Quality Mark: Terms & Conditions

Become a Quality Mark School

Melanie Jones, last updated: 17th November 2015

Terms and Conditions: please read carefully before you apply

1. Your school must be a corporate member of the Historical Association and your digital Quality Mark Profile will be attached to your online membership account. The expectation is that schools will continue their corporate membership of the HA throughout the period of their award.

2. Changes to the lead personnel attached to your corporate membership and to the Quality Mark can be made, but you must inform the HA of any changes to personnel and you must also make these changes within your ‘My HA' user profile online immediately.

3. You will have a period of exactly 12 months from the date of user set-up to complete the Quality Mark process. Failure to apply for assessment in this time will result in the loss of your £200 (Plus VAT) registration fee and you will have to re-register in order to continue with the Quality Mark. In extenuating circumstances, this rule may be waived, but staff changes, illness or other inspection or monitoring visits would not normally constitute a valid reason for waiver unless this was of such a magnitude as to jeopardise the whole process. It is the school's responsibility to ensure that a member of staff is constantly leading the process and inform the HA immediately of any changes to staff leading the award. Extensions will be considered on a case by case basis.

4. In addition to a £300 plus VAT assessment fee, the participating schools are liable to meet the reasonable travel expenses of the assessor. The assessor will claim via invoice directly from the school for this. Wherever possible, the HA will endeavour to match the participating school with their closest available assessor.

5. All assessment visits will take place within one school day (usually a half-day after travel) including travel for the assessor. During the visit, the school must ensure that there are history lessons available for the assessor to see, that the teacher leading the Quality Mark process is available to speak to, and that a member of the school leadership team or governor is available to speak to in addition to a group of students. Supporting documentation requested by the assessor before the visit should also be made available.

6. Schools must ensure that their portfolios are complete at least two weeks prior to the date of their visit (one month if using Dropbox). You must apply for assessment at least one month before you wish to be visited and the assessment fee must be paid prior to the visit. You must be prepared to be flexible about visit dates and times. A date will be agreed that is suitable for both the school and the assessor.

7. You will not receive a final outcome on the day of your visit. You will receive a final decision within one week of your visit as well as a written report outlining the evidence collected.

8. Once awarded, a school will keep their award for three years from the date of the award. After three years, the school will need to be re-assessed by completing the process again at the full price if they wish to keep the award.

9. Schools who are awarded a Silver Quality Mark may apply for an additional assessment visit for a Gold award within 12 months of the date of their Silver award at a lower cost of (£200 plus VAT). This will not involve a visit, but the school will be required to supply additional evidence that shows their movement to Gold status. Similarly, if a school remains un-awarded having completed the process (see below), they may re-apply for consideration at silver at the lower cost of £200 plus VAT if they re-apply within 12 months of their original application

10. A school may be unsuccessful. The reasons for decisions and outcomes will be outlined in a report made to the school. If a school is unsuccessful in their application to receive an award, regardless of whether this decision is made by the assessor at the portfolio or visit stage, the school concerned is still liable to pay for their assessor's time at the assessor fee of £300. Plus VAT. This fee is non-negotiable for all assessments, regardless of outcome. An application for assessment may not lead to a visit if the assessor feels that the portfolio is not strong enough. In such circumstances, the school is still liable to pay for the assessors' time. In some instances, if a school has applied for a gold award, the assessor may choose to award silver instead.

11. Schools may appeal against a decision and another assessor will be brought in to review the case on the grounds that the process was not carried out properly. If the appeal assessor's findings are the same as those of the original assessor, however, the school will bear the cost of the appeal at an additional £300 plus VAT on top of the original assessment fee plus reasonable expenses. If the appeal assessor upholds the appeal, the HA will bear the cost of the appeal assessor and the Quality Mark will be awarded. All appeals must be addressed in writing to Mel Jones at The Historical Association, 59a Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4JH.

12. While the QM criteria can be interpreted by schools representing any educational phase and context, schools who are yet to reach their full intended cohort size and age range should not apply until this is reached. Similarly, those coordinating or leading the subject should represent a level of experience beyond that of their NQT year.

13. All Quality Marks are attached to schools, not to people, and may not be transferred to other schools following the movement of staff.

14. The Quality Mark is open to all types of school regardless of funding or institutional status and/or faith status and is open to settings catering for all different age groups from EYFS to 6th form centres.

15. The HA reserves the right to remove the award from any school found to have submitted false or misleading evidence or found to be misusing or misrepresenting the award.

16. The HA reserves the right to remove the award from a school should evidence emerge of a substantial deterioration in the quality of history provision before the end of the defined award period.

17. By registering for the award, the school agrees to the HA publishing an agreed selection of its portfolio materials. This will not include named individuals or images of children for security reasons. The HA will not share information without consulting the school first.

18. The HA reserves the right to review the process and criteria annually and to make appropriate changes. Schools will be notified of any changes made and any significant changes will only affect schools registering after the changes have been made.

19. All costs and procedures outlined relate to schools in England, however the award is available to schools in Wales, NI and Scotland as well as international schools following the National Curriculum or similar and GCSE/A-Level or IB examination routes at the same cost on a remote basis. In these cases, a visit will be replaced with additional documented evidence as well as telephone/Skype contact. A visit to international schools can be arranged as part of the process if the school would prefer, however additional costs will apply. If you are a school based outside England, you can register to take part but please contact Mel Jones to discuss how your geographical status will affect the procedure for you on melaniej@history.org.uk or 02078205988