16 years of precarious work in English language schools caused me to develop anxiety

Posted in Life on December 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“For 16 years I was a precarious worker. I was an experienced English language teacher but in all that time I never had a permanent contract. I never had sick pay, or holiday pay, unless it was ‘rolled into’ my hourly rate of pay. I never had guaranteed hours of work and for 16 years I didn’t get a pay rise …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 8 December]

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Language Schools Closures

Posted in Governance and administration on December 7th, 2018 by steve

IrelandRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the protections available to students and staff when an English language training school faces financial difficulty in view of media reports (details supplied) and in view of the significant budget that has been set aside to market Ireland as a destination for English language training; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 6 December]

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Department of Justice accused of failing to keep proper oversight on English language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Justice has been accused of failing to keep proper oversight on English language schools as up to 10 Mongolian students face losses of more than €5,000 each in fees paid upfront to a Dublin college. They look unlikely to be refunded after paying the equivalent of almost two years’ salary in Mongolia to attend English language courses at Grafton College, which went into liquidation on Monday …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 December]

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English Language ‘Visa Factories’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Fine Gael Senator Anthony Lawlor has said that more monitoring and stronger regulation is needed in the privately delivered English language sector. Disingenuous schools are using the current student visa rules for non-EEA Nationals to setup unsustainable businesses. The standard visa for pursuing an English language programme on the Interim list of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) is 8 months allowing students work up to 20hrs per week and up to 40hrs during the summer months …” (more)

[Senator Anthony Lawlor, 6 December]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor calls for stronger employment protections for teachers in the English language training sector

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Speaking in the Seanad today the Minister for Higher Education, Minister Mitchell O’Connor highlighted that the situation at Grafton College Dublin, exposed weaknesses in the availability of fair terms and conditions of employment in areas of the English language training sector. Minister Mitchell O’Connor was speaking at Committee Stage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Amendment) Bill …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 5 December]

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Lunchtime rally at Dublin language school where staff not paid

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More than a dozen teachers and staff from the Grafton College English language school have ended their overnight occupation of the building in Portobello in south Dublin. Union representatives will hold a rally on Tuesday at 12.30pm in solidarity with the teachers at the school …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Sarah Burns and Brian Hutton, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Grafton College teachers ‘resolute’ over unpaid wages after being locked out of building

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A group of teachers who had been occupying an English school in Dublin since last night have been locked out of the building. The Portobello school went into liquidation yesterday leaving staff without a job and owed one month’s pay …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 4 December]

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Losses at Grafton College firm increased by €400,000 last year

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The company that operates Grafton College in Dublin recorded a loss of €507,464 last year, having lost €99,651 in 2016, according to its accounts. The company is owned by a housewife in London who shares an address there with one of its directors, according to Irish and UK company records …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Staff unpaid as fears rise over college’s fate

Posted in Governance and administration on December 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Up to 28 staff at a language school have not been paid amid fears it has closed down. The union representing some of the teachers at Grafton College in Portobello, Dublin appealed to the Department of Education to step in and ‘not to wash its hands of this’ just weeks before Christmas …” (more)

[Laura Lynott, Independent, 3 December]

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Language school in Limerick allegedly ‘sold for €100 to man on student visa’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An English language school in Limerick that shut suddenly this month after it lost its accreditation was allegedly sold last year for €100 to a man who spoke ‘little or no English’ while he was in Ireland on a student visa …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Limerick Leader, 29 March]


The State has been accused of ‘anti-competitive’ promotion of some language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on January 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A group that represents private language colleges in Ireland has filed a complaint with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for unfairly promoting certain schools …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 21 January]


Language Schools

Posted in Governance and administration on July 8th, 2017 by steve

IrelandJoan Collins (Dublin South Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that persons in the English language teaching sector experience abuses …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 6 July]

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English language school teachers suffer ’serious deficiencies’ says Unite spokesman

Posted in Teaching on July 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“English Language School teachers have said that they love their job but it is impossible to stay in the sector long term because of a lack of regulation. The Unite trade union is briefing Oireachtas members today on concerns over the industry, where the majority of schools are privately run …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 4 July]

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English language schools: ‘Low-hours contracts, low pay and bogus self-employment’

Posted in Governance and administration on May 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The English language teaching (ELT) sector is booming: over one hundred English language schools employ 1,000+ teachers, and the most lucrative schools are being eyed for takeover by multinationals, and even Russian billionaires …” (more)

[Roy Hassey, The Journal.ie, 19 May]

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How to strangle an export industry

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Brexit, now that is is really happening, is going to cause a major strain on this country. In that context, and accepting that we don’t want to steal their boots while the body is still warm, it behooves Ireland to take every opportunity presented to take business from the UK …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 10 April]

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Record numbers of foreign students studying English in Ireland

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Record numbers of international students are studying English in Ireland, according to the latest figures.Last year saw an 11% increase in language students, despite recent school closures. A total of 119,000 students learned English in Ireland in 2016, up by 11,871 on the previous year …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 29 March]

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Only 10 inspections of English language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Only 10 inspections have been carried out on English language schools despite promises of closer scrutiny following multiple closures and the disappearance of students’ money. A new quality assurance scheme, the International Education Mark, another promise in the wake of the scandal, is also delayed; its introduction is now ‘anticipated’ some time in 2018 …” (more)

[Caroline O’Doherty, Irish Examiner, 29 December]


Language school shareholder accused of taking money out of firm

Posted in Legal issues on September 30th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Directors and shareholders of a Dublin-based English language school with 600 students has launched a High Court action aimed at preventing a fellow shareholder from taking money out of the company …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 29 Setpember]


Dublin language school closes suddenly

Posted in Governance and administration on September 6th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A Dublin language school which catered for international students has closed suddenly.Teachers and students arrived at the Dublin School of English on Dublin’s Harcourt Street this morning to find it closed …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 5 September]

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Language student transported cocaine ‘to cover college fees’

Posted in Legal issues on June 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Lucas Lima (25) would have received up to €3,000 for bringing €139,650 of drug in from Spain. An English language student agreed to transport cocaine because he needed money to pay college fees, a court has heard …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 June]

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