Accreditation for expatriate families is particularly important, given the number of times they are likely to change countries and hence, schools. Selecting accredited schools helps ensure that a student’s educational efforts and the quality of their academic studies will be recognized in their next country’s school.
Accreditation lets families know that their school is providing an education that meets internationally benchmarked standards. There are several organizations that offer a comprehensive ‘assessment’, that examine all aspects of a school from the basics of health and safety provision to the level of aspiration and clarity of purpose and direction. Schools voluntarily engage with these organizations and fund the process with no guarantee of outcome.
Two of the main agencies are CIS (Council of International Schools) and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). The main accrediting agencies execute a detailed evaluation to accept a school as a member and then after a rigorous examination, involving a comprehensive visit to the school and collection of a great deal of documentation, the school may be accredited.
IICS has been globally accredited by the International Baccalaureate (IB) since 1996, Council of International Schools (CIS) since 1997 and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) since 2002. IICS is the ONLY international school in Istanbul to be globally recognized for the high international standards of its academics. IICS has recently received a highly successful 5 year review from CIS and NEASC (May 2018).
International Baccalaureate (IB)
IICS is the only international school in Istanbul fully authorised to provide all three International Baccalaureate (IB) programs: the Primary Years (Early Years-grade 6), the Middle Years (Grades 7-10) and the Diploma (Grades 11-12).
IICS was authorised by the IB in 1996 to offer the Diploma Program for grades 11 & 12. The following year, IICS was authorised by the IB to offer the Primary Years Program for Early Years through grade 6. The following year in 1997, IICS was authorized by the IB to offer the Middle Years Program for grades 7-10. This made IICS one of the first schools in the world authorized for all three of the IB programs. IICS has recently received highly successful 5 year review from the IB (December 2017).
The International Baccalaureate is a not-for-profit educational foundation offering a unique educational experience to students from age 3 to 19 through four international education programmes that challenge and motivate students, academically and personally. The IB also has a rigorous accreditation process to enable schools to offer its programmes. Schools may not offer any of the IB programmes without authorization from the IB.
Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA)
The school is a member of the Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) which offers IICS the opportunity for intramural athletics and activities with CEESA member schools in 18 other countries. Each year there are numerous CEESA – organised sporting, cultural, and academic events in which students participate, giving them the chance to travel to other countries to learn and compete. CEESA also supports professional development for faculty and staff and sharing of innovative and excellent practice.
Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS)
Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS) is a collaborative network promoting the ideals and best practice of international education by providing and facilitating opportunities for professional development, supporting the development and evaluation of a school’s curriculum and instruction, and in numerous other ways. ECIS leads in addressing significant current and future educational and global issues in support of its membership in Europe and worldwide.
Council of International Schools (CIS)
The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a global non-profit membership community that works collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools, higher education institutions, and individuals.
CIS offers a very clear and thorough ‘audit’ of all the many areas of school operation; it is helpful to school leadership to ensure all aspects of the organisation are maintained at a high standard and are kept abreast of current good practice.
CIS accreditation supports the recruitment of high quality professionals. CIS is a mark of quality and ethical practice that reassures prospective educators that IICS is a good place to work. CIS supports admissions and parent confidence in the school CIS is a mark of quality that reassures parents that there is external oversight of the school in all areas of operation. CIS supports the maintenance and development of a high quality, ethical organisation in all areas.
New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC)
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is an independent, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization which connects and serves over 2,000 public and independent schools, technical/career institutions, colleges and universities in New England plus international schools in more than 65 nations worldwide.
- In addition to the benefits offered by NEASC accreditation with regard to student and teacher recruitment:
- It allows IICS to provide a US High School Diploma
- It provides challenges and direction towards being an exceptional forward-thinking school.
The structure and approach of the ACE protocol is designed with the tenets of modern forward thinking education at its centre. It demands that schools go beyond compliance with a set list of standards, that they truly keep students at the center of the process. It pushes educators to research best practices and future developments that allow greater responsiveness to students and to the reality of the world around them.