Another ELT school shuts down in Ireland… but a positive outcome
“One student had paid almost €6,000 for both herself and her son for a six-month course, which she thought she had lost”
As reported in The PIE News, LanLearn, an English language school located in Ireland recently closed its doors affecting approximately 150 International students. The closure followed an inspection in January by the Department of Justice and Equality where a number of irregularities were discovered.
A school closure is inevitably very distressing for students who may be unaware of their rights in such circumstances. One Brazilian student affected by the closure had paid almost €6,000 for both herself and her son for a six-month course which she thought she had lost.
Thankfully, LanLearn had Enrolled Learner Protection insurance in place, which is a unique and innovative insurance policy that protects students in the event of an unforeseen school closure. Since 2016, it is a statutory requirement in Ireland to have a “Learner Protection” arrangement in place for students and StudyandProtect’s insurance offers a comprehensive solution for students and their agents.
The overall aim here was to minimise the disruption to the students at what can, of course, be a very stressful and confusing time. The Irish Council for International Students was able to work with StudyandProtect to ensure that students affected by the closure got all the support they needed.
StudyandProtect held a student support conference for all students affected within 48 hours of LanLearn closing their doors, with all students receiving confirmation of their new school within two working days.
“ICOS was very pleased to work with StudyandProtect to ensure that students affected by the closure got all the support they needed… they reacted quickly and dealt sympathetically with the students” – director of ICOS Sheila Power
The manner in which this school closure has been handled is a stark contrast to the spate of closures which occurred in Ireland between 2014 and 2015, where approximately 16 Language Schools closed leaving thousands of international students out of pocket and tarnishing the reputation of Ireland as an English language training destination. These closures forced a number of student agencies into liquidation, with many located in Brazil facing prosecution.
The new requirements implemented by the Department of Justice in Ireland have ensured there is enhanced protection for students coupled with strict measures for schools/colleges. The timing of these changes couldn’t be better as Ireland’s ELT sector is currently experiencing substantial growth which is showing no signs of decline with Brexit on the horizon.
“We would advise all students or agencies placing students into schools around the world to ensure that there is a sufficient protective system in place in the event of a school closure”
.With course fees at an all-time high, it has never been more necessary to have Enrolled Learner Protection insurance in place.
About the author: Chris Anako is head of the Education Department at insurance provider StudyandProtect