Policies and Procedures

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and punctuality is an integral and crucial part of the learning process.

It is the expectation that all students will attend 100% of their classes. Students are expected to attend classes regularly so that they can successfully complete their programme of study. GNIB requires a minimum attendance of 85%. Visa students who fail to achieve a minimum of 85% will face disciplinary procedures as outlined below.

Attendance is recorded daily. Students must arrive in class by 9:00am for morning classes, and 12:45 or 13:45 for afternoon classes. Any student arriving later than this, if it is an exception, can enter and receive attendance if less than 5 minutes late. It must not be habit. After this time, students are marked absent but are allowed to enter the classroom. Students must also arrive back after break on time. If they are not on time, they are marked absent. Similarly, if a student leaves the class before the end, he/she is marked absent. At the end of the week attendance is entered on to the CMS and each student's attendance is digitally and automatically calculated.

The College is obliged to produce evidence of any Visa student's attendance record to the relevant authorities at any time if requested to do so. The College is also obliged to report regular or long-term absences to the GNIB, in compliance with the law of the country, as well as regulations pertaining to internationally registered courses. It is essential that the school be notified as soon as possible if a student cannot attend classes. Grades and progress are not directly affected by any excused absences but it is solely the responsibility of students to make up for all work assigned during absence. Medical absence is only authorised with a medical certificate from a registered GP or hospital. Students must present the medical note to the Centre Manager within one week of falling ill.

Uncertified absence(s) will result in the student being marked absent. No authorisation will be granted for casual absence. At the end of their programme, a Visa student's attendance level, together with information related to exams and/or any other relevant documents will be submitted to the GNIB for review.

Students who have planned absence should inform the Centre Manager at least one week in advance of the dates they will be away. Students may only request holiday after they have completed 3 months of their course. They must also have satisfactory attendance if they wish to take a holiday.

If a student's close family member is seriously ill, and the student must go home to be with him/her, or in the unfortunate case of the death of a family member, it is possible to freeze the student's course. In this case, students must email the Centre Manager at: adm@iseireland.ie and explain the situation, and also provide medical evidence of the illness. The Centre Manager will discuss the situation with the DOS and a decision will be made as to whether the student may take time off to travel home. If granted permission, the student's course will then be frozen, meaning that he/she may take the remainder of his/her course at a later date.

Attendance Warnings

It is the expectation that all students will attend 100% of their classes. Students are required by the Irish government to attend a minimum of 85% of their classes. If any student attends less than 85% of their classes over a two week period they will receive a first warning email from the school requiring an explanation for the absence, the warning is recorded on the CMS and the response will be documented on the student's file.

Continued unsatisfactory attendance in the 2 weeks following this email will result in a second warning email being sent.

In the case where following the second warning, a student still does not attend the minimum number of classes and does not provide justification, a suspension notice will be issued. The letter informs them that if they do not respond within 24 hours stating their intention to attend classes every day from now on, they will be taken off the register, expelled from the school and GNIB will be informed.

If the student does not respond to the suspension letter by the stated time, ISE telephones them to follow up on the situation. If the student agrees to return to classes and attend every day, he/she is kept on the register. If the student does not agree to this/ does not reply to the email and is uncontactable, he/she is taken off the register and sent an expulsion letter and GNIB are informed.

If the student agrees but then misses any days of class thereafter, he/she is sent an expulsion letter and in the case of Non-EEA students, immigration is informed. A copy of the expulsion letter is kept on the CMS. All letters are sent to the student and cc-d to the Harcourt Street Director of Studies as further proof of sending and receipt.

Students are obliged to attend both halves of the class, pre-break & post-break. Students who arrive later than 5 minutes may enter the class but will not be given attendance. This will affect their attendance record. Students who are late back from the break (more than 5 minutes) may enter but will not be given attendance. Similarly, students who leave the class early will be marked absent in that period.

Written Warnings (via email):

  1. Students whose attendance has fallen below 85% will be sent a warning letter (by email). A record of this email is logged in the Student's file on the CMS.
  2. Written warnings advise the student of the reason(s) for the warning, of the seriousness of the issue, and the possible consequences should it continue
  3. Students have a time limit of two weeks to improve their attendance
  4. The school will monitor and review the case
  5. If the student does not improve their attendance in this time, he/she will be sent a second warning email. A record of this email is logged in the Student's file on the CMS.
  6. The student is given 2 weeks to improve their attendance.

