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UK: Language in London closes suddenly

Language in London, one of the three English language schools that made up Language in Group in the UK and Ireland, has closed suddenly. Some 40 students are affected but will be protected via an English UK scheme to place them on an equivalent course at no additional cost.

The school's website alerts visitors that the two other schools in the group will be rebranded

“My big regret is that we didn’t know beforehand, so I couldn’t take steps to alleviate the situation for the students or agents”

The closure on Friday, September 16 came as a shock to the industry, including to the two remaining schools in the group, in Totnes in the south of England and in Dublin.

“This came very much out of the blue”

There had reportedly been negotiations with a potential buyer last week, but these negotiations fell through on Thursday, at which point the school went into liquidation.

Margie Barker, director of Language in Totnes and Language in Group, told The PIE News that she heard about the closure of the London school with “huge shock and great sadness” from English UK on Friday.

“This came very much out of the blue,” she said. “It was as big a shock to me as anyone else in the industry.”

Language in London’s owner and director, Stuart Rubinstein, had reportedly been representing the school at workshops as recently as the beginning of this month.

“I guess like the rest of us, all the English UK schools, my big regret is just that we didn’t know beforehand, so I couldn’t take steps to alleviate the situation for the students or the agents,” added Barker.

“It was a shock to us,” echoed Huan Japes, deputy chief executive – professional services at English UK, which was notified of the closure on Friday afternoon.

“We moved as swiftly as we could and we’ve now started to place the students in schools,” he said.

The central London school had undergone extensive remodelling in the last 5 years. Photo: Language in London.

The central London school had undergone extensive remodelling in the last 5 years. Photo: Language in London.

“Language in London have been helpful in providing us with a list of students and the amount they have paid for in terms of their weeks of courses.

“Members are rallying round to help – [the student protection scheme relies] on member goodwill to be able to take on students where they’re able to, so we’re very grateful that many have come forward.”

The Totnes and Dublin schools are “continuing with business as usual”, according to a statement on Language in Group’s website.

They will be rebranded as Totnes School of English and Sandycove School of English respectively, with new websites to be published soon.

The announcement marks the latest in a string of closures of English language schools in the UK over the last two years, underlining tough trading conditions in the sector.

The PIE News has reached out to Language in London for comment.

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One Response to UK: Language in London closes suddenly

  1. That is sad – however, the English UK student protections scheme didnt fully rely, as you write your article. We have had 2 students that were thrown out of their student residence (Host International – A English UK member !!!!) immediately after the closure and I dont understand why English UK allowed this to happen, we could have found a solution together but the students were foreced to leave and unfortunately had to go back home. We also dont understand how the student residence provider could react like that, after knowing that Language In was an English UK member and without even double checking. In the middle of their stay, the students were not allowed to stay anymore in the residence. Host International – English UK member (…!!..) reacted not as expected from an English UK member – So English UK and English UK schools in London watch out for this unserious provider that puts a big shadow on the English UK brand here in Switzerland. I dont know how English UK are going to solve this situation with Host International – whats the point of them being an English UK member??

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