Families First Quality Award for children’s centres, schools and nurseries
The Families First Quality Award (FFQA) is a national quality assurance process and quality improvement framework designed to help you provide gold standard information to families and keep families at the heart of your work.
The Families First Quality Award recognises organisations that demonstrate excellence in providing information, advice and assistance to local families. local families.
Benefits of FFQA
How it works
First developed for local authority Family Information Services (FIS) to measure FIS’ effectiveness in delivering their statutory obligations to the 2006 Childcare Act, FFQA has since evolved to meet the specific needs of children’s centres and nurseries, and, with the help of Suffolk County Council, the needs of schools of all kinds. FFQA now also includes additional standards that recognise excellence in helping families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The Families First Quality Award is designed with your requirements in mind to allow your work to be easily integrated into the FFQA framework. The award is based on a competence-based assessment similar to that of National Vocational Qualification assessments. The assessment is overseen by our accredited FFQA assessors who will work with you to identify suitable examples of evidence that demonstrate your competence against the individual elements of the standards.
Improving your engagement
Grounded in years of research and work in the early years, the Family and Childcare Trust has an acute understanding of the challenges you face to support your children and engage their parents.
FFQA offers different sets of standards tailored to the unique roles schools and children’s centres each play in working with children and their families. The standards can also be applied to the work of nurseries. FFQA will help you evaluate your engagement with your children, their parents and carers, and your staff. Using the clear framework, you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and act informatively to improve your standards and work practices.
Showcasing your quality of work to Ofsted
FFQA will make sure you put your best foot forward at your next Ofsted inspection by helping you confidently showcase your work. As you use the FFQA framework to evaluate your work, the framework can be readily used to easily gather evidence to demonstrate against the requirements of your next Ofsted inspection. Working with an FFQA assessor, you can build a solid portfolio of evidence to spotlight your achievements.
Mrs Louise Spall
Headteacher, Somerleyton Primary School
"I would thoroughly recommend the Families First Quality Award as a way to pinpoint and evaluate your current offer to parents. I have found it to be a rewarding process which enables you to improve areas highlighted and bring about change.”
Deputy Headteacher, Albany Pupil Referral Unit
"FFQA has been a very positive way to celebrate the amazing work we do to support families. The online portfolio has been very easy to use and evidence, the support from our assessor Tim has been great. The whole process really hasn't taken much time. The impact of completing the programme has been excellent. We’ve been able to use it as evidence in our SEF form and for Ofsted.”
Parent Support Coordinator, Barrow School
"Our families feel they have been recognised and valued for the important job they do with their children. The school has been recognised for supporting families and involving them in the work we do. FFQA has boosted families confidence in the school and confirmed to them that they are an important part of the education process. This will have a lasting effect on the children.”
Team Manager, Townsend children's centre
"Being able to go through this process has really highlighted the information, advice and guidance that is on offer at children’s centres. This process has really captured what children’s centres are all about, and how they are able to support families."
Assistant Principal, Bury St Edmunds
“Gaining the Award has been an incredibly useful experience allowing us to audit what we are doing well and to highlight areas where we need to make improvements to our practice to reach all parents, including those who are harder to reach. We would highly recommend taking part in obtaining the Award as the process is perfect to establishing ‘next steps’ to take to improve on practice”
Pastoral Support Coordinator and project leader, Bury St Edmunds
"The benefits of [FFQA] are that the parents are ‘on our side’ and join with us in the education of their children. They feel valued and involved in their school which has a positive effect on their wellbeing and that of their children."
Headteacher, Bury St Edmunds
"Our school continues to be a family friendly environment where everyone is welcomed and valued. The networking of parents and joining of the community has had a positive affect on school life and the children by connecting families to share experiences and help each other."
Headteacher, Sundon Park Junior School
"We were inspected in March and taken out of special measures. We know we still have lots of work to do with parents but the inspectors could certainly see the improvements there have been. Thank you for all your help in the last year – a positive outcome all round."
Let's have a heart to heart.
Submit your expression of interest to be accredited under the Families First Quality Award.
Curious for more details? Get in touch with Will Tucker, our NAFIS Officer.