Delfin Policies

In Delfin, we are passionate about ensuring that our students have the most enjoyable and educational time as possible. 

A. Feedback and Internal Quality Assurance

Teachers hold monthly assessments with students in order to deal with any specific academic problems, to advise on future objectives and learning outcomes and to obtain feedback. A record of the student’s progress is kept on our database. If students move to a different class, all documentation concerning test results and tutorials are then given to the next teacher.

Internal CPD (Continuing Professional Development) sessions for teachers are held regularly in the form of workshops and seminars led by Academic Managers, and teachers are frequently notified of external upcoming CPD events. Delfin is also an Institute member of ELT Ireland, which organises free CPD events for member institutes across the country.

Additional to this, weekly student feedback sessions are carried out by members of the management team to ensure that a consistent level of satisfaction and quality is being achieved. These feedback sessions include New Starters, Mid-course and Finisher students and cover all areas including academic, administrative and accommodation provision.

B. Cancellations and Refund Policy

All cancellations and terminations must be made in writing to the General Manager of Delfin English School. 

’s Cancellation and Refunds Policy is as follows:

Bookings may be cancelled up to 2 weeks prior to commencement of course with a €75 administration penalty. Where accommodation has been booked an additional €95 penalty applies.

·         For cancellations 1 to 7 days before the course begins, 50% of the full amount will be refunded (minimum cancellation fee is €75). 

·         There is NO refund for any cancellation once the course has commenced. This includes late arrival, early departure, or days missed during the course. 

·         At least 24 hours is required to cancel an individual lesson without cost. Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged at the full price of the lesson. 

·         A fee of €200 applies to cancellations due to visa refusal (visa refusal documentation required for refunds).

·         Courses are non-transferable if cancelled or postponed. 

·         All accommodation cancellations after arrival are non-refundable. The same applies if you have to shorten your stay – payment is non-refundable. No shows, failure to arrive or postponement incurs charges in full from the booking date

When applicable, Delfin will endeavour to complete all approved refunds within 60 days of approval of cancellation.

C. Attendance and Punctuality

Delfin expects all students to maintain a minimum of 85% attendance throughout their course. There are a variety of causes for students not maintaining 85% attendance – due to lack of motivation, personal issues, or because students are not genuinely committed to their course of study. We therefore have a procedure in place to ensure that those students who have fallen behind the minimum required level of attendance due to lack of motivation or personal issues are sufficiently supported and motivated, whilst those who are not genuinely committed to studying with us are identified and dealt with accordingly, and as a last recourse removed from the school. This procedure is spelt out in this document.

1.      Attendance Requirements –

a.       All Delfin students are required to meet the minimum attendance percentage of 85% throughout their course.  

b.      Students who are not reaching the minimum requirement are contacted to ensure that they are able to meet the minimum required attendance before their course has finished.

c.       As per ILEP requirements, the attendance percentages and examination details for all house AY students are reported to the GNIB monthly. 

2.      Punctuality –

a.      Students are expected to be punctual for all classes. Any student who arrives 15 or more minutes late to their class will not be permitted to attend the class and will be asked to return after break. These students will not receive attendance for the class segment in which the lateness occurred.

b.      Likewise, students are not permitted to leave more than fifteen minutes before the end of class. Students who leave early will not receive attendance for that class segment.

D. Dealing with Student Sickness

a.      If a student is sick and cannot attend class, they must inform the school by e-mailing studentservices@delfin.ie  immediately on the first day, and on every day thereafter until they are able to return. Students will be marked absent from class until they are able to return.

b.      The student must provide the school with a note from their doctor on the first day of their return to school and this will be scanned onto their profile. Delfin also recommends that students keep doctors’ notes in case they are required to produce them later.

c.       If a student requires extended sick leave for any reason, they are required to provide Delfin with a letter from their doctor or hospital stating the nature of the illness/injury, and an estimated date of return to school. The student should return to school before this date if they are well enough to do so.

E. Holiday Rules and Booking Holidays

·         AY students have a separate meeting in their first week where they are advised about their exam requirement and holiday regulations. 

·         AY students on stamp-2 visas must book all holidays before they register with the GNIB. 

·         AY students who have booked a holiday during their course can take the holiday once they have completed at least 8 weeks of class.

