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Bellerbys College is a series of three (formerly four) private international co-educational boarding schools based in the UK, owned by Study Group International who also operate language schools under the name Embassy.
Bellerbys College Brighton
Brighton, Cambridge and London
|Age range||14 - 19|
The college offers Pre GCSE and GCSE courses over 3 or 4 terms (1 year), A Level courses over 6 terms (2 years), 5 terms (1½ years) or 3 terms (1 year). The 5 term programme starts in January or April and is suited to students from countries whose academic year is not the standard September to June year.
The college also offers a foundation programme in which students choose from one of 7 subject streams: Business, Finance and Management, Law and International Relations, Engineering and Computer Science, Management Computing Systems, Science and Pharmacy, Art and Design and Humanities. The Bellerbys College foundation programme is taught and examined to the same standards as A Levels, where applicable, and enables students to prepare for entry into a specific field of study at university while also improving their English and study skills.
In 2009 a new programme at level 4 of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications leading to direct entry to year 2 of an undergraduate programme at a UK university. The Undergraduate Year 1 in Business and Management has been developed in partnership with Aston University and offered at the London campus. The college also offers the English Language Preparation Programme as well as IELTS express over 6 weeks.
Bellerbys College dates back to Davies’s College, founded in London in 1927. Davies’s College was originally set up to prepare students for entrance to Oxford and Cambridge, the Armed Services and the Civil Service. A second branch of Davies’s College was founded in Hove in 1959. Davies’s Tutorial College in Hove as it was then called was based in premises at 44 Cromwell Road in Hove. The college was a tutorial college providing A-levels and A-Level re-sits mainly for British students.
In 1980 Mr Robin Bellerby became principal of Davies College in Hove and the college expanded to occupy neighbouring premises on Cromwell Road. At this time the college expanded its recruitment overseas and the college made links with the Jordanian government, leading to over 30 students from Jordan coming each year to study A Levels on government scholarships. Other students at the college came from Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Later the college was renamed Bellerbys College after the principal became the new owner. In 1991 the college was bought by a group of British businessmen who invested money in recruitment overseas and developed the foundation programme, a one-year bridging course enabling international students to enter UK universities at first-year undergraduate level.
The original Davies’s College in London, which was located at 25 Old Gloucester Street, Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London, continued to operate independently of the college in Brighton until its closure in 1998.
In 1994 the business together with the Embassy schools became British Study Group, later Study Group International, later to become owned by the Daily Mail Group before being sold on to the Australian Champ group.
In 1996 Bellerbys opened a campus in the north of Cambridge and the following year took over a school in Wadhurst, East Sussex, expanding to cater to growing demand for British education overseas. Then in 1998 a London centre opened on the campus of the Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey (later Roehampton University). The college was based in Downshire House, a grade II Listed building in Roehampton, for four years until moving to custom-built premises in Greenwich which it today shares with Study Group sister company Embassy CES. Bellerbys Cambridge added its Queens Campus in 1999 and an Oxford campus opened on Broad Street in 2002.
In January 2011, an 18-year-old Malaysian Bellerbys student was gang raped at the school’s Bounty House halls of residence following a disco at its nearby Greenwich campus. The four perpetrators, three of whom were the sons of Russian oligarchs, were all fellow students at the college; they were sentenced to a total of thirty-five years in prison.
Ofsted boarding inspectionsEdit
An Ofsted inspection on 1 June 2009 resulted in a report which found “the organisation is inadequate” and “the overall quality rating is inadequate”; this was as a result of "inadequate provision" in the key areas of "helping children to be healthy" and "protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them stay safe". Ofsted’s latest inspection, conducted in March 2013, found the boarding provision to be ‘good’.
In the latest Ofsted Welfare report November 2014 stated “The school now meets all the national minimum standards for boarding schools.”
This represented an improvement over the previous Ofsted report in May 2014 in which the school was criticised for inconsistency in the application of recruitment practices; not fully implementing healthcare policies; a lack of communal space and lacking in both number and training of residential staff.
