Quality Mark Rationale


If you or your school/setting is interested in applying for the Quality Mark please get in contact to discuss the process. The following are some brief notes and further information.

Benefits of the Quality Mark
1. The Mantle of the Expert Quality Mark will enable schools and a range of user settings to select and attract high calibre teaching staff looking for institutions that are innovative, creative and holding an inquiry-based philosophy.
2. Holders of the Training School Mark Quality Mark will clearly indicate that the individual(s) or school/setting holding the award, publicly stands for more than an instrumental approach to learning and teaching and can demonstrate high levels of practices able to be shared in the wider educational community.
3. Teachers, Ambassadors, Trainer(s), and Training Schools will be identified on the Mantle of the Expert website and will be the first to be approached to run and work on any of the National and International assignments.
4. The Mantle of the Expert Quality Mark will indicate that the school/setting is able to self-evaluate innovation in their curriculum. Such a feature will be useful for formal reviews of standards as in OfSTED processes for curriculum and teaching.
5. The Quality Mark criterion directly parallels the findings in the HMI evaluation of The Curriculum in the Most Successful schools (UK) as reported by Robin Hammerton HMI.
6. The Quality Mark protects the quality of the provision and development of Mantle of the Expert in the community of practice.

The Mantle of the Expert Quality Mark Categories
1. Mantle of the Expert Training School Quality Mark is a whole school process that takes approximately two years to complete. The Training School Mark is for schools and other appropriate settings wishing to be recognised as an example of what can be achieved when Mantle of the Expert is securely embedded into everyday pedagogic approaches and the impact such work can have on children’s standards of achievement and attainments. Such a school is likely to have invested significant amounts of training funds to the approach in order that its teachers are skilled in the use of Mantle of the Expert in their classrooms. Teachers are also committed to sharing their practice with visitors and the SLT and Governors have a clear vision of the development of the approach, as well as a clear recognition of the impacts beyond instrumental standards.
2. The Teacher Quality Mark is for teachers who wish to be recognised for their use of Mantle of the Expert in their classrooms. Teachers qualifying for this category will demonstrate an understanding of the approach and a commitment to using it regularly in their teaching. The assessment process will involve an observed lesson from one of the Mantle of the Expert training team and a discussion around planning, teaching, and impact. Typically, the assessment process will take half a day.
3. The Advocates Quality Mark is typically for schools-leaders, advisors, academics, and other educationalists with an extensive understanding of Mantle of the Expert, who use their role to promote the approach, support others as they develop their use and understanding, and have a passion for sharing their thoughts and experiences of Mantle of the Expert. The assessment process will involve the compilation of a portfolio of work done in advocating the approach and supporting the development of others, and a discussion around the elements of the approach – how it works in practice, the impacts on student learning, etc
4. The Ambassador Quality Mark is for teachers who are interested in sharing their experience and understanding of Mantle of the Expert with others. Teachers qualifying for this category will demonstrate all the qualities of the QM Teacher category as well as a portfolio of the work they have done in dissemination, support, and advocacy such as – workshops, staff-meetings, mentoring, planning, and other writing.


Mantle of the Expert Training School Quality Mark
1. At least ONE lead teacher is in place who has attended at least three intensive weekend courses or other CPD experiences specifically related to Mantle of the Expert practices run by accredited members of the National Team of Trainers.
2. At least three events have been run and organised where a range of local or national/international schools have visited the setting on at least three occasions over a period of a year and the feedback has been recorded.
3. Mantle of the Expert practices are evidenced in all classes.
4. Teachers/workers are conversant with the main tenets of the approach.
5. Drama for learning experiences are provided for all learners who are developing make believe skills when young as well create dramatic structuring when they are older.
6. Learners can discuss their Mantle of the Expert experiences through identifying the gains.
7. The Lead Teacher (Ambassador) is perceived and revered in the setting as a practitioner able to publicly share practices in Mantle of the Expert. Professional integrity and expertise are high with regard to the knowledge skills and understanding in the deployment of Mantle of the Expert method.
8. The Lead Teacher (Ambassador) has had measurable impact in the setting for the development of Mantle of the Expert practices in others and is a source of inspiration.
9. The Lead Teacher (Ambassador) has the authority in the setting to develop Mantle of the Expert practices and is available for consultation with other teachers/practitioners so that Mantle of the Expert is a regular feature in the experiences of children.
10. Leadership in the school backs and supports the development of Mantle of the Expert through staff meetings and allowing where possible, CPD opportunities to be taken up by staff who wish to do so.
11. Mantle of the Expert is perceived in the school/setting as a major contributor to achievement in selected groups of identified children in the school.
12. Curriculum maps include Mantle of the Expert structures on an on-going and regular basis.

