The College derives its name from Carfax, the ancient crossroads at the very centre of Oxford. At this site the Carfax Conduit once stood, supplying the city with drinking water from nearby hills. Carfax College was originally located within a stone’s throw of the crossroads and adopted the image of the Conduit as its emblem. The name and association have been retained ever since.
Carfax College is a part of the Carfax Education group, which offers various other education-related services, including private tuition in London and throughout the world, school placement consultancy, and guardianship for overseas pupils at British boarding schools.
The College was originally known as Carfax Tutorial Establishment and still retains this name for formal purposes. In 2015 a decision was made to adopt the simpler title, Carfax College, in reflection of the fact that a significant number of pupils were now following full-time GCSE and A level courses, with the benefit of many of the academic and social structures which one would expect to find in a school or college. Nevertheless, the College remains true to its founding principles in offering a highly individualized, tutorial-based approach to teaching and learning.
Carfax Tutorial Establishment is registered as an independent boarding school by the Department for Education in England. The College has undergone multiple successful inspections by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), most recently in 2015; is a registered centre for all the major UK examination boards; is a licensed sponsor under Tier 4 of the UKVI's Points Based System; is a member of the Council for Independent Further Education (CIFE) and of Study UK; and is a founding member of the Oxford Consortium of Independent Tutorial Colleges.