Ofsted's boarding report, published in June 2014 following an inspection the previous month at Bellerbys' Cambridge site, concluded that: “The school does not meet the national minimum standards for boarding”. The inspectors found that overall effectiveness was “inadequate” including in the areas of "quality of boarding provision and care", "boarders’ safety", and "leadership and management of boarding", writing:
“Since the last inspection, the leadership and management of the college has failed to monitor the safety and welfare of students. The staffing arrangements for boarders lack pastoral care; residential staff are lacking in number and training in welfare matters”.
However, they also noted that “The recent change in leadership is driving forward improvements and learning from inspection of fellow colleges. There is a commitment to build on strengths and tackle areas of weakness to improve the boarding experience for students”. A follow-up re-inspection in November 2014, found that:
“The school has made good progress and now meets all the national minimum standards for boarding schools”.
Ofsted latest welfare inspection of Bounty House in May 2014 concluded: “The school now meets all the national minimum standards for boarding schools.” 
The report concluded: “Boarding staff have received training that promotes consistency of good safeguarding practice and enables them to support individual boarders effectively. All boarding staff have had training in child protection, first aid, self-harm and eating disorders, crisis management and drugs awareness. Their individual practice has been reviewed through an annual appraisal system and also, through frequent one to one supervision meetings. The college has created and recruited to a new post of a residential supervisor manager. This ensures that extra resources are available for the management, supervision and support of boarding staff. The boarding team has also been strengthened by the creation and appointment to an additional post for a permanent boarding staff member who works only at weekends. This means that the college relies less on agency staff and ensures more consistency and continuity for boarders.”
The May 2014 report concluded:
"Boarding staff are very positive about the changes that have taken place. They receive clear direction and guidance from the leaders and managers whose expertise and motivation they trust. Boarding staff report that the new leaders have brought a student-centred culture to the college. The welfare of each individual student is paramount for everybody at the college."
Following the death of a boarder at Bellerbys’ Bounty House residential facility in London in January 2014, Ofsted carried out an emergency inspection at the request of the Department for Education (DfE). The inspectors’ report, published in March 2014, concluded that with one exception “all other national minimum standards looked at were not met”. Failings identified in the emergency inspection report included:
“The arrangements for child protection are ineffective [...] the risk assessment process is not robust [...] boarding staff are not appropriately supervised and managed [and] they are not appropriately trained [and that] the arrangements for recording and monitoring of required boarding records are poor […] For example, the incident log is not appropriately maintained; it does not include a record of the two recent serious incidents”.
Ofsted re-inspected Bounty House in May 2014; the subsequent progress monitoring inspection boarding report found that: “The school has made good progress and now meets all the national minimum standards for boarding schools”.
In November 2014 the Ofsted Welfare Inspection concluded the school meets the national minimum standards for boarding schools. The report highlighted the commitment of staff to improving safeguarding arrangements following a report in March 2014 that found boarding provision to be inadequate.
Ofsted inspected Bellerbys College, Oxford in March 2014 and found its boarding provision to be inadequate, concluding that "The school does not meet the national minimum standards for boarding". A progress monitoring inspection boarding report published in December 2014, following a re-inspection the previous month, found that “senior leaders have shown commitment to improve the safeguarding arrangements. The college has made good progress in implementing its action plan to ensure that all the national minimum standards are now met”.
The Oxford college closed in 2017, with students and staff moving to other Bellerbys colleges.
In 2004, Bellerbys Colleges told undercover reporters from the Sunday Times that it could guarantee good university places to students completing its courses. In March 2015, Private Eye reported that marketing in Singapore was still claiming “successful completion of Bellerbys Foundation program guarantees you a place at one of our 50 partner universities”. When Private Eye contacted Durham University, first on the list of Bellerbys' supposed UK partners, the university said it has never offered any such guarantee adding: “We have previously been in touch with Bellerbys to clarify this fact and to provide guidelines for using our name and logo in their marketing materials. We were not consulted on the Singapore website, which is misleading. We have contacted Bellerbys to ask for the wording … to be changed immediately”.
Bellerbys College is accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) for Independent Further and Higher Education and is on the UK Register of Independent Schools. In 2006 the college in Cambridge won 5 Good Schools Guide Awards for A Level results and in the last two years the colleges have won a further 12 awards in 2008 and 2009 combined.
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