School Accreditation – What to Know When Looking for a New School

Many schools are private organizations. That means that they can, for the most part, follow their own philosophy for education. Private schools are exactly that – a school that is owned by a private organization that makes up their own rules.

One reason a private school opens is to provide a specific type of curriculum based on criteria such as:

  •  the school’s home country’s education philosophy
  • the owner’s religious affiliation
  • a certain curriculum interest, such as sport, design, computer science or music

With enough money and qualified staff, anyone can open a school. Really, all it takes is the money and you’re good to go.

This raises a concern for parents of potential students. How do parents know that the school is working to any specific standard?

How can parents be assured that the teachers are upholding a high level of education? What can the school do to reassure parents that they are upholding the highest standards in education? The answer is accreditation.

Schools such as use accreditors to ensure their standards are upheld.

What is Education Accreditation?

Accreditation is a way of a school showing the general public that it is striving to work to the standards that it sets itself. Accreditation is the process by which a (usually) independent body pays a series of visits to the school so assess how the school is performing.

Areas That School Accreditors Assess

As a school is akin to a small village, there are many different areas that have to be assessed by accreditations.

Examples include:

  • Curriculum – How is the content taught meeting the requirements of the student body at large? Are there modifications being made to any subjects in order for English Language Learners (ELLs) to access the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum?
  • Safety – has the school written policy for dealing with student safety issues such as a:

– fire

– Explosion

– terrorist attack

– flood

  • Administration – Are the administration qualified and able to provide the teachers with the support they need to be able to dedicate their time to what they should be doing – differentiating activities for their students.

Schools that have been accredited have demonstrated a desire to uphold the philosophy of education they preach. Always speak to a school’s office about how accreditation works at their school.

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