Student complaints procedure

Complaints against English UK language centres are rare. But we can help if things do go wrong.

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English UK students complaints procedure

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Complaints against English UK member centres related to the Covid-19 pandemic

The scale of the Covid-19 outbreak and its impact on the UK ELT sector is unprecedented. We understand that many students will be unable to continue or begin their courses in the UK as planned.

This is extremely disappointing for everybody concerned. However, our number one priority at English UK is always the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and local communities.

This situation will lead to discussions between students and member centres in order to find resolutions that everyone is happy with. These resolutions might include online alternatives or postponing courses in the UK. We encourage open, clear communication and understanding on all sides.

English UK members uphold the highest possible ethical standards under the most difficult of circumstances. We have also sought advice from UK travel lawyers on behalf of our members.

If you are still unhappy after talking to your centre, you can email English UK and explain your problem. We will follow our student complaints procedure, which is ultimately presided over by an independent Ombudsman.

For more information, contact complaints@englishuk.com.

Start by talking to your English UK centre

If you are studying English at an English UK member centre, there is a system for dealing with complaints.

You must start by talking to someone at your centre. Find out who to talk to by checking the student handbook or asking at reception. Talking to a member of staff is the best way to sort out most problems. 

If you still have a problem, contact English UK.

If you are still unhappy after talking to your centre, you can email English UK and explain your problem. We will talk to you and your English language centre to try to find a solution that everyone is happy with. Most complaints are solved at this stage.

Please write your email in English and send it to complaints@englishuk.com. The email must be sent by you or your family, not your agent.

What if the problem has not been solved?

If you feel the problem has not been solved, we will send your complaint to an independent person called an ombudsman.

The ombudsman will listen to both sides and decide what should happen. They will look at all the information about your complaint, including everything you and your centre have written to each other about it. They may also ask you and your centre some questions.

Your language centre must act on what the ombudsman says.

You can use this complaint system if you are studying English at an English UK member centre (with very rare exceptions). If you are on a different course at a university or college, you will need to follow their procedures.

Who can complain?

If you are not studying English at an English UK member centre, you cannot use this complaints system. You will have to ask what to do at your school, college or university.

In very rare cases, you may be studying on an English course at an English UK member centre which is not accredited. If so, you will not be able to use this complaints system.

We usually only act on complaints from individual students.

We can take complaints from agents if a booked group has experienced a problem, but we have the right to ask for complaints from individual students instead. This might be because the complaints of the group are too varied to be treated as one issue.

When can agents complain on behalf of students?

We will accept complaints from agents for a group if:

  • The agent has written permission from the students or their parents/next of kin to complain
  • The complaint is about the group's experience at the language centre, and is about something like accommodation, tuition, transport or activities. Other types of complaint, such as visa refunds, must be made by the individuals who are affected.

The agent can only ask for compensation for the students affected.

For more details, download our student complaints procedure information sheet.