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A census into Montessori schools has revealed the standard in ‘children-centered’ Montessori settings has remained high, and more of their teachers are gaining Montessori qualifications.
The majority of Montessori schools care for children aged between two and five, with the belief the first six years of a child’s life is the best time for a child to learn both academically and socially. Settings encourage children to do things by themselves to learn and develop.
The census of participating schools revealed the number of Montessori qualified staff has increased by 31 per cent since 2009 and more teachers now possess a Montessori teaching diploma.
Philip Bujak, chief executive of Montessori St Nicholas Charity said: “The census results demonstrate that the UK Montessori movement continues to grow and is now in a stronger position than ever to reach out further and more effectively to its stakeholders. The annual turnover of Montessori schools in the UK is now estimated at £74 million, a 23 per cent increase from 2009.
“We are building on our rich education heritage with more families and children experiencing quality Montessori than ever before. There are currently 30,590 children in UK Montessori settings with 679 Montessori school members in our association and 75 new schools since 2009.
“Montessori already honours the DfE’s pledge in More Great Childcare to build a stronger, more capable workforce and drive up quality. Our 2013 census results lend further testimony to the quality of provision and commitment offered to Montessori children. Our workforce is now more qualified and capable than ever with the majority of Montessori schools graded outstanding or good at last Ofsted inspection.”
It was also revealed 155 out of the 679 settings in the Montessori Schools Association are now accredited by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board.
The Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board scheme was created in 2008 to review and improve the quality of education provided by Montessori settings. The scheme has been described as an important step towards ensuring continual development in schools.
Michele Dows-Miller, deputy accreditation officer said: “The MEAB scheme is now beginning to be recognized as a bench mark, not only for good Montessori practice but for good early years’ practice as a whole. Quality has remained at the heart of the scheme and we trust that the community will continue to acknowledge this commitment to improve practice for the benefit of all those involved with a setting – children, parents, staff and students.”
A three per cent increase in the number of Montessori schools graded Outstanding or Good in their last Ofsted inspection was also highlighted in the 2013 census compared to 2009.