The fifth Annual Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB)  School Leaders Conference was hosted on Friday 10 June at the Institute of Education, University College, London, by Montessori St Nicholas, the leading charity for Montessori in the UK.

The MEAB School Leaders conference focuses on the work of the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Scheme that has resulted in the accreditation of hundreds of Montessori schools since it launched in 2008.

The conference targets the owners and managers of MEAB-accredited schools, with a busy and engaging day-long programme of talks, providing delegates with the opportunity to reflect on current Montessori theory and practice.   The event was attended by 130 international and UK based delegates, who watched  the latest Montessori accredited schools receive their certificates.

Based around the theme of exploring childrens learning and the optimal conditions required for learning to take place, MEAB welcomed Montessori Centre International (MCI) lecturer Lynette Brock, who discussed her research findings, examining the role of proximal flow in childrens learning.

Early Excellence Development Manager Jan Dubiel presented their range of training and learning materials which are based on the principles of excellence in supporting early years teaching. There was a further presentation from Barbara Isaacs, Chief Education Officer at Montessori St Nicholas, looking at how teachers can best support childrens learning in Montessori settings.

The conference also gave practical advice from Montessori Schools Association (MSA) National Chair, Martin Bradley, who spoke about the challenges posed by Ofsted inspections for many early years practitioners.

Dr Stephen Tommis, CEO of Montessori St Nicholas says,

Nursery education is currently in flux as it faces considerable challenges posed by recommendations in the Childcare Act 2016 while meeting the demands of rigorous Ofsted inspections.   If we are not careful, these burdens will take a toll by undermining the ability of Montessori teachers to practice their craft freely and place the importance of childrens learning at the very centre of their work.

That is why, at this years MEAB conference we have taken the initiative and placed the importance of childrens learning higher than before on the agenda, as we discuss and share our in-house research findings, looking at how children learn best.

For further information, email: jemima.broadbridge@montessori.org.uk, tel: 020 7518 9788 or go to: www.montessori.org.uk/msa

Notes to Editors:

  1. MEAB was introduced in 2008 to raise standards within the Montessori Schools Association and puts best practice at the heart of what it does.   The key objective is to create an accreditation body with the capacity to guide and support Montessori schools, nurseries and day-care provision committed to continued professional development and high quality Montessori practice. For more information about MEAB, see:http://www.montessori.org.uk/msa/accreditation/meab_vision,_mission_and_values
  2. About Montessori:
    • Montessori was inspired by Dr Maria Montessori in the 1900s.  She was Italys first female doctor.
    • Montessori offers a child-centered, holistic pedagogy. Based on the belief that a childs early yearsfrom birth to sixare the period where the greatest social learning potential exists.
    • The learning environment includes accessible materials and activities and   reflects a commitment to quality and to the childrens ability to do things for themselves.
    • The majority of the 650+ UK Montessori settings cater for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years. There are over 22,000 Montessori schools worldwide.
    • Many adults find the experience of stepping into a Montessori classroom quite breathtaking.   It is clean and ordered with an atmosphere of calm and busy concentration.
    • Montessori children tend to be very socially comfortable and confident because they have been encouraged to problem-solve and think independentlymaking the Montessori method attractive to many parents.

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£17.50