The fifth Annual Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB) School Leaders’ Conference was hosted on Friday 10 June at the Institute of Education, University College, London, by Montessori St Nicholas, the leading charity for Montessori in the UK.
The MEAB School Leaders’ conference focuses on the work of the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Scheme that has resulted in the accreditation of hundreds of Montessori schools since it launched in 2008.
The conference targets the owners and managers of MEAB-accredited schools, with a busy and engaging day-long programme of talks, providing delegates with the opportunity to reflect on current Montessori theory and practice. The event was attended by 130 international and UK based delegates, who watched the latest Montessori accredited schools receive their certificates.
Based around the theme of exploring children’s learning and the optimal conditions required for learning to take place, MEAB welcomed Montessori Centre International (MCI) lecturer Lynette Brock, who discussed her research findings, examining the role of ‘proximal flow’ in children’s learning.
Early Excellence Development Manager Jan Dubiel presented their range of training and learning materials which are based on the principles of excellence in supporting early years teaching. There was a further presentation from Barbara Isaacs, Chief Education Officer at Montessori St Nicholas, looking at how teachers can best support children’s learning in Montessori settings.
The conference also gave practical advice from Montessori Schools Association (MSA) National Chair, Martin Bradley, who spoke about the challenges posed by Ofsted inspections for many early years’ practitioners.
Dr Stephen Tommis, CEO of Montessori St Nicholas says,
“Nursery education is currently in flux as it faces considerable challenges posed by recommendations in the Childcare Act 2016 while meeting the demands of rigorous Ofsted inspections. If we are not careful, these burdens will take a toll by undermining the ability of Montessori teachers to practice their craft freely and place the importance of children’s learning at the very centre of their work.”
“That is why, at this year’s MEAB conference we have taken the initiative and placed the importance of children’s learning higher than before on the agenda, as we discuss and share our in-house research findings, looking at how children learn best.”