Policies

Attendance and Absence

Atlantic Language takes student attendance seriously as the school wishes to see all its students’ progress with their learning. Classes are scheduled according to the timetable advised to students and all students are required to attend their identified classes.

Attendance is strictly monitored and recorded on a class-by-class basis by each class teacher. Attendances are recorded by the teacher at 15 minutes past the published start time for the class and are subject to spot inspections by members of the school Academic Office or Management. All attendance registers are reviewed fully and recorded electronically, together with class test results, on a weekly basis by the Academic Office and then secured for inspection by school regulators, inspectors or the immigration authorities. Breaches of attendance are escalated to the Student Care Officer.

  • Students are required to attend a minimum of 85 percent of classes over the duration of their course, recorded for each class period scheduled;
  • If a student fails to attend class on two consecutive days, the class teacher will inform the Academic Office immediately;
  • Should attendance in any one week fall below 85 percent:
    • The school will send an email to the registered address of the student informing them of the level of attendance recorded in the week of concern;
  • Should attendance in general fall below 85 percent:
    • An caution will be issued to the student by email or any other reasonable means and the school will closely monitor their attendance for the next 4 weeks;
    • The Academic Office informs the Student Care Officer who will attempt to organise a meeting with the student to review the reasons for poor attendance and measures required so that attendance is sufficient;
  • For students with attendance requirements specified for GNIB/INIS purposes, attendance status will be reported to the local immigration office where:
    • It falls below 85 percent in general;
    • A student records a level of 75 percent in general (25 percent absence) during the first six weeks of their enrolment;
  • Students are advised that they may be removed from class lists and suspended from if they are absent from class for 2 consecutive weeks or more without a medical certificate or prior arrangement;
    • Students who are suspended from class will be advised of their status by all reasonable means;
    • This communication will inform them of how they may be readmitted to classes. This will require that the student meets with the Student Care Office and a representative of the Academic Office to review the importance of attending classes consistently and undertake a commitment to do so;
    • Unnotified and unapproved absences result in the forfeiture (loss) of the absent time from the duration of the course(s) booked;
  • Where a student has been suspended for non-attendance and they fail to communicate with the school or cannot be reached by the school through any reasonable means, including email, SMS or through contact with their agent, the school may expel the student once a period of two weeks has passed from the date of the suspension notification. Communications with the student will advise the student or their representative that:
    • Expulsion may result from non-communication;
    • Readmission may be possible on the basis that the student meets with the Student Care Office and a representative of the Academic Office to explain the reasons for absence and provide evidence where required, to review the importance of attending classes consistently and undertake a commitment to do so;
    • The local immigration office will be informed of the current status;
    • Unnotified and unapproved absences result in the forfeiture (loss) of the absent time from the duration of the course(s) booked;
    • Atlantic Language Dublin and Galway will retain a record of all attempts to communicate with the student or their representative.
  • Where an expulsion decision has been confirmed and notified to a student, the communication will inform the student:
    • Of the reason for the expulsion;
    • That they have the right to appeal the decision by formal written application to the school's Chief Executive Office submitted before the final class date of their scheduled school enrolment;
  • Atlantic will endeavour to make contact with absent students by all reasonable means, including by SMS, email or by contact with their agents.

Punctuality

Students are expected to attend classes on time. Late arrivals, leaving class during class periods or early departures are disruptive for the student’s own learning, and affect the continuity of the class for both their fellow students and the teacher.

  • A student arriving 15 minutes after the scheduled start time of a class will be considered to be ‘late’ as they have missed a substantial part of the class period. In this case the student will not be permitted to join the class and will be recorded as absent for that period;
  • In these cases a student should present for the next class period, punctually;
  • A student will also be marked as absent where they are absent for a substantial amount of time during a class period. An substantial period is considered to be 15 minutes or more and may occur during or by an early departure at the end of a class period;
  • A teacher will refuse to readmit a student to the current class period where that student has been substantially absent.

External Examinations

Students are strongly encouraged to have their language competence recognised by taking an internationally recognised and externally validated examination.

