Tuesday, May 21, 2024

In a League of its Own

Melanie Butler examines IALC

Over half of all IALC members in the UK rank in our top 100 schools, and on average an IALC member school scores 50 per cent more on its British Council Inspection than other accredited centres.

The International Association of Language Centres, to give it its full name, has member schools teaching ten languages in 23 countries. It has its own multilingual inspection scheme which, judging by the results, gives the British Council a run for its money.

And if we compare the year-round schools like-for-like, we find that the average year-round IALC school receives a score of 8.4, which not only puts them in our Centre of Excellence Ranking, but is one standard deviation above the sector average score of 4. For the non-statisticians among you, that puts them in a different league.

Pretty much the same league, in fact, as the UK university language sector, though still a little bit below the boarding schools.

Now a word of explanation. This is based on the results for year-round adult schools. We have had to exclude the junior summer school operations because the sample size is still tiny, and one of the handful of summer school operators in the UK is not accredited by the British Council, so we cannot compare their inspection reports.

We will, though, make one exception to this rule. We must mention that Wimbledon School of English Juniors went straight in to our Centre of Excellence ranking on its first inspection. It is now the highest-ranking summer school in Britain owned by a year round language school.

The profile of IALC’s adult schools is a little unusual. There are two mode averages, the scores that occur most often. Six members have ten areas of strengths and six members have two, and there are two standard deviations between them.

ELG UK schools Sep 2019 Rankings IALC


Image courtesy of Library
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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