The history of SIAL.charity began in 2004, when a group of Italian citizens reached out to the large community of Italians living in London to gauge interest in setting up an Italian school. Today our charity has become one of the main points of reference for the Italian language and culture in London and in the UK.
A committee was formed – A School For The Italians – with the specific goal of coordinating the many requests regarding education from Italian families, undertaking a survey and presenting its findings to private and public institutions.
In collaboration with the Italian Embassy, Consulate and the Institute of Italian Culture the Committee gave a presentation to the Italian community detailing the results of the survey and of two focus groups it ran. The principal findings: strong demand for an Italian school; 97% of people felt positive even if the school was to be an independent one; 76% would transfer their children out of the English system.
The Committee refocused on a full feasibility study for an Italian school in London. A number of different professionals with direct experience in the education, financial, marketing and legal fields were brought onto the Committee. The decision was taken that the school would be bilingual and bicultural, with a curriculum that would integrate both the British and the Italian systems. The school would start by offering Nursery and Primary grades (i.e. from 3 to 10 years old) with the objective to extend upwards as the children grow up. Our final aim is to run the school to secondary school level with a Liceo.
In July 2007 we set up the charity (La Scuola Italiana a Londra, Reg. Charity no. 1119966), which allowed us to start raising funds to open a school.
On the 10th of March the Italian Embassy hosted the official launch of the Charity with a fundraising dinner where the participants were entertained by Maestro Antonio Pappano.
Having finally found suitable premises, the School opened on the 8th of September 2010. Since then, the Board of Trustees has managed the business side of the school and supported its continual development through fundraising campaigns and various activities.
The Primary School opened on 11th September 2012 with the Y1 class. Today the school has completed the primary cycle and educates children from the age of 3 to 11.
The school widens and acquires a new building, thanks to the support of Ambassador Pasquale Q. Terracciano.
At the end of July 2018, the charity made itself available to become the Managing Body of Italian Language and Culture Courses in the consular district of London (South England and Wales); courses are organised with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The ordinary activity of the Managing Body takes place with the support and supervision of the General Consulate of Italy in London and of its School Office, and consists in the management of the integrated and extra-curricular courses.
SIAL.school becomes an officially approved examination centre for the CILS exams.
Created by the University of Siena in Italy, the CILS certification attests one’s linguistic-communicative competence in Italian as a second language.
Under the new brand SIAL.courses the charity is proud to launch a comprehensive offer of Italian language and culture courses.