What does Accredited Mean? : Searching for Good English Language Schools
As a prospective international student it can be overwhelming to begin a search for appropriate English language schools. It is easy to slip into simply choosing a school based upon personal criteria such as the location of the school. While it is true that there are many factors to consider when making a decision about where to study, one of the most important has to do with accreditation. In fact, this is, among all the factors that contribute to a decision, the most important aspect of a language school search.
When searching for a school to learn English, it is important to look for if that school is accredited. What does this mean? Why is it important?
Accreditation is given by the British Council and means that the school is certified as an English language learning institution. Accreditation guarantees that certain standards are met and means that those standards are upheld through regular inspections by the British Council.
So what are the criteria that make a school accredited? And why is this important for my learning?
The criteria include assurances that the school has:
- Qualified teaching staff
- Appropriately equipped and safe school environments
- Honest literature about what the school offers
- Security procedures that conform with British Council standards
- Courses that meet the British Council´s standards
- Standardized and inspected accommodations
These criteria ensure that international students are provided with a qualified and safe education in England. The standardization of schools protects student´s rights to education.
How many schools are accredited in the UK? And how do I find them?
There are around 500 accredited institutions in the UK. Most schools will post their accreditation prominently on their homepage. If it isn´t there, it most definitely will be on their "about us" page.
Most English language schools in the UK are located in the Southern part of the island, specifically in cities like Brighton and London. On the British Council´s webpage there is a complete list of all the accredited schools in the UK by name.
If you are looking for a school in a specific location, your best bet is to google search that location with the phrase "English school". For example, if you are looking for an English school in London, search " English schools London".
For more information on accreditation check out the British Council´s website. Also many websites are catered as directory resources for international students and people interested in English as a second language, such as this one, Total ESL.