·         After the first 8 weeks of their course, AY students are permitted to take holidays that are equivalent to a maximum of one third of their elapsed weeks of study.

·         AY students are not permitted to take more than 8 weeks’ holiday over the entire duration of their course.

·         Emergency holiday breaks can be taken during an AY student’s course in the event of emergencies such as bereavement, serious family illness or extreme personal distress. These cases these must be approved by the Head of Academics.

·         Holiday dates / schedules may be amended in emergency situations at the discretion of the Head of Academics as per the school’s availability on the condition that provision does not surpass the AY student’s visa duration as the student must have the possibility of completing their course. Students who do not return from holiday as expected will be treated in the same way as all other absent students. There is no mechanism whereby students can make up uncertified absence(s) through additional classes, either during or post the end of the programme. 

F. Course Attendance Management Procedures

a.      Communication with students

All students are informed of Delfin’s attendance rules on their first day in the school by the Head of Academics during the first day induction. Once students are in the school, they are regularly reminded of attendance regulations by their class teachers and are contacted if they are not complying with minimum attendance regulations.

b.      Recording of attendance

Teachers receive an Attendance Sheet for their class prior to their first lesson on a Monday. These Attendance Sheets have two columns for entering attendance for each day of class, one per class segment. It is then the responsibility of teachers to record attendance for each class segment on a daily basis. Teachers record attendance immediately after the first 15 minutes of the class segment has elapsed, after which point no student is permitted to join the class. The teacher then records a headcount of the total number of students present for that segment.

During the week, attendance sheets are filed in the relevant folder for every class. Correct completion of the attendance sheet is monitored through regular spot checks conducted by the Academic Managers, in order to ensure that they are being correctly filled in. At the end of the week all teachers sign their class registers and hand to an Academic Manager so that attendance can be input onto Delfin’s CRM for every student. Attendance sheets are kept for a minimum of 12 months.

c.       School Attendance Management System

Overall responsibility for managing class attendance lies with the Head of Academics. A spreadsheet of attendance for the whole school is produced on a weekly and monthly basis. The Head of Academics is then responsible for communicating with students regarding their attendance.

d.      Attendance checks – weekly

Delfin has recommenced the system of checking students’ attendance once a week, as well as conducting a more in-depth attendance audit on a monthly basis. As part of the weekly attendance checks, the following students are identified:

a)          Those stamp-2 visa students who are not going to be able to achieve the required 85% attendance by the end of their course.

b)           Those stamp-2 visa students who have completed 6 weeks in the school and have attended less than 75% of their scheduled hours.

c)              Any who have completed 2 weeks in the school and have below the required 85% attendance.

d)             Any who did not attend any of their scheduled lessons during the previous week.

These students are contacted immediately and informed that they have below the required level of attendance.

e.      Attendance checks – monthly audit

An in-depth audit of attendance for the whole school is conducted on a monthly basis in the first week of the month. Following this audit, all students who have not met the required minimum 85% attendance are sent an attendance reminder / warning according to a pattern established by the school with the aim of encouraging and motivating students to attend as many classes as possible for the remainder of their course. This pattern works as follows:

i.                    First warning: The first warning is sent to students the first time it has been noticed that their attendance has dropped below 85% for the first time.

ii.                  Second warning: All students who have received a first warning but who have not taken steps to improve their attendance will be sent a second warning. Students who receive a second warning are invited to speak to the Head of Academics about their attendance.

iii.                Third warning: In the event that a student has already received two warnings, they   will receive a third warning which will inform them that they at risk of having their course cancelled if they do not act immediately to improve their attendance. This warning is sent by the Head of Academics, and students who receive this level of warning are informed that they must attend a meeting with the HoA.

The aim of this procedure is to inform students who are falling behind of what their attendance is, to encourage them to attend a higher percentage of lessons, to ensure they know what the consequences of not meeting the school’s attendance requirements are, and to give them every opportunity to discuss any issues they may be facing that might negatively affect their attendance. Ultimately the procedure will also identify and instigate the removal of any individual at the school who is not a genuine student.

