Attendance and Absence Policy
Attendance and Absence from Class
Students enrolled at Oxford English Centre are expected to attend classes regularly. Any absence should be for authorised holiday or illness only. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the school of absence and they may be asked to submit a Request for Absence form. Absence for more than 5 days due to sickness requires a doctor’s note.
Students studying in the UK on a Student Visa must attend 80% of classes as stated in the Home Office Rules. At Oxford English Centre we have a strict policy of attendance for visa nationals because we have to follow these Rules set by the Government. Students must be aware that the Home Office will not extend the visa of a student with less than 80% attendance of classes. Oxford English Centre is obliged to enforce these Government rules.
Students who fail to attend classes without prior authorisation for five consecutive days will be removed from the class register and it will not be possible to guarantee a place in the same class upon their return. Students who attend less than 80% of their class may also be removed from the class register.
If students miss more than this amount or are continuously absent without submitting a doctor’s note or other valid reason, the following staged Absence Procedure will be invoked:
1) An interview with the Academic Team Leader or member of the Academic Team.
2) a first written warning
3) a second written warning
4) the student may be asked to leave the School
5) the Home Office may be notified of unsatisfactory attendance
There will be no refund of fees for a student requested to leave the School for unsatisfactory attendance.
Students will automatically receive a signed Certificate on successful completion of the course, providing they have at least 80% attendance of their classes. Students with less than this level of attendance will not automatically receive a Certificate. The student may request a Certificate which will state the actual level of attendance achieved.
Students who cannot attend class must phone or inform the School Office by 9.30 a.m. if possible. If the student is absent for a week or more and can provide a doctor’s certificate, they may request a course extension.
Holidays and deferred tuition
All students must book holidays at least two weeks in advance and for a full week starting on a Monday. You cannot take less than a full week as a holiday. If students attend class for any lessons or days when they have booked a holiday they will automatically forfeit that week’s holiday as deferred tuition. A student may not take a holiday in a week that has already started. Students may take one week’s holiday for every 10 weeks booked. Students are reminded that a place in the same class cannot be guaranteed on return from their holiday.
If a student has a problem that results in absence or sickness, such as a personal or family problem, physical illness, homesickness, problems with the class or studying, etc. the student should request to speak to the Welfare Officer or Academic Team Leader as soon as possible so that the school can help them quickly by offering advice or support and so keep the situation under control. All matters will be treated with care and confidentiality.
If a student cancels before the course starts the school will refund fees paid in advance minus the registration deposit and any other costs due. Once the course starts refunds for tuition are not normally available but a credit may be considered at the discretion of the school.
If a visa is refused the school will refund all fees paid in advance less any charges. However, to qualify for the refund the refusal document from the Embassy must be provided together with the original letter of acceptance supplied by the school.
We strongly recommend students take out insurance in case of accident, illness, bereavement which should be arranged directly or through the school. See the course application form for details.
1. The school reserves the right to refuse admission to any student or to dismiss any student in the event of misconduct or unsatisfactory attendance or timekeeping or work, without refund of fees.
2. The school deals with attendance and punctuality issues with a defined warning system. The school will speak with the student if the student is not meeting the required attendance and punctuality standards. If there is no improvement in the student’s performance in this area, the student will be given a first warning. If the student fails to improve in the agreed area, a second and final warning will be given. In cases where the student continues to fail to meet the agreed, required standard, the student can be dismissed from the school without refund of fees.
3. In the event of poor or non attendance for tier 4 students sponsored by the school, the UKBA will be informed via the online student management system.
4. In the event of misconduct such as abusive behaviour or language, fighting or discriminatory language, the school reserves the right to dismiss students if they have broken UK law such as the use of drugs on the school premises or in student accommodation.
5. Students are required to pay for all course fees in advance of their course beginning. The school reserves the right to dismiss a student if all fees are not paid.
6. In the event of student misconduct in a host family or student residence, the school reserves the right to dismiss the student from the accommodation.
7. The school reserves the right to remove students from exam classes and placed in to a General English class in the event of poor student attendance and punctuality.
The school will make these procedures clear to all students through the terms and conditions. In addition each new student is given a student handbook and is invited to a further induction meeting where these policies are explained.
Child Welfare and Protection Policy
The School’s Child Welfare and Protection Policy deals with the essential issues implicit in Child Protection and safeguarding. There is a wide range of adults to whom students can turn for help and these are listed in the student manual which is distributed to all students on arrival and is available in the school office.
Welfare of Students
Our welfare aims include:
• Being a school where the well-being of everyone is the prime concern of each member of our school community.
