Why is it important for schools to have British Council accreditation?
Why is British Council Accreditation important when you choose a school for your child?
British Council accredited schools are regularly inspected by independent inspectors. They look at 15 different sections. You can fail your inspection and lose your accreditation if you do not maintain these standards. You can also do very well and be given “strengths” in these sections. The British Council inspection reports are now published and available online. The report answers all of the questions you are likely to ask:
What do the British Council inspect?
The Accreditation Scheme independently assesses the standards of management, resources and premises, teaching, welfare, and care of under 18s. They only accredit organisations which have met the overall standard in each area inspected. You can lose your accreditation. However the best result you can achieve in each section is called a strength and only the very best English schools are given them.
In our last British Council inspection, the inspectors awarded us with 13 strengths.
These include: Teaching, Care of under 18s, Course design, Leisure opportunities, Accommodation, Premises and facilities, learning resources, welfare, Academic Management, Learner Management, Staff Management, Student Administration and Quality assurance.
It means that we are the only independently run language school in the South West of the UK to have this many “strengths”!
Based on our inspection report the EL Gazette (see our page on Centre of Excellence: ) has told us that we are the “Number 2” homestay (host family) provider in the whole of the UK and the best English school in Devon!
Firstly by reading the report you can find out about the British Council inspector’s opinion on different areas of the school.
- Is your child be treated as an individual?
- How involved are the owners of the school?
- Is your child going to be excited and challenged by their course?
- How many hours of class time do they have?
- What sort of teachers do they have and how do we choose our teachers?
- How do we test your child’s English level?
- When do we check if they have understood and make sure they are improving their English?
- What happens if their level is too high or low for their class?
Secondly by reading our report and looking at our website you can find the answers to the following questions. If you have any more questions you can always contact us:
- What activities do they have?
- Do they have a choice of sports?
- Which excursions are they going to have?
- What other activities can they do?
- What extra costs do you have to pay (no extra costs at Isca)?
- Is your child going to feel safe? What is the city of Exeter like?
- Is it easy for them to travel around the city?
- Are there things for your child to do and see in their free time?
- How do we look after them in their free time?
- What happens if they get ill?
- How much advice/ reassurance do you (as parents) get from the school?
- Can you contact the school easily and get an instant reply from the person you have been talking to from the start of the enrolment process?
At the end of each section there is an overall summary. These are our summary statements for you to read:
Firstly In the section on Care of under 18s:
“ The provision meets the section standard and exceeds it in all respects. The provision for the safeguarding of the students is of a very high standard in all aspects of their stay. Formal policies and procedures are enhanced by a genuine commitment to looking after the students throughout their entire experience from arrival to departure”
Secondly in the section on Welfare and student services:
“The provision meets the section standard and exceeds it in some respects. The high levels of care and consideration provided by all members of the management team and staff ensure that the needs of the students for security, pastoral care, information and leisure activities are well met. Similar high standards apply to the provision and management of accommodation services. Care of students, Accommodation and Leisure opportunities are areas of strength.”
Thirdly in the section on Teaching and learning:
” The provision meets the section standard and exceeds it in some respects. The teaching and academic staff are appropriately qualified and teachers receive very good support to ensure their teaching meets the needs of their students. Programmes of study are engaging and challenging, appropriate for a summer programme for young learners. The teaching observed met the requirements of the Scheme. Academic management, Course design,Learner management and Teaching are areas of strength.”
Fourthly in the section on Resources and environment:
“The provision meets the section standard and exceeds it in some respects. The premises are of a particularly high standard, offering staff and students a very spacious and attractive environment in which to work. Students’ work provides a lively and stimulating addition to the classrooms. Resources are well chosen and maintained and readily accessible. Premises and facilities and Learning resources are areas of strength.”
And finally in the section on Management:
” The provision meets the section standard and exceeds it in some respects. The extensive experience and family ownership of the organisation work well for the benefit of both students and staff. Student administration is handled efficiently and effectively, communication is excellent, and managers proactively seek to improve and develop the provision offered. Publicity is clear and offers entirely realistic expectations. Staff management, Student administration and Quality assurance are areas of strength.”
Our British council accreditation is a guarantee of the high standard of our school.
Before you leave please read Isca’s British Council report. You can either read it on the British council website (https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/isca_soe_full_.pdf) or you can also download it from our website. It is important because you can see what they said about our school and the experience your child can expect here.