Student emergency support

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Student Emergency Support scheme

The Student Emergency Support (SES) scheme offers protection to students who study at a UK English language centre with British Council accreditation. The SES scheme is an integral part of the Accreditation UK scheme

Accredited English language centres rarely close down, but if they do the scheme minimises the impact on students by finding them an alternative course at another accredited centre at no extra cost. It may also provide limited accommodation support under certain circumstances.

English UK administers the scheme on behalf of all British Council-accredited centres.

If a centre closes unexpectedly without appropriate arrangements for its current students, English UK liaises with all British Council-accredited centres to place those affected on the nearest equivalent English language course.

By protecting students from closures, the SES scheme helps protect the reputation of our sector among students, parents and agents. It is an integral element of Accreditation UK: all British Council-accredited centres are part of the scheme.

Which students can access support?

The scheme supports students who are already in the UK studying at a British Council-accredited centre. We also try to help those who have paid for a course due to begin within two weeks of the closure. 

Where students have paid for accommodation through their language centre, the scheme may provide limited financial assistance, usually for up to two weeks. 

How is the scheme funded?

All British Council-accredited ELT centres are part of the SES scheme.

English UK members contribute to the scheme through membership fees, making SES one of the benefits of membership. Accreditation UK centres which are not English UK members pay an annual contribution scaled according to their size. 

SES scheme costs include English UK staffing resources, as well as emergency accommodation if required. 

The scheme does not reimburse fees to students or centres taking in those students whose courses have terminated unexpectedly.

Information for affected students