• Supporting a learning community in which all students can realise their full potential
• Providing a safe, stimulating and enriching environment where everyone is able to enjoy his/her learning experience.
• Encouraging students to be active members of the school community
• Promoting regular attendance and good behaviour as pre-conditions for maintaining high standard of achievement
• Providing a caring environment in our host families, in which students can feel safe and supported.
• Encouraging tolerance and understanding between all members of our community.
Designated Child Protection Officers are Colin Lockhart and Anne Fowles, supported by the Accommodation and Welfare Officer and Academic Team Leader.
Training will be offered to all staff in Child Safeguarding. The introductory course is provided by Oxfordshire Council Safeguarding Board. All staff responsible as Child Protection Officers will be required to have a minimum Level 1 Certificate in Child Safeguarding.
Oxford English Centre asserts that the bullying by one member of our community of another will not be tolerated. It also aims to raise awareness in all members of the community of the various forms of bullying behaviour which exist (physical, verbal, psychological) and to educate them in ways of identifying and dealing with incidents of bullying if they arise.
We aim to prevent incidents of bullying behaviour wherever possible and to provide anyone who feels that they have suffered such behaviour from another with the confidence to confide in others; we also aim to ensure that any person who has shown bullying behaviour is counselled and/or sanctioned appropriately.
It is OEC’s policy to provide a fair and just procedure for dealing with complaints, providing every student with the opportunity to be heard and to have their complaint dealt with effectively. If a solution cannot be found within the Centre OEC will recommend the student contact a third party.
Some students will experience an anxiety or a worry of some sort during their time at school. In most situations, the tutor will be able to address the problem and find a solution quickly. However if the issue raised cannot be resolved in this way, we encourage students to talk about their concerns to anyone they feel comfortable with. If they do not know who to speak to, they should in the first instance be directed to the Welfare Officer.
We will listen to the problem carefully and try to find a solution. If the issue is unresolved the student should speak to the Centre Director.
If a student on a course at Oxford English Centre has a complaint about his/her course, his/her teacher, the following procedure applies:
1. If at all possible, in the first instance, students should try to speak to the relevant class teacher(s) on a frank, open, honest and face-to-face basis. If this happens, the teacher concerned should bring this to the attention of both the Principal and the Academic Team either in writing or in person.
2. If the above course of action is not possible or does not resolve the issue, the student(s) concerned should seek to make an appointment with the Academic Team Leader or a member of the Academic Team. The Academic Team Leader will bring all such meetings to the attention of the Principal in person.
3. At this initial meeting, the Academic Team Leader will complete Part A of the Student Complaints Form. The student will read what has been written (or have it read as slowly as necessary to them) and will sign and date Part A to state that he/she agrees with the written record of this meeting. If the student’s/student’s level is particularly low, every effort will be made to find a student with higher English language competence and the same first language who can serve as unofficial interpreter during this meeting, and any subsequent meetings, if at all possible.
4. Following this meeting, the Academic Team Leader (or Academic Team member) will seek to convene a meeting with the teacher(s) concerned as soon as is realistically possible. The issues as raised by the student(s) will be conveyed as accurately as possible - the teacher(s) should read the written record of the meeting with the student(s) concerned. Any comments, feedback or views expressed by the teacher will be written down in Part B of the Student Complaints Form. The teacher(s) will read what has been written and will sign and date Part B to state that he/she/they agree(s) with the written record of this meeting.
5. If the issue relates to teaching and treatment of course content in the class in question, the Academic Team Leader (or Academic Team member) will inform The teacher(s) concerned that she/he will be dropping in on a pertinent class session unannounced, with no forewarning over the next few days, or the next week. Appropriate feedback on this lesson observation will be written up in Part C of the Student Complaints Form.
6. Following stage 5 above, a meeting will be arranged with the student(s) who made the original complaint (and, if deemed useful, with the teacher(s) concerned present) during which Part D of the Student Complaints Form will be completed as a written record of the meeting and the agreed outcome/further action required.
7. At a suitable time after the above Part D meeting, a follow-up meeting will be held to review Action completed and further action required. At this meeting, Student Complaints Form 2: Monitoring Action Plan will be completed. Further meetings will/will not be called to further monitor action completed IF deemed necessary. The Student Complaints Form 2: Monitoring Action Plan will be used for all such meetings to record issues discussed and outcomes reached.
Formal complaints should be in writing and will be handled by the Centre Director. It is our aim to solve a problem as quickly as possible.
If a student is not satisfied with the solution found by the Centrre Director, they may also contact our national association, English UK, who can look at the complaint independently. Their contact details are:
219 St John Street
London EC1V 4LY
Tel: +44 (0)20 7608 7960
Fax: +44 (0)20 7608 7961
Health and Safety Policy
Oxford English Centre aims to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all staff and students at the school.
