N/a. SKOLA Ascot, Licensed Victuallers School, Ascot, Berks

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1 Spot check report Organisation name Inspection date 7 August 2015 SKOLA English Study Tours, Ascot BACKGROUND Organisation profile Inspection history First inspection 1989 Dates/details Last full inspection August 2014 Subsequent spot check (if applicable) Subsequent supplementary check (if applicable) Subsequent interim visit (if applicable) Other related non-accredited activities (in brief) at this centre Other related accredited schools/centres/affiliates Other related non-accredited schools/centres/affiliates Current accreditation status and reason for spot check Current accredited status Accredited Reason for spot check Signalled: inspect new or additional premises Adult courses in London and Exeter; junior vacation courses in London; academic courses for juniors in London, Buckinghamshire and Suffolk Premises profile Address of main site Details of any additional sites in use at the time of the inspection Details of any additional sites not in use at the time of the inspection Sites inspected 1 st Floor, 111 Baker Street, London W1U 6SG (Head office) Gloucester Gate Summer School, 14 Gloucester Gate, London NW1 4HG SKOLA Ascot, Licensed Victuallers School, Ascot, Berks Student and staff profile At inspection In peak week July Total ELT/ESOL student numbers (FT + PT) Minimum age (including closed group or vacation) Typical age range Typical length of stay 2 3 weeks 2 3 weeks Predominant nationalities Jordanian, French Italian, French, Russian Total number of teachers on eligible ELT courses 5 7 Total number of administrative/ancillary staff 4 Report expires 31 March 2019

2 INTRODUCTION Background SKOLA English Study Tours (EST) runs accredited junior summer courses in London. This provision was inspected in August Junior courses in Ascot were previously managed by International Community School (ICS), also part of the SKOLA group, and were included under the ICS accreditation. When SKOLA decided to transfer management of the Ascot course to EST, it was agreed that the Ascot summer school should be included under the EST accreditation, subject to a satisfactory spot check focusing on premises. SKOLA Ascot courses are run at the Licensed Victuallers School (LVS), an independent day and boarding school set in extensive grounds close to Ascot town centre. SKOLA Ascot offers general English courses of 15 hours per week with additional English Plus options, each of six hours per week, in intensive English, multi-activities, football, tennis, golf, swimming, art, dance and music. Students book these additional programmes in advance, although there is some flexibility and students may change course if they wish. The age range accepted is 11 to 17 years. All students stay in residential accommodation on campus. Preparation One inspector carried out the inspection, receiving a copy of the August 2014 report and publicity materials from the Accreditation Unit in advance. The visit was unsignalled. Programme and persons present The inspector arrived at and left at The inspector toured the premises and residential accommodation. Meetings were held with the operations manager and the director of studies (DoS). Focus group meetings were held with students and group leaders. The principal of SKOLA EST, based in London, came to meet the inspector and attended the round up. FINDINGS Management Legal and statutory regulations The items sampled were satisfactory. Staff management The school is managed effectively by a committed local team, well supported by the EST principal who is based at the head office in London. Items relating to legal and statutory regulations were sampled and found to be satisfactory. Communication channels at the centre and with head office are good. There are brief morning staff meetings four days per week. The operations manager has meetings with group leaders twice a week; group leaders commented that any issues were promptly dealt with. The EST principal visits once a week and holds meetings with the operations manager, the staff and group leaders. Action points are recorded and circulated. The operations manager also has a daily meeting with the representative of LVS to discuss any issues relating to facilities and residential accommodation. Staff files were sampled and found to contain all relevant documents. Copies of certificates had been signed to confirm that originals had been seen. The operations manager was employed from January 2015, so had ample time to prepare for the course and recruit staff. M8 A formal procedure for appraising staff is in place although it has not been implemented at the Ascot centre. Staff receive feedback on their performance at an exit interview at the end of the season. Six members of staff hold first aid certificates. The operations manager has completed courses in student services management, advanced safeguarding and safer recruitment procedures. All staff have received online basic safeguarding training.

