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EL Rankings 2016: Keep an eye on the rising stars

Melanie Butler explains why British-Council-accredited language centres in the ‘missing middle’ often offer very good courses at very reasonable prices

For the first time this year we are printing the results of all the accredited language schools which score five or six points of strength, once needs for improvement have been deducted. All these centres appear with four stars on our new consumer website: www.el-go.com. Proportionately there are fewer schools at these scores than any other – they are the missing middle, very good but perhaps just below excellent. We call them our rising stars.

To put these scores in context, they are the average scores for accredited university language centres. Indeed over 40 per cent of all universities inspected by the British Council appear on these pages.

Universities are the most consistently good of all the sectors, with a median score 50 per cent higher than the industry average. As well as unis, this page is peppered with schools on an upwards trajectory or those, marked on this page with a #, which receive this score on their first ever accreditation report. They are certainly ones to watch.

On the downside, far too many of them have just missed out on a Centre of Excellence award because they have been given a single need for improvement. This happens when a school fails to reach the specified level in a significant number of criteria. With chains schools and further education colleges the problem tends to centre around publicity, something agents and students may be prepared to forgive. Those who have tripped up on the care of under-18s but have still met the standard and not been put under review, may hold no problems at all for adult students.

This is a group of centres that is definitely worth exploring in more depth – they contain some fast-movers, some hidden gems and more than a scattering of great-value schools for those on a budget.
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Key

Centres in blue have been inspected for the first time. All entries correct of 9 August 2016

143nd= out of 535

Anglia Ruskin University Premises and facilities, learning resources, academic management, course design, teaching, and care of students

BPP University Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, and course design

Canning, London Staff management, premises and facilities, academic management, teaching, care of students, and leisure opportunities

Dundee, University of Student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, academic staff profile, course design, and teaching (Need for improvement: care of students)

Marcus Evans, Bath Staff management, premises and facilities, learning resources, course design, teaching, and accommodation

Professional Language Solutions Staff management, quality assurance, premises and facilities, course design, learner management, and teaching


149th= out of 535

Activate Learning, Reading College Staff management, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, teaching, and care of students

Basil Paterson, Edinburgh Staff management, quality assurance, academic management, course design, care of students, accommodation, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: care of under-18s)

Bloomsbury International, London Staff management, quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, care of students, and care of under-18s

Cambridge Language and Activity Courses Staff management, quality assurance, premises and facilities, care of students, leisure opportunities, and care of under-18s

Chichester College Staff management, quality assurance, learning resources, academic management, care of students, and leisure opportunities

Colchester Institute Staff management, quality assurance, learning resources, course design, learner management, teaching, and care of students (Need for improvement: publicity)

Dundee and Angus College Quality assurance, course design, learner management, teaching, premises and facilities, learning resources, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: care of under-18s)

EC Brighton Student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, academic management, care of students, and care of under-18s (Need for improvement: publicity)

Embassy English Cambridge Staff management, premises and facilities, academic staff profile, academic management, teaching, and leisure opportunities

ETC International College, Bournemouth Staff management, premises and facilities, academic staff profile, academic management, teaching, and leisure opportunities

International House Belfast Staff management, quality assurance, academic management, course design, teaching, accommodation, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: publicity)

Into Manchester Student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, learner management, and care of students

Into University of Gloucestershire Staff management, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, academic management, and learner management

Itchen College Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, learner management, care of students, and leisure opportunities

Katherine and King’s College Student administration, course design, teaching, care of students, leisure opportunities, care of under-18s

Language in Totnes Premises and facilities, academic management, course design, care of students, accommodation and leisure opportunities

Language Studies International Cambridge Staff management, learning resources, academic management, course design, teaching, and care of students

Leeds English Language School Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, academic management, course design, and care of students

Malvern House, London Premises and facilities, learning resources, academic management, care of students, course design, and teaching

Mayflower College, Plymouth Quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, care of students, accommodation, and leisure opportunities

MLS International College, Bournemouth Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, course design, learner management, and care of students

Our World English School Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, care of students, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: publicity)

Regent Oxford Quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, teaching, care of students, and accommodation

Skola English in Exeter Staff management, academic staff profile, academic management, teaching, care of students, and leisure opportunities

St Brelade’s College, Jersey Staff management, premises and facilities, care of students, accommodation, leisure activities, and care of under-18s

Stonyhurst Summer Language School, Lancashire Staff management, quality assurance, care of students, accommodation, leisure opportunities, and care of under-18s

Twin English Centre, London Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, and course design

Uxbridge College, London Quality assurance, premises and facilities, learning resources, course design, teaching, care of students, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: publicity)

Liverpool, University of Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, academic staff profile, learner management, care of students, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: premises and facilities)

Village Camps Summer Schools, York Staff management, premises and facilities, learning resources, care of students, leisure opportunities, and care of under-18s


181th= out of 535

Abertay, University of (Dundee) Publicity, learning resources, course design, care of students, and leisure opportunities

De Montford University Premises and facilities, learning resources, academic staff profile, course design, and teaching

English in Margate Student administration, quality assurance, academic staff profile, care of students, and leisure opportunities

Teesside University Staff management, learning resources, academic management, course design, and teaching

Ulster, University of Premises and facilities, learning resources, academic staff profile, course design, and care of students

Worcester, University of Premises and facilities, learning resources, course design, care of students, and leisure opportunities


187th= out of 535

Angle Education Staff management, premises and facilities, learning resources, academic management, and course design

Buckswood St George’s Quality assurance, academic staff profile, learner management, teaching, and care of students

City and Islington College, London Staff management, student administration, learning resources, care of students and leisure opportunities

EC Cambridge Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, care of students, and leisure opportunities (Need for improvement: publicity)

Embassy London, Greenwich Quality assurance, learning resources, academic management, course design, and leisure opportunities

English and Cultural Studies, Enfield Student administration, care of students, accommodation, leisure opportunities, and care of under-18s

Gloucestershire College Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, and teaching

Greenwich, University of (London) Student administration, premises and facilities, course design, learner management, and care of students

Liverpool International Language Academy (LILA) Staff management, quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, and care of students

Living Learning English, Teachers Home Scheme Course design, teaching, care of students, leisure opportunities, and care of under-18s

London Tutorial College Staff management, premises and facilities, learner management, care of students, and leisure opportunities

Mackenzie School of English, Edinburgh Premises and facilities, learning resources, academic management, course design, and teaching

Oxford Brookes International Quality assurance, learning resources, academic staff profile, course design, and learner management

Oxford English Centre Premises and facilities, learning resources, academic staff profile, learner management, and leisure opportunities

Portsmouth Language College Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, and academic management

South Wales, University of Student administration, quality assurance, learning resources, course design, and care of students

St Andrews College Language Schools (Scotland) Staff management, premises and facilities, care of students, accommodation, and leisure opportunities

St Giles International Junior Residential Summer Centres Staff management, student administration, quality assurance, academic management, and leisure opportunities

Stafford House, London Staff management, quality assurance, premises, academic staff profile, and academic management

Studio Cambridge Language and Activity Programme, Summer Schools Staff management, student administration, course design, care of students, and leisure opportunities

Swansea University Staff management, academic management, course design, learner management, and teaching

UIC Brighton Student administration, quality assurance, academic management, care of students, and leisure opportunities

UIC London Greenwich Student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, and leisure opportunities

UIC Study Programmes Staff management, quality assurance, course design, accommodation, and leisure opportunities

Vacational Studies, Berkshire Student administration, care of students, accommodation, leisure opportunities, and care of under-18s