FAQs

FAQs

A payment of £75 + VAT will enable the completion of the online Self-Review Tool. The tool will determine your school’s overall level.

You may then apply for a verifier to come to your school to validate your assessment and discuss ways to improve SMSC provision. The cost of a verification visit is £495 + VAT.

Once you have access to the online Self Review Tool you could complete the online tool in as little as 40 minutes. However, you will then need to print off your answers to discuss your assessment with your colleagues and governors.

Alternatively, you may like to complete the form as a group to ensure that you are getting a more rounded school perspective. This collaborative approach may take a little longer.

The SMSC lead (or, if no one has this responsibility, the PSHE subject coordinator) would be the best person to complete the SRT. It is also good practice to gather evidence and opinions from a range of staff and of course pupils (surveys) to make sure that the self-review includes a whole school perspective.

The Tool can be added to and edited at any point prior to submission. You should click ‘Save’ after making any amendments. You will then receive an automated email confirming that changes have been successfully made.

Once you have fully completed the Self-Review Tool and gained agreement from colleagues/governors, you click on ‘Submit’. You will then receive an email confirming that your assessment has been completed.

Once you have completed your Self-Review Tool and submitted your responses a result of Emerging, Bronze, Silver or Gold will be calculated.

In order to have this self-assessment validated you will need to request a verification visit. Once you have been independently verified we will supply a printed certificate, a verification report and an electronic logo to digitally promote your achievement.

We recommend that you discuss certain criteria (1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.11b, 1.11c, 2.2b, 4.8b) in your school’s Senior Leadership meetings. We also advise that your Governors contribute towards certain criteria too (1.4, 1.5a, 1.5b, 1.7, 4.3b, 4.8d, 4.9a )

You can decide how you like to complete the ‘possible sources of evidence’ section. Should you decide to go forward for independent verification, the assessor will use this section to inform their questions. We therefore suggest that you use this section to refer to evidence that would be drawn on during a verification conversation.

Things are changing all the time in busy schools; the Verification visit should be applied for within 2 months (approximately ½ a term) of completing the self-review.

The Self-Review Tool is applicable and available to all pre-schools, primary and secondary academies and schools in the UK (whether state run or independent) to complete and use as method to assess their level of SMSC provision.

We are currently only able to undertake verification visits to schools in England and Wales.

No. It is entirely up to the school. However, the overall school level as determined by the completion of the SRT can only be used for guidance. It is not a verified result.

Evidence can range from photos to display boards, recounts from pupils and staff, minutes from meetings, drawings etc. There is no need for a file of evidence.

The award will last for 3 years from the day you receive the verification report.

You will receive a certificate, a verification report and an electronic Bronze, Silver or Gold logo according to the level awarded to your school. Schools who that are verified as Emerging do not receive a logo.

Verification visits will last half a day.

If possible the verifier should be greeted by the SMSC lead, and or the headteacher. S/he will also need to speak to a group of children, governors and if possible a few parents in order to get a full picture of the school.

The verifier will make suggestions for improvement/development.  You can secure an extra two hours consultation for a relatively small additional fee.

The self-review tool provides schools with an invaluable opportunity to review their SMSC provision. It will indicate opportunities to enhance provision. The verification visit provides an independent, expert triangulation of the self-review and ensures that the school’s self-review is in line with national guidance and with other schools across the country.

It also allows schools to use the National SMSC Quality Mark logo to acknowledge and celebrate their SMSC provision and provides a unique opportunity for school improvement and CPD.

As noted above, for a relatively small additional fee we anticipate that many schools will also seek to engage the coaching/professional development discussion with an independent expert, who can help signpost you to other national and local resources and suggest ways that SMSC provision may be further enhanced.

No!  There is very strong evidence from OFSTED and academic research that links SMSC development to improvements in children’s physical, social and emotional well-being and strong links to their academic attainment.  By improving SMSC provision, children’s learning and life-chances can be improved.

If schools feel they are ready to move up to a new level they can re-apply for verification a year after they were originally verified. We don’t think it should be sooner, as new developments take time to fully embed.

The National SMSC Quality Mark is a unique opportunity for schools to self-assess their SMSC provision against a set of nationally agreed criteria and have this verified by one of our expert team. The ‘verifier +’ option provides additional coaching/consultancy support to further enhance school improvement.

Our pilot schools found that the Quality Mark was an excellent way of reviewing their provision for SMSC development and equipping them to implement their vision for SMSC.

‘SMSC is difficult to capture as it’s not a subject and so can be difficult to evidence. It’s not something you can view in isolation, as it’s part of everything we do without realising it. I feel it’s now clearer to me how to evidence it and the most useful part of the whole process was the clarity I now feel.’ SMSC Lead, Lydgate Junior & Infant School, Kirklees.

‘It allowed us to focus our attention on some of the really brilliant work the school does on SMSC, whilst at the same time helping us to identify our next steps.’ Headteacher, Cedars Manor, Harrow.

‘Don’t think you’re not ready. SMSC is not a separate entity. So much focus is given to curriculum and core subjects. SMSC is the poor relative. If we don’t get the SMSC right everything else won’t happen.’ SMSC Lead, Hillcrest Academy, Leeds.

‘Ofsted’s inspection guidance makes clear that the evidence schools provide regarding the effectiveness of their PSHE education and of pupils’ SMSC development is more crucial than ever to informing the judgements inspectors make regarding leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, personal development, behaviour and welfare, safeguarding and ultimately, the overall effectiveness of the school.’ Janet Palmer, former Lead HMI for SMSC.

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The National SMSC Quality Mark is a unique opportunity for schools to self-assess their SMSC provision against a set of nationally agreed criteria and have this verified by one of our expert team. The ‘verifier +’ option provides additional coaching / consultancy support to further enhance school improvement.

Our pilot schools found that the Quality Mark was an excellent way of reviewing their provision for SMSC development and equipping them to implement their vision for SMSC.

‘SMSC is difficult to capture as it’s not a subject and so can be difficult to evidence. It’s not something you can view in isolation, as it’s part of everything we do without realising it. I feel it’s now clearer to me how to evidence it and the most useful part of the whole process was the clarity I now feel.’ SMSC Lead Lydgate Junior & Infant School; Kirklees.

‘It allowed us to focus our attention on some of the really brilliant work the school does on SMSC, whilst at the same time helping us to identify our next steps.’ Headteacher Cedars Manor, Harrow.

‘Don’t think you’re not ready. SMSC is not a separate entity. So much focus is given to curriculum and core subjects. SMSC is the poor relative. If we don’t get the SMSC right everything else won’t happen.’ SMSC Lead; Hillcrest Academy, Leeds

‘Ofsted’s inspection guidance makes clear that the evidence schools provide regarding the effectiveness of their PSHE education and of pupils’ SMSC development is more crucial than ever to informing the judgements inspectors make regarding leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, personal development, behaviour and welfare, safeguarding and ultimately, the overall effectiveness of the school.’ Janet Palmer (former Lead HMI for SMSC)