We developed the Quality Mark for Secondary Schools in 1996 and the Quality Mark for Primary Schools in 1997, following wide consultation with schools and local authorities. It was revised in 2007 after consultation with a significant number of local authorities in partnership with the Basic Skills Agency. Revised guidance for the Quality Mark for the Early Years Sector was developed in 2008.

The Quality Mark for Extended Services Providers (QM for ESPs) was introduced in 2009. The aim of the framework is ‘to identify, celebrate and reward the contribution and impact that extended services have on the achievement of children and young people in communication, literacy and mathematical learning, both directly and indirectly’.

The different versions of the Quality Mark are based on close partnerships with both local authorities and individual schools/settings. The assessment and recommendation of awards is the responsibility of either the local authority, if it is a partner with the Alliance for Lifelong Learning, or directly with the Alliance if the LA is not in partnership. Our role is to make sure that the assessments carried out are consistent.