Complaints procedure

English UK's student complaints procedure

As a minimum requirement, information about the procedures should be included in brochures, on websites, and on posters displayed in student areas.

If a student has a complaint about their study centre, they must start by outlining the problem to a member of staff at their study centre, and then follow the internal procedure. If the student is still not satisfied, he or she can then move on to the external complaints procedure.

Complaints procedures for students in privately-owned centres

Complaints against English UK members by students are rare, but we want them to be handled thoroughly, promptly and impartially.

Before we consider a complaint, the student must have exhausted the procedure at the member centre without a satisfactory outcome. Students should start by discussing the complaint with a suitable senior member of staff, such as the director of studies for academic problems or the welfare officer for non-academic issues.

Centres should make it clear to students how to complain: we suggest a poster with the following wording be placed in student areas.

English UK is the world's leading language teaching association and a guarantee of high quality and good service. Students can appeal to English UK if they are dissatisfied with the way a centre deals with a complaint. 

Any complaint made to English UK will initially be referred to the complaints administrator or the Chief Executive and we will attempt to mediate in the first instance. If this does not work, the complaint is then referred to our independent Ombudsman, whose ruling is binding on member centres.

It is important to remember that:

  • The student must have exhausted the centre's internal complaints procedure
  • External complaints are time-limited: under English UK rules, they must be made within six months of the start of the course or when the problem occurred
  • The complaint must be made in writing, in case it has to be referred to the independent Ombudsman
  • We can only investigate complaints covered by the centre's accreditation with English UK: ie, those of students on English language courses. Those on CELTA teacher-training courses, for instance, are not covered.

An information sheet on the complaints procedure and an A2 poster are available to members. Email to request copies of the poster.

Complaints procedure: state sector member centres

As with students at privately-owned centres, students should start with the centre's internal complaints process. If the problem is not resolved, and the complaint is about an English language course, the student should contact English UK.

Where the complaint relates to other issues, students can approach either the Education and Skills Funding Agency or the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for student complaints.