2 Sep 2014, 4:11pm
school management


Exeunt Yoyogi

empty shop

Just a short update today, from the UK. The demographic and societal changes in Japan are also affecting the private educational sector. Here’s an article explaining what’s happening to Yoyogi Seminar (hint: they’ll be closing their Sendai branch).

I wonder if this has any implications for English schools?

Interesting article. Fits what I saw coming when I taught at a private high school.

As for the implications for English schools, I don’t think it means much as least in the short-term. While the declining birth rate means fewer students to attend colleges, and therefore more spots and easier entrance process available for those who are left, it is having a different effect on English schools. While not to the extent of what I understand is happening in China, the declining birthrate means more money available per child for extracurricular activities and learning. A family with only one child is much more likely to pay to send their child to English lessons than a family with four is to send any of theirs. It doesn’t matter if the second family has more children if it’s too expensive to send all four of them to English lessons. This combined with the increased emphasis on English in the education system will sustain English schools for the time being.

There will be a time when things will change, however. When it does, it will hit the mediocre schools first–such as Yoyogi was mediocre in the yobiko industry. One of the best defensive moves for the time being is to ensure you’re not mediocre.

I like it, Ryan! Top quality in any industry will probably do well.

A shrinking (and ageing) population will obviously have an impact on student numbers but I think there will still be a market.

I suspect the big chain schools who rely on a large number of (revolving) students to cover rent, advertising etc are going to suffer the most but small schools who teach all 4 language skills & care enough to keep students interested should be able to survive in the next few years.

Hi Martin

I hope so! We’re planning to be in business for at least another five years…


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