When will our language courses start again?
On Monday 22nd February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson published the UK government's 'roadmap to freedom'. Its stages are measured in four distinct steps.
In case you missed it, here are the steps laid out by the UK government and how the reopening of Language Tree fits into the structure.
Here you can see Steps 1 & 2 of the UK government plan:
Although, this shows that all schools and colleges will reopen from Monday 8th March, in fact, this doesn’t really apply to our situation as a language school.
The schools and colleges opening from 8th March are predominantly for full-time students aged under 18.
This is the first group the UK government are most keen to get back to normal. Students under 18 in full-time education have been some of the hardest hit in terms of losing their normal education and social routines. It is vital that this group is the first group to go back.
Looking at some of the detail in the government blog post below, it is clear that our language school is not part of this group...
So, when will Language Tree open?
One of the difficulties we have in our sector is that language schools - and adult education in general - are rarely mentioned by the UK government when setting the various Covid-19 regulations.
However, in the article above, there is mention of ‘independent education providers’ alongside university providers. In this blog, the government state that during March they will review the situation for the return of ‘all other students’.
On this basis, depending on the outcome of the government review, we could potentially reopen our face to face classes from Monday 12th April after the Easter holidays.
While this timeline may still seem a bit vague and frustrating, by the later steps along the footpath, there are some really clear changes at Step 3 and 4 where we can feel completely assured that our classes will be able to restart.
Looking at the second half of the plan from the government below, at Step 3, from Monday 17th May, it is clear that indoor adult social contact is permitted for groups of up to 6 people!
It was on the basis of the indoor 'Rule of Six' that we were able to run our classes last year in between the lockdowns. We feel completely assured that once we reach this step we will definitely be able to open our doors to welcome our students back into the classroom :)
So there we have it, we can definitely look forward to being back in the classroom from Monday 17th May.
Perhaps before, but that will depend on the government review during March.
Of course whether we reopen in April or May, all our Covid-secure measures will stay in place.
For example, everyone will still need to wear a face mask at all times during their time in the school. We will also continue to have reduced class numbers and all students will need to sign up to our Covid-secure declaration so we know we’re all following the same rules at the school.
Will you run your UK summer school programme in 2021?
Looking ahead to, Step 4, the final step on the footpath due to be introduced from Monday 21st June, it looks like our patience will have been worthwhile.
Based on this timeline, at Step 4 we can look forward to a real summer in Cornwall this year!
At this step, nearly all our freedoms will have been restored and we can look forward to providing our students our exciting blend of Language, Culture & Adventure this summer.
Of course for summer 2021 (and beyond), we will be building back slowly and carefully so all our students and the organisations we work with in Cornwall can feel safe and secure while enjoying one of our amazing courses.
We really hope you would like to join us!
Language Tree: Steps to reopening