A trio of UK school closures

30 October, 2015

Several UK-based language school providers have ceased trading this week impacting international students and the wider ELT community.

The notices of closure on the schools' websites

According to AccountancyAge Graham Randall and Mark Roach from Quantuma, an insolvency practice, were appointed joint liquidators of Ciris Language School Ltd, which traded as inlingua Cardiff, on 21 October 2015.

The school, which was a member of language school association English UK, cited falling student numbers owing to stricter rules on student visas imposed by UK government.

“With falling student numbers resulting from changes in visa requirements and the recent illness of the managing director, the company was forced to consider its options,” confirmed Graham Randall at Quantuma.

“The directors made the difficult decision to close the school as trading showed no signs of immediate improvement and the joint liquidators are taking all possible steps to mitigate losses to students and we are seeking to maximise recoveries for the benefit of all creditors,” he added.

At the time of closure, inlingua Cardiff had just seven students. Huan Japes, Deputy Chief Executive (Professional Services) at English UK, told StudyTravel Magazine, “Other English UK member schools in Cardiff have rallied round and offered them their remaining tuition for free, plus we have helped four of the students by paying their accommodation fees through the SESF [Student Emergency Support Fund].”

Meanwhile, Callan Education Group has closed the Callan School of English on London’s Oxford Street with immediate effect. The school was founded by Robin Callan, creator of the Callan Method of teaching English as a foreign language, which is used by language schools all over the world.

A statement on the school website said: “London has, over the last few years, become an increasingly expensive city to visit – costs of travel and accommodation are now some of the highest anywhere in the world. As a result, the language learning market in London has fallen significantly. This, combined with an ever increasing requirement to offer students a more flexible study programme, means that the very large school in central London, and the necessarily more rigid timetabling, is no longer appropriate. Callan Education Group is therefore closing the Callan School in Oxford Street with immediate effect.”

The website urged students that have already paid for lessons using a credit card to contact their card providers without delay to apply for a full refund.

It added, “Please be entirely assured that the other trading Callan group companies are unaffected. We remain committed to providing excellent service and exciting new Callan products to schools and students using the Callan Method throughout the world.”

Bournemouth-based Anglo European School of English, a language school that has been in operation since 1971, has also ceased trading. An agreement with Beet Language Centre in Bournemouth means that all remaining Anglo European students will complete their programme there. Japes confirmed that English UK will provide assistance with accommodation fees via the SESF.  

inlingua Cardiff, Anglo European School of English and Callan School of English join the growing list of UK operators that have bowed out of the ELT industry this year including Crest Schools of English, Leicester Square School of English and A2Z School of English, which had branches in London and Manchester.

In our Market Analysis feature on the UK in the May 2015 issue of StudyTravel Magazine  CEO of English UK, Eddie Buyers, noted that UK government policy had negatively impacted member schools in 2014, adding, “The ELT industry is affected far more than most by politics and international issues.”

Nicola Hancox


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