when there are many choices out there; more so when it is a definitive decision for your child. Education is expensive and as a parent, you need to ensure that your child gets the best value. There are many factors to consider when deciding on a school, and accreditation should not be left out.
Simply put, accreditation is a quality check. A competent authority on education conducts a rigorous check on the standards offered by a school. Upon completion of review, the authority certifies the school qualified to teach the programme to its students.
Ultimately, there is no sure-fire way of assessing if a school is right for your children and there are no shortcuts.
For a long time, accreditation was mostly related to colleges and universities. It defined the legitimacy of the degree earned and guaranteed the competence of a student for the job market. With international schools mushrooming globally, a strong need for implementation of accreditation for international schools was sought. Thus, evolved accreditation organisations dedicated only to schools such as the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), and the Education Development Trust (EDT) which awards the International Schools Quality Mark (ISQM).
THE PROCESS OF GAINING ACCREDITATION
The process of obtaining accreditation is not an easy one. Schools have to apply for accreditation with a reputable international body. The authority verifies the school’s commitment to high standards and its drive towards continuous improvement.
In this endeavour, the authority assesses the school on a variety of factors. The most common ones include:
Health and safety
Compliance to immigration regulations
THE EFFECTS OF ACCREDITATION ON STUDENTS
Graduating from an accredited school is valuable. It adds to the resume and gives parents peace of mind on quality. Any accredited school follows a curriculum that matches a specific standard and certifies that a school has a positive learning environment, a well-defined mission, a strategic plan and high safety standards.
This makes the transfer process smooth, easing the difficult process of adapting to a different school for the child.
Apart from accreditation, any affiliation to international education associations such as the European Council of International Schools (ECIS), International Schools Association (ISA) or the Federation of British International School in Asia (FOBISIA) can be an added advantage. Such association increases the networking opportunity of the school, ensuring that the students are part of a global network.
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