Microsoft word - asic report

A1 The College comprises three classrooms, two laboratories/classrooms, a
student resource/counselling room, two small study rooms, a library, two IT
laboratories (one created since the Stage 2 visit) a common room and kitchen.
The premises have been well maintained and were redecorated during February
2008. The premises are extremely clean. There is satisfactory heating and
windows can be opened, without any intrusive noise, to improve ventilation in
warm weather. The toilets are very clean with full hand washing and drying
facilities and sufficient in number.
A2 The students can use the College library, tutorial rooms, and the classrooms
and IT laboratories, when not in timetabled use, for informal study. They have
free access to the internet and e-mail. The students are also reminded of the
facilities available in the public libraries and they confirmed that they have free
access to internet and e-mail facilities. There is a student common room where
they can consume drinks and snacks prepared in the adjoining kitchen, but there
are no recreational facilities. There is also a vending machine for cold drinks.
Commendable: There is a large common room with refreshments facilities
The College has addressed health and safety issues very carefully and has
appropriate records for the maintenance and testing of alarms, emergency lighting
and fire appliances. The staff confirmed that the owner of the College takes
responsibility for health and safety and that they are frequently reminded of the
health and safety procedures by him. The staff and students also confirmed that
there are details of the Health and Safety Policy in their Handbooks and that they
had all participated in timed practice emergency evacuations, which had involved
a fire marshal to oversee the operations. There are first-aid kits, an accident
report book and two trained first- aiders.
B Management and Staff Resources
* Mrs Sarwar is responsible for liaison with the examining bodies and the
science subject areas while Mrs Thompson in responsible for student welfare and
advice on further studies and careers. They are supported by two administrative
and one technical support staff. The staff confirmed that the management
structure is effective and that the managers are very supportive. Both groups of
students indicated that they know whom to approach about various issues to do
with their courses and assessments.
Commendable: The Students were aware of whom to approach for
information and advice on all aspects of their enrolment and courses.

B2* The Staff indicated that there is effective communication through face-to-face
contact and e-mails supported by weekly staff meetings which have agendas and
recorded minutes. The staff said that there is a good team ethos between the
academic and support staff. They also confirmed that they were aware of the
procedures for cover for absent staff, which, are to contact the College as soon as
possible where every effort will be made to arrange cover, rather than cancelling
classes at short notice or rearranging them.
Commendable: The staff confirmed that there are regular staff meetings
with agendas and minutes and that they are aware of the procedures for
providing cover in the event of absence.
B3 There are documented procedures for the appointment of staff. Vacancies
are advertised in the local Jobcentre Plus or with the Select Education agency for
teaching posts. There are job descriptions and person specifications to aid short-
listing, followed by formal interviews. The qualifications of successful applicants
are verified by inspection of qualification certificates, taking up references and
consulting NARIC if appropriate. There is a three month probationary period. In
practice, most of the academic staff are recently-retired teachers with extensive
experience and knowledge of the examining bodies.
B4 Statutory requirements in term of equal opportunities relating to all aspects of
employment are met. A member of staff indicated that he is registered disabled
and that provision had been made to accommodate him. These procedures
together with formal grievance/complaints procedure could be included in the Staff
Handbook. There is a current Employer’s Liability Insurance Certificate.
B5* There are designated Heads of Subject but the numbers of staff in the various
subjects areas are very small and there is no evident hierarchy. Heads of subject
consult Mrs Yasmin Sarwar regarding teaching arrangements, the acquisition of
resources and liaison with the examining bodies.
B6 Students are timetabled for 30 hours of organised study each week including
lectures/laboratory classes, tutorials and supervised private study. Students
attendances are recorded at every class and the importance of regular attendance
strongly emphasised. An unexplained absence would lead to enquiries being
made and two absences lead to the commencement of disciplinary action. The
College is advised to monitor the attendance of its international students so that if
they do not respond to warnings over a period of two weeks their registration
should be cancelled and the Home Office informed. The attendance data is
entered onto an electronic system for monitoring purposes.
B7 The staff confirmed that the students have a lot of homework and, being highly
motivated, they expect to be given homework each week. The students indicated
nevertheless that their workload is acceptable.
B8 The College has written procedures for the preparation and conduct of
internal, formative assessments and for the invigilation of examinations and
exemplary arrangements for the storage of assessment materials in the Associate
Principal’s office.
Commendable: There are exemplary arrangements for the storage of
examination papers and students’ scripts as well as the invigilation of

