Tough times for language schools in Christchurch

11:00 am on 30 March 2011

English language schools in Christchurch say they are struggling to stay in business following a devastating earthquake and expect the situation to get worse before it improves.

Before the quake on 22 February, English language schools brought several thousand foreign students to Christchurch each year.

Although most schools have managed to restart their programmes, their rolls have fallen dramatically.

Many are sharing premises and their students are generally people who were in Christchurch when the 6.3-magnitude quake struck.

School directors expect the crunch will come in the next couple of months because they are struggling to attract new enrolments.

However, they believe student numbers will begin to bounce back in spring as factors that attracted so many students to Christchurch, such as its people and scenery, are still in place.

But for the time being, schools say they are having to focus on marketing to revive the industry.