Worldwide School was first established in 1989 by 3 business men and the original premises was at 1 Queen St.
Maureen Hayes was first hired as a teacher in 1991 after coming to New Zealand from the USA and Cleve Brown was hired as a teacher in 1992 after teaching English in Korea and Japan for several years.
In 1993/94 both Maureen and Cleve were promoted by the then owners to Director of Studies and Marketing Director. In 1996 seeing an opportunity they bought the school from the previous owners, changed its name slightly and moved to its next location at 8 Commerce St.
At that time Worldwide School had about 40-60 students. Not long after they bought they school there were 2 major negative events. One was the 1997 Asian currency crisis and the 1998 Auckland power crisis. For a period the number of students was in the 20’s and Cleve and Maureen, with a very small number of staff, were full time teaching as well as doing their other roles (including cleaning the toilets!).
Through hard work, determination and some positive new relationships with overseas agents Worldwide School survived those events. Then from 1999 through to 2003 they saw massive growth as Worldwide School benefited from the low NZ$ and many new agency contacts all over the world. Student numbers peeked in 2002 at about 335 students.
Recognising the need for diversity Worldwide School marketed early in Europe, South America, French Polynesia and other Asian countries as well as more recently the Middle East. This along with their determination to offer quality and great experiences at reasonable prices saw the reputation of Worldwide School grow very quickly.
From 2003 with a rapidly increasing NZ$, a much larger and more onerous compliance regime established by the then Government as well as a massive increase in competition from newly opened schools saw student numbers drop a lot again. During those years student numbers averaged at around 700 students per year or around 150 students present at any week.
In February 2008 after 12 years at 8 Commerce St, Worldwide School moved to 233 Queen St, The Strand Arcade.
Then in 2014 Worldwide School moved to their current location. 80 Anzac Ave is a 6 floor building that Worldwide School shares with another private provider, Crown Institute. Moving there marked the beginning of another period of growth, where from 2016 Worldwide School had at any one time between 190 -250 students and usually from 25-30 different nationalities.
In 2019 Worldwide School celebrated its 30th birthday.
Then in 2020 the Covid-19 global pandemic hit and New Zealand closed its borders to international visitors from February. Worldwide School survived 2020 although it saw a big drop in student numbers and staff.
With the vaccine for Covid-19 being rolled out from 2021 it is predicted that students should be allowed back in to the country by early 2022 and that the school should grow again.
In September 2021, Maureen and Cleve sold Worldwide School to KIEL a trusted partner who also own and operate the Crown Institute of Studies. The two schools will not be merging but will be working as partners to enhance each other's educational services. Students of WWSE now have access to more training resources and facilities, more options for further studies (vocational qualifications or pathways to university studies) and employment opportunities.