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EDUCATIONAL OVERSIGHT INSPECTION OF PRIVATE FURTHER EDUCATION AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE COLLEGES

MONITORING VISIT

MALVERN HOUSE LONDON

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Full Name of College

Malvern House London

Address

200 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP

Telephone Number

020 7440 1794

Email Address

malvern@malvernhouse.com

Academic Director

Ms Jean Daruvala

Proprietor

Mr David Ho

Age Range

16+

Total number of students

417

Numbers by age and type of study

Under 18: 12

Inspection date

18+:

405

EFL only:

417

5 March 2013

Š Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


PREFACE This inspection report follows the Framework for Educational Oversight Monitoring Visits of private further education colleges and English language schools. The focus of the visit is to confirm that the quality standards reported at the last full inspection are being maintained. The ISI is an approved Educational Oversight body authorised by the UK Border Agency to inspect privately funded further education colleges, including English language schools in England and Wales offering courses on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. It is designed to improve the quality of education on offer to international students through Tier 4 of the points based system for student visas. ISI inspections are required to:  Report on the extent to which colleges comply with the published Educational Oversight Standards for private colleges; 

Assess and report on the quality of educational outcomes and provision;

Where applicable, make recommendations to colleges outside the scope of the Standards to support continued improvement of quality.

Inspection provides objective and reliable reports on the quality of colleges, and by placing reports in the public domain, makes this information available to students, Government and the wider community. Inspection takes account of the context of each individual college, and of how it evaluates its own performance and demonstrates its success. The inspection of the college is from an educational perspective and provides limited inspection of other aspects, though inspectors will comment on any significant hazards or problems they encounter which have an adverse impact on students. The inspection does not include: (i) an exhaustive health and safety audit (ii) an in-depth examination of the structural condition of the college, its services or other physical features (iii) an investigation of the financial viability of the college or its accounting procedures (iv) an in-depth investigation of the college’s compliance with employment law. A monitoring visit is for those colleges found at the last inspection to have met or exceeded the quality Standards for Educational Oversight. Inspectors will make judgements on progress against any Action Points and Recommendations made at that time. The inspection will not examine all other Standards in detail but will sample to confirm that previous Standards have been maintained and that there are no contrary indicators to those quality judgements.

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


CONTENTS Page

1

CONTEXT

2

2

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

3

3

THE QUALITY OF THE CURRICULUM, TEACHING AND LEARNERS’ ACHIEVEMENTS

4

4

STUDENTS’ WELFARE, INCLUDING HEALTH AND SAFETY

6

5

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT

7

6

ACTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

8

INSPECTION EVIDENCE

9

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

2

1.

CONTEXT

1.1

Malvern House London is an English language school located in London. Founded in 1999, it was acquired in 2009 by AEC Education PLC, a private education company limited by shares. The school is run by three directors, who report to the chief executive officer, based in Singapore, with weekly face-to-face meetings in London with the chairman. Its mission is to provide students from all over the world with the tools to express themselves with confidence in an English-speaking environment.

1.2

The school has undergone a considerable reduction in size since the previous inspection in response to changes in demand, reducing three teaching locations to one in King’s Cross and retaining its administrative headquarters in Covent Garden. There has been a corresponding reduction in staff, including removal of the general manager role.

1.3

Enrolment of new students takes place at the beginning of each week. At the time of the inspection there were 417 students, all of whom speak English as a second language. Of these, a very large majority are under 30 and 12 are aged between 16 and 17. The largest nationality groups are Brazilian, Japanese, Colombian, South Korean and Turkish. No students had identified special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

1.4

The main action points and recommendations from the previous report are: 

Ensure that all students fully understand why they are on their allocated level of study.

Strengthen individualised learning and focus on meeting individual needs in lessons.

Ensure that communication between agencies and accommodation managers is effective to further enhance student experience and improve value for money.

Ensure all staff gain enhanced CRB certificates as planned.

Implement plans for a member of the student services staff to obtain a recognised welfare qualification.

