Etherton Education – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, 28 May 2020
- Etherton Summer Courses under review: final decision to be made on 08 June 2020
- Please do not send any further payments yet
- Transfer to a 2021 course or 100% refunds in the event of cancellation
- Online Pre-GCSE and Pre-A-Level pathway courses to come
We hope this update finds you well during these continued difficult and uncertain times. We firstly want to send our best wishes out to you, your teams and your families. We hope you are all keeping well and coping with the current situation.
Etherton Education is all set up with a team working remotely away from our main head office. Please rest assured every email address is being monitored and we will respond to you as soon as we can.
Following our last Coronavirus (COVID-19) update on 29 April, we wanted to update you again on Etherton Education’s plans for the summer of 2020 and beyond.
At present, we are still keeping open the possibility of running some form of summer course. The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly, and we are monitoring the UK Government announcements every day.
However, the recent introduction of quarantine from 08 June 2020 is yet another problem for international students coming to the UK, and the outlook for our summer courses is becoming more difficult.
As a result, we ask all registered students NOT to send us any further payments, or to book air tickets yet. If we do have to cancel the 2020 summer courses, you will be able to transfer to a 2021 with 100% of the fees already paid, or we will pay 100% refunds and bank charges.
As I outlined in my last update, we are still awaiting several things to happen before we are able to run our courses this year. Below is an update on each of the stages we listed previously which need to be reached in order for our courses to take place:
1, Has the UK Government lifted the lock-down here in the UK?
The lock-down here in England has entered into a gradual easing plan. People are allowed to return to work where their sector has been reopened and they cannot work at home, such as construction. The next phase is for some non-essential shops to re-open next week followed by others in July.
2, Are UK Schools, both state and independent, able to re-open?
UK schools have now been advised they can start to welcome back students from the 01 June. This is being done on a phased return with just a couple of years starting first. A full list of guidance has been published by the Department of Education which can be viewed publicly on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june They are looking at continuing the phased return into September.
3, Has English UK confirmed that English Language Schools are able to re-open?
This has NOT yet been announced. This means that we cannot run our summer courses unless we receive a clear announcement from English UK that it is permitted. We do not know when this might come.
4, Are UK Visa Application Centres open and running smoothly?
The main centre has still not re-opened and as yet we do not have a date. We understand that visa centres in other countries are closed, and visas will probably be delayed.
5, Is international air travel back to normal?
This depends on the airlines as well as Government, but clearly things are not back to normal yet.
In addition, the Government has announced that anyone coming into the UK from abroad would need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, starting on 08 June 2020. The Government announcement on quarantine included these words:
“People should use personal transport, such as a car, to travel to their accommodation where possible. Once they arrive there, they should not leave their accommodation for 14 days.
This means that they should not go to work, school, or public areas, or use public transport or taxis. They should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential support. They should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others.”
You can view the full announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-announces-new-public-health-measures-for-all-uk-arrivals
The Government has said that more details will be announced, so perhaps this will clarify the situation. The Quarantine regulations will be reviewed every 3 weeks.
As you can see, there are still unfortunately many obstacles in our way before we could confidently run a physical summer course in 2020.
Transfers and Refunds
For students who are already booked and have paid a deposit / full fees, we have extended our policy on this until the next update on 08 June 2020. This enables families to continue monitoring the situation without having to make a decision before all the facts are known. If a student does wish to withdraw, we are offering the following options:
- To transfer their full deposit to any dates / course in 2021 and retain the same price of the course as 2020.
- To receive a full 100% refund (our standard admin fee of £200.00 has been waived in light of the situation). We will also do our best to pay the bank charges, if the bank website allows us to do so.
We are also asking for no more payments to be made just yet. We will be in contact again on the 08 June 2020 to advise further on this. We hope by this date there will be a lot more clarity surrounding the areas which are still outstanding, such as the quarantine and international travel.
Online pathway Pre-GCSE and Pre-A-Level courses
We are now working on online courses for this summer as well. These will be academic courses for international students who are interested in coming to UK schools in the future, or who want to study for GCSEs or A-Levels in English in any country. They will focus on the English language you need to study, and on the study skills which will help you.
In our normal summer courses, one outstanding feature is the high levels of care and contact our students have with native speakers of English: our teachers and our Student Hosts. Our online courses will also have this feature, to keep students motivated and to ensure a quality learning environment.
We look forward to announcing more details of these courses in the next few weeks. This will be an exciting development for us and will enable more students around the world to participate in an Etherton Education course.
If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact our admissions team. Click HERE to send them an email directly.
We very much hope the situation continues to improve worldwide and our thoughts are with all of those affected by this.
Stay well and stay safe.
Director, Etherton Education
Article, 28 May 2020.
Next review by 08 June 2020.