Kickstarting UK ELT after Covid-19: our policy position paper
English UK's policy position paper, published in July 2020, explains how the government can help kickstart the UK ELT sector after Covid-19. It outlines 14 steps which would help the industry to survive, compete and thrive.
UK ELT was hit earlier by the Covid-19 crisis than other sectors and we only expect a moderate level of recovery in confidence among student travellers and their families in 2021.
We are also facing potential disruption – the perfect storm – from the unintended consequences of immigration changes coming in January 2021. Our asks of Government are focused and targeted. They will help UK ELT to weather this storm, kickstart recovery and retain our position as the number one global destination for students to learn English.
English UK is asking the Government to:
Help UK ELT survive with short and medium term business support:
- Provide ongoing support for ELT, including an extended furlough scheme for staff until March 2021
- Extend business rates holiday and associated grants to ELT
Help UK ELT compete with a supportive immigration system:
- Extend visa validity periods for those unable to travel during the pandemic
- Keep ID-card travel for under-18 EU/ EEA/Swiss group travel
- Enable students already studying in the UK to apply for a new visa for further study without leaving the country
- Require all English language providers to be accredited and recognise Accreditation UK on all visa routes
- Restore work rights of up to 20 hours a week for adult students on ELT courses with accredited providers
- Support ELT centres to recruit the qualified seasonal staff they need
Help UK ELT thrive with promotion on a national scale:
- Drive and measure success by the inclusion of a growth target for UK ELT in the International Education Strategy
- Increase government support for the Study UK campaign
- Increase available financial support for education exporters
- Offer innovation and enterprise grants to UK ELT
- Maintain Erasmus+ relationships and funding while the Government negotiates with the EU
Impact of Covid-19 on the UK ELT sector
Our impact report in June 2020 showed a sector loss of more than half a billion pounds for the first three quarters of 2020.
This does not include the wider effects of the loss of students' leisure spending on the UK economy and employment. Almost all seasonal staff - 46% of ELT centre employees - have been released, while 37% have been furloughed and 10% put on reduced hours or pay. Just 7% continued working as usual.
English UK's campaigning work
English UK is the national association of accredited English language centres in the UK. Campaigning on behalf of the English language teaching industry is a key focus of our work.