The world’s first professional recognition scheme for staff who work in boarding schools has been launched by the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA).
The BSA’s Accredited Boarding Practitioner scheme will allow the 5,000-plus staff who work in the UK’s 480 boarding schools and 60+ schools around the world to apply to be recognised as boarding professionals.
The scheme has four levels linked to experience working in boarding and evidence of professional development undertaken. Boarding staff need to have worked in boarding for at least one year before they can apply to be considered, while those with over seven years’ experience can apply to be recognised at the highest level.
“The Accredited Boarding Practitioner scheme means that for the first time the army of extremely hardworking professionals who endeavour to deliver outstanding pastoral care to young people in boarding schools can have their skills and experience officially recognised,” said BSA Head of Safeguarding and Standards Dale Wilkins.
“This is obviously a significant development for individual staff, but it will also play an important role in demonstrating and raising standards across the whole boarding sector and supporting safe recruitment.”
Staff who work at independent boarding schools across the UK, and England’s 36 state boarding schools, will be able to apply to become accredited boarding practitioners. And they will be able to retain their accredited status if they move on to more senior positions in boarding at other schools in the UK or overseas.
BSA Chief Executive Robin Fletcher added: “The BSA Accredited Boarding Practitioner scheme is not just a world first, but also one of the most significant developments in supporting professional standards in boarding. We look forward to helping boarding staff to have their skills and experience formally recognised for the very first time.”