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The judgement as to whether a school meets the BSME accreditation standards is made during a visit from a team consisting of a mix of professionally trained and experienced personnel, together with one or more senior leaders from other BSME schools. The professional accreditors / inspectors will have a wide range of experience, including Ofsted and similar systems and / or those used in independent schools in the United Kingdom. They may also be experienced in other areas, such as International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Council of Independent Schools (CIS).
The BSME members of the team will all have gone through the two-part, residential training programme, specifically designed to match the needs of the BSME Accreditation System. Each BSME team member will, on their first school visit, undergo shared lesson observations with a professional accreditor / inspector before moving on to make their own classroom visits. Their performance during this initial visit is monitored and, subject to the lead accreditors judgement, the BSME member is then deemed to have satisfied the requirements of Part 3 of the training and becomes a fully-qualified BSME accreditor.
During a three-day school visit, the accreditors will weigh the school’s own assessment of its practice against the evidence each accreditor gains from observations in the classroom and during breaks, etc., inspection of a wide range of electronic and hard copy documents, interviews with parents, students, governors, teachers and senior managers and an inspection of the school premises. At the end of a visit, the Lead Accreditor will give the senior leaders in the school a final, verbal summary of the team’s findings. A written report is then prepared which will be finalised, typically, about two weeks after the conclusion of the visit. The report will describe the team’s view of the school and will include areas for development as well as the strengths that the team observed.
The Lead Accreditor’s recommendations will be passed to the BSME Executive who will decide whether or not to accept the verdict. Following acceptance by the BSME Executive, the school is permitted to describe itself as a BSME Accredited School. The accredited status last for five years after which a repeat accreditation process is required. Part of this process involves an assessment of how well the school addressed any development issues raised as a result of the previous accreditation process.