Criteria to gain Mantle of the Expert Lead Teacher (Ambassador) Quality Mark
1. The Lead Teacher is trained to a high level by national and international leaders in the field and has completed specific training with organised and focussed attention on how to work with others to disseminate best Mantle of the Expert practices in classrooms with children.
2. The Lead Teacher is a skilled practitioner using Mantle of the Expert as a teaching approach in their work. They have collected examples in high quality portfolios to use in dissemination activities.
3. The Lead Teacher understands how process drama and theatre form works and the necessary shifts in practice to incorporate Mantle of the Expert tools where appropriate and vice versa.
4. The leading teacher uses INDUCTIVE teaching practices and encourages others to do the same to ensure that classrooms are empowering children to influence their learning.
5. The Lead Teacher communicates in a manner associated with ‘Community of Practice’ and always-through example requiring involvement and participation of interested colleagues.
6. Lead Teacher’s can support planning activities with colleagues that incorporate the first steps. The Inquiry questions and curriculum goals will always be uppermost with tools to enable levels of classroom activity to follow. Such first steps may be ‘initial’ for the new colleague or longer term if the colleague(s) are supported in their experimental phase.
7. The leading teacher is clear about the 4 projections of role (FULL ROLE, TEACHER IN AND OUT OF ROLE, TWILIGHT ROLE, and SECONDARY ROLE) including the use to which each is appropriate.
8. The Lead Teacher is capable of demonstrating the differences and the language registers needed to ensure children and young people have the power to influence as much as possible. The skills needed by a Lead Teacher are mainly in the domain of language use and the resistance to the use of the ‘telling’ voice. In Mantle of the Expert the guidance for teachers who use the system we emphasise the deployment of the three voices of the teacher reduce the use of the ‘controller’ voice in the optimum circumstances of facilitative teaching.
9. The LT understands and can communicate how the three voices are used:
• The ‘Manager’s voice’ (i.e. the ‘go between’) in the construction of the enterprise or responsible team.
• The voice of ‘coach’ both inside and outside the fiction, which can support and challenge ongoing work to develop high quality outcomes.
• The voices of others such as the ‘client’ voice or fictional ‘others’ necessary for the fictional world to be grown and developed.
10. The Lead Teacher can coach in situ with a colleague and has portfolio evidence to support their work in classes by starting the work and handing over, or supporting the starting steps led by the colleague.
11. The Lead Teacher is a member of a wider network of trainers and practitioners who make it their business to ensure that they are up to date with their practices as well as remaining open minded to new procedures as they arise from other members within the community of practice. Such communities are often web based and focussed by a national/international convener or central location. (See www.mantleoftheexpert.com or its derivatives in New Zealand and Palestine.)
12. The Lead Teacher is passionate about the use of Mantle of the Expert and is a constant advocate.
13. The Lead Teacher uses ongoing active research activities to review and evaluate their practice.

Learning-Support and Teaching Assistants
Quality Mark Training schools require many of their Learning Support Assistants/Staff (or Teaching Assistants) to become involved in Mantle of the Expert practices in collaboration with Classroom Teachers.
Colleagues in this Mantle of the Expert category would fulfil the following observable behaviours in classroom activities supporting high impacts on learning:
1. A willingness to actively engage in dramatic play or drama in a make believe context with the children they are supporting under the leadership of the class teacher.
2. Records of taking an active part in extensive practical Mantle of the Expert training events run by the school or members of the Mantle of the Expert National Training Team specifically for learning support colleagues and with teacher focussed training events where possible.
3. Personally be able to be involved as a Full Role in dramatic activity by classroom application in learning contexts under the direction of a member of the teaching staff.
4. Know how dramatic tension works and how this can be applied to learning contexts requiring dramatic activity.
5. Know the difference between play and drama, make believe and pretence, and be able to use a range of language codes to shift learning responsibility to learners.
6. Be able to articulate the benefits of dramatic activity in learning and to be able to describe the three circles (Drama, Inquiry and Mantle of the Expert) sufficiently for other LSA colleagues to become familiar with the basic tenets of the system

The processes for obtaining the Quality Mark
• Institutions will specify the Quality Mark they wish to be recognised for by making contact.
• The settings will write a short brief set of details evidencing the criteria in the appropriate section details as above. There will follow correspondence via e-mails and phone calls, or a National Team member will make an initial visit. This will be to verify and evaluate the evidence supplied by the school concerned. If the criterions are met in the eyes of the National Team member from this initial record the next stage will be the day visit.
• The one day visit will be at a date suitable to the institution and will be led by a designated member of the National Team who will then verify the overall training practices, the quality of provision and outcomes as well as teaching practices. The Quality Mark will be awarded on the day in question, with a brief written evaluation by the National Team member. A typical day will start at 9.00 with a conversation with the HT and staff followed by a programme of observations, planning reviews, records of school visits from other settings with comments/impacts. During the day Mantle of the Expert Quality Mark reviewers will discuss issues with the lead teacher and hold brief conversations with all teaching staff as well as TA’s and HLTA’s. If possible a governor contact will be made as well. Finally after conversations with learners where appropriate, observations in classrooms and outcomes generated by Mantle of the Expert processes, the award will be made.
• The Quality Mark can be displayed in the school and on any literature if needed or any other site decided by the setting. Photo records of the event are encouraged and any images can appear on the Mantle of the Expert website with the mutual consent of both schools and the national team member concerned.
• The Quality Mark will be awarded for three years from the date of the practical evaluation visit.
• In the event of a school judged to be in need of more evidence to support their standard required they might submit further evidence at any time. It will be at the discretion of the National Team Assessor to charge any more depending on time and travel needs up to a maximum of one-day full charge if necessary.
• Schools may submit evidence at any time within one year of their first evaluation.