The final step in this procedure is to cancel the course of any students who are not compliant with the school’s attendance policy and do not attempt to improve their attendance. See course cancellation policy below.

f.        Communication with external authorities

Delfin takes its responsibility to communicate with external authorities, in this case GNIB and INIS, extremely seriously. The monthly spreadsheet of attendance and exam bookings is sent by the Head of Academics.

G. Absenteeism and Course Cancellation

The school has a course cancellation policy in place to ensure that students understand that maintaining a high level of attendance consistently throughout their course is a requirement and that sanctions are in place if they do not. However, cancellation of a student’s course is a last resort and is not entered into until all other means of getting students to meet the required standards have been exhausted. The final decision to cancel a student’s course is taken jointly by the HoA and Student Services Manager.

The procedure for course cancellation in the event of non-attendance is as follows:

1.      The above procedures regarding attendance management are followed with every effort being made to get the student back into class and to maintain a consistently high level of attendance.

2.      Once the student has received their third attendance warning (or when no contact can be made with students with 0% attendance after 4 weeks) their course is considered for cancellation.

3.      The HoA considers the case for course cancellation together with the Student Services Manager and they jointly make a decision as to whether the student’s course will be cancelled.

4.      If the decision to cancel the student’s course is taken, the student will be invited to attend a meeting with the HoA at a scheduled time, where the decision (and reasons for it) will be explained. At this stage the student will have the opportunity to put their case forward and explain why they have been consistently unable to meet the attendance requirements. The student can bring one person to support them to this meeting.

 

5.      Following the meeting, the HoA will either confirm the decision to cancel the student’s course, or will consider other ways of managing the student’s attendance should it be felt that their appeal was successful.

6.      The student will receive the school’s final decision in writing shortly after the meeting.

7.      In cases where the student does not attend the meeting, a decision will be made in absentia and the student will be notified accordingly.

8.      If the decision is to cancel the student’s course and they are attending the school on a stamp-2 visa, GNIB will be informed of the school’s decision in a timely manner.

NB:  Students may have their courses cancelled for reasons other than attendance, such as violent or abusive conduct to a fellow student or staff member. This will be immediately communicated to GNIB and the student will be sent an official letter.

H. School Dates & Ireland Bank Holidays

Ireland has 9 Public Holiday days per year when the school will be closed and there will be no classes. The school may close for Christmas or other holidays.

January 1st                      New Year’s Day

March 17th                      St Patrick’s Day

April                                Easter Monday (This date changes each year – early April)

May                                 First Monday of May

June                                 First Monday of June

August                             First Monday of August

October                            Last Monday of October

December 25th                Christmas Day*

December 26th                St Stephen’s Day*

December 27th               Christmas Day in lieu

To confirm the exact days please visit: www.officeholidays.com/countries/ireland/

*Please note that the school will also close for a period of Christmas. These dates vary from year to year and will be communicated at the time of enrolment.

I. Behaviour and Complaints

Any Harassment, including but not limited to, sexual, racial or religious, towards teachers, staff, and host families or other students will not be tolerated in anyway.

Physical or mental abuse towards teachers, staff, host families or students will also not be tolerated.

If any of the above behaviour occurs then this can lead to immediate expulsion both from the course and accommodation.

If you have a complaint, please report this to reception and a manager will be notified immediately. We will endeavour to rectify the situation if it is within our capability.

J. Complaints and Grievances Procedure

Do you have a problem or something that bothers you at Delfin?  Don’t take it home with you; we are here to help. During your first week, you will meet with a member of staff to discuss how your course is and if there are any issues that we can help resolve.  Always, at any time, you can talk to a member of staff.

At the end of your course you will also be asked to complete a questionnaire. This will monitor your satisfaction level and help us to improve.

All formal complaints must be made in writing by email which must be sent to the General Manager. The student must provide in the email all relevant details of the complaint including the name of the individual or service about which the complaint is being made, dates, times, witnesses and circumstances of the event(s) being complained of and should also describe any previous attempts at resolution. Finally, the student may wish to suggest what reasonable steps he/she thinks could be taken to resolve the complaint.

In order to ensure that complaints can be dealt with efficiently and quickly they should normally be made within one week of the relevant event and, in any case, no later than two weeks after the event.

