MAEL is committed to ensuring all registered centres provide a quality placement to enable learners to put their practical skills into practice and learn how to manage and co-operate with others. MAEL is committed to meeting the Quality Assurance Agency’s code of practice on work-based and placement learning.
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Principles: Clarity Learning outcomes must be (i) clearly identified, (ii) contribute to the overall and coherent aims of the programme, and (iii) are assessed appropriately.
Responsibility MAEL accepts full responsibility for the academic standard of its awards and also the quality of the provision leading to them. All centres are monitored to ensure they are fully aware of their related and placement-specific responsibilities, and that the learning opportunities provided by them are appropriate.
Support Centres must ensure that learners know their responsibilities and entitlements, and are provided with appropriate and timely information, support and guidance prior to, and throughout, their placement.
Staffing Centres must ensure that their placement staff are appropriately qualified, resourced and competent for their role. MAEL will oversee effective measures to monitor and assure the proficiency of centre staff.
Evaluation MAEL will ensure that policies and procedures for securing and monitoring settings, and administering and reviewing placements, are used effectively and reviewed regularly.
Settings Selection The centre will normally select a setting for a learner. The selection should take account of the learner’s domestic arrangements if at all possible. If the learner is already employed at a setting, or has close ties with one, then that may be used but the same standards must be applied.
Authenticity The centre should normally only use authentic Montessori settings (unless part of the hours is specifically allocated to a different context.) The criteria for authenticity should be very closely based on the Montessori Europe Declaration of Gothenburg criteria. These are appended to this document.
All centres must be visited prior to a placement being agreed, to check the standards. Where certain criteria are not fully met, the centre may, at its discretion, allow the setting to provide an action plan for rectifying the issue. The setting may be used in the interim, provided the centre staff are certain that the experience for the learner will be valid. If the setting is unwilling or unable to meet any of the standards, then the matter musty be referred back to MAEL. A placement cannot be made without express approval from MAEL. In any case, the learner must be made aware of the situation, the reasons for it and what would be authentic practice. This dispensation shall not apply if there is any concern about the children’s safety.
Accreditation Centres may issue internal certificates of approval for settings which meet the criteria. These certificates may not use the MAEL logo unless the setting has been personally visited by a member of MAEL’s staff.
Agreement The centre must ensure that an agreement between the centre, the setting and the learner, has been signed before any hours can be counted. A specimen agreement is appended. This agreement can be modified to take account of local conditions.
Assessment All assessment shall be carried out in accordance with the qualification specification.
Date of last review 09/06/2016
Appendix 1. School criteria from the Declaration of Gothenburg.
Required criteria for Montessori schools for all ages:
1. In each group there is at least one adult, Montessori-trained for the
relevant age group according to the standards set out below (i.e. in the following part of the declaration, see https://www.montessori-europe.com/sites/default /files/me/files/congress/2005_gothenburg/Declaration_Gothenburg_2005.pdf)
2. Each group has a prepared environment suitable for the needs of the age
group, according to the theory of Dr. Montessori
3. Each group environment includes a full range of Montessori activities and
materials suitable for the age group
4. There are children from a mixed age range in the same group to allow
independent, co-operative and interactive learning
5. Each child has the opportunity for uninterrupted work (work cycles) of two
and a half to three hours each day.
6. Free choice by children is an essential part of the pedagogical programme
in each group.
7. The adults respect the person and rights of the child.
8. The adults working with the group observe the children daily.
9. Freedom of movement and choice are the basis for education and
development of children under 3 years.
10. Sensorial education and structured freedom are the basis for education of
children 3-6 years.
11. Cosmic education and self-determined learning are the basis for education
of children 6-12 years and adolescents.
12. Montessori groups aim to help children to become independent self-responsible
Appendix 2. Specimen placement agreement
Teaching Practice Responsibilities
The learner accepts these responsibilities by taking a placement. Also by accepting a learner the Directress accepts the relevant responsibilities.
The Responsibilities of the Learner
It is the learner’s responsibility:
- to attend regularly and arrive punctually If you need to arrive late on a regular basis, this should be agreed with the directress before the start of the practice.
