Re-accreditation Process: Step by Step Guide
During the final three months of your current accreditation you will be invited to consider re-accreditation. As the process may have changed since your first accreditation we would recommend that you read through this document which will give you a better understanding of the revised process.
STEP 1. Expression of Interest
Please be sure to re-read the criteria for accreditation and note the financial contribution you will be required to make towards the cost of the accreditation. Indicate when you might like to have your initial visit.
STEP 2. Preparation of Schools Form (S1)
Start working with your team on revisiting your Montessori values and practice and update (if you have saved an electronic version) or complete the self-evaluation Schools Form S1. This form will give the assessor information about your school and how you operate and any changes which may have occurred since the first accreditation visit. Include the re-accreditation fee with the S1.
The ‘How to Prepare’ page of this section offers valuable guidance on this part of the process.
STEP 3. Submit Schools Form (S1), Prepare for Initial Visit by Assessor
When you have submitted your S1 the Accreditation Officer will liaise with MEAB assessors to set a date for your initial visit, and with you to agree the date of this visit. Please note that a new assessor will be appointed for this accreditation; it will not be the same person who visited your setting for the previous accreditation.
The assessor (or team of assessors for larger schools) will contact you prior to the visit to introduce him/herself and to get travel directions and finalize the details of the visit.
It is not your responsibility to organise accommodation for the assessor, should it be needed (this applies to UK settings only).
In preparation for the assessor visit, use the document checklist S2, which will help ensure that you have all the written evidence for the statements made in your S1 form. Please indicate on the S2 form where the assessor may find the evidence in your documentation and have it ready for the initial visit.
STEP 4. Initial Visit by Assessor
The assessor will initially spend a day in your setting; in particularly large settings you may have two assessors. They will observe, talk to children, parents, owner, manager and staff. They will also look at your documents.
At the end of the visit they will give you feedback. You can decide who will sit in on the feedback. They will make verbal recommendations to you during this feedback which will be the basis of the action plan for further development.
STEP 5. Assessor’s Initial Report
After the visit the assessor will write the Initial Report, which will include the recommendations. This will be emailed to you to check its factual accuracy and for you to complete the action plan section of the form, which will demonstrate how you will intend to work towards the recommendations set. You will also need to suggest a date for the second visit.
You will need to return this report to the Accreditation Officer within two weeks of receiving it. If we do not hear from you within that time we will assume that all is correct.
STEP 6. Preparation for Assessor’s Second Visit
Once you return your report, the MEAB office will liaise with you to agree a realistic time-scale for your second visit (this is normally around three months from your initial visit).
Having satisfied yourself that you are working towards the recommendations you will liaise with the Accreditation Officer to finalize arrangements for the second visit.
STEP 7. Second Visit by Assessor
This will follow a similar format to the initial visit, the assessor will look at all aspects of your practice and, in particular, at the progress you have made with the recommendations. Additional recommendations may be made.
Verbal feedback will be given and any additional recommendations will be discussed. The assessor will then prepare the Final Report which will contain one of the following statements:
- The school provides an education in accordance with the principles of the Montessori approach and environment and merits accreditation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board
- The school provides an education which follows the principles of the Montessori approach and environment. The school has successfully addressed the points for action recommended on the first visit, and this merits accreditation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board. Consideration should be given to the following points for further development:
- The school provides an education which broadly follows the principles of the Montessori approach and environment, however it has not met fully the recommendation(s) set out in the previous accreditation visit(s). This merits accreditation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board for one year and further development is recommended in the areas which the report specifies:
- The school has made progress since the first visit; however, significant points for action remain that need to be addressed before accreditation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board is merited.
Applying for re-accreditation does not guarantee validation by the MEAB Board.
STEP 8. Assessor’s Final Report
This report should reach the MEAB office within three to five working days and will be read several times before it is presented to the Report Monitoring Group (RMG). This group scrutinises all reports for consistency of content and presentation. Once agreed by the RMG, the report will then be sent to you for your final comment on its factual accuracy and proof read.
STEP 9. Accreditation Awarded
All reports (Initial and Final) will remain private and confidential and yours will not be ready for circulation to your parents until it has received final validation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board who meet twice yearly. You will be notified of the date of the next meeting.
Once the accreditation has been validated by MEAB you will receive a copy of your Final Report. The report will be included on this website and linked to the school’s entry on the MSA database.
You and your team will be invited to the next MEAB Awards to receive your accreditation certificate and celebrate your achievement.
It will take approximately six to eight months between the MEAB office receiving your S1 form and the Final Report being published following its validation by the MEAB Board.
Receiving accreditation carries the expectation that settings will continue to develop and to work on the issues highlighted in the accreditation reports, and will remain committed to working with MEAB.