The Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB) was established by the Montessori St Nicholas charity in 2007. The key objective was to create an accreditation body with the capacity to guide and support Montessori schools, nurseries and day-care provision committed to continuing professional development and high quality Montessori practice.
The initial working party consisted of experienced Montessorians led by Dr Martin Bradley. With his guidance, the initial criteria for accreditation were discussed and established, and the first cohort of assessors were interviewed. The initial training of assessors was supported by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
The accreditation scheme was launched in the spring of 2008 when 30 schools expressed interest in participating in the programme. That the Montessori community values the accreditation programme is witnessed by the case studies available on request and by the Testimonials on this site. The scheme flourished over the next three years and by June 2011 the number of accredited schools had reached 118; the pilot schools then began to participate in the first round of reaccreditations commencing January 2012.
Initially the accreditation process involved only one visit by the assessor. In the spring of 2011 a review took place and since the summer of 2011 each setting receives two visits, facilitating the opportunity to implement some of the recommendations included in the assessor’s Initial Report and giving a longer time-scale over which practice could be reviewed by both assessor and setting. Each accreditation of a setting now comprises two visits (or at least two days in the case of international accreditations), with an Initial Report that includes an action plan for development and then a Final Report being prepared following the second visit. This report is first considered by the Report Monitoring Group, which ensures consistency between reports. All accreditations are then validated by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board prior to the school receiving its accreditation certificate and report.
The whole accreditation process is regularly reviewed to ensure that it continues to promote MEAB‘s vision and mission.