Accreditation process and pathways for successful applicant schools

We assess the students, not the school, in order to determine whether a school is World Class or not. To determine a school’s eligibility for assessment they are required to meet at least one of the following criteria

  • achieved ‘outstanding’ in their most recent Ofsted report
  • can demonstrate higher than average Progress 8 scores over the last two years
  • have been recommended as potentially World Class by a professional peer and/or at least one accredited school

WCSQM evaluates the school against the following desktop criteria:

(Ofsted inspection)

  • the school’s latest Ofsted judgement was ‘outstanding’
  • the school has achieved ‘outstanding’ for all judgements, regardless of the framework under which it was inspected

(School performance tables,  interpreted in conjunction with relevant statistical releases)

  • the school is above the national average for their
    • progress 8 score
    • attainment 8 score
    • grade 5 or above percentage in English & mathematics GCSE
    • grade 4 or above percentage in English & mathematics GCSE
    • progress 8 score for low-, middle- and high- attainers, compared to national progress 8 score for all
    • progress 8 score for girls and boys, compared to national progress 8 score for all
    • progress 8 score for pupils with English as an additional language
  • the school is in the top quartile for progress 8 compared to similar schools

(School performance tables, interpreted in conjunction with relevant statistical releases)

  • the school is above national for progress and attainment overall, for key indicators

In exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to schools that do not meet all the above criteria if, (for example) the school

  • is a type of provider where progress and attainment 8 scores are not necessarily the most appropriate measures to assess the performance of pupils, in the case of, for example, a UTC
  • significantly out-performs other institutions in its region, particularly in terms of progress
  • bucks performance trends, particularly in terms of progress, in local authorities where performance overall is significantly below national averages
  • is non-selective in a selective region, and outperforms its neighbouring selective institutions, particularly in terms of progress
  • has recently and dramatically improved, as evidenced through a recent ‘outstanding’ Ofsted judgement, having previously not been deemed as ‘outstanding.’

Final stages of the assessment process

1. School Self-Audit

The school’s students complete a self-audit with regard to:

  • the skills and competencies demonstrated by the student cohort to fulfil the mark’s requirements.

The self-audit is assessed according to achievement against the mark’s requirements.

If the school is unsuccessful at this stage, the school receives support from WCSQM to revise their audit, so they can resubmit. They can resubmit any time, and any number of times. WCSQM support the school in the audit’s revision until they are successful.

2. Assessment Centre

Three students from each applicant school attend the assessment centre event – this is a real-life work setting, usually taking place in a World Class educational setting and managed by WCSQM in partnership with a World Class accredited school. Students work in teams alongside their peers from other applicant schools undertaking a number of roles to complete their project within the allocated time, culminating in a live presentation to a panel of experts.

Each student is assessed on their performance at the assessment centre event against the required skills and competencies, receives an individual assessment and certificate of attendance.

Each school with students represented at the assessment centre event receives an assessment of the strengths and areas for development typical of their students.

If the school is unsuccessful at this stage, they receive support from WCSQM to re-prepare for the assessment centre, and can re-apply for consideration in the next assessment centre round.

3. Award Ceremony

Each school achieving the WCSQM attends an award ceremony where students are presented with a plaque to verify their achievement of the mark.

4. Renewal of Accreditation

Each school (with the exception of early adopter schools) is required to renew their accreditation biennially. The renewal process consists of a reduced desktop exercise and self- audit.

If you’d like to find out more about the accreditation process, or to nominate your own or another school, please feel free to get in touch.

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.