Learner Punctuality and Attendance:
All students are expected to attend 100% of their tuition hours. Any absences have to be explained to the Manager. Absences resulting in a less than 85% attendance rate over any 4 week period will be reported to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). Students absent for more than five (class) days in a row without contacting the office will also be reported to the GNIB. Failure to maintain an 85% attendance rate can result in the cancellation of a visa. No refunds/replacement hours are offered for lessons missed. Student attendance is recorded in class every day. Collation of attendance for records and reports is the responsibility of the DOS and is carried out weekly. It is the policy of the school not to allow students into lessons who are more than 15 minutes late. Missing class for this reason (without a legitimate excuse) counts as being absent. The policy is in the terms and conditions to which prospective students must agree prior to registration. The policy is also highlighted during induction and in the student handbook.
Deferrals, Absenteeism and Expulsion:
All procedures for dealing with suspensions or expulsions fall within the collaborative remit of the school manager in consultation with the DOS.
a) Should a student fail to turn up for lessons on their enrolment date or after a holiday break without contacting the office, the office will make every effort to contact them. Where contact or explanation is not forthcoming, the GNIB will be informed after a period of not more than 10 days. At this stage the student is sent a written statement of intention to suspend their programme. The student has 10 working days within which to appeal this decision. Should no appeal be made, at the end of this period, the student is suspended from the register and the GNIB are informed. Such suspensions will only be reconsidered on compelling or compassionate grounds and solely at the discretion of management.
b) Any requests for a deferral of course dates before arriving in the state are dealt with on an ad hoc basis and at the discretion of the management. They are dependent of length of deferral requested (e.g. until start of next course, one week etc.), reasons for deferral and course make up. The GNIB are informed of all changes to arrangements or dates.
c) Any requests for deferrals after arriving in the country or once the course has started will be dependent on the grounds upon which such requests is made and decisions will be at the discretion of management. The GNIB are informed of all changes to arrangements or dates.
d) At the discretion of management, every attempt will be made to facilitate deferral/suspension requests based on compelling medical or personal circumstances. The GNIB are informed of all changes to arrangements or dates.
e) Any students suspended for failure to adhere to school policy with regards to attendance or code of conduct will be informed in writing. They then have 10 days to engage with the management in the appeals process. Generally, students will be allowed to attend classes during this process unless the reason for the suspension was behaviour that involved personal injury, physical damage, intimidation, criminal activity and/or drug abuse. If students refuse to engage in the appeals process or their appeal is refused, they are suspended immediately and GNIB are informed of their status.
In cases of suspension/deferral/expulsion the student has the right to appeal within 10 days of being sanctioned.
The student must make written representation of reasons why they feel the sanction is unwarranted. In certain cases these points can be made orally where the student feels that their writing skills are inadequate to fully express their meaning. Where possible, such representations will be allowed in their native tongue.
The Management consider the nature of the student rationale and respond in writing within five working days, including evidential support for their final decision. In certain cases, advice may be sought from relevant bodies to ensure a fair decision.
Students who are unable to attend lessons for medical reasons must contact the office administrator by phone, text or email on the first day of illness and each day subsequently. A doctors certificate covering days missed must be provided on first day of return to class. Uncertified absences will be treated according to the conditions of the attendance policy above.
Students must use their holiday allocation in line with official state holidays and school timetable (e.g. Christmas). Over the 25- week course period, students can only take their holiday break after week 12. Holidays must not be longer than 14 days. All holiday requests will be entertained solely at the discretion of the manager. Holidays are to have a maximum duration of not more than 30% of the number of course weeks already taken. Holiday breaks are to be confirmed in writing before start of course. No unscheduled breaks are permitted except in documented cases of illness or close family bereavement or equally compelling personal circumstances. Students must inform the management of such circumstances in writing and all requests are entertained solely at the discretion of the manager.
External Assessment and Exam Registration:
During the booking process, all students will be made aware of the requirement to sit the IELTS examination and the cost thereof. Registration for the exam will be undertaken within six weeks of starting the course. For small student numbers, the learners will be given one to one assistance in applying online. For larger groups, face to face guidance will be given for the filling out process of paper applications which will then be sent in by the school. It is the responsibility of the DOS to implement and support the application process. All applications will include a request for an extra copy of the results to be sent to the school. These results will then be included in the end of course report for each student. (Note-until the results arrive, the week 24 internal exam results will be used a provisional end of course results) An exam date will be chosen as close as possible to the course finish date. When feasible, all the students on a particular course will take the exam on the same day in the same venue. As it is felt that sitting of external summative assessment is a fundamental component of all these courses, students who fail to engage with the application process will be held to be in breach of their immigration conditions and will be subject to the same sanctions.
