Quality Framework background | National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education

Quality Framework background

Between 2005 and 2006 the London-based Resource Unit (now the National Resource Centre (NRC)) and the Pan London Forum worked together to pilot a new Quality Framework for Supplementary Schools. We had been concerned that schools often struggled to demonstrate to parents, partners and funders that they were providing a high quality of service. This could make it difficult for them to work with mainstream schools and sometimes to secure funding.

We felt that the array of other quality schemes available didn’t capture the wide range of work that supplementary schools did, so we designed a quality scheme just for supplementary schools.

The pilot phase of the Quality Framework worked with fourteen supplementary schools in six London local authorities and was supported by a small grant from the DfES (now DfE). Thirteen schools received awards from Lord Adonis at our national conference in November 2006.

The development phase was launched in 2007. We consulted with partners and supplementary schools that had taken part in the pilot and revised the scheme considerably. We worked closely with QiSS, part of the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, which runs a similar scheme for study support and extended services, and learned a lot from their experience. 

A second group of supplementary schools from across England embarked on the Quality Framework process in September 2007. By April 2009, a further 31 schools had received awards. Following evaluation by Professor Peter Martin of the University of East London, the Quality Framework structure was streamlined to make it more manageable and launched nationwide. It has now become a solid and effective tool for self-evaluation enabling schools to show outside organisations, particularly funders and statutory agencies, what they do and the standard of service they provide. Since April 2009, we have focused on ensuring that all our members are encouraged and supported to obtain the Bronze Award.

By the end of June 2011, 255 schools had achieved Bronze, with over 60 going on to a higher award and many new schools embarking on the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels every month. We have recruited and trained over 95 local mentors to support schools through the Quality Framework process. Please email claire.arthur@continyou.org.uk if you are interested in becoming a mentor.

If you share our vision for all supplementary schools and are interested in achieving a Quality Framework Award for your school then join the National Resource Centre and sign up to our Code of Practice to take your first step towards the Bronze Award. Visit our membership pages for more information.


Supplementary school headteachers receiving their Quality Framework awards from the Mayor of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea