The extent of the financial hit to UK ELT has been calculated for the first time in research done by English UK among its member centres.
The research, carried out by Bonard in June, shows a £257m loss among the 145 participating centres. Extrapolating that figure to the entire membership equates to a loss of more than half a billion pounds for the first three quarters of 2020.
This represents the effect on the ELT centres only, and not the wider effects of the loss of students' leisure spending on the UK economy and employment.
The report, Impacts of the Covid-19 Outbreak on the English Language Teaching Sector in the UK, also shows the impact on jobs. 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.
Jodie Gray, interim chief executive of English UK, said the figures confirmed what those in the industry had feared:
"We all knew how hard ELT has been hit by this, but it is shocking to see the proof. We needed to be able to prove the extent of the damage in order to make our case to Government that our industry is a special case, and needs support now, not only with rates relief and extended furlough, but with support for our marketing and an immigration policy which understands our needs."
We commissioned this report from Bonard to inform our continuing government lobbying, including in our policy paper, Teaching English to the world: how the government can help kickstart UK ELT after Covid-19.
We know completing the research wasn't easy for our members, particularly because the requirements were complex and centres were operating with a skeleton staff, and we are really grateful for their help."