3 Student administration Enrolments are processed at the admissions centre in Newlands College in Chorleywood, Buckinghamshire. Students reported that enrolment procedures were efficiently managed. Next of kin details are collected at enrolment. Students reconfirm details on arrival. Records are kept in class registers for ease of access. Quality assurance There are initial and end-of-course questionnaires. Summaries of results are sent to head office and the host school also receives these, so that it can monitor satisfaction with the facilities and the accommodation. Staff are able to give feedback at meetings and at an exit interview. Resources and environment Premises and facilities Criteria Not met Met Strength R1 Adequate space R2 Condition of premises R3 Classrooms and learning areas R4 Student relaxation facilities R5 Signage and display R6 Staff room(s) See comments Comments The LVS buildings and sports facilities are modern and spacious. They are designed, decorated and equipped to a high standard. SKOLA Ascot has been allocated ample office space. The operations manager has her own office and there is a staff room with six computers for the DoS and the teachers. In addition there is a lesson preparation room with a photocopier, a sports resources room where the director of out of class activities and his assistant are based, and a teachers resource room with art materials. There are comprehensive noticeboards in the common areas with information about staff rotas, emergency procedures, and health and safety issues. There are also student noticeboards with a staff photo gallery, safety information, code of conduct, bullying policy and information about leisure activities and excursions. A large student relaxation room, used at certain times as an art room, has comfortable chairs and a vending machine. Students artwork of a high standard is displayed on the walls. There is also a tuck shop operated by the school in the morning break and an outside relaxation area for students to use at break times. Students and staff have meals in the spacious and welcoming school cafeteria. Group leaders commented that Wi-fi access was restricted and that they had received student complaints about this. The school has use of seven classrooms, all of which can comfortably accommodate the maximum number of students. Each has a computer and projector and an inbuilt CD playback facility. Furniture is modern, light and flexible. There is also an IT room with 20 computers. Other facilities include a theatre, a dance studio, a swimming pool, a large sports hall, an astroturf football pitch, tennis courts, outside basketball court and playing fields. SKOLA Ascot has exclusive use of all these facilities over the summer, although a summer camp for local children uses the sports hall in the mornings while SKOLA students are in class. Students choosing the golf option are accompanied to a golf range opposite the school. R1 The modern premises offer very spacious accommodation for both students and staff. R2 Public areas and classrooms are furnished and maintained to a high standard. LVS staff deal promptly with any problems relating to the facilities.

4 R3 All classrooms can comfortably accommodate the maximum number of students. Furniture is modern and flexible. R4 There are several areas both in the school premises and outside where students can relax. Furniture in the main common room is comfortable and in good condition. Students can buy snacks at the school tuck shop and from vending machines. The cafeteria is spacious and welcoming. Food is of a reasonable standard and students are offered some choice. Group leaders commented that Wi-fi access was restricted and that they had received complaints from students about this. R5 Neatly designed signs direct students and visitors to the areas of the school allocated to SKOLA. Noticeboards in the reception area are informative and well presented. Student work is attractively displayed. Student artwork on display is of a particularly high standard. R6 Space allocated for staff is generous. Staff have plenty of room to work, hold meetings and relax. Offices and staff rooms are in a quiet area of the school. Learning resources Teaching resources were not inspected. Teaching and learning Academic staff profile The DoS and two teachers are TEFLQ. The ADoS and the remaining three teachers are TEFLI. Academic management A detailed induction programme is followed by all new staff. This includes online basic safeguarding training. The DoS arranged short drop-in observations in the second week of the course. Verbal feedback was given at a teachers meeting. Full observations lasting one and a half hours each took place in the second and third week of the course. Teachers wrote a self-evaluation of the lesson and the DoS provided written feedback. T10 At the time of the inspection no continuing professional development (CPD) training sessions for teachers had taken place. An ideas-sharing session was planned for the following week. Course design Teachers produce weekly plans which are approved by the DoS. There are weekly London study trips with a learning focus and a task for students to complete. Welfare and student services Accommodation All students are housed in residential accommodation on site. Males and females are accommodated in separate houses. Entry doors are security coded. Each house has two common areas with comfortable seating and computers for student use. There are communal kitchens but these are not in use. Bedrooms are well furnished and are well maintained. Up to four students share each bedroom. There are ample shared bathrooms and toilets. Each residence has a head of house with overall responsibility for ensuring that students are safe. A free laundry service is provided by LVS staff. Leisure opportunities The director of out of class activities and his assistant oversee the leisure programme. External leaders organise English Plus sessions in golf, tennis, multi-activities and dance. The director of out of class activities runs the football option and teachers lead sessions in swimming, art, music and intensive English. Evening events and excursions are run by the director of out of class activities and the teachers. The programme is well organised and is popular with the students. Care of under 18s The EST principal and the operations manager have both received advanced safeguarding training. The school s child protection policy is available on the website. Students are not allowed to leave the school premises unsupervised. Rules are clearly explained at induction and are included in the student handbook given to students on arrival. Rules are well understood by students. The school emergency telephone number is printed on the wristband which all students are required to wear. The level of care is specified in detail in the publicity.