WELC Complaints Policy:
In general terms, it is our policy to:
-treat all complaints seriously.
-deal with all grievances in a timely, appropriate, open and efficient manner.
-take all sides into consideration when investigating a complaint.
-offer a clear explanation/justification of the outcome to all parties involved.
WELC want your learning experience with us to be positive, productive and enjoyable. If you are unhappy about something please let us know.
For academic queries:
i) Raise the issue with your teacher.
ii) If this does not resolve the issue speak to the DOS.
iii) Finally, if you are still unhappy, you can refer the issue to the Manager. The Manager will consult with the academic staff and present an outcome in no more than two days.
For issues with Host Families:
i) If it is appropriate, ask your Host Family about the issue, perhaps they haven’t realised that you are unhappy about something.
ii) If this is unsuccessful, contact the Accommodation Manager (087-2422651) who will investigate and present an outcome within two days.
For other issues:
i) If appropriate, discuss the issue with your teacher or host family.
ii) If this is unsuccessful, let the DOS or Manager know. They will investigate and present an outcome within two days.
Assessment Framework and feedback to learners:
Learners will be accepted to this course level dependent on an assessment of their proficiency using;
a) The Oxford Placement Test 2
b) An Oral Assessment and Needs Analysis
For purposes of registration, the WELC Online Test (WELC OT) may be used to ascertain general suitability of learners for inclusion in this course. The more comprehensive a) and b) above will then be taken on arrival.
a) For GE, Learners will have a weekly progress test every Friday the results of which will washback into course content. The focus of these assessments will be the material covered in lessons for that week.
b) More comprehensive progress tests will be undertaken in week 6, 12 and 18. The results of these tests will be used to give students individual feedback on their progress rate and any recommendations for the improvement thereof. Consistent scores of 85% and above or 40% and below may warrant a change of level (where possible).
c) Informal teacher monitoring will washback into lesson planning and content.
d) For exam preparation, learners will practise assessment using IELTS rubrics. These may be timetabled in addition to contact hours. At the beginning of the Exam Preparation Module, learners may sit a full diagnostic IELTS exam.
a) All IR learners to undertake a full IELTS exam (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking) to be taken externally within 4 weeks of finishing their course.
b) All learners to sit a full mock IELTS set internally in week 24. Learners will receive feedback on their results.
For weeks 12-25, personalised feedback is available to the student on weeks 18, 24 and 25 as well as informal feedback at all times. Autonomous support resources are made available to all students to consolidate their learning and the DOS is available at all times to offer advice and guidance for students needing extra support.
Students will only be registered for courses on which they have a reasonable likelihood of attaining the exit level. This decision will be made on the available evidence (e.g. online test/academic record) by the manager and the DOS. All IR courses have an explicitly defined entry proficiency level.
All our staff have a primary degree and an ACELS- recognised EFL teaching qualification. Many have many years experience in EFL and are comitted to engaging.
Five Wi-Fi-enabled classrooms with wired internet, two of which have digital projectors. A lending library and Wi-Fi for students. A full range of text-books and support resources for every level. Online LMS accessible on mobile devices. Max student capacity 45.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the current Data Protection Act regulates our use of your personal data. it is the responsibility of Waterford English Language Centres to ensure that the personal data we process in relation to you is done so in accordance with the required principles. Any data held shall be processed fairly and lawfully and in accordance with the rights of data subjects.
We will process data in line with our privacy notices in relation to students, families, employees and all stakeholders in the school.
You have several rights in relation to your data. More information about these rights is available in our Policies on Data Protection, Privacy and Communications which are included in the student handbook. We commit to ensuring that your rights are upheld in accordance with the law and have appropriate mechanisms for dealing with such.
We may ask for your consent for processing certain types of personal data. In these circumstances, you will be fully informed as to the personal data we wish to process and the reason for the processing. You may choose to provide or withhold your consent. Once consent is provided, you are able to withdraw consent at any time.
By agreeing to this terms and conditions, you agree that WELC may process the data that you give to us for any lawful purpose. WELC recognises that you may withdraw this consent at any time in writing.