Step by Step Guide
How the accreditation process works (approximately six to eight months):
STEP 2. Preparation of Schools Form (S1)
Start working with your team on revisiting your Montessori values and practice and complete the self-evaluation Schools Form S1. This form will give the assessor information about your school and how you operate.
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. The accreditation fee must be submitted with the S1.
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 Form 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, the 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.
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 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 officer 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 again 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, any new recommendations may be discussed and 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 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 schools 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.
The MEAB accreditation is normally valid for four years and you will be contacted three months prior to the accreditation expiring to invite you to prepare for re-accreditation. Where a school provides an education which broadly follows the principles of the Montessori approach and environment but has not met fully the recommendation(s), the accreditation period will be for one year.
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.