Terms and Conditions
Your obligations as an accredited organisation
SchoolMark Limited as the owner and guardian of the brand (referred to as the “brand owner”), framework and trademarks, looks forward to your organisation (“You”) achieving accreditation. This document sets out the obligations of organisations holding Accreditation.
This agreement sets out the requirements expected of You, once You have been assessed and accredited to:
- Maintain the credibility of SchoolMark.
- Notify the brand owner of any changes to You which may have a significant impact on your accreditation; and
- Use correctly the SchoolMark logo or other registered trademark.
By acknowledging your acceptance of this agreement, by displaying the SchoolMark logo and promoting your status as a SchoolMark accredited body, You agree to abide by the terms and conditions set out below for so long as You are accredited.
Maintaining Your accreditation
Accreditation means that You have met the requirements of one or more of the SchoolMark frameworks determined by an independent assessment carried out by an SchoolMark licensed practitioner, acting under the authority of SchoolMark Limited. A SchoolMark “practitioner” is a licensed individual with the authority, training and expertise to assesses an organisation against the Standard and make award decisions on this basis.
Your accreditation is subject to bi-annual review by SchoolMark and is subject to the following conditions:
- The maximum period between reviews is 2 years, with an annual review undertaken of Your organisation every 12 months. You must organise your next assessment within that timeframe in order to maximise the benefits from using the SchoolMark framework/s and to ensure that your accreditation continues.
- You agree to exercise good business practice at all times in conducting Your business operations in order to conform to and preserve the SchoolMark framework/s and any goodwill associated with the SchoolMark framework/s.
- You agree to refrain at all times from doing anything which may prejudice or endanger the reputation or value of the SchoolMark trademark.
Changes to Your Organisation
You must inform SchoolMark if any substantive change takes place or is planned to take place in or to Your structure, strategy, management or culture (a “Change”) which could affect your status as an SchoolMark organisation, or which may affect Your ability to meet the requirements for continued accreditation. Without limitation, a Change may include any changes in the roles of Accounting Officer, Chair, or CFO, and any substantial change in the number of schools in your Trust, or your maintained school/academy status. You must inform SchoolMark prior to the Change taking place or, if this is not possible, as soon as is reasonably practicable following the Change.
SchoolMark reserves the right to investigate the nature of any Change and its impact on Your accreditation. Wherever possible, this investigation shall be timed to take place with a routine review of Your compliance with the SchoolMark framework/s.
For this purpose, You agree to permit SchoolMark reasonable access to Your premises and to those records which the SchoolMark reasonably believes are relevant to Your accreditation. You may be required to pay the costs associated with any such investigation provided that such costs are agreed with You in writing beforehand.
Use of the logos relating to Your accreditation
The brand owner grants to You a non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to use the SchoolMark logo, or those logos applicable to the SchoolMark framework(“Trade Marks”) for use in Your organisation solely for the purpose of displaying Your accreditation. The licence granted shall only subsist for so long as You remain accredited.
Your right to continue to use the Trade Marks shall be assessed at each of Your periodic reviews (which shall be held at least once every two years).
You shall only use the Trade Marks:
on Your stationery, promotional materials, advertising and signage;
or as otherwise permitted in writing to You by the brand owner by emailing email@example.com
You undertake to:
- use the Trade Marks in such form or forms, style or colour, and in such position and size as set out in this acknowledgement or as otherwise approved in writing by the brand owner;
- exercise good business practice at all times in conducting Your business operations in order to preserve the goodwill associated with the Trade Marks; and
- not do or omit to do any act or thing which might result in the registrations of the Trade Marks being revoked under the Trade Marks Act 1994.
- use the correct SchoolMark logo as confirmed by SchoolMark as a result of your assessment against the SchoolMark framework. The licence granted for these logos shall only subsist for so long as You remain accredited.
- Use only the SchoolMark logo as a sign of your official achievement. You will not do anything to prejudice or to endanger the value or validity of the Trade Marks.
During Your Accreditation.
You shall not try or assist others to register or use a trademark which is identical with or similar to any of the Trade Marks. You recognise the brand owner’s exclusive title to the Trade Marks, and that all goodwill generated by Your use of the Trade Marks, will inure to the benefit of the brand owner. For the avoidance of doubt, in circumstances where a division of Your organisation has been accredited, only that division is licensed to use the Trade Marks as aforementioned. In such circumstances, the Trade Marks shall not be used in a manner which may imply that other parts of Your organisation are accredited. The Trade Marks must only be used by You. They shall not be used by one of Your affiliated companies or organisations.
Versions of the Trade Marks are available in electronic format from SchoolMark via schoolmark.org
Wherever possible the SchoolMark mark should be printed in line with the brand usage guidelines available on schoolmark.org
The Trade Marks shall not in any circumstances:
- appear larger than Your own logo on any piece of material bearing both; or
- be distorted, partially reduced, condensed, broken up, redrawn, added to or have material placed within the logo border; or
- be obscured by other text or images within their area of isolation. More guidance on using the logo is available in the branding guidelines which can be found on the website schoolmark.org
You must immediately notify the brand owner if You suspect that any use or proposed use by any other person of a trade name, trade mark or other mode of promotional advertising amounts or might amount to an infringement of the brand owner’s rights in relation to the Trade Marks. The brand owner can be contact via firstname.lastname@example.org
Assessment and Review reports are treated ‘commercial in confidence’. The brand owner and SchoolMark will make every reasonable effort to ensure information contained in these reports is not disclosed to any third party, unless you have consented otherwise.
Complaints and failure to demonstrate compliance with the SchoolMark framework
Occasionally, the brand owner and their partners receive complaints about accredited organisations. These complaints may originate from media sources, employees, ex-employees, parents of students, students, regulators or their representatives.
As the custodians of a prestigious standard, the brand owner feels that it is essential that any allegations made that appear in any manner whatsoever to link to the requirements of the SchoolMark framework/s are investigated by the brand owner expediently, professionally and without bias.
This helps to protect the reputation of accredited organisations and ensure that the credibility of SchoolMark is maintained.
You, your practitioner, shall be notified if any complaint has been made against You and You shall be given full details of the circumstances and the nature of the complaint. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the brand owner shall be entitled to withhold the name(s) of the complainant(s) from You.
You must cooperate with any reasonable investigation into your ongoing application of the SchoolMark framework/s, including the provision to the brand owner of reasonable access to your premises and records, and You must pay any costs associated with such investigation provided the costs are agreed with You in writing beforehand. In these