Melanie Butler introduces the latest listing of the Gazette’s Centres of Excellence based on the latest British Council inspection reports
This year our annual ranking of the best accredited schools, based on their British Council inspection reports, runs to a total of 151 – all scoring more than seven areas of strength. The summary judgement for the school, taken verbatim from the summary statements (correct as of 9 August 2016), published beneath each entry, and the ranking is based on deducting any needs for improvement a centre may have from its total number of areas of strength and dividing that by the maximum applicable number – fourteen for schools which do not take under-18s and fifteen for those that do.
All centres which achieve the same score are placed together in one box. However, the score will vary slightly depending on whether a centre is inspected in all fifteen areas rather than just fourteen. So, for example, the centres listed in joint fifteenth place on this page score twelve out of fourteen points, because they do not take under-18s. This gives them a percentage score of 86 per cent. Just below them in joint 18th position are the centres which scored twelve out of fifteen, because they enrol under-18s, or 80 per cent of all their available points.
Remember, to calculate the score we deduct any needs for improvement from the total number of strengths listed in the summary statement. A need for improvement is given when the inspectors judge that a centre has failed to meet the requirements in a significant number of criteria, normally three, in any given area such as publicity, care of under-18s or course design. Needs for improvement are published in the summary statements and will be found (in brackets) in our entries in these listings.
As we explain on the previous page, the strengths listed here, which are taken directly from the summary statements, refer to areas of strength, not the awarding of a strength in a single criterion. Prior to 2011 the British Council used a system which awarded points of excellence, to a maximum of nine, rather than strengths.
Only one of our Centres of Excellence, Language Specialists International Portsmouth, is still inspected under the old British Council system of points of excellence. Its summary judgement is printed in a separate box below.
The entries are colour coded to show the type of institution they belong to. For more information about all of these schools go to our new ranking website www.el-go.com.
We make every effort to ensure that lists in the Gazette are as comprehensive and up to date as possible. However, we are reliant on published reports from the British Council, and we can only use the latest published information (9 August 2016). Sometimes the information is updated several months after an organisation has been inspected, and this may mean that the data here is based on information from before the last inspection or spot check.