy policy that apply to your use of that web browser.

7.2 You are responsible for ensuring you have in place all hardware, software and telecommunications necessary to access and use the English Online Service and will be responsible for all related charges, including the fees of internet service providers.

7.3 You agree not to:

(a) provide access to English Online to any other individual or legal entity;

(b) disrupt, interfere with or restrict the use of the English Online Service or the Content;

(c) use the English Online Service in any way that prevents, disrupts or interferes with any other person’s use of the English Online Service;

(d) abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate any other users of the English Online Service;

(e) upload or display any comments or materials through your participation in English Online which are false, offensive, sexually explicit, defamatory, threatening, obscene or unlawful or which infringe intellectual property rights;

(f) probe, scan or test the vulnerability of English Online or attempt to circumvent or hack any user authentication or security controls in respect of English Online;

(g) reverse compile, disassemble, reverse engineer, decompile, copy, duplicate, modify or adapt any software or other code or scripts forming part of English Online (except to the extent permitted by law) or attempt to transmit to or via English Online any information that contains a virus, worm, Trojan horse or other harmful or disruptive component;

(h) change, modify, delete, interfere with or misuse any files or other data created, owned or provided by the British Council or any third party provided as part of English Online (except as expressly permitted under these Terms); or

(i) use the English Online Service in contravention of any applicable law.

7.4 When using the English Online Service to access the Content, you promise and agree to:

(a) at all times behave with honesty, integrity and show courtesy, consideration and respect to others; 

(b) prepare for any class as reasonably required by the British Council;

(c) participate fully in group work if required as part of any class; and 

(d) respect the confidentiality of all information that you acquire in connection with English Online.

7.5 The opinions and messages posted by users at English Online do not reflect and are not representative of the views of the British Council or its employees, affiliates, suppliers or partners. The British Council is not responsible for the content of messages published by users to other users they have identified through English Online.

8. Technology limitations and modifications to English Online

8.1 The British Council will use reasonable endeavours to make the English Online Service available at the date and time agreed on your Order Confirmation. However, certain technical difficulties, maintenance or testing, or updates required to reflect changes in relevant laws and regulatory requirements, may, from time to time, result in temporary interruptions. The British Council does not and cannot warrant or guarantee that your use of English Online will be uninterrupted or error-free. We are not responsible for any delays, delivery failures, or any other loss or damage resulting from the transfer of data over communications networks and facilities, including the internet, and you acknowledge that the English Online Service may be subject to limitations, delays and other problems inherent in the use of such communications facilities.

8.2The British Council may, from time to time, at its sole discretion and without prior notice to you, change, expand and improve the English Online Service. We may also, at any time, cease operating part or all of English Online or selectively disable certain aspects or portions of English Online or any Content. Any modifications or eliminations of the English Online Service or the Content are at the sole and absolute discretion of the British Council, and your use of the English Online Service does not entitle you to the continued provision or availability of English Online.

8.3 You understand, agree, and accept that the British Council will make reasonable efforts, although it has no obligation to maintain, support, upgrade, or update the English Online Service or Content, or to provide all or any specific content through the English Online Service.

9. Cancellation of a class

9.1 English Online and English Online IELTS Coach: If you cancel a booking more than 24 hours prior to the class, you will not lose the class credits used for that booking. If you cancel a booking within 24 hours of the class, the class credits will not be refunded. If you wish to cancel a class, you can do so via the Home page, where you can access “Your booked classes” on the dashboard.

9.2 English Online English for Life or English for Work courses: You can only cancel a booking more than 24 hours prior to the class. If you do so, you will be able to book the class again, but only within the same week of content (a week of content is Monday 00:00 UK time to Sunday 23:59 UK time). If you do not cancel more than 24 hours before the class, you will not be able to cancel your booking or attend the class at a different time in the assigned week.

9.3 If the class is cancelled by the British Council, any class credits you’ve used to book the class will be re-issued to you.

10. Managing your Subscription Plan

Billing and renewal

10.1 If you have selected a Subscription Plan without a Trial, payment will be taken upon order of the Subscription Plan.Your payment to the British Council for any paid Subscription Plan will automatically continue, and your Subscription Plan renew, at the end of the applicable subscription period, unless you cancel your paid Subscription Plan before the end of the subscription period at the time using the Account Status page.The cancellation will take effect the day after the last day of the subscription period current at the time.

10.2 You will receive a receipt of payment each month via email for ongoing Subscription Plans.

10.3 The British Council may change the price for the paid Subscription Plans from time to time and will communicate any price changes to you in advance.Any changes in price will take effect at the start of the next Subscription Plan period following the date of the price change.Subject to applicable law, you accept the new price by continuing to use the English Online Service after the price change takes effect.If you do not agree with a price change, you have the right to reject the change by unsubscribing from the paid Subscription Plan before the price change takes effect.

