A group of young people - two women and a man - talking to each other inside an office

British Council

Our purpose

Although we receive a government grant in aid, the British Council is operationally independent from the UK government.

All our work contributes to our purpose and Royal Charter (PDF 180kb) aims:

'[to] advance, for the public benefit, any purpose which is exclusively charitable and which shall

(a) promote cultural relationships between the people of the United Kingdom and other countries; 

(b) develop a wider knowledge of the English language; and 

(c) encourage educational co-operation between the United Kingdom and other countries, support the advancement of United Kingdom education and education standards overseas, and otherwise promote education.'

Subsidiary undertakings

The British Council has a group structure which, in addition to the British Council charity, includes subsidiary undertakings in the UK and overseas. For a list of the British Council group’s operational entities please click British Council Group Entities (PDF 113kb) 

Information about these separate legal entities is in the governance statement and notes to the accounts sections of the British Council’s annual reports