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Calculating the Summer school rankings

Melanie Butler reveals the data behind our top summer centres for 2023

On the page 21 of our digital magazine, you can see our 2023 Rankings for UK Summer Schools for under 16s. There are only 33 of them and they are all inspected in the same 15 areas and have been awarded Strengths in at least nine of those areas.

They make up the top 32 of the 120 BC accredited summer operations we have identified.

It is critical to understand that to score an area of strength you have to score a strength in at least half of the criteria in that area. There are a maximum 15 areas inspected but they are made up of over 100 individual criteria.

For example, the area of Premises and Facilities is made up of six criteria. To score a strength in that area you must be awarded a strength in at least three of the six. Normally, all the other criteria must be marked as Met.

The cut off score of 9 used in our ranking is not random. A core of 9 shows that a strength has been given in 60 per cent of the areas inspected. It also puts the provider in the top 25 per cent of summer school operators and the top 20 per cent of accredited language centres overall. All the information in our table has been drawn from the British Council full inspection reports https://www.britishcouncil.org/education/accreditation/centres/

In previous rankings we have relied on the summary statements which appear on the first page of the report. These state all the areas of strengths awarded on Inspection and all the areas where a Need for Improvement was noted. To get our total we simply subtract the Needs for Improvement from the Total Areas of Strength to come up with scores you see on the chart.

However, since Covid began, language centres which have been accredited previously have been able to opt for Compliance Inspections. In these inspections no Strengths are given although areas which Need Improvement are still noted. No new summary statements are published. As the BC recommends, the Gazette takes the summary statement from the previous report and deducts an Needs for Improvement given in the Compliance reports.

All the summer operators marked on our ranking in blue have undergone a compliance inspection which means their score may have gone down, because Needs for Improvement are noted, but their score cannot have gone up since the last full inspection because no additional strengths can be awarded on a compliance inspection.

The operators marked in red have undergone a full inspection and three of them Celtic English Academy, Language in Action and Loxdale English Centre have become new centres of excellence since 2020 and are marked NEW.

Loxdale is one of the schools we have added to our Summer School Ranking for language agents and parents looking for high ranking schools which offer summer programme with Homestay accommodation. All schools which offer Homestay only appear with an (H) after their name, while schools offering only Residential, take ECS for example are marked (R). Centres which offer both, such as IH Newcastle, are marked (HR).

Finally we have marked all the boarding school run summer courses BS. They all offer, as you might guess, residential accommodation.

Image courtesy of COPYRIGHT PEXELS.COM
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