5 POINTS TO BE ADDRESSED Points to be addressed from the previous inspection report with comments (in bold) to indicate how far these have been addressed. Management M8 There are no formalised systems in place to carry out staff appraisals. Partially addressed. A formal system of appraisals is in place, but has not been implemented at Ascot. M24 The maximum number of students in class is stated for Gloucester Gate but not for any classes formed at the Camden school. Not yet addressed. Arrangements in the London schools were not investigated. Resources and premises R4 Group leaders commented that Wi-fi access was restricted and that they had received complaints from students about this. Teaching and learning T23 On occasion there was an inappropriate and unnatural use of strong forms in connected speech. Not yet addressed. Teaching was not observed. T25 Sometimes the lesson content was not appropriate for the whole range of students in the class and greater differentiation was needed. Not yet addressed. Teaching was not observed. T28 All students would have benefited from greater ongoing correction of pronunciation errors. Not yet addressed. Teaching was not observed. Welfare and student services Care of under 18s CONCLUSIONS SKOLA Ascot is a well-run junior summer centre, with a committed and enthusiastic local management and teaching team. The team is effectively supported by an experienced head office manager. The LVS premises provide a very comfortable and safe environment for both students and staff. Classrooms, offices, sports and leisure facilities, public areas and the extensive grounds are all immaculately maintained. The residential accommodation is of a high standard. RECOMMENDATION The next inspection falls due in 2018; there are no grounds for bringing this forward. SUMMARY STATEMENT Changes to summary statement No changes need to be made to the summary statement. Summary statement The British Council inspected and accredited SKOLA English Study Tours in August The Accreditation Scheme assesses the standards of management, resources and premises, teaching, welfare and care of under 18s and accredits organisations which meet the overall standard in each area inspected (see for details). This private language school offers vacation courses for juniors and general English courses for under 18s. Strengths were noted in the areas of staff management, student administration, quality assurance, premises and facilities, academic management, course design, learner management, teaching, care of students, leisure

6 opportunities and care of under 18s. The inspection report stated that the organisation met the standards of the Scheme. Points to be addressed outstanding from the previous inspection(s) or arising from this visit Management M8 The appraisal system has not been implemented in Ascot M24 The maximum number of students in class is stated for Gloucester Gate but not for any classes formed at the Camden school. Resources and premises Teaching and learning T10 At the time of the inspection no CPD training sessions for teachers had taken place at Ascot. T23 On occasion there was an inappropriate and unnatural use of strong forms in connected speech. T25 Sometimes the lesson content was not appropriate for the whole range of students in the class and greater differentiation was needed. T28 All students would have benefited from greater ongoing correction of pronunciation errors. Welfare and student services Care of under 18s

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