MPs pledge support for action on business rates relief
26 March 2021

MPs pledge support for action on business rates relief

On Wednesday 24 March 2021 we hosted a productive roundtable discussion with MPs.

We were joined by two member centres - Val Hennessy of International House Bristol and James Herbertson of Bayswater Education – who gave a moving testimony of the continuing effects of Covid-19 restrictions on their businesses, and on ELT jobs and the suppliers they support.

Our request to MPs was a simple one - that UK English language schools need business rates relief to help them avoid insolvency, and for this to happen across all local authorities we need UK ELT providers to be included in government guidance on the properties eligible for the relief.

The request was positively received, and we discussed a number of strategies that we have already started to action:

  • Conor Burns MP put in for an Adjournment Debate on the future of ELT - this is now scheduled for Thursday 15 April 2021.
  • MPs agreed to sign a letter addressed to BEIS, MHCLG and the Treasury stating that current discretionary awards do not go far enough to avert disaster for our sector and that we need the relief now - for both 2020/21 and 2021/22. This letter will be shared with a wider group of MPs to increase impact.
  • MPs will write to the chair of the BEIS Select Committee asking for an inquiry into the level and effectiveness of Covid-19 support for the ELT sector.
  • MPs will send a delegation to government to further press for this support. This will most likely take the form of a further roundtable event with one or more government ministers present.

Our chief executive, Jodie Gray commented: 'This was an unrivalled opportunity for English UK and its member representatives to explain the devastating impact of the Covid-19 restrictions allied to a lack of definite government support. The MPs attending really understood the situation and pledged to do all in their power to help our industry bounce back and thrive.'

MPs represented at the roundtable:

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