Final Written Warning (via email):

  1. Should attendance still not improve, a Suspension Warning is issued.
  2. The final warning will advise the student that their name has been taken off the register, and they will be expelled from the school and GNIB will be contacted unless they respond to this email within 24 hours.
  3. The student will be informed that if they respond by email and state that they will attend every day from now on, their name will be put back on the register. They are told that should they miss any classes at all, their name will be taken off the register, they will be expelled and GNIB will be informed.
  4. Students who do not respond to the third letter within 24 hours are telephoned by the Centre Manager to give them one final chance to comply.
  5. Students who agree to return to school and attend classes every day will not have their name taken off the register, but their attendance will be closely monitored.
  6. Students who do not respond to the email or phone call will have their name taken off the register and are sent an expulsion letter. They are given 48 hours to appeal the expulsion.
  7. Students will only be removed from the warning status if they are found to have improved for the betterment of their own self, the college and the community.
  8. Furthermore, students who do not attend the school for a full 2 week period will be contacted by email and asked to explain. Students who do not respond and cannot explain their absence will be sent a suspension letter and the procedure mentioned above will be followed.

Students who have been removed from the warning status will be closely monitored to ensure they continue to attend all of their classes. If they miss any subsequent classes, they will be expelled.

Expulsion Policy

Should a student fail to comply with ISE attendance policies, the ensuing action will be expulsion which means the students will not be allowed to continue to attend classes in the school. ISE views dismissal as the last step, should a student's attendance, progress, and/or behaviour fail to adhere to our policies. The Centre Manager issues expulsion in consultation with the Director of Studies. Grounds include, but are not limited to, unacceptable attendance level to classes without prior arrangement and/or justification and continuous disregard for ISE's Attendance Policy and Disciplinary Process and Procedures.

Appeal and Re-admission Policy

Students who wish to appeal expulsion can do so within 48 hours of receiving the expulsion letter and based upon certain conditions including health problems and family emergency. An expelled student may be granted permission to resume studies at ISE where compelling documentary evidence is provided along with a commitment to attend all classes. Any student seeking re-admission is required to send a written appeal to the DOS, detailing valid reasons for readmission. The request should enclose relevant documents to support the appeal. ISE has the right to grant or reject re-admission requests. A re-admitted student may have to comply with certain additional requirements as stipulated by ISE.

An appeal hearing can be arranged for students who wish to appeal personally to the Director of Studies. Students' rights to privacy are protected in full confidence by ISE although hearing proceedings may be recorded and witnesses may be present.

ISE Exam policy

All non-EEA students who are attending a 25 week course, for the purposes of obtaining a work-study Visa, must complete an end of course exam (recognised by the Department of Justice on the ILEP list of end of course English language proficiency exams)

"There must be an agreement between the provider and the awarding body and between the provider and the student confirming that: a) all enrolled students must be registered with the awarding body before or upon commencing the programme b) all enrolled students must undertake the end of programme exam(s). Failure to do so will have negative consequences for an individual student's future immigration status and potentially for the provider." www.inis.com/ILEP rules and regulations

Exam registration and preparation:
  1. All Non-EEA students are enrolled on an end of course exam during or near the end of their course. It is stated in their Student Contract that they are obliged to take an exam.
  2. All of our courses help prepare our students for an exam. Elementary to intermediate General English include one class every two weeks on Trinity ISE exam preparation. Upper-Intermediate classes focus on FCE, Trinity ISE and/or IELTS, and our advanced classes focus on CAE, IELTS and/or Trinity ISE. The exam focused on depends on student need. Upper-intermediate and advanced classes receive one class of 3 hours per week on exam preparation. For all levels, the progress test reflects what was taught in class that week so is a mixture of General English and exam testing.
  3. We provide one week of free Trinity ISE exam preparation classes to all of our candidates taking the Trinity ISE exam. This is offered during lunchtime 12.30-13.30 every day the week before the exam takes place.
  4. In order to ensure all of our Non-EEA students take the exam during their time at ISE, every student is sent an email at least 3 months prior to the end of their course. They are told to contact our Exams Administrator to arrange exam registration.
  5. Furthermore, our Student Noticeboards at both centres inform that all non- EEA students must take an exam. Information on the Trinity ISE exam dates and instructions on how to register are also posted. Students wishing to take an alternative exam are instructed to contact the Exams Administrator to arrange.
  6. Students must complete the Trinity exam form in order to be registered for their chosen exam. The deadlines for application are put up on the student noticeboard, and the forms are collected from reception.
  7. Copies of all external exam certificates and records are scanned and filed for external validation and checking by higher authorities.

To assist with student pathways at ISE, the DOS and ADOS are available for consultation and guidance on exam pathways.

