Furniture school receives high praise
THE Chippendale International School of Furniture, near Gifford, has been praised for its standards after passing an inspection by Education Scotland "with flying colours".
Inspectors visited the school on the week beginning May 14 this year, as part of the school's requirements to comply with rules it requires to follow to receive international students.
A report published by Education Scotland graded the school's learner progress and outcomes as 'very good', while the learning and teaching process - and the leadership and quality culture - were both rated 'good'.
The school was founded in 1985 by furniture designer Anselm Fraser, who now runs the school as a director along with wife Antonia.
Twenty students per year study for 30 weeks at the school, with about half coming from abroad.
Antonia explained that requirements under new legislation had led to Education Scotland's inspection.
She told the Courier: "We are a very small, private institution, and the immigration rules now state that every private college has to be inspected by the education authority.
"It is a large bureaucratic exercise and that is in order that we can bring students into the school from outside the European economic area.
"We hope we are bringing money into the local economy by having these students - they certainly add to the school's experience, because we have cultures from all over the world which is a huge advantage.
"It's rather sad that this burdens us with a very large amount of extra bureaucracy; however, we passed with flying colours and it's always good to know we are doing things right.
"From our point of view, it has been a comfort to know that."
The report identified the school as being effective in several areas, including: learners progressing will and achieving relevant, high quality outcomes; the school having in place high-quality learning and teaching processes; and the school having effective leadership for learning and teaching and 'quality culture'.
A number of strengths were identified by inspectors, who found that retention and attainment rates for learners were very high; that learners developed high levels of practical skills and relevant knowledge; that teaching staff were enthusiastic and well-informed about their subject area; that the principal has a "clear vision" for the direction of the curriculum; and that "comprehensive and appropriate" quality arrangements support learning activities.
The report identified areas for further development, such as broadening the range of teaching approaches with learners; involving learners further in the planning of learning activities; providing learners with greater opportunity to reflect on their learning and set goals; introducing arrangements to better support learners with specific learning needs; and increasing opportunities for teaching staff to engage in professional updating.
Copies of the full report are available online at www.educationscotland.gov.uk