The Head Office Team

Contact our friendly team:


In the photo above, taken on a bridge over the Itchen river, near Winchester on our annual “awayday” (a country walk followed by a pub lunch!) you can see some of the most important members of our team.

Clare – Far left in stripy top

Alison – Third from right in sunglasses

Nikki – second from right in white scarf

Elspeth – Fifth from right in grey scarf and sunglasses

Chris – in background in grey jumper



Clare Pay, Director, is a linguist herself, and has extensive experience of organising language courses for our clients.  Having run her own business, she understands the importance of giving the best possible service to her clients, but she is also very supportive of our team of teachers, who very much appreciate her advice and guidance.

Clare studied languages at Oxford Polytechnic (as it was in those days) and speaks French and some German and Spanish.  She has two grown-up children, one of whom is also a keen linguist. 

In her spare time, Clare is a keen walker and cyclist and loves to explore the Hampshire countryside.

Alison Benac, Deputy Director, is a fluent Italian speaker having lived in Italy for 30 years.  She is a talented artist and used to run her own jewellery shop near Venice.  She is also a qualified TEFL teacher and for this reason deals with most of our enquiries for English lessons.

Alison enjoys going to art galleries and exhibitions.  She is also a keen film buff.

Philippa Rinaldo, Account Manager, has recently joined our team after settling in Winchester.  Philippa has spent much of her adult life living abroad where she has worked as a translator and EFL teacher.  Her wealth of experience of living in several different European countries, along with her fluent Italian and working knowledge of French and Spanish, make her a valuable addition to our team.

In her spare time, Philippa enjoys tennis and cooking.

Nikki Lyle, Manager, Accounts, oversees the financial side of things, making sure everything runs smoothly.

Elspeth Howie also works in Accounts, helping Nikki and playing the very important role of paying our teachers on time!

The others would be able to get on with their work if it wasn’t for Chris Polatch 

Sign up now

Languages for businesses, education or pleasure