Exam Policy

Prior to taking an exam, students are asked to sign the following policy:

International School of English Trinity Exam Policy

I, _______________________________, (ID.no: _________) agree with the terms and conditions in the exam policy stated below.

Date: ________________________

  1. Once a candidate has registered for an exam (Trinity ISE, FCE, IELTS or CAE) the date and time of the exam cannot be changed. If the candidate is unable to attend the exam on this date due to sickness, work or any other reason, or if they turn up late to the exam and are not permitted to enter the exam room, or they forget to bring their ID and are not allowed to enter, and so on, the candidate will not be given a refund.
  2. If, after registering for an exam, a candidate does not receive any emails from ISE providing further information about the exam, it is the responsibility of the candidate to get in touch with ISE to find out further details about the exam (when it is, where it is, etc). ISE cannot be held responsible if a candidate does not turn up to their exam because he/she did not receive emails from ISE giving further information.
  3. It is the responsibility of the student to inform ISE if they change their email address.
  4. It is the responsibility of the candidate to follow the exams code of conduct. The candidate must follow these rules and if he/she fails to and is disqualified as a result, ISE cannot be held responsible.
  5. It is the responsibility of the candidate to fully prepare for the exam. ISE offers exam preparation in class, as well as free Trinity ISE exam workshops in the week leading up to the exam. All candidates are encouraged to attend. If a candidate turns up on the day of the exam and does not know what the exam entails, this is entirely the responsibility of the candidate. ISE cannot be held responsible.
  6. It is the candidate's responsibility to pay the extra exam cost at the time of registering for the exam. If the candidate fails to pay the difference in cost, he/she will be automatically registered for the lower level exam that is covered by the ISE exam fee. Please note, if taking ISE II, ISE III, FCE, CAE or IELTS, it is necessary to pay the difference between ISE's exam fee and the cost of the exam.
  7. It is the responsibility of the candidate to collect and complete the Trinity ISE topic form for the Speaking & Listening exam (ISE foundation & ISE I only) from Enda at Harcourt St before the exam. This must be brought to the Speaking & Listening exam. ISE II and III students must prepare their own topic form and bring to the exam. All candidates must also collect the exam appointment slips from Enda before the day of the exam.
  8. On the day of the exam, it is the candidate's responsibility to turn up early for both parts of the Trinity exam and to bring photo ID. You cannot take the exams without photo ID and if you are late you will not be permitted to enter the exam room.

Code of Conduct Policy - ISE School Rules

Student Conduct Policy

The International School of English aims to provide quality education in an enjoyable and safe environment. In order to create a positive learning environment for all of our students, we have a number of school rules which we expect every student to adhere too.

  1. We wish to offer our students the most fulfilling and enriching learning experience whilst studying at ISE so we ask that only English is spoken on the school premises and on excursions. We feel this will really help you develop your language skills. It also means that all students, regardless of their native language and nationality can actively participate and communicate with one another.
  2. Please arrive on time for your classes. If you are late it interrupts the lesson, and affects the teacher and other students. You also might miss out on something important. We understand that occasionally there are times when it is beyond your control, but as a general rule and out of courtesy for your teacher and fellow classmates, please arrive on time.

    Morning classes start at 09.00 and afternoon classes start at 12.45 (Capel Street) and 13.45 (Harcourt Street). Although you are given 5 minutes to enter before being marked absent, it is preferable that you arrive on time to avoid disrupting the lesson.
  3. So that you can fully participate and benefit from your classes, please do not use your mobile phone during the lesson. Using your phone distracts you from the task and will most likely annoy your teacher and your classmates. As a courtesy to them, please keep your mobile in your bag, you can check your messages during the break.
  4. Smoking is not permitted inside the school building or at the front door. There is a smoking area at the back of the Harcourt Street school, by the canteen, which you can use.
  5. ISE keeps a record of your attendance. If you are on a student visa, your attendance must be at least 85%. Please see the Student Handbook and contract for more details.
  6. Students attending ISE are expected to treat their fellow students, and ISE staff members with respect and courtesy at all times. This is expected when students are on the school premises, and when on a school excursion. No form of verbal, physical abuse or bullying will be tolerated. Discrimination against any race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or age will also not be accepted.
  7. Other unacceptable behaviour not accepted by ISE includes: selling, distributing and/or being under the effect of drugs or alcohol on the school premises or on an excursion; wilful -damage to school property; theft of school property; accessing, storing and/or sharing any offensive material which is offensive, pornographic or threatening in any way.

Unacceptable Conduct

ISE will take the necessary disciplinary action against any student found breaking the above stated rules regarding accepted behaviour whilst on the school premises, or on an excursion.