Updating billing details and payment

10.5 You can check your Subscription Plan details by logging into your English Online account and by clicking on your name in the top right-hand corner. You will see a drop-down menu with various options to choose from, including Account Status.

10.6 If you wish to change your billing details and payment method, you can do so by clicking on “Change payment method”. New payment details will be stored by our Payment Processor and used to process subsequent payments.

Upgrading your monthly Subscription Plan

10.7 If you wish to change the number of classes you attend each month, you can opt to upgrade or downgrade your Subscription Plan by contacting Customer Support at support.englishonline@britishcouncil.org at least 72 hours before the next billing date.

11. Cancellation of the Contract

11.1 This Contract will continue to apply to you until cancelled by either you or the British Council.

Cancellation by the British Council

11.2 The British Council may cancel this Contract or suspend your access to the English Online Service by giving you notice in writing (whether by email or otherwise) at any time if you breach these Terms (but not if it is a trivial breach), in which case the British Council shall have no liability or responsibility to you, and the British Council will not refund any amounts that you have already paid for the relevant Plan period.

11.3 The British Council may also cancel the Contract or suspend your access to the English Online Service at any time, without liability to you if:

(a) the British Council is unable to provide the English Online Service in full due to a reason beyond its reasonable control; or

(b) the British Council withdraws part of or the whole of the English Online Service and/or the Content (in which case we shall provide you reasonable notice in advance of doing so).

11.4 If the British Council cancels the Contract under clause 11.3, you will be entitled to receive a full refund of the price paid for any unused class credits as at the time of cancellation.

Cancellation by you within 14-day Cancellation Period

11.5 You have a legal right to cancel a Plan and receive a full refund of all payments we have received from you within the Cancellation Period for any reason (even if you change your mind), except that right will not apply if, during the Cancellation Period, you have attended any class.

11.6 Unless lost earlier in accordance with clause 11.5:

(a) the Cancellation Period will end 14 days after the day on which you received your Order Confirmation if you purchase a Plan with no Trial; or

(b) if you sign up for a Trial, you agree that the Cancellation Period for the paid Plan for which you are receiving a Trial ends 14 days after you start the Trial.

11.7 To exercise the right to cancel, you must cancel your Plan through the Account Status page on English Online.

11.8 If you exercise your right to cancel a Plan within the Cancellation Period under clauses 11.5 to 11.7, the British Council will reimburse to you all payments received from you in respect of the relevant Plan.The British Council will make the repayment without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after it is informed about your decision to cancel the Plan.

11.9 The British Council will make the repayment using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction.

Cancellation by you after the 14-day Cancellation Period

11.10 After the Cancellation Period has expired, if you no longer want to learn with English Online, you can cancel your Plan by clicking on the cancel option using the Account Status page. Once your Plan has been successfully cancelled, you will receive an email confirming its cancellation. If you have purchased an English Online IELTS Coach or English Online English for Life or English for Work courses, you will not be able to cancel your course after the 14-day Cancellation Period. The 14-day Cancellation period will end 14 days after payment.

11.11 Upon cancellation of a Subscription Plan, you will be able to use any unused class credits until the end of the relevant billing month. Your account will expire at the end of your billing month and you will subsequently not be able to book classes after the expiration date of your Subscription Plan. In this case we will not refund any subscription fees already paid to us.

12. Data protection

12.1 We will only use your personal information as set out in our privacy policy.

13. Equality, diversity, and inclusion

13.1 The British Council seeks to ensure equal opportunities are provided to all individuals.

13.2 If you have a disability or special need, the British Council will make reasonable adjustments to make sure that you have, as far as is reasonable, the same access to everything that is involved in the English Online Service as a person without a disability or special need.

13.3 Please provide the British Council with details of your disability and special needs as soon as possible upon starting your Plan.

14. Intellectual property

14.1 The British Council is the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in the Content and in the design, structure, “look and feel” and the arrangement of English Online. We grant you limited, non-exclusive, revocable permission to make use of the English Online Service for the purposes of your study and research, and limited, non-exclusive, revocable permission to make personal, non-commercial use of the Content for the purposes of your study and research (collectively, “Access”). This Access shall remain in effect until and unless this Contract is cancelled by you or the British Council. You agree that you are using the English Online Service and Content for your own personal, non-commercial use and that you will not redistribute or transfer the English Online Service or the Content.

14.2 You must not use the Content or material contained in the English Online Service for any other purpose without our prior written approval, including:

(a) for commercial purposes;

(b) republishing any of the Content on another website;

(c) modifying the Content in any way (unless permitted to do so on the relevant part of English Online);

(d) using any illustrations, images, video or audio sequences or any graphics within British Council Content separately from any accompanying text; and

(e) removing any trademark, copyright or other proprietary notices contained in or appearing on English Online or any of the Content in whole or in part.

14.3 If you wish to make any use of British Council Content that is not authorised by these Terms, please contact us at support.englishonline@britishcouncil.org for permission explaining the purpose of use and full details of any the Content you wish to use.

