Tell us a bit about your role and how it supports the business?
As Founder/MD, I’m ultimately responsible for all the decisions, good and bad – though as I now have over fifteen years’ experience in language-school management, hopefully the good far outnumber the bad!
If you were not working in this sector what other industry would you have pursued a career in?
I moved into the language-school sector following a series of roles in major international hotel groups, where the hard business skills involved were aimed ensuring our guests had the best possible experience, on-budget and on-time – immediately transferable to running a school.
What are the emerging trends within your sector and have these changed since Covid-19?
Some existing trends, such as adults choosing to learn online, have been accelerated by Covid-19, and we are seeing evidence of the pre-Covid trend towards language-focused ‘experiences’ rather than traditional courses re-emerge strongly since travel re-started.
What is coming up for your company in the next 12/18 months?
Over the next two years we’ll be growing our Family Summer School offer – a programme we developed before Covid to meet the demand from families wanting a language-focused holiday.
We’re also looking to enhance our study-holiday programme for high-school students with a series of tailored, interactive courses looking at current topics, such as climate change and human rights.
As an association what one thing do you think we have done that has made a real difference to our members during the crisis?
BETA have always been a great support to our sector – especially during the pandemic – with constantly shifting sands, BETA’s weekly round-ups proved invaluable.
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our industry, what is the one thing that you have learnt personally or professionally during this time?
We quickly learned to be super-flexible, doing our best to accommodate the needs of staff, students, suppliers, agent-partners – only by working together could we stand any chance of mitigating the terrible situation we all found ourselves in.
What are your crystal ball forecasts for the period ahead and how quickly do you think your business can recover from the pandemic?
Based on the strong interest we’ve seen since Easter, we would hope to be back on track by the end of Summer 2023.
What would you say our biggest challenges and opportunities are as an industry currently?
Challenges include fragile customer confidence, and particularly the world economic downturn. However, while money may be tighter, many people look to improve their, or their children’s, English as a passport to a better career.
Find out more about BETA member EngXcel here
Published 01 August 2022