The World Class Schools Quality Mark is the new standard in education for schools who have moved beyond outstanding.

It is universally acknowledged that we are preparing young people for a world which is significantly different to that of twenty years ago. Young people need to perform in a diverse global economy which is typified by technological innovation, is highly competitive and where entrepreneurism is celebrated. World Class schools equip students with knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in a challenging international environment where those who succeed take risks and continually pursue improvement. World Class students are educated to be active and effective citizens who have qualifications which give them choices, and the competences to choose well. They have developed a level of emotional and intellectual literacy which enables them to navigate a potentially bewildering plethora of opportunities and achieve success and contentment for themselves.

World Class Students

It is the calibre of the student which proves the calibre of the school. If the school is truly World Class then the students will be able to own and demonstrate World Class qualities.

A World Class student

  • is highly literate scientifically, mathematically, technologically and culturally
  • consistently out-performs students from similar contexts, and is committed to continually improving their performance
  • is an excellent learner, dedicated to life- long learning
  • is a compelling candidate in their field for higher education and/or employment, being globally aware , confident and prepared for life in an international environment.


World Class schools cannot be World Class in isolation and the Mark maintains a growing network of private, public and third sector partners to support schools as they develop. These organisations have a significant contribution to make to the integrity and credibility of the mark, providing endorsement, intelligence, market analysis and sponsorship. The World Class Schools Quality Mark brokers partnerships for its members with education systems and providers outside the UK to share their knowledge, experience and expertise.

Our schools are recognised as providing outstanding educational opportunities for their students and believe that operating globally will further enhance this offer and enable their students and staff to gain a better understanding of the world.

If you are interested in working with World Class schools – or joining the network – please get in touch.

Ensuring Quality

A limited number of schools are shortlisted for accreditation each year. Potential World Class schools are deemed to be outstanding by Ofsted at the time of their accreditation. Because the Mark is about students not schools, in exceptional circumstances, schools that are deemed to be good by Ofsted but whose students have achieved well above average progress over time can be considered for accreditation. The World Class Schools Quality Mark seeks to establish whether schools have gone beyond an Ofsted judgement and imbued their students with World Class skills and competencies. The assessment process for the Mark is therefore innovative in that it is student led.

The World Class Schools Quality Mark assessment descriptors apply to the students, not the school. Students undertake an extensive self-assessment exercise to establish what it is about the school that makes them World Class. A sample of students is then assessed against the Mark’s framework, through an assessment centre process. If the school is genuinely World Class, then its students do not need additional preparation for the assessment. The assessment is a developmental experience for the students who receive individual recognition, certification and bespoke references for their participation.

Accredited schools are required to prove their World Class status every two years. Schools that have retained (or regained) their Ofsted outstanding status are eligible to apply for reaccreditation; or, in exceptional circumstances, schools whose pupils have continued to achieve well above average progress.

Primary, and Special Schools

2018 saw the inaugural assessment of our first trail blazing primary and special schools UK wide, using a comprehensively trialled assessment process. Visit our Schools page for an up to date list of all accredited partner schools.

International Accreditation

It has always been our aspiration to be international. To this end, a number of our World Class schools have completed our international accreditation process, achieving International World Class status for their own as well as their overseas partner schools. Visit our International Accreditation page for more information on the process of international accreditation and an up to date list of internationally accredited schools.

Benefits of becoming a World Class School

Benefits include:

  • participation in World Class partnerships for pupils and staff
  • the chance to participate in a high profile group of schools, with bargaining power, for example to:
    • influence national education policy
    • broker advantageous deals from education suppliers
  • prestige beyond an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade
  • incentives for effective staff recruitment and retention, such as:
    • the chance to work at one of the best non-selective state schools in the country
    • opportunities to train as World Class assessors
    • opportunities to work and develop practice in collaboration with outstanding practitioners from other World Class schools
  • opportunities to raise pupils’ confidence, and aspirations beyond the school and its region
  • opportunities for pupils to:
    • access unique, exciting and highly attractive work experience that develops employability skills, and social and moral competencies
    • be part of a World Class alumni association
    • be eligible for World Class events, awards and competitions
    • train and become accredited as World Class assessors
    • access bespoke World Class references
    • participate in the pupil peer to peer re-accreditation process
  • access to an assessment process that:
    • assesses the pupils not the school
    • recognises the development of pupils’ qualities and characteristics not measured by other national assessment frameworks
    • provides the school with detailed profiles of pupils’ individual performance at an assessment centre event
    • provides the school with a profile of pupils’ typical performance against peers from other World Class schools
    • provides the school with a raft of resources, for example, the ‘A Week In The Life of..’ video, owned by the school, that demonstrates to pupils, parents, current and potential staff, external bodies and all stakeholders how ‘typically’ World Class the school is
  • parental confidence that:
    • they are sending their children to one of the best schools in the country, regardless of status
    • their children will thrive and develop invaluable skills for success in life beyond school


World Class Schools Quality Mark welcome applications to join the network from state primary, secondary and special schools that have already been deemed ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and have a subsequent outstanding track record. These schools will be representative of the very best ‘outstanding’ Primary and Secondary schools in England.

For an informal conversation about the benefits of membership and the accreditation process, please contact us for a conversation with one of our assessors.

Contact World Class Schools

Call us to speak to a one of our advisors, or fill out our contact form and we'll call you back.

+44 (0)1727 576 047

Office hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.