The General Manager will issue a written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint normally within 5 working days. The General Manger will conduct such investigations, including possibly meeting with the student and/or the respondent, and seek such further information as it requires and deems fit to determine a resolution to the matter being complained of.

A written recommendation on how the matter can be/has been resolved will be sent to the complainant. The response will normally be issued within 30 days.

Appeals must be made in writing directly to the Managing Director within 5 days.

Any complaints that the complainant feels have not been satisfactorily resolved by the school may be passed on to QQI.

K. End of Programme Exam Entry and Recording of Grades received

1. All non-EEA students attending a 25 week course in Delfin English school for the purposes of obtaining a work-study Visa must complete a recognised external exam before the end of their course. Delfin will provide exam preparation courses for Cambridge and IELTS exams and students must choose and pay for an exam before their enrolment with Delfin is complete.

All students must sign an agreement stating that they will take an exam as required and this will be supplied to the student as part of the enrolment process.

Delfin will subsequently enrol the student for their exam, the results of which will be communicated to Delfin and to the student for the purposes of record keeping. Responsibility for this process sits with the Academic Manager of Delfin who can be contacted on info@delfin.ie or 01-8722037.

All results and grades received by Delfin will be available for inspection by students, INIS and other relevant personnel and bodies.

2. Awards: All programmes include preparation for one of the Cambridge English exams, or the IELTS exam. Please note that courses at Delfin English School are not on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) and students who complete a course at Delfin Dublin do not receive an NFQ award.

L. Admissions Criteria for Programmes

Delfin operates strict admissions policies for its programmes. All non-EEA must choose and pay for a recognised exam before completing their enrolment with Delfin. Due to this, students must pass the placement exam for each course.

Delfin operates a free online test located at ttps://www.delfinschool.com/en/london/free-trial-class/free-test/

The following are the minimum entry level requirements for each exam preparation course:

·         Cambridge – A1

·         IELTS – A2

If a student does not reach the minimum required level for entry to a course, that student will be offered an alternative programme which is more suitable to their level.

Please be aware that students can only renew their course with Delfin at a higher level than that which they finished in their previous school.

M. Medical Insurance

As medical insurance is a necessary requirement to obtain a work-study Visa in Ireland, Delfin offers the option of a comprehensive medical insurance to its non-EEA students. A full copy of the insurance policy is given to the student on their arrival and can be supplied to them before this is necessary. The insurance supplied will cover the student throughout the term of their Visa.

N. Learner Protection

As Delfin is a recognised member of MEI, Delfin students will benefit from the protection of Learner Protection. In the event that an MEI school ceases trading, all student courses which have not been completed will be accommodated in another MEI school.

O. Delfin Emergency Contact

When a student enrols with Delfin, they will be supplied with all contact details of the school, along with emergency contact numbers for use in emergency situations outside of office hours. A Delfin member of staff is available on this number 24 hours of the day, 365 days a year.

P. Detailed Calendar of all programmes on its website

Course

Hours

Days

Class Time

Public Holidays

General English Morning

15

Mon-Fri

09.10 - 12.25

January 1st - New Year’s Day

General English Afternoon

15

Mon-Fri

13.45 - 17.00

March 17th  - St Patrick’s Day

General English Plus Morning

20

Mon-Fri

09.10 - 13.35

April - Easter Monday

General English Plus Afternoon

20

Mon-Fri

12.35 - 17.00

May - First Monday of May

General English Intensive

30

Mon-Fri

09.10 - 17.00

June - First Monday of June

Exam Prep - IETLS/Cambridge/TIE

15

Mon-Fri

09.10 - 12.25 / 13.45 - 17.00

August - First Monday of August

General English Part Time 9

9

Mon/Weds/Fri

09.10 - 12.25 / 13.45 - 17.00

October - Last Monday of October

General English Part Time 6

6

Tues/Thurs

09.10 - 12.25 / 13.45 - 17.00

December 25th - Christmas Day

*Please note that Delfin will close for Christmas from 24th December 2018 to 4th January 2019

*Please note that students can begin a new course in Delfin each week, regardless of level of Exam chosen

Q. Photography and Film Material 

By accepting Delfin English School’s terms and conditions, the student accepts that Delfin can freely use all photography, film, and sound material that has been created by Delfin and / or Delfin’s staff, without asking further approval from the student.