I hope that trainee teachers come across this entry before investing time, energy and 900 pounds into a Celta course at the Intensive School of English in Hove….
May 2011 Update: Recently, ISE got in touch with Bootsnall to request that this page be taken down, claiming that the site “does not allow us to respond … and when we have in the past it does no (sic) appear on the page”. As such, I have only recently allowed the three comments that I have received in the last year or so to appear (they had to be moderated) and, previously, all other responses appeared. It is clear that I took the Celta four years ago and, since then, things may or may not have changed at ISE.
I did the part time Celta course last year, from February to June (They also have a school in Brighton) Many people on the course were unhappy with the way it was being run. On one Saturday, two of us had to stand on the street to try to invite potential students in because only 3 students turned up for the Teaching Practice session (less than 5 and it doesn’t count). That very same day, the school failed to organise a teacher trainer for both classes, so one trainer had to dash inbetween the lessons. The list goes on…
I taught a class voluntarily each Tuesday for the whole five months because there weren’t enough groups to cover the allocation of classes. I did this to get some extra practice and to help maintain the levels of attendance. I got a reference but the school thanked me in another way – by ‘recycling’ my Celta folder (destroying it) despite my repeated attempts to retrieve it.
Cambridge require that schools store the folders for a year (unaccessible to trainees during this period), then store them until trainees return to collect them. I went along in June, when I was told it was too early to pick it up. I went along on the 2nd July, only to discover that it was missing. After two weeks of trying and failing to get an answer, I contacted the course tutor, who informed me that it had been destroyed. My colleagues’ folders have all been kept. The final Teaching Practice was on the 30th June 2008. I visited two days later, one year on, on a weekday. They didn’t even give me a chance nor did they even forewarn me. I lost all my personal stuff including some family photos, which I had used in my lessons.
I decided to complain to UCLES because it is an absolute disgrace. I’m not sure if they will take any action, but I did hear back from the owner/director, because news of my complaint had reached her. So if anybody has arrived here as a result of an internet search, I advise you to steer well clear of doing a Celta at ISE.
Tags: Brighton, Celta, England/Sussex, Hove, Intensive School of English, ISE