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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2.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

2.1

The language school exceeds expectations. The previous inspection of 14 to 16 February 2012 was judged to meet expectations and the quality of education as judged at that time has been improved.

2.2

The quality of curriculum, teaching and learners’ achievement is excellent. Course provision is strong and the quality of teaching is exceptional, resulting in very good student progress. Procedures for initial assessment and placement are highly effective. Knowledgeable teachers plan very effectively to ensure learning is suitably varied to match a range of abilities. They employ a wide range of strategies and activities to engage and motivate learners. Teachers use technology successfully to support learning. Students make notable progress in the vast majority of lessons. The school has introduced appropriate procedures linked to tutorials to support and monitor students’ progress in meeting their individual needs and goals. These procedures are not yet embedded and therefore have little impact on individual progress. Assessment and tracking of student progress are very effective and attainment is high.

2.3

Student welfare, including health and safety, is good. Arrangements for health and safety and security of the premises are very effective and the quality of the premises is excellent. Admissions and attendance are accurately recorded and meet UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements. Pastoral support is high quality, though difficult to access at peak times. Welfare and student services staff are very well qualified for their roles. All staff in the school have completed Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. Provision of residential accommodation is well managed and meets students’ requirements.

2.4

Governance, leadership and management are excellent. Leadership has implemented major changes to successfully reposition the school in the UK market for English as a foreign language (EFL) courses. They have raised the quality of provision and further strengthened the school’s quality framework to ensure continuing improvement. Self-evaluation is accurate and well linked to development planning. Systems for managing the performance of staff are effective and staff development is good.

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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3.

THE QUALITY OF THE CURRICULUM, TEACHING AND LEARNERS’ ACHIEVEMENTS

3.1

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners’ achievements is excellent. All Key Standards continue to be met.

3.2

The recommendations in this area from the previous inspection report are: 

Ensure that all students fully understand why they are on their allocated level of study.

Strengthen individualised learning and focus on meeting individual needs in lessons.

3.3

The school has made good progress against the first recommendation. The core initial assessment of a multi-choice grammar test and oral interview has been appropriately developed to include free writing. This allows for a more accurate assessment of students’ ability to produce as well as recognise features of the language. Effective use is made of initial assessment outcomes and class teachers’ opinions to ensure that students are placed in a class that meets their individual learning needs. The school ensures that students are informed of the reasons for placing them in a particular class. In interviews, most students confirmed their satisfaction with the level of their course.

3.4

Satisfactory progress has been made with regard to the second recommendation. The school has developed appropriate procedures to establish individual needs, support students in setting targets and to monitor their progress in attaining their learning goals. One-to-one tutorials take place regularly and are a key part of this process. However, students do not always transfer this information to their progress diaries and many are unaware of the importance of the process. Furthermore, many students do not use the progress diaries provided to record their progress in class and against their own targets in order to maximise the benefit from tutorial sessions.

3.5

Teachers are very good at meeting student needs in the classroom. They plan for individualised learning and this is evident in their teaching. Experienced and knowledgeable, they monitor progress effectively in class and give support as required. They design highly appropriate schemes of work to meet students’ learning goals. The regular student feedback sessions that occur in class, without the teacher, are a valuable additional route for students to highlight their needs and concerns.

3.6

Course provision is effective in meeting students’ needs and objectives and meets UKBA requirements. The quality of teaching is excellent. A large majority of teaching is good or outstanding. Very knowledgeable teachers employ a wide range of effective teaching methods and activities to engage and motivate students. Consistent correction of errors and effective teaching of pronunciation feature in most lessons. Interactive whiteboards, installed in all classrooms, are used confidently to enhance learning. Assessment is systematic and highly effective in

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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monitoring progress. Students are able to apply their learning independently and their command of English is good.

Š Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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4.

STUDENTS’ WELFARE, INCLUDING HEALTH AND SAFETY

4.1

Students’ welfare, including health and safety, is good. All Key Standards continue to be met.