Atlantic Language works with several examining organisations including:

  • Cambridge Assessment English
    First Certificate and Advanced Certificate, CEFR levels B2 and C1 respectively
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing System
    CEFR level range from A2 to C2
  • TIE - the Test of Interactive English
    CEFR level range from A2 to C1

Advice and details on these exams, including sample tests is available from the Academic Office team.

Academic Year Students (Non-EU/EEA)

Non-EU/EEA students taking Academic Year programmes are required to take one of the examinations (listed above) as part of their enrolment. At booking, students are required to choose the examination they wish to take at the end of their study programme.

Students should be aware that some examinations take place on fixed dates only. Should a student wish to enter an examination for a specific date, they are advised to contact the Academic Office as soon as possible after arrival. Where a student has not selected a specific date, the school will automatically enter the student for the last available examination date during their booking.

End of Course School Certificate

A school certificate is available to all students who complete a course. This certificate shows the course(s) taken, dates registered and the student’s final class level. Certificates will only be issued with details of the final level at which a student has studied.

Certificates for students who are finishing courses and studies at Atlantic Language are available from the class teacher.

QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is a state agency established under the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012. The agency has a board which is appointed by the Minster for Education and Skills.

The organisation brings together the roles of a number of previous organisations which had responsibility for the administration of training and education quality standards across further, higher and university education sectors.

Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services (ACELS)

Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services (ACELS) is a service of QQI which is responsible for the development and management of the inspection and recognition scheme for English Language Teaching organisations (ELTOs) in Ireland.

Atlantic Language Dublin and Galway is regulated by ACELS and complies with the requirements of the inspection and recognition scheme operated by the organisation. Courses recognised by ACELS are indicated in school information.

Further Education and Training (FETAC)

Atlantic Language has completed Quality Assurance, has worked with and successfully delivered further education and training programmes as part of the FETAC awards scheme.

Professional Bodies

Atlantic Language maintains membership of a number of professional bodies and associations. These perform a supporting role in offering communication networks and for the sharing of knowledge and experience. They also offer opportunities for the effective pooling of resources.

General Rules

  • Group classes begin at:
    • 0900 for morning classes;
    • 1330 for afternoon classes;
  • Students who are more than 15 minutes late will not be allowed to enter class until the next class period: this is to minimise the disruption to the class and to comply with regulations;
  • Teachers will ask students to come back later if they come to class more than 15 minutes after it has started;
  • To reduce interruption to other students or disruption of classes, students are requested to refrain from mobile phone or other device usage except as directed by class teachers.

Smoking and Eating

  • Smoking in any public building or school is not permitted in Ireland. Atlantic Language Dublin and Galway operates a Clean Air Environment and does not permit smoking or vaping on any premises;
  • Food is not permitted in classrooms at any time.

Expulsion

Atlantic reserves the right to expel students from the school for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to attend for classes as scheduled for a period of four weeks;
  • Visa Infraction for the holder of an Irish Student Visa or any immigration issued permission to study or stay in Ireland;
  • Disregard for Atlantic’s guidelines in the school, in a host family, or in school apartments or residences;
  • Damaging property;
  • Unruly, rude or disturbing behaviour;
  • Consistent lateness for or absence from classes;
  • Bullying or violence towards another student, teacher or member of staff;
  • Non-payment of fees;
  • Use of any banned or illegal substances;
  • Bringing or consuming alcohol or illegal substances onto the school premises;
  • Bringing or consuming alcohol in the host family without permission of the host family;
  • Non-disclosure of any prior medical or psychological condition;
  • Bringing overnight guests into the host family’s residence or school apartment without permission;
  • Committing a violation of the law while a registered student at the school.

Cancellation Policy

  • There is no refund of fees permitted once a student has started a course;
  • Refer to Booking Terms and Conditions for full details.

Holiday Allowance for Students on Academic Year Programme (non-EU/EEA students)

There are specific arrangements for students undertaking the Academic Year Programme.

Since 2015, the Academic Year Programme course duration has been 25 weeks with an entitlement of 8 weeks holidays. Students on this programme are eligible to work 40 hours per week from 1 May to 31 August. Students are also eligible to work 40 hours per week from the period 15 December to 15 January.