The centre undertakes to carry out regular risk assessments of the premises, maintain an accident book and log and report incidents
1. Fire safety drills to be carried out and logged twice a year. Fire alarm to be tested once a week. Fire exits and procedures to be explained to staff at induction.
2. Fire risk assessments to take place as legally required.
3. All fire exits and signage to comply with legal requirements.
4. A Health and Safety risk assessment to be reviewed annually.
5. All hazards likely to affect health and well being of students and staff to be reported.
6. No member of staff should administer drugs of any description to any students.
7. Sanitary bins to be emptied regularly by contractors.
8. All staff given fire safety and health and safety training at induction.
9. Any emergencies to be referred to one of the school’s qualified first aiders.
10. Accident book to be kept at reception.
11. First aid kit to be kept appropriately stocked at reception.
12. In the event of students requesting medical attention, the problem should be referred to a certified first aider. The student may be offered on assessment: An appointment with a GP, an emergency appointment with a health centre, a call with NHS direct, visit to A&E, call the emergency services
First Aid Policy
It is the policy of Oxford English Centre to ensure that every student, member of staff and visitors will be well looked after in the event of an accident, no matter how minor or major. The school will maintain a team of qualified First Aiders.
The purpose of the Policy is therefore:
• To provide effective, safe First Aid cover for students, staff and visitors.
• To ensure that all staff and students are aware of the system in place.
• To provide awareness of Health & Safety issues within school and on social activities and school trips, to prevent, where possible, potential dangers or accidents.
In the event of an accident all members of the school community should be aware of the support available and the procedures available to activate this.
• NB The term FIRST AIDER refers to those members of the school community who are in possession of a valid Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificate or equivalent.
Criminal Records Bureau Check and associated procedures
In order to ensure the safety of all students, especially those aged under 18 years, Oxford English Centre has a policy of requiring Enhanced CRB checks for all staff. The school registers staff at the time of a job offer or as soon as possible after commencement of work.
In order to simplify the process please provide the following documentation at interview:
1. Passport and driving licence. The school will take copies of these items at interview. Copies of ID will be shredded if applicants are unsuccessful.
2. Degree and TEFL Certificates, and proof of any other relevant qualifications.
3. Proof of address from two sources e.g. bank statement, council tax bill, utility bill
4. National Insurance number.
5. A disclosure number for any recent or previous CRB check.
As a general policy, offers of any position will be conditional and dependent on satisfactory receipt of references, verification of identity and qualifications, CRB and any other legal checks. Original documents are required and copies will not be accepted.
In certain circumstances, such as employment at short notice, or emergency cover, an employee may be required to sign a criminal declaration form while registration is pending.
For further information on the CRB refer to the website at www.crb.gov.uk
It is OEC’s policy to recruit staff fairly and equitably without discrimination. Staff will be chosen for their qualifications, experience and their potential ability to add value to the OEC community.
When a vacancy is identified the Centre Director will authorise the advertising of the position and allocate a senior member of staff to manage the interview and selection process. The staff member allocated will have a full knowledge of the position and the requirements.
All applicants are required to complete an application form and provide a copy of their CV detailing their qualifications and experience together with evidence of their qualifications and contact details for at least two referees.
Interview process is managed by the appointed staff member. Depending on the position, a selection panel will be formed to carry out the interviews and to short list for final approval of the Centre Director and/or Board of Governors.
Each applicant is expected to bring to the interview the originals or notarised copies of the qualifications; ID in the form of a driver’s licence with photograph or a passport or birth certificate and proof of current address. Reference checks are used to verify the experience provided in the CV and to provide feedback on the quality of work and abilities of the applicant. If a CRB check is available it should be provided with the other documents.
Verbal offer is made to the successful applicant. If verbal offer is accepted the applicant’s legal status must be confirmed via the Prevention of Illegal Workers check.
A contract of employment is forwarded to the employee with an induction pack and an application for a CRB check. All new staff working at OEC are required to complete a CRB check.
Offer of work is conditional upon:
• Receipt of two satisfactory references (referees may be asked to comment on suitability for work with minors)
• Verification of ID and qualifications (in the case of teachers a minimum of TEFLI status)
• Satisfactory CRB disclosure
• Satisfactory completion of a probation period
Equal Opportunity and Discrimination Policy
The Oxford English Centre is committed to ensuring that all staff and students enjoy an environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Our commitment is to create a working environment in which there is mutual trust and respect and where everyone is treated fairly. Disciplinary action will be taken against individuals who breach the policy.
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