In a situation where a student's behaviour is unacceptable, ISE reserves the right to take disciplinary action. If a student exhibits abusive or aggressive behaviour during class time, the teacher can ask this student to leave the class. The teacher will then inform the Director of Studies immediately and the incident will be logged.

The student will then be asked to attend a meeting with the Director of Studies and the Director of Operations. Depending on the severity of the behaviour, the Director of Operations will issue a formal warning, a suspension, or in cases of severe misconduct, the student could be expelled and the police informed when the behaviour is criminal.

Disciplinary Appeals Procedure

A students Appeal form must be completed by the student within 7 days should the student wish to appeal against the decision. In such cases, the appeal is considered using ISE's Complaints Policy and Procedure.

Student Holiday Policy

Students wishing to go on holidays must notify the College at least one week in advance by filling out the online request form on the ISE website. Students should allow a minimum of two days for requests to be processed. Students without the required attendance will automatically disqualify for letters related to holidays. Students on academic year programmes are allowed a total of two months of holidays over eight months (25 weeks) of study.

Students are required to complete at least three months of study prior to requesting any holidays and they may not take any other holidays aside from the above. This does not apply to College holidays, (Bank Holidays, National Holidays and/or academic breaks). These days are listed in the Student Handbook.

Students are only permitted to take holiday to work 40 hours per week during the months of June, July, August, September and over the Christmas period. Students are only permitted to work for 20 hours per week during the rest of the year.

Change of Address

Students in possession of a study visa must inform GNIB of any change of address. The Centre Manager can supply a letter for GNIB

Policy for changing timetable

If a student wishes to change from AM to PM or vice versa, they must follow the procedures stated below:

Students can change their timetable (from morning to afternoon or afternoon to morning)
subject to the following criteria being fulfilled:

1/ The change is subject to availability: whether a space is available.
2/ The course content must be the same as the current course content.
3/  The request must be made by email and sent to the Director of Studies.
4/ If the change is due to work reasons, a letter from the employer must be attached.
5/ A fee must be paid which covers the difference in cost of the original course bought and the cost of the new course.
5/ The Director of Studies and Assistant Director of Studies will assess the request and make the final decision.
6/ The change will be noted on the CMS under Alerts.

Documented Complaints Procedures

The International School of English welcomes feedback from students. We take informal and formal complaints seriously and follow a standard school procedure when dealing with them. We respond to complaints promptly and courteously. Information regarding ISE's Complaints Procedure is detailed in the Student Handbook.

Complaints Procedure:

  1. Students at ISE's Harcourt Street school should contact ISE's Harcourt Street Director of Studies (Marianne – dos@iseireland.ie), Assistant Director of Studies (Ann - ann@iseireland.ie) or Centre Manager (Enda – adm@iseireland.ie) to let them know about the issue.
  2. Student's at ISE's Gold Centre at Capel Street should contact the Gold Centre's Director of Studies (Gareth Jones) or Centre Manager (Domnica - domnica@iseireland.ie).
  3. At the meeting, a Complaints Form will be filled out.
  4. The complaint is formally responded to within 3 working days.
  5. If the student is unhappy with the response to the complaint, they can then contact ISE's Director of Operations: Darragh Price: darragh@iseireland.ie, with details of the complaint.

ISE Child Safeguarding Statement

The International School of English – English language school

ISE is a language school. We provide English language tuition year round to adults over the age of 18 mostly although we do at times have students aged 17 in attendance. Therefore, we are committed to safeguarding any student under the age of 18.

Risk Assessment

We have carried out an assessment of any potential harm to a child while availing of our services at our Harcourt Street or Capel Street schools. Below is a list of the areas of risks identified and the list of procedures for managing these risks.

  Risk Identified Procedure in place to manage risk identified
1 Adults that the learner comes into contact with. All members of staff are Garda checked in order to ensure no member of staff poses any threat.

Adults within host families are also Garda checked.
2 Taking part in school activities which may involve alcohol (for example, school parties). When a learner is aged under 18, the DOS is informed in advance of his/her start at ISE. The DOS will then inform the learner's teachers and the Centre Manager.

