Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Scores improve during Covid

Making sense of the numbers

The mean average score for the number of areas of strength awarded to language centres since March 2020 has risen to 5.5 net once all Needs for Improvement have been deducted. Since so few inspections have taken place (see opposite page), this is likely because 60% of all the centres which have closed or left accreditation scored less than the previous mean average score of 4.5 net areas of strength.

Currently, the median average score is five, with 40% of centres receiving above six areas of strength. The mode, or most common score, remains at net two.

The standard variation is 4.1, which means that the normal range of scores lies between nine areas of strength and one. Centres that score between 9.2 and 12 are one standard deviation above the mean, so they are significantly better than the norm. Those scoring 13 and above are two standard deviations from the mean and thus outstanding. Just over 3% of accredited centres score 13 areas of strength and above.

However, just over 5% of accredited centres have a net negative score, meaning they have between more Needs for Improvements than areas of strength. Evidence shows that the number of centres with negative scores has increased in recent years.

Of 116 centres inspected in 2018, just two – or 1.7% – had a net negative score. However, in 2019, net negative scores rose to 10% of all centres inspected. This has dropped a little during Covid: of the 93 centres inspected since January 2020, seven, or around 7.5%, have been awarded net negative scores.

Centres of Excellence lost since March 2020

  1. BSC Edinburgh PLS
  2. BSC Brighton* PLS
  3. CES Harrogate (merged) PLS
  4. Dudley College* FE
  5. EC Oxford PLS
  6. Eurocentres Brighton (merged) PLS
  7. Eurocentres Cambridge PLS
  8. Eurocentres London (merged)
  9. Globe English* PLS
  10. IH Aberdeen PLS
  11. International Community School* IS
  12. Liverpool School of English Year Round PLS
  13. London School of English Canterbury PLS
  14. Moreton Hall* BS
  15. MLS International
  16. Nab Cottage PLS
  17. Northumbria University* Uni
  18. Regent Summer School* SS
  19. South Thames College* FE
  20. University College London* Uni
  21. University of Brighton* Uni
  22. University of Leeds* Uni
  23. University of the Arts London*
  24. Victoria school of English PLS
  25. Windermere ISS* BS


BS = Boarding school, FE = Further education college, PLS = Private language school, SS = Summer school, Uni = University. *Still trading.

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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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