To comply with regulations, students must identify their planned holidays schedule once they commence their course at the school. This information will be added to the student's course programme and is notified to the GNIB or INIS. Holidays are permitted on a Monday to Friday (full-week) basis and may no be changed once notifiedto the school.

Students with a visa require a letter from the school if they intend to leave Ireland for any holidays. This should be requested from Student Services at least one week before travelling.

Holiday Entitlement (EU/EEA students)

Holidays must be booked by e-mailing

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Galway) or
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Dublin)

at least 14 days in advance.

School holidays can only be taken on a Monday to Friday (full-week) basis.

Holiday entitlements for students are given as follows.

Course duration holidays allowed (EU/EEA students)

Course Duration Holidays Allowed
0-12 weeks No holidays
13-24 weeks 1 week holidays
25-35 weeks 2 weeks holidays
36-47 weeks 3 weeks holidays
48+ weeks 4 weeks holidays

Atlantic Language Dublin

School Opening Hours

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

0800-1700

0830-1700

0830-1700

0830-1700

0830-1700

Closed

Closed

Atlantic Language Dublin is closed on Public Holidays, on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and for a two-week period during Christmas and New Year

Class and Programme Timetables

  • Atlantic Language Dublin's programmes and classes are scheduled as set out below
  • Students should consult their Arrival Confirmation Schedule for their personal timetable dates and additional details

Programme

Days

Start

Finish

Break(s)

Weekly Hours

General English Standard
[GE1]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

General English Intensive
[GE2]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

General Business English [GE1B]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

General English
plus Private Tuitio
n
[GE1P]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1230

30 mins
60 mins

15/week plus additional private hours booked

Academic Year Programme
[AYGE1AM]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

Academic Year Programme
[AYGE1PM]
5 per week – Monday to Friday 1330 1645 15 mins 15/week

Academic Year Programme
[AYGE2]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

IELTS Examination Standard

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

IELTS Examination Intensive

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

Teacher Refresher Programmes [YLTT]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

Teacher Refresher Programmes [CLIL/ICT/TR]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1430

30 mins
60 mins

20/week

Undergraduate Foundation [UFPU]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1615
1230 Fri

30 mins
60 mins

26/week

Undergraduate Foundation [UFPM]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1615
1230 Fri

30 mins
60 mins

26/week

 

Atlantic Language Galway

School Opening Hours

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

0800-1700

0830-1700

0830-1700

0830-1700

0830-1700

Closed

Closed

Atlantic Language Galway is closed on Public Holidays, on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and for a two-week period during Christmas and New Year

Class and Programme Timetables

  • Atlantic Language Galway's programmes and classes are scheduled as set out below
  • Students should consult their Arrival Confirmation Schedule for their personal timetable dates and additional details

Programme

Days

Start

Finish

Break(s)

Weekly Hours

General English Standard
[GE1]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

General English Intensive
[GE2]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

General Business English [GE1B]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

General English
plus Private Tuitio
n
[GE1P]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1230

30 mins
60 mins

15/week plus additional private hours booked

Academic Year Programme
[AYGE1]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

Academic Year Programme
[AYGE2]

5 per week – Monday to Friday

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

Cambridge Examination Standard - FCE or CAE 5 per week – Monday to Fridays 0900 1230 30 mins 15/week
Cambridge Examination Intensive FCE or CAE 5 per week – Monday to Fridays 0900 1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

IELTS Examination Standard

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

IELTS Examination Intensive

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1500

30 mins
60 mins

22.5/week

Teacher Refresher Programmes [YLTT]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1230

30 mins

15/week

Teacher Refresher Programmes [CLIL/ICT/TR]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1430

30 mins
60 mins

20/week

Undergraduate Foundation [UFPU]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1615
1230 Fri

30 mins
60 mins

26/week

Undergraduate Foundation [UFPM]

5 per week – Monday to Fridays

0900

1615
1230 Fri

30 mins
60 mins

26/week

 

Complaints and Grievances

It is Atlantic Language's objective to provide the best service in terms of tuition, accommodation and care for students. However, we know that from time-to-time the expectations that a student has may differ from the service received.

