The British Council’s priority is always to ensure the safety and well-being of our teaching centre customers, employees, and the communities in which we operate.
We are also responding in line with guidance for both the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS) and the Direção-Geral de Saúde (DGS), DGE (Direçao Geral de Educaçao) and DGEstE (Direçao Geral de Estabelecimentos Escolares) to ensure the safety and well-being of our teaching centre customers, employees, and the communities in which we operate.
The British Council will follow official guidance on prevention and containment from the national health authorities.
This may require
- periods of full or partial closure
- re-scheduling of exams
- moving groups of classes online
- responding to cases in the student community: moving classes online or providing streaming
- changes to ways of working on site.
With the progressive reduction of restrictions associated with Covid-19 in Portugal, we inform you that our centers are already open to the public and operating through a password system, with a daily limit. The last password is assigned half an hour before the center closes. Our classes and exams are already running normally.
Measures we have taken in our centres
- We may carry out temperature checks at the entrance.
- Hand sanitisers and disinfectant gel will be available at the entrance, in rooms and at our Customer Services Centre area.
- All staff, students and customers on our premises are required to wear masks when moving around the building.
- In accordance with the DGS, students aged 10 and over (Lower Secondary up) are required to wear masks in the classroom.
- You may be asked to temporarily remove your mask for reasons of security.
- Toilets, basins, door handles, staircase handrails and other surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least three times a day.
- We will also ensure that there is liquid soap and paper towels in the bathrooms
- We will comply with any physical distancing requirements imposed by the local authorities. To help us do this, we will limit the number of non-student visitors and staff in the building at any one time.
- Whenever possible, windows and doors will stay open to maximise natural ventilation.
- Air conditioning units will all be serviced and filters cleaned regularly.
- Parents, guardians or guests will not be admitted into our premises (except by appointment or in exceptional circumstances) and will have to drop off and pick up their child from outside the building.
- Staff or customers with flu-like symptoms, or known to be in quarantine, will not be admitted into our premises.
Please do NOT attend a class or test if:
- You are currently in self-quarantine or
- You have been in contact with any person suspected of having been exposed to Covid-19 or
- You have a cough, fever, are short of breath or have flu-like symptoms.
If any of the above applies to you, you will not be able to attend class or take a test.
We also inform you that our teaching centres are prepared for face-to-face teaching. That includes:
- Setting up an isolation room to use when a Covid case is suspected
- Preparation of a detailed contingency plan
What (not) to bring if you are registered for an exam:
- Please make sure that you bring two masks and a pair of latex gloves to your test/exam. You will be required to bring your own writing materials to any test/exam, i.e. pens, pencils and rubbers. Any material left in the room after the exam/test will be disposed of.
- You will be required to keep the belongings brought to the test/exam venue to a minimum of essentials. Belongings will be kept in designated areas throughout the whole session. Any belongings left behind after the exam/test will be disposed of.
- You will be required to bring your own (transparent) bottle of water, as water fountains will not be available at the venue.
- You will not be allowed to use the common areas at the venue, except for the designated waiting areas under the supervision of Exam Staff. Food and snack consumption will not be allowed in these waiting areas.
- Please note that your temperature might be taken at the registration point of the exam venue.
FAQs: Questions about Teaching Centres
Please ask our Contact Centre via phone or email if you have any queries.
1) If I want to re-register / register for the courses later in the year, what payment options do you have available?
If you have previously registered for a course with us, we will have sent you an invitation and registration instructions via email. You pay through bank transfer.
If you would like to register for a course for the first time, you will need to take a placement test so we can recommend the best course for your learning needs. After you have completed the test, our trained staff will discuss your results and your learning path with you to choose the course that best suits your needs.
See the steps you need to follow on our How to register page.
2) What courses are available for this new academic year?
3) If I register myself or my child for a new face-to-face course, what will happen if there is another wave of the pandemic?
If we need to close the teaching centre in line with government guidelines, we guarantee that classes will continue online. Online classes will include the same number of hours as face-to-face classes.
FAQs: Questions about Exams
1. My exam has been suspended. Can I transfer my registration to another date?
Yes, this is possible for most exams including IELTS and Cambridge English. Please check the registration page for details of available sessions. If you registered for your exam directly with an awarding body, please follow their guidelines.
2. I registered for an exam through one of your partners. How can I transfer to another date?
Please contact the test centre you registered with to transfer your test date.
3. When and how will I receive my exam results?
Your exam results will be processed as normal for all exams that took place before the suspension.
You can preview your IELTS test results on the Test Taker Portal - 5-7 calendar days after the test for computer delivered tests.
IELTS results remain online for 28 days but should not be used as an official confirmation of your performance.
Cambridge English exam results are available four to six weeks after the exam date for paper-based exams, and two weeks for computer-based exams.
We are not able to provide test results over the phone or by email or fax for security reasons.
4. Will you be organising additional sessions for Cambridge English exams in the future?
We work with Cambridge English to agree a calendar of sessions that will meet the needs of both our individual candidates and the schools/institutions that register candidates with us. Please keep checking our website for up-to-date information about the exam session calendar.
5. My exam is suspended and I am transferred to another date. Can I change my option?
If the test centre is transferred to a new date and you were not consulted about this prior to the change, you can ask for a one-off transfer at no cost to a new session within a date limit
If you were consulted about the new test date and agreed to it at the time of consultation you are not eligible for a transfer free of cost. You will need to contact your centre, providing a valid reason for the request and if accepted you will be charged a small fee for the transfer. This is a standard procedure for regular transfers.
6. Where do I find more info about my exam session (venue, hour, etc.)?
You will be sent a session timetable with all information required for the test day (venue, hour of arrival, time of test, etc.). If you do not receive any communication three days before the exam please call your test centre immediately.
You will also receive a message from the test centre outlining the safety measures and requirements for the test day.