School Policies 2023
The school offers courses from Elementary to Advanced level. We do not provide beginner level courses. A student’s entry level is not confirmed until the school has received level tests and also completed a level placement consultation with a member of the school’s academic staff. Each course has a minimum entry level requirement and students who do not reach this requirement will be offered an alternative course suitable for their level. For non-EEA Academic Year students the minimum entry level requirements are A1 for TIE, A2 for Cambridge, B2 for IELTS.
Assistance & Support for Visas
When Non-EEA Work-Study Visa students arrive in the school they will be assisted with registering with Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to get their visa. The school will provide the student with documentation for their GNIB appointment including a schedule of their course dates and official end of course exam. Documentation for GNIB will only be provided when all course fees, including the exam fee, are paid in full. At GNIB students will need to pay a €300 registration fee using a bank card. When students register with GNIB they will receive a stamp in their passport and their IRP card (Irish Residency Permit) will be sent to them by post within 10 working days.
Students must arrive on time for class and will not be permitted to enter class if they are more than 15 minutes late. If a Non-EEA Work-Study Visa student is more than 15 minutes late or leaves class more than 15 minutes early they will be marked absent from the class segment as per GNIB regulations.
It is a GNIB regulation that Non-EEA Work-Study Visa students have a minimum attendance rate of 85%. Attendance is taken and recorded by the teacher and also by the school’s administration in each class segment. This data is recorded daily and at the end of every week the data is transferred to a spreadsheet with each student listed and their weekly attendance rate and total attendance rate recorded. Attendance sheets are saved in hardcopy and also on the school’s computer system. A student’s attendance rate is available for each student on request.
If a student has an attendance rate of <75% after the first 6 weeks of their course, GNIB will be informed of this in writing. If a student completes their course with an overall attendance rate of less than the minimum requirement of 85%, GNIB will be informed of this in writing.
Students who display a poor attendance record (without a legitimate reason) are spoken to by the school management and given a verbal warning. If the attendance rate continues not to meet the required 85%, the school will provide the student with a written warning. Further failure to meet the required attendance rate will result in a final written warning.
If a Non-EEA Work-Study Visa student continues to be absent after receiving verbal and written warnings they can be expelled from the school. They will be informed of this in writing, with the right to appeal and the school will also inform GNIB in writing.
If a Non-EEA Work-Study Visa student is unable to attend their course due to illness they must contact the school by email ([email protected]) and submit a medical certificate from a doctor to Arena School of English upon their return. Once this certificate is provided the sick leave will be recorded by the school and the student’s attendance for this certified sick leave period will not be affected. If no medical certificate is provided, the student will be marked absent for the days they have not attended their course which will affect their overall attendance rate. In addition sick days will not be added to the end of a student’s course.
In the event that a student is unable to attend their course due to exceptional circumstances such as serious illness of a family member or family bereavement, they must contact the school by email ([email protected]) and provide evidence, e.g doctor’s certificate. The school will assess the case and respond to the student by email. If the request is accepted the absence will be recorded on our database and the student’s attendance for this absence period will not be affected. If no evidence is provided by the student, the student will be marked absent for the days they have not attended their course which will affect their overall attendance rate.
Course Postponement for Serious Medical Cases or Exceptional Circumstances
If it is necessary, under exceptional circumstances, for a student to return to their home country due to serious illness or death of a close family member, students may apply for their course to be put on hold for a certain period of time. In this case students must email ([email protected]) and produce evidence of illness or the bereavement of the family member. The school will assess the student’s case and notify the student if and by when the student can take the remainder of their course. If the request is accepted, the course will be put on hold from the following Monday.
Holidays and Breaks
Non-EEA Work-Study Visa students must complete 25 weeks of classes over an eight month period with 10 weeks of holidays. Normally these holidays are taken after the course has been completed.
In exceptional circumstances the school will agree to holidays during the course for Non-EEA Work-Study Visa students. This must be agreed at the time of booking the course and before the GNIB appointment. In these circumstances holidays cannot be taken until a student completes eight weeks of their course. It is recommended that students take a minimum of 2 weeks holidays at any time. Holiday periods cannot at any point exceed 1/3 of the total weeks elapsed. All holidays start on Monday and finish on Friday.
Students are permitted to work part time (20 hours per week) at all times and full time (40 hours per week) in June, July, August and September and from 15th December to 15th January inclusive. Students must take official holidays from 22 December 2023 to 8 January 2024 (2 weeks) when the school is closed.
There will be no classes on Republic of Ireland public holidays and these classes cannot be transferred: 2 Jan, 6 Feb, 17 Mar, 7 Apr, 10 Apr, 1 May, 5 June, 7 Aug, 30 Oct, 25 & 26 Dec.
End of Course Official Examination & Recording of Grades
All Non-EEA Work-Study Visa students are required to take an end of course examination. This is an Arena School of English policy and GNIB regulation. This official examination takes place as near as possible to the end of a student’s course. At the start of the course the school’s academic management agrees the most suitable exam in consultation with the student and the school registers the student for the exam. Exam results and other relevant documentation are sent to the school. These results are then recorded by the school and attached to students’ individual files.
Complaints & Grievances
At Arena School of English we try to prevent grievances and complaints by ensuring all students are satisfied with their course and the school. In the event that a student is unhappy with any part of the overall service provided by us, both course and non-course related, they have the right to access our complaints policy and procedure. Any complaint will be treated seriously and investigated thoroughly.
The school attempts to resolve any complaints or problems efficiently by speaking to the student to find a solution. Depending on the nature of the grievance a student can either talk directly with the person concerned to resolve the problem, approach his/her teacher for assistance in resolving the problem or go to the reception for assistance in resolving the problem. The school manager will discuss the matter with the student and every attempt is made to find a solution within the school’s terms and conditions. If an agreed solution cannot be found a student will be offered a Complaint Form. The Director of the school will reply in writing by email to the student within 10 working days.
Non-EEA Work-Study Visa students must have their own Medical & Travel Insurance and provide the school with a copy in English of the insurance policy certificate. Alternatively students can book their Medical Insurance with Arena School of English and a full copy of a student’s medical insurance is provided to the student. Students must inform Arena of any medical conditions.
As a member of MEI, Arena School of English is part of MEI’s Protection for Enrolled Leaners (PEL).
View our Terms & Conditions