Since its inception as the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB) in 2007, the Montessori Group has upheld a firm commitment to accreditation for Montessori schools and early years settings both in the UK and globally.

In 2021, it is time to broaden the service offer and to reinvigorate the potential impact and depth of Montessori Centre International’s (MCI) involvement with its quality enhancement responsibilities across the education sector, and strengthen its place at the forefront of educational quality assurance activity to benefit learners worldwide.

Our STAR framework is a global commitment to upholding the highest standards for education providers. We offer a pioneering approach to educational accreditation, awarding the STAR status to providers who choose to be held accountable for their operations and practices. Our framework of recognition is focused on celebrating the importance of each and every learning journey, ensuring high-quality education is widely accessible.

Our review process is unlike other forms of inspection or accreditation. We encourage education providers to explain and explore their practice with us. This helps our accreditation assessors learn about each individual provider’s approach to education, support and professional development. Our assessing team want to understand your context, your communities and your commitment to your children and families. We will listen, learn and question. In the review process, we ask for evidence of on-going developments as well as initiatives for improvement and identification of areas in need of further attention.

The STAR framework is a ladder structure. This is unique to us and allows education providers flexibility, as they can apply for recognition at the level which best suits them. They can then move through our range of affiliation services to suit their own developmental journey and reach their own levels of autonomy. Education providers have an opportunity to spread quality education far and wide within their communities, with some choosing to establish themselves as training providers in their own right, with MCI’s support.

Our approach and expertise

 Our STAR assessments draw on the expertise of Montessori practitioners, experienced educators, and quality assurance and enhancement experts, all working together to deliver the best possible and most effective review process.

 High-quality provision is essential in delivering the best education and care for children worldwide. The STAR framework will be a trustworthy and internationally recognisable quality mark for parents, community leaders and funding partners. It will support on-going development across every setting, no matter the size or funding status.

Our Quality Assurance and Enhancement principles are drawn together in the STAR framework. Through this, we promote clearly defined quality standards and educational principles which are closely aligned with the Montessori approach; a child-led education and the fundamental principles of independence, autonomy, sustainability, respect and trust.

We support innovation in education to suit the 21st century. We understand the need for practice to be responsive and flexible to meet the needs of today’s young people and their families and address the challenges of working in our busy, fast-paced and at times challenging educational sector.

We hope that you find our approach inspiring and motivational. We aim to be supportive and transparent in our guidance and reporting mechanisms, helping all providers, committed to high-quality educational practice, achieve recognition for their valuable work.

The review process – how does it work?

The STAR framework’s ladder approach enables education providers and home-based educators, or schools and colleges to apply for recognition at the level best suited to their expertise. Current and future goals and strategic intentions for the provider will also be an important consideration and applicants are encouraged to make contact with us in advance in order to fully discuss their journey through the framework.

Accreditation, Endorsement and Approval Services

Phase One: Journey to Accreditation (e.g., independent nursery settings or home-based educators)

Successful Accreditation status shows communities your setting’s quality compliance and on-going embedded practice grounded in genuine and sustainable Montessori and Montessori-inspired practices. 

Phase Two: Achieving Endorsement (e.g., experienced and well-respected settings with capacity to support trainees)

Successful Endorsement status provides public recognition of your innovative and relevant quality educational offering. It also helps others from the community make informed choices when looking for high-quality education programmes or study locations.

Phase Three and Four: Host and Beacon Training centre Approval (e.g., established, expertly staffed settings with local training needs for staff)

Successful Approval status enables established and well-positioned educational providers to offer a portfolio of well-managed and sector relevant professional development courses and qualifications.

Each educational provider, no matter which phase of the STAR framework ladder, is required to achieve satisfactory annual monitoring, as well as prove they are retaining an active interest in progression in professional development opportunities, opportunities for growth, and new business support.

 Why apply for STAR by MCI?

As specialists in assessing educational provision and with specific insight into the effects and benefits of teaching pedagogy, MCI is uniquely placed to grant this range of affiliation to education providers, trainers and partners in a wide range of practical learning environments.  We have first-hand experience of a varied approach to accepted modes of education. We also have expertise in the delivery of learning methods to embed Montessori and Montessori-inspired principles in every aspect of an individual’s learning experience, for both adults and children.

If you are looking for professional recognition of standards and quality provision and looking to include Montessori-inspired practice consistently and cohesively in your educational offer, then the STAR framework may be for you.

FAQs

What can the STAR quality mark do for you?

STAR’s reputation is growing; as part of an international register of highly regarding settings you will be able to promote your connection to excellence, insightful and expert provision.

Do I need STAR when I already have other reviews and inspections?

STAR assessments require settings and their staff to be active in the review process. We support settings throughout the entire accreditation process, encouraging them to be proud of their achievements, and accountable and responsive to the educational needs of today. STAR reports should be reflective of your provision; our framework is for you!

What types of settings can apply for STAR?

The STAR accepts applications from settings self-titled as “Montessori”, operated by Montessori-qualified teachers and/or those seeking to embed and uphold child-led practice through a wide and firm commitment to high-quality, Montessori-inspired practice. These may include early-years nursery settings, childminding or home-based educator settings, primary schools, state funded establishments, private providers, college level institutions, Further and Higher Education providers and professional training centres.

How much does it cost?

Prices vary, but start from £550 excluding VAT. Each stage of affiliation is operated in line with the STAR fee structure.

Please contact us for further information: accreditation@montessori.org.uk