In part 1 we covered why it is important to consider the location of the school, and in this part we move on to discuss why you should look at choosing a school that has the top accreditations and part of the best associations.
Accreditations and Associations
A quick search of the internet will bring up thousands of language schools so how do you narrow your options. Perhaps the most important thing first of all is to check that the school is accredited by the British Council and a member of English UK:
- British council – This is your guarantee that the school meets well-established minimum standards. The British Council accredits schools for the teaching of a foreign language. In order to obtain this accreditation schools must be inspected regularly and must meet strict criteria.
- English UK - English UK is the world's largest organisation of accredited schools and offers protection to students should anything go wrong with the course that has been booked. English UK also has a complaints procedure that you can follow in the case that you cannot resolve a problem directly with the school. The main aim of English UK is to ensure students get the highest possible standard of teaching and care.
In the case that you need a General Student Visa because, for example, you are going on to a UK university, you will need to make sure that the school has educational oversight by ISI.
- ISI – The Independent Schools Inspectorate inspects schools on behalf of the Home Office. ISI carry out a thorough inspection and provide a detailed report on the school which can be found on the school’s website.
If you then want to narrow your search down further you could look to the following organisations whose UK members are all accredited by The British Council and English UK.
- TEN – The English language Network is a select group of established, independent and highly experienced English language schools, renowned for quality and personal service. As the name suggests, the network consists of only 10 schools which work together and share their experience and expertise, allowing them to maintain their position as industry leaders and assure students of the quality of service. By choosing a school from TEN you can be confident that you will receive the best possible care and the highest quality English teaching. Both the schools in the ELC group are proud members of TEN.
- Quality English – an organisation of schools in English-speaking countries, Quality English schools are selected from the best schools in that country. QE schools are carefully checked and chosen. An important part in this is checking feedback from students and agents to ensure that the school is providing a top service.
- IALC- the International Association of Language Centres is an internationally recognised seal of quality for learning a variety of languages, not just English. Member schools have to meet demanding quality standards through regular inspections and must comply with IALC code of ethics.