4.2

The recommendations in this area from the previous inspection report are: 

Ensure that communication between agencies and accommodation managers is effective to further enhance student experience and improve value for money.

Ensure all staff gain enhanced CRB certificates as planned.

Implement plans for a member of the student services staff to obtain a recognised welfare qualification.

4.3

Good progress has been made against the first recommendation. Arrangements for accommodation are appropriately managed and all legal and registration requirements have been met. The school has implemented improved systems to monitor quality. Staff make annual visits to residential and homestay accommodation, checking that they continue to meet statutory requirements and making recommendations for improvement. As a result of these effective procedures, the school has ceased to use some accommodation and has made improvements to its own residences. This has reduced instances of student dissatisfaction. School admissions staff carry out rigorous checks to ensure that students are placed in the most suitable accommodation to meet their needs. Consequently, all students interviewed during the inspection confirmed that they are happy with the standard and quality of their residential or homestay accommodation and travel arrangements to and from the school.

4.4

The second recommendation is fully achieved. All staff at the King’s Cross premises and managers who visit the school have undergone enhanced CRB checks.

4.5

Good progress has been made against the third recommendation. A member of the academic management team has completed an accredited course in counselling and is available daily to support students with pastoral issues. All members of the student services team have undertaken appropriate external training in customer care, resulting in improved student satisfaction. In interviews, students confirmed that they know how to access advice on personal issues and feel safe and welcome in the school. Students can also access high level careers advice through academic managers.

4.6

Arrangements for ensuring the health and safety of students and staff are highly effective and the premises are secure. The quality of the school premises is excellent. However, some areas become overcrowded between lessons and accessing student services at these times is difficult. Registration and attendance are well managed, accurately recorded and meet UKBA requirements. Staff have received relevant training in safeguarding and demonstrate satisfactory knowledge of the school’s procedures.

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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5.

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT

5.1

The effectiveness of governance, leadership and management is excellent. All Key Standards continue to be met.

5.2

The school’s proprietors provide good educational direction and fully discharge their responsibilities for educational standards, financial planning and investment. The relationship between the proprietors and the senior leadership team is highly effective. The school’s self-evaluation is accurate, supported by a wide range of evidence and well linked to an appropriate development plan. Strategic planning is robust.

5.3

The leadership team has implemented major changes to the school over the past year in response to the considerable reduction in student enrolments. They have used the opportunities provided by the reduction in premises and staff to successfully reposition the school within the EFL sector and raise the quality of academic provision. Management structures have been appropriately adapted to suit the current size of the school and ensure excellent communication between departments and with staff at all levels.

5.4

The leadership team places strong emphasis on quality and has very good systems in place for driving improvement. Policies and procedures are clearly defined and known by all relevant staff. Student feedback is taken regularly through a range of approaches and analysed to improve performance. The complaints system is well publicised and effective.

5.5

The quality of staff in all areas is high and performance management of staff is good. The lesson observation system is very effective, and staff development is linked both to feedback on teaching and to the school’s development plan. All staff are appraised regularly, but comments recorded by appraisers are insufficiently focused to encourage development. Nonetheless, teachers feel well supported by managers.

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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8

ACTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The language school has improved the good standards found at the last inspection.

Suggestions for further improvement In order to improve the excellent quality provided, the language school is advised to: 

Improve the tracking of progress and achievement of student’s individual learning goals through the student tutorial system.

Improve ease of access to staff responsible for pastoral support.

© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


Malvern House London

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INSPECTION EVIDENCE The inspectors observed lessons, conducted formal interviews with students and examined samples of students’ work. They held discussions with senior members of staff. The responses of staff and students to pre-inspection questionnaires were analysed, and the inspectors examined regulatory documentation made available by the language school.

Inspectors Ms Dawn Hart

Lead Inspector

Ms Maureen Deary

Team Inspector

Mr Ray Parker

Team Inspector

Mr John Rooney

Team Inspector

Š Independent Schools Inspectorate 2013


ISI Report 2013- Malvern House