ELT centres in the UK suffered a savage financial hit last year, according to research covering 183 providers, conducted by Bonard for ELT industry association English UK.

The industry suffered an estimated revenue loss of £590 million, with 91% of employees affected and more than half losing their jobs. Compared to 2019, student numbers fell by 79% and student weeks by 65%.

The report said: “Taking into account that responding centres represented 52% of all student weeks generated in 2019, it can be estimated that the overall loss in gross revenue (as a direct result of the impact of Covid-19) for all English UK members exceeded £590 million in 2020.”

English UK chief executive Jodie Gray said: “This latest report lays bare the devastation wrought by Covid-19 on a thriving industry full of otherwise viable businesses, and to staff who have been so badly affected. Most of these businesses are on their knees, waiting for a change in travel restrictions which would allow students to return in significant numbers.

“We and our members were bitterly disappointed by the failure of the Budget to officially extend the business rates holiday to ELT centres, and by the possible restriction of grants to businesses which were officially ordered to close. We are redoubling our political lobbying and urging our members to do the same.”

Date published: 16 March 2021

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