B9 The College has a CLA licence and appropriate copyright notices are
C Learning and Teaching: Course Delivery
The students indicated that they had received comprehensive information
about pre-enrolment criteria, fees, and the documents to be presented on
enrolment. One student from Hong Kong indicated that she had received this
information via an agent and that it had proved to be accurate.
C2 The students also said that the information they had received, when attending
the College for interview, on the content, nature and requirements of their courses
had been accurate. The international students had also been provided with this
information and found it to be helpful. The examining bodies supply information
on course content, reading lists and assessment regulations and the College
provides weekly lesson plans and regular hand-outs.

C3 The CVs of the teaching staff indicate that they are well qualified with a wealth
of relevant teaching experience for the courses being delivered. They all have
formal teaching qualifications and most of them have worked with the examining
bodies on an academic capacity.
C4* Three teaching sessions were observed: a GCSE Physics class, an AS level
Physics class and an AS level History class. All were presented by experienced
staff and deemed to be commendable. The students indicated that they thought
that the teaching was very effective and that they are given very good, helpful
handouts at each class.
Commendable: The delivery of courses is excellent, involving a wide variety
of approaches, the use of teaching facilities and the provision of effective

C5* The staff said that the library is developing, but could be larger and have a
wider selection of books. There is a selection of CD ROMS available and internet
facilities to access on-line recourses. The students said that they were aware of
the facilities available in public libraries. Informal arrangements had also been
made to enable physics students to use a nearby branch of Cardiff University’s
library. There is material on further study and careers, which is now greatly
enhanced by the advice available from Lindsay Thompson.
D Quality Assurance and Enhancement
D1 The curriculum and assessment procedures are set by the AS/A2 levels
awarding bodies, though staff discuss which syllabus/awarding body to select.
The staff and students can arrange to have the relevant issues raised at the
weekly staff meetings, for example, a comparison of the performance of the
College’s student with the national averages, in which the College performs
exceptionally well.
D2 The College monitors students’ academic progress using their performance in
homework and formative tests, formal assessments and via the tutorial system so
that there is a report each term on each student’s progress. This approach
identifies students who may need some extra help to obtain the highest grades in
the period leading up to the formal examinations. The students confirmed that the
staff are readily available for personal tutoring and that they have their mobile
phone numbers and e-mail addresses so that they may be contacted outside of
College hours. They also said that the lecturers provide very helpful written
feedback on their assignments.

D3* The College monitors the students pass/completion rates across the ten
subjects offered and compares the students’ performance with national averages
to identify where changes may be required to ensure that students obtain high
grades. This monitoring also aims to identify any trends.
D4* The students confirmed that they have the opportunity to complete feedback
questionnaires on the teachers and courses and they quoted an example where
the College had responded promptly and effectively to their comments. They also
confirmed that there are informal monthly student meetings where their comments
are noted by a member of staff and that a recently introduced system of having a
Head Boy/Head Girl to liaise with the College management appears to be working
well. The staff confirmed that feedback from students is responded to promptly.
Commendable: The students confirmed that the College responds promptly
and appropriately to their feedback.

D5* The College indicated that as the academic staff are so experienced that
staff development in not too relevant; they are, however, encouraged to attend
relevant courses run by the awarding bodies to discuss modification to syllabuses
and Inset meetings. The staff said that there is an appraisal process but that it
seems to concentrate on passing on student comments and that there is some
peer review of teaching, though only oral feedback was provided. New members
of staff confirmed that they had had a helpful induction and been assigned to a
mentor. They also said that they had received a helpful Staff Handbook.
E Student Welfare
E1 It was pointed out that Mrs Thompson, one of the Associated Principals, has
overall responsibility for student welfare; however, the students indicated that they
would also approach Mr & Mrs Sarwar with their personal problems. The staff
indicated that they would all be prepared to help students with their problems but
would encourage them to see the appropriate Associate Principal.
E2* The international students all confirmed that they had received helpful
information on living in the UK, including living costs, registering with a GP or the
Police if necessary and opening a bank account. They said that a member of the
College staff had taken them to register with a doctor and dentist and to help them
open a bank account. One of the students said that he was met at Heathrow
airport and the others said that they had received help in finding accommodation.
Commendable: Students indicated that they had made use of an efficient
meet and greet scheme and had received help in finding accommodation.

