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British Council

Based on information from British Council centre inspection reports

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ELgo ranks UK English language schools based on a unique algorithm that considers a school’s quality, levels of child protection, safety of the local area, and price.

 

Quality

In UK education the quality of schools and colleges is checked by inspectors. Almost every school is inspected and the reports written by the inspectors are available on the internet. There are different organisations that run inspections for language centres. On ELgo we measure quality based on the information in the British Council inspection summary statements. This is the only inspection system that covers all the types of institutions that offer English language courses: language schools, state colleges, universities, boarding schools and activity centres.  To be accredited, all language centres must pass a rigorous inspection in fourteen or fifteen areas. The inspectors can award a point of strength for each of these areas. The inspectors can also note a need for improvement in a particular area. All the centres on this website have had an inspection. If the inspectors find a problem, they report the schools needs re-inspection. We mark this on the centre’s entry. All the centres on this website have passed inspection. We measure their quality by counting the number of strengths they have. Please see the British Council inspection statements here.

Strengths

British Council inspectors award strengths in up to 15 areas e.g. staff management, student administration, publicity. The strengths awarded are listed in the summary statement on the first page of the full report, and on the separate pdf of all accredited centres.

In each of the areas, there are a number of criteria to be met.  If a centre exceeds any of the criteria, a cross is placed in the Strength box for that criterion. If a centres gets 50% or  more of the available strengths in the area, an overall strength is awarded for that area.

The British Council categorises the areas in four section standards.  The areas do not divide equally between the section standards; there are 4 areas in Management, 2 in Resources and environment, 5 in Teaching and learning and 3 or 4 in Welfare and student services, depending whether the centre takes under 18s or not.

 

Child protection        

The UK has very strict rules on protecting children under 18. The quality of child protection is checked by inspectors.  Different organisations run different inspection schemes. However, the British Council inspectors have only inspected child protection practices, including criminal record checks and safeguarding training,since 2014. To be as sure as we can that a centre is safe for children we check the results from five different organisations. To receive the top mark of five shields, a centre must have passed the inspections of at least two organisations. ELgo does not give shields to centres which do not take students under 18 years old.

 

Destination safety

The UK publishes information about crime rates for every area of Britain. At ELgo we base our safety scores on the statistics of the Global Peace Index, which measures these statistics worldwide. We have included the statistics for every destination in the UK where there is a language centre inspected by the British Council.

 

Price

The prices for courses are based on telephone calls from secret shoppers, people pretending to be customers. We check this on the school's website. Prices are based on the number of 60 minute hours a students is taught. Prices for residential schools (marked with the house symbol) are fully inclusive; they cover classes, accommodation, food, activities and, for children, 24 hour care.

 

Data information

We check relevant information and update the website regularly.

We check the British Council’s website (inspection reports and summary statements) the first Tuesday of every month. We check the ISI Educational Oversight, Ofsted, Independent Schools Inspectorate, Estyn and Education Scotland every six months. We check the Global Peace Index every year.

If you are website user who has a question about our information, please contact us at: contact@elgazette.com.

If you represent a language centre which wishes to bring to our attention new inspection reports that have been published - or indeed any other data that needs to be amended - please contact us at: contact@elgazette.com.