15. The British Council’s liability to you

15.1 Nothing in these Terms shall limit or exclude the British Council’s liability for death and/or personal injury caused by the negligence of the British Council or any of their employees, agents or subcontractors, for fraudulent misrepresentation and any other liabilities which cannot as a matter of law be limited and/or excluded.

15.2 Subject to clause 15.1, the British Council does not accept responsibility and expressly exclude liability for any loss or damage to your property that occurs where the British Council is delivering the English Online Service.

15.3 Subject to clause 15.1, the British Council shall not under any circumstances whatsoever be liable to you (whether for breach of contract, negligence, breach of statutory duty or otherwise) for any:

(a) losses that were not foreseeable to both you and the British Council when the Contract was formed;

(b) losses that were not caused by any breach on the part of the British Council; or

(c) loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption or loss of business opportunity arising under or in connection with the Contract.

15.4 If defective Content which the British Council has supplied damages a device or Your Content, and this is caused by the British Council’s failure to use reasonable care and skill, the British Council will either repair the damage or pay you compensation for the damage caused.However, the British Council will not be liable for damage which you could have avoided by following the British Council’s advice to apply an update offered to you free of charge or for damage which was caused by you failing to correctly follow installation instructions or to have in place the minimum system requirements advised by the British Council.

15.5 Subject to clauses 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 and 15.4, the British Council’s liability in connection with the Contract will be limited to the price paid by you for the Plan purchased under the Contract.

16. Failure to comply with these Terms

16.1 If the British Council believes that you have not complied with these Terms, the British Council may:

(a) refuse your further use of and/or access to English Online; and/or

(b) delete your account; and/or

(c) remove and/or edit any or Your Content from the platform.

17. Other important terms

17.1 The British Council may transfer the Contract (in whole or in part), or subcontract or delegate the delivery of English Online Service in any manner at its sole discretion to: (i) any separate entity controlled by the British Council or otherwise forms a part of the British Council group of entities; or (ii) any provider of outsourcing or third party services that is engaged under a service contract to provide services to the British Council.

17.2 The Contract is personal to you and so you cannot transfer any or all of your rights or obligations under these Terms to another person without the prior written consent of the British Council.

17.3 Other than as stated in clause 17.4 or as explicitly agreed upon in writing between you and the British Council, these Terms constitute the entire Contract between you and the British Council in relation to English Online and supersede any prior agreements in relation to the subject matter of the Contract, whether written or oral. To avoid any misunderstandings about the content of the Contract, please make sure that you ask for any changes, or additions, to the terms of the Contract be put in writing by a British Council representative.

17.4 Please note, however, that certain aspects of your use of the English Online Service may be governed by additional terms.That could include, for example, access to the English Service as a result of a free or discounted Trials, a promotional subscription, or together with other services.When you are presented with such an offer by the British Council, we will provide you with any related additional terms, and you may have an opportunity to agree to additional terms.To the extent that there is any irreconcilable conflict between any additional terms and these Terms, the additional terms shall prevail.

17.5 If the British Council does not insist immediately that you do anything you are required to do under these Terms, or if the British Council delays in taking steps against you in respect of you breaching this Contract, that will not mean that you do not have to do those things and it will not prevent the British Council taking steps against you at a later date.

17.6 Each of the clauses of these Terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful or unenforceable, the remaining clauses will remain in full force and effect.

17.7 Subject to the Location Specific Terms and Conditions (Part 2) the laws of England apply to the Contract and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with the Contract or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims). For the avoidance of doubt, this Contract is deemed to have been formed in England unless the Location Specific Terms and Conditions state otherwise.

17.8 The British Council hopes to make your experience of dealing with the British Council an excellent one and welcomes your comments, suggestions and details of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If you have any comments or complaints in relation to the Contract, please contact us at support.englishonline@britishcouncil.org.

17.9 If a complaint, dispute or claim is not successfully resolved through discussions between you and the British Council, the courts of England will have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising from, or related to, the Contract. This means that all claims relating to the Contract can be settled by a judge (or a number of judges) in an English court but you or the British Council may, alternatively, bring proceedings in your country of residence or any other relevant country.

17.10 The British Council may contact you or provide a notice referred to in this Contract through the English Online or by sending you an email to the nominated email address provided by you during the order process.

18. Contacting the British Council

18.1 If you have any questions, comments or enquiries about the Contract or English Online, please contact us at support.englishonline@britishcouncil.org.

Part 2 – Location Specific Terms and Conditions

1. Residents in India

1.1 These Terms apply to any British Council English Online courses purchased through the English Online websites. If you are a resident in India you are purchasing our courses through BC Education India Private Limited (having its registered office at 432 Regus Rectangle, Commercial Complex, D4, Saket, South Delhi, New Delhi – 110017, India) and you are also required to follow these terms and conditions, which are issued by BC Education India Private Limited, a subsidiary of the British Council UK.

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