E3* The College has several students under the age of 18, all of whom are local
students living with their parents. The College has an appropriate Child Protection
Policy and all staff are CRB checked.
Commendable: A CRB check is undertaken by all staff.
E4 The College has anti-discrimination and disability strategies, which are
followed in the selection of students and staff. There is evidence that the college
follows its disability policy in that a student who is severely visually impaired
gained four A2 Level “A” grades. The student was adamant that she would not
have gained these grades without the help of the College; she is now a student at
Cardiff University. The students confirmed that there is an opportunity to mention
special needs on the application form, but it is suggested that the wording could
be more specific in order to identify needs which the College could assist students
to cope with. The premises would be very difficult for a person in a wheelchair to
negotiate and there are no toilet facilities for the disabled. The students and staff
said that they believed and the College could help students with dyslexia and it
was indicated that a student had been sent to a centre for testing and that extra
time had been arranged in writing examinations.
E5 The students confirmed that they were aware of informal and formal
complaints procedures, which are included within the Student Handbook, which all
students receive an induction, and which the students said is useful. The students
said that in the first instance they would take their complaint to the Associate
F Awards and Qualifications
F1 The College has arrangements with WJEC, OCR and Edexcel for the
provision of AS/A2 level teaching leading to their awards.
F2 While the College Follows the assessment procedures of the awarding bodies,
it has written procedures for the preparation and conduct of formative
F3 The students confirmed that they are made aware of what constitutes
academic misconduct and of the associated penalties. The staff indicated that
they warn the students against academic misconduct and provide appropriate
guidance. There are written guidelines, which it is recommended should be
included in the Student Handbook.
G Marketing and Recruitment
G1* The College is currently developing its procedures for the recruitment of
international students. It is recommended that the College produces an Ethics
Policy for its own staff and agents, and policies on the guidance and appointment
of agents. There is a draft agent contract, (further guidance on these issues is
available in the ASIC Accreditation Handbook). However, the students from Hong
Kong indicated that they had received information from the College and the
courses from an agent and that this had been accurate.
G2 The normal entry requirements for UK A-Levels are appropriate passes in
GCSE examinations or in the equivalent for international students, where the
College has set an IELTS score requirement of 6.5. The students, both UK/EU
and international indicated that they felt that they had appropriate qualifications for
their present courses. The staff concurred with this view and indicated that the
English of the current international students is excellent.
G3* The College has appropriate documented procedures for the admission and
enrolment of students, fees and refunds and the processing of enquires and
applications. While one of the students said that the response to her enquiries
and application had been very quick, less than 24 hours, another said that the
whole application/acceptance process had taken about one month. There are
also written procedures for the creation of students’ records which contained
appropriate documentation. It is suggested that a tick list of required
documentation should be attached to each file to aid identification that all required
documentation/information has been included.
H Relationships with Government Offices and Reporting
Students who the College believes have been given a visa and who do not
arrive for the commencement date of their course are considered no-shows. It is
recommended that the students are given some leeway for late arrival before
being reported to the Home Office within the official ten day timescale.
* The international students were somewhat vague on the Home Office
requirements on attendance; however, they are all timetabled for up to 30 hours of
organised study per week far in excess of the formal requirements. The students’
attendance is carefully recorded on paper-based registers and the data
transferred to an electronic system to monitor their cumulative attendance.
Commendable: The College has an electronic system which enables
students’ attendance to be monitored effectively.

2 Areas of Strength and Good Practice

The College is congratulated on:
• the commitment of the management and support for staff; • the enthusiasm and team ethos of the staff; • the standard of the premises; • the attention paid to health and safety issues; • the availability of help and advice for students; • its internal communications; • its standard of its documentation; • its arrangement for the storage of assessment materials; • the quality of the teaching; • its prompt and positive response to students’ feedback; • the strong support, both academic and pastoral, for students; • its meet and greet scheme and help in finding accommodation; • the CRB check undertaken by staff; • the developing Head Boy/Head Girl staff liaison meetings; • its developing electronic system for monitoring students’ attendance; • the student common room, with provision for drinks and snacks; • the student support for the College.


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