To help resolve issues and problems, a student is asked to raise the matter of concern as soon as possible by approaching a member of the:

  • Student Services Team –
    for concerns such as accommodation, registrations, school services or activities, facilities
  • Academic Office Team –
    for concerns such as level tests and placement, classroom work and materials, examinations

These staff members will, firstly, attempt to find an informal solution to the matter raised. If this is not possible, the matter will be handled at a formal level, involving the student, school department and department managers necessary to find a mutually suitable solution. The school will endeavour to respond to the matters raised as promptly as possible and to keep the student informed. The school will also maintain a record of its attempts to resolve the matter raised.

Where a matter cannot be resolved at a formal level with the department concerned, the school will escalate the process. This may involve engaging the student’s booking agents or other external bodies with the objective of finding an appropriate solution.

In the case that no solution can be found through these approaches, the school will engage in external mediation through competent providers.

Complaints and matters of concern regarding Junior, Group or Short-stay Group or Family programmes should be raised by the appropriate group leader (or parent) with their Programme Liaison Person or with the Centre Manager.

Medical and Health Insurance

EU/EEA Students

Citizens of the EU/EEA benefit from the reciprocal obligations of the Irish health authorities to provide essential health services to recognised holders of a European Health Insurance Card. It is necessary for these students to provide evidence of entitlement to health care in another EU/EEA country.

It is recommended that students contact the appropriate Health Authority in their home state before travelling to Ireland so that they can complete the registration for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It is necessary to get this card before you depart your home state.

Further information on the EHIC is available at http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=509

Non-EU/EEA Students

Students from non-EU/EEA countries are required to pay for medical attention from their own funds. For this reason it is strongly advised that they obtain suitable medical insurance to cover any costs of emergency medical treatment as these costs may be high.

Academic Year students and any students who must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) will be required to show proof that they hold comprehensive medical insurance before they can register with the GNIB or before they can apply for a student visa.

Insurance policies may be:

  • Purchased as an option with a student’s Atlantic Language booking, or
  • Purchased in the student’s home country, provided that the Insurance Policy meets the requirements of the GNIB and that the Policy Document and Certificate of Insurance are printed in English. When purchasing a policy outside of Ireland, students must be aware of Note 2 below

Note that:

  1. A student who cancels their medical insurance following registration will be in breach of their immigration conditions
  2. Students who are required to register with the GNIB or are required to apply for a student visa must open an Irish bank account and deposit funds for their stay in the account. It is a legal requirement of Irish banks that students must present an official document (utility bill, other Irish bank statement or Irish insurance certificate) which is issued to their Irish postal address. Without this document, it will not be possible to open a bank account and an Immigration application cannot be processed
NOTE It is important that students are aware of the cover offered by an insurance policy
- including the policy offered through Atlantic Language - to be sure that cover is chosen that is appropriate to their needs

Absence due to Illness

Learner Protection for Incomplete Courses

In accordance with the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act (2012), Atlantic Language provides financial protection to all enrolled students in the event that the school must close for any reason set out in the 2012 Act.

As Atlantic Language Dublin and Galway is a member of Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), it, together with other member schools espouse Learner Protection, thereby being able to guarantee to students that they will be able to complete all language courses for which they are enrolled.

Membership of MEI requires that all members must agree that:

"... in the event of an MEI school going unexpectedly out of business, they will accept students whose course of tuition in the closed school has not yet expired. The allocation of such students to member schools will be managed by the MEI office"

For further details about MEI, please visit the MEI Website

Payment of Fees required for Visa Applicants

Fee payments, for which an applying student must provide evidence of payment for visa applications, are handled through an account independent of the school’s day-to-day business. This is done for the separation of payments and the protection of students.

Fees paid by Visa Applicants are either:

  • Transferred to the school on the successful processing of their Visa Application, or
  • Refunded, within 14 days of notification by the applying student, to the bank account nominated by the student at the time of application

The operation of this account is subject to examination by Atlantic Language’s auditors and state regulators.