As you shop for an international school you will find a wide array of accreditations, certifications and memberships. The logos provided by the organisations behind these stamps of approval look wonderful, but, as a consumer, it is important to know what they really mean.
Here is a guide to the most common – and a few of the less common:
National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS)
To quote information from the associations:
The National Association of British Schools in Spain was founded in 1978 to promote, uphold and defend British education in Spain.
One of its most important functions is to maintain contacts with the British Council, the cultural arm of the British Embassy, and with the Spanísh Educational authorities in order to satisfy the requirements of Spanish legislation referring to foreign schools in Spain.
Only fully authorised, bona fide, British schools, recognised as such by the British Council and its official inspectorate, are entitled to be members of Nabss.”
International Schools Assocation (ISA)
This non-governmental organisation was founded in 1951 under Swiss law and has consultative status with UNESCO. The aim of this association is to encourage intercultural understanding focusing on values such as “peace, freedom, equality, tolerance and the celebration of both diversity and similarity”.
Ministerio de Educación y Ciencias
This is the official national government body that regulates and approved education in Spain. Both private and public schools must meet Spanish government criteria to operate in this country.
Junta de Andalucia
The Andalucian regional government – the Junta de Andalucia – is responsible for implementing national education curriculum across the region and also for managing a certain portion of the curriculum on its own. Regional inspectors are in charge of school quality. To operate in Andalucia, a school must also work under the aegis of the Junta de Andalucia.
This is a well known quality control company that provides independent inspection of a product or service and then issues a certificate to show certain requirements have been met.
Council of International Schools
This organisation describes itself like this:
“The Council of International Schools is the premier organisation in International Education for the accreditation of schools and Best Practice development. CIS is a not-for-profit organisation of a truly worldwide international educational community comprising over 500 member schools and 400 colleges/universities. It has experience of K–12 education in more than 100 countries and many of the Council's Officers and Consultants are former heads of international schools.
The central purpose of CIS is to enable member organisations to achieve and deliver the highest standards in International Education and continually improve the outcome of student learning.”
ACADE is a Spanish organisation that advocates for the private school system and also focuses on quality of education in the private sector.