If he/she signs up to attend a party at ISE, it is explained that he/she will not be allowed to drink alcohol. Members of staff working at the event will be informed about the situation as well.
3 In case of an emergency, who should the host family or learner contact? ISE has a 24 hour emergency telephone which all students are informed of in the Student Handbook. During Induction, a learner aged under 18, is asked to put the number into his/her phone.
4 Other learners in the class. So that adult learners in a class are aware of the fact that some other students may be under the age of 18, ISE makes it clear in our documentation (for example, ISE's brochure) that it is possible that classes may contain learners from 16 years of age. It is also mentioned in the Student Handbook.
5 Visitors to the school Harcourt Street:
We have a visitor's book at reception that visitors must sign in when they arrive and out when they leave. We do not allow visitors to enter the school and find the member of staff they are here to meet by themselves. Our Centre Manager sits in reception and calls the member of staff who then comes to reception to meet the visitor. He/she also takes the visitor to the door when the meeting is finished.

Capel Street:
Our secure keypad system prevents visitors from entering the school and finding the member of staff they are here to meet by themselves. On arrival, visitors have to use the intercom system to call our Centre Manager, who will then come down and open the door for them and take them to reception, and ask them to sign the visitors' book. The Centre Manager will then call the member of staff to come to reception to meet the visitor, and the visitor will also be escorted to the door when the meeting is finished.

Procedures

Our child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla's Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice. In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service:

  • Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service
  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children
  • Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of occurrence of harm
  • Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person

Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service. This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed on April 9th 2019, or as soon as practical after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Signed: ________________________________________

Marianne Bird, Director of Studies.
International School of English
26 Harcourt Street
Dublin 2, Ireland

For queries, please contact Enda Davey (Designated Child Safety Officer) or Marianne Bird (Director of Studies, Harcourt Street)

ISE Policies for the Safeguarding of Children

  • Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service
  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children
  • Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of occurrence of harm
  • Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla
  • Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person

Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service

As part of their Induction, all ISE staff members are asked to complete a Garda Vetting form, and are informed about our policies for Safeguarding children. They are informed who ISE's Child Safety Officer is and are advised that should they have any concerns about the safety of a child attending ISE, they must speak to ISE's CSO and the Director of Studies as soon as possible.

Any allegation made must be reported immediately to the Child Safety Officer who will immediately inform the Director of Studies. The CSO immediately records all concerns or allegations of child abuse brought to his attention, and the actions taken in response.

If it is decided not to report the concern to Tusla or An Garda Siochana, the following steps are taken:

  1. The reason for not reporting is recorded
  2. Any actions taken as a result of the concern are recorded
  3. The employee or volunteer who raised the concern is given a clear, written explanation of the reasons why the concern is not being reported
  4. The employee or volunteer is advised that if they remain concerned about the situation, they are free to make a report to Tusla or An Garda Siochana.

If a child reports abuse or misconduct against a worker/volunteer at ISE, the allegation is taken very seriously. First and foremost, the child is listened to carefully and taken seriously. The information given and the action taken is documented on the relevant form (please see Appendix 2 for form: ‘Allegations of Abuse/Misconduct Form') and held in a secure (locked) cabinet to ensure total confidentiality.

The allegation is investigated by the CSO and the results of the investigation are discussed with the Director of Studies. The DoS and the CSO then arrange to meet with the CEO of ISE to discuss the matter. The appropriate action is then decided upon. If the allegations are to be reported, the following steps are taken:

  1. Tusla and An Garda Siochana are informed.
  2. The employee is dismissed from their position.
  3. ISE work together with Tusla and An Garda Siochana to ensure all information is provided.

Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children

All of our staff members are Garda Vetted once they have been offered employment. Garda vetting certificates are kept in Employee Files.

During Induction, all members of staff are informed of our Child Safety Statement and Policies.

Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of occurrence of harm

Any members of staff to whom Child Safeguarding training is relevant are asked to complete the Children First: Introduction to Children First - Elearning Programme. This course provides relevant and adequate training and information including the identification of the occurrence of harm.

Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla

If there is reason to believe a child using our service is being abused, all staff members are informed during their Induction that they must report their concerns to our CSO and the Director of Studies. They are advised it is not necessary to have evidence of abuse, they should report any concern as soon as possible.

The CSO and Director of Studies will then record the information securely, including the action taken. The CEO will be informed and the necessary action taken to ensure the child's safety.

Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons

The mandated persons are stated in the company DCF along with the Child Safeguarding Statement and relevant Policies. This is updated when changes are made.

Procedure for appointing a relevant person

The relevant person is selected according to his/her role within the company. In the case of our current CSOs (at Harcourt Street and Capel Street), they were selected as they both have regular contact with learners about their accommodation, social activities, exams and so on.

The person selected as Child Safety Officer:

  1. Is Garda Vetted
  2. Undertakes the Children First: Introduction to Children First course
  3. Works closely with the Director of Studies of the centre with regards to child safety. Both the Harcourt Street and Capel Street Director of Studies have also undertaken the Children First course.