The History of ESO

ESO's History

The School was founded in Paris in 1951 as Ecole Française d’Ostéopathie (EFO) and moved to England in 1965. Initially based in London, the EFO relocated to Kent in 1971 where it first operated from premises close to Maidstone town centre. In 1974, due to student demand in the UK, a new full-time, English speaking programme was created. The School was incorporated as a registered charity trading as the European School of Osteopathy/ Ecole Européenne d’Ostéopathie and on 1st October 1974 its first four-year full-time diploma began. The popularity of the course and consequential increase in student numbers meant that it outgrew its premises and in 1996 it purchased the Boxley House campus, which is now the main academic and administrative site. The original Maidstone site accommodates the School’s dedicated teaching clinic, where students offer osteopathic treatment to the public.

Osteopathic Teaching

The osteopathic teaching at the ESO reflects a broad spectrum of the subject. The practical philosophies of all the great osteopaths are integrated into the curriculum, with particular emphasis on the fundamentals laid down by Dr Andrew Taylor Still and complemented by progressive consideration of structural, cranial and visceral techniques.


ESO's Timeline

  • i1951 - The Ecole Française d’Osteopathie (EFO) was founded in Paris
  • 1965 - With the invaluable support of Tom Dummer and Margery Bloomfield, EFO moves to London and is registered as part of the BCNO (BCOM) charity. The EFO start to use use the John Wernham (Maidstone Osteopathic Clinic) in Maidstone for overflow seminars.
  • 1971 - EFO changes its name to Entente Européenne des Ostéopathes (EEO) to reflect diversity of student body
  • 1971 - John Wernham agrees EEO can hold all its seminars in Maidstone and he buys 28 Tonbridge Road to accommodate the EEO.
  • 1974 - The School is incorporated as a separate charity – Osteopathic Education & Research (trading as ESO).
  • 1974 - Full-time English speaking Diploma course begins in the October.  Diploma and part-time French course operate concurrently
  • 1976 - Clinical training for ESO Diploma students provided at Maidstone Osteopathic Clinic – the ESO is resident at 28 Tonbridge Road
  • 1978 - Increase in student numbers means the ESO outgrows premises at 28 Tonbridge Road and the ESO buys 104 Tonbridge Road
  • 1979 - ESO moves into premises at 104 Tonbridge Road in April 1979 - this is used for lectures, with clinical experience provided through the Maidstone Osteopathic Clinic
  • 1983 - The General Council and Register of Osteopaths announces accreditation of the ESO’s 4-year diploma course
  • 1983 -Purpose built clinic facilities constructed in the grounds of 104 Tonbridge Road – all patient treatments/clinical experience provided at 104 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone
  • 1986 - World Health Organisation opens the ESO Teaching Clinic
  • 1989 - Children’s Clinic opens.  Department of Postgraduate Studies begins
  • 1992 - Last graduates of the part-time French course receive their diplomas
  • 1993 - Full-time programme validated by University of Wales as BSc in Osteopathy
  • 1996 - ESO buys Boxley House, which acts its academic site with clinical experience provided at 104 Tonbridge Road
  • 1997 -First international Russian cohort graduate from the ESO
  • 2011 - Establishment of the Barefoot Club a student-run society that arranges external/international speakers from the osteopathic profession
  • 2014 -The Diploma in Osteopathy (Denmark) is launched
  • 2016  - Research department offers the wider community access to Stability and Balance Exercise Classes for the less mobile
  • 2016  - ESO climbing society affiliated with local centre The Climbing Experience, offering ESO discount
  • 2017 - Princess Eugenie becomes the Royal Patron of ESO
  • 2020  - ESO adapts to the Covid-19 pandemic and moves teaching and patient consultations online
  • 2021 - ESO merges with the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) under the BCNO Group
  • 2022 -  BCNO Group introduces a BSc (Hons) Osteopathy enabling students to work and study at the same time
  • 2023 - Local MP and Minister of State for Social Care, Helen Whately MP visits Boxley House, ESO


ESO Today

In September 2021, the European School of Osteopathy joined together with the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) as part of the BCNO Group – the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy. These internationally recognised osteopathic institutions have come together to be the leading osteopathic educational institution and the first choice for those looking to study Osteopathy.