Joined: 19 Jun 2008
|Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:43 pm Post subject: for information - OISC - dodgy school in oxford
|For anyone thinking of teaching at OISC in Oxford (Oxford International Study Centre), don't!!
I worked in the admin department for a little while there last summer...and it was absolutely terrible. I heard from a couple that the school had actually gone bankrupt twice in the past but kept changing its name and moving premises to start again.
Anyway - I worked in the accommodation "department", which was less of a department than just me and another woman who had started work a week before me, trying to place kids coming from China, Russia, Italy and various other places in rooms in houses in and around Oxford. It says on their website that every house and host family is checked out, but this is just not the case. I don't really need to explain why this is unacceptable!
Aside from the general chaos of the entire place, there were not enough teachers (let alone organised classes/groups/lessons/timetables/syllabuses) for the volume of students, so they offered me a teaching job. Completely inexperienced and unqualified at the time, I was slightly horrified by this. If the school had given me a better impression from the outset I may have given it a go, but decided against it...
Another girl who was working there (who left two days after I walked out) ended up taking 45 Japenese children through Oxford town centre, across the high street and to the town hall with her one day, completely on her own. Aside from anything else, this is illegal as well as dangerous.
One 12 year old Russian girl was eventually placed in Abingdon (which is about 3 miles from Oxford centre), and would have had to get the bus in to the town toschool every day, on her own. I pointed out to the DOS that this was not ideal, and she basically said too bad.
So, yeh, I know summer language schools are always going to be chaotic to an extent, but this was ridiculous.
I worked for another Oxford school chaperoning kids on and off the Eurostar last summer (OISE - Oxford International School of English - and NOT to be confused with OISC!) which was pleasantly chaotic but functioning well, and was a decent school with qualified teachers and a reasonable level of organisation.
So - just watch out for the dodgy schools! And don't be fooled by the fact that a school has the name of an ancient university city in its name... it almost certainly has no link to Oxford, Cambridge, York, Lincoln, Durham, or wherever...