This month’s issue is full of examples of new industry alliances that have been formed, from schools working alongside fellow schools (the teaching staff of various schools convened for an inaugural teacher training day to share ideas and best practice see page 8), study abroad advisors working in collaboration with school partners (two Australian schools joined forces to offer a dual language programme following a suggestion made by a mutual agent partner see business focus) and language school associations, rivals by all intents and purposes, working together to be more effective in their future marketing and governmental initiatives (see direction). While some would argue competition is healthy, working with one another pooling resources and working together towards a common goal as opposed to against one another can be hugely beneficial. Long may this sense of synergy and togetherness continue, I say.
This month, we also pick apart the new accreditation measures or planned measures implemented in various language teaching destinations throughout the world (see page 36). Government intervention has certainly helped shape the accreditation landscape of late, however, in the case of the UK, an air of confusion still hangs over who possesses what accrediting powers and while the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is now solely responsible for accrediting language schools and private colleges looking to issue General Student Visas, little has been said about those accrediting bodies who were struck off of the ‘accrediting’ list at the height of the reform (Accreditation UK, Bac, Asic and Abls). It is worth reiterating here that all remain in business and those schools looking to concentrate on short-stay students (i.e.; those entering the UK via the extended student visitor visa route) need not apply to ISI but can instead gain a form of accreditation through one of the aforementioned bodies above. Indeed, while it could be argued the UK and Australian governments have thrown their weight behind linking accrediting schemes with visa issuance (a little too much some may argue), South Africa’s language school association, EduSA, laments its struggle to even establish a national accreditation scheme owing to a lack of government support.
On a more positive note, good deeds abound this month, with a spate of industry peers taking part in various fundraising events. Check out Grapevine to see a plethora of lycra-, speedo- and goggle-clad individuals doing something suitably sporty all in the name of charity.