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.
“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.