What is school accreditation and why is it important?

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By Joshua Clark, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions 


What does it mean to be an accredited school? 

An accredited school has been inspected by an outside organization and is recognized as meeting the standards of excellence in operating as a school, including its teaching and care for students. In effect, the accrediting organization creates industry standards a school must meet. During the accreditation process, the inspectors perform quality control to ensure students receive the content knowledge, academic skills, and support that is required for them to progress in their learning and, eventually, continue to a university.  

Why is accreditation important? 

When reviewing our graduates’ applications, universities have confidence the students are academically prepared because they attended an accredited institution. This gives universities a frame of reference for what the student was taught and how much they learned, and confirms the validity and value of the diploma. Rather than require a battery of tests and evaluations to determine if the student is acceptable, the diploma from an accredited school establishes a standard expectation that can be relied upon. 

From a school perspective, another key reason why accreditation is so important is that it allows the school to set goals to achieve its full potential, and to have opportunities to reflect on what it is doing well and where it can improve. This opportunity to be introspective can be challenging since it requires everyone to step out of the work of the day and think about how they can do it better tomorrow. 

Which associations have accredited TASIS England? 

TASIS The American School in England is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Cameron Staples, the President/CEO of NEASC said, “Accreditation is founded on the principle that comprehensive self-reflection followed by candid feedback from professional peers is essential to ongoing school improvement and achieving educational success.” 

TASIS England also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) requires  schools to go through an authorization process, which is similar to accreditation. As an IB World School, TASIS England  is regularly inspected and must meet their high standards of school readiness for teaching and learning. 

Our recent re-accreditation process and results. 

Over the past two years, we have been preparing for our re-accreditation and reauthorization which took place this past autumn. Many faculty and departmental meetings were devoted to assessing how we are doing and how we could improve. This work allowed us to develop an authentic self-assessment that helped the visiting inspection team understand how we constantly strive to fulfill our school mission. We are pleased to report that we received full re-accreditation from CIS and NEASC (at the highest level), and a particularly strong reauthorization from IBO with 20 commendations, two recommendations, and no matters to be addressed. 

As a school, we recognize the value of the accreditation process as a means to constantly improve the experience and outcomes of our students. As a family, accreditation is equally important to you because it has a direct impact on the quality of your child’s educational experience, and ensures that their diploma will be recognized by universities around the world.

To read our latest accreditation reports, click here.

 

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