English-language schools shouldn't help facilitate illegal immigration
The Government is finally attempting to clampdown on rogue English-language schools by introducing a raft of new regulations. The recent review of the language school sector made the Department of Justice conclude that while most colleges were reputable educators, others acted as "little more than visa factories, willing to engage in the outright falsification of attendance records". The highly irregular activities of some language schools have been apparent for years - and yet successive governments chose largely to ignore them. The Government reforms are designed to protect our shaky reputation in the sector.
But nobody is talking about how many illegal migrant workers have disappeared into the undergrowth from the bogus schools we permitted.
The new rules include reducing the number of courses offering visas to overseas students and all English-language programmes will have to prove they meet acceptable standards. There are also plans to protect students' payments to avoid them being left out of pocket if a school goes out of business and ownership of a school will need to be fully disclosed. More than 16 English-language schools have closed here over the past year.