- to obtain a copy of the nursery term dates. Learners should not book holidays during nursery term time which may be different from the Centre’s term dates.
- to give adequate notice if unable to attend (e.g. for illness). Remember to ask for the Directress’ home phone number.
- to understand that the teaching practice is unpaid (unless a special arrangement has been made with the directress.)
- to understand that no guarantee of paid employment or occupational advancement can be made by either the nursery or the Centre.
- to give 6 working weeks notice (or half a term whichever is the greater) of your intention to end your teaching practice placement. (which should preferably end at the end of a term).
- if paid, to be prepared to do extra ‘free time’ to enable the observations to be carried out.
- if a grievance arises, to speak firstly to the Directress; if that does not resolve the problem, to write a short and polite letter to the directress; and if that does not resolve the issue, to contact your teaching practice tutor.
- to dress appropriately (e.g. jeans/trousers/no tights in summer/excessive jewellery/revealing necklines/etc. may all give offence in some settings, but not others).
- to advise the directress of visits from your tutor. You will be sent, a written report of the visit which must be placed in your file with the attendance sheets as verification of the visits.
- to inform both the directress and myself if you have any grounds to suspect that a child is in need of protection, either from an adult or from another child.
- not to present any Montessori materials that you have not had demonstrated to you on the course, or, alternatively, that you have not seen demonstrated by the Directress.
- to behave professionally at all times, (e.g. do not criticise the nursery in front of other staff, and particularly not in front of parents.)
- not to discuss children directly with the parents (unless you have specific permission from the directress).
- to be prepared to arrive half an hour before the children to help set up the apparatus, and also to stay back at the end of the session to tidy up or clear away. If this is impossible because of childcare commitments it should be made clear to the Directress before the teaching practice
- to help with some or all of the following tasks, as requested:
- welcoming the children and helping them settle if other staff are engaged with parents
- presenting materials
- preparing food and helping at lunch time.
- attending staff and parents’ meetings.
- reading stories, fingerplays, number rhymes etc.
- to assist with children who are not normalised, or who have special needs or who are taken ill.
- to familiarise yourself with accident and fire procedures
- to provide the directress with a copy of your c.v.
Responsibilities of the Directress
It is the directress’s responsibility:
- to arrange a Criminal Registration Bureau check on the learner, and any other official checks which may be necessary.
- to ensure that the learner is covered by public liability insurance whilst in the nursery and on nursery outings/visits.
- to ensure that unless the learner is a paid employee, they are not counted in the staffing ratios. If the learner is asked to ‘cover’ for a member of staff, and be counted in the ratios, s/he must be paid for the time involved (and included in your employer’s liability insurance, etc.)
- to ensure that the learner is allowed time for observation of the children.
- to give some support to the learner in completing their Directed Tasks and sign witness statements for some activities such as the learner’s management of a complete session..
- to write a final report on the learner.
- to ensure that if a problem arises, the learner is spoken to privately, not in the presence of staff, children or parents. If this does not resolve the problem, to put the matter in writing. If the problem still remains unresolved, to report the situation to the Principal of the Centre.
- to ensure that the learner understands nursery procedures (e.g. talking to parents, dress code, fire drill, accident procedures, etc.)
- to give feedback to the learner at least once a term on his/her work in the classroom, and complete any appraisal forms provided by the Centre
The Responsibilities of the Centre
It is the responsibility of the Centre:
- to treat all learners fairly, equally and without prejudice, regardless of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status and to anyone undergoing or who has undergone gender reassignment.
- to find a work experience placement.
- to act impartially in any case of grievance between the learner and the nursery.
- to assess the learner’s work fairly, and in accordance with published standards.
Signature ………………………………………… Date …………………
Signature ……………………………………….. Date ………………….
Signature ……………………………………….. Date …………………. (Centre)
Photocopy 2 more copies of these responsibilities. Sign all 3 copies. Keep one yourself, and then give 2 to the directress at your teaching practice placement to sign. She keeps one and the last is posted to the Centre. The Centre will then sign it and retain that copy.