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QAA completes positive review of the Council of British International Schools’ Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance Scheme

Date: May 22 - 2023

The Council of British International Schools’ (COBIS) Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance (PAcc) scheme has been commended following a recent review by QAA.

The review evaluated COBIS’ PAcc Standards against the descriptors of the UK Government's Standards for British schools overseas. It also assessed whether PAcc operates in a manner which aligns with similar quality assurance processes and leads to a high-level of confidence in what they do.

To perform the review, QAA used a combination of desk-based analysis, live observation, in-depth interviews with stakeholders and case studies of schools at different stages of the COBIS PAcc process. 

The report found that:  

  • COBIS’ PAcc Standards are fit for purpose and aligned with UK Government BSO inspection Standards. 

  • The Standards are thorough and rigorously applied. The development of a supportive relationship through the accreditation and compliance process is greatly appreciated by schools and enables them to enhance their processes for the benefit of students. 

  • Ongoing dialogue with schools, alongside commendations and recommended next steps, is a key strength of the COBIS approach. 

  • COBIS Standards stand independently as a viable model for helping British international schools evolve an all-school holistic approach to teaching and learning. 

  • The distinctive approach to rigorous testing against standards as part of a trusting and supportive relationship is a key strength of the COBIS approach. 

Vicki Stott, QAA’s Chief Executive, said: ‘It is clear to us that the COBIS Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance scheme is a valuable process to the schools, and it is evident that there is a tremendous amount of goodwill towards to the scheme amongst schools and leaders. This was clearly reflected in the interviews, and in the impact the scheme has on schools. At QAA, we are confident that this is an opportunity for COBIS to further strengthen and develop the scheme, in the COBIS spirit of continual improvement.’

Colin Bell, COBIS’ CEO, said: ‘COBIS has a reputation for operating in a healthy culture of scrutiny. For that reason, COBIS welcomes external scrutiny. While we have always believed in the strength of the Patron’s Accreditation and Compliance scheme, it is invaluable to have QAA’s firm approval and external validation. Their review was diligent and in-depth, and I wish to thank everyone involved in the quality assurance process from start to finish, including the QAA team, our hard-working Lead Improvement Partners and Peer Accreditors, the COBIS Accreditation team and the schools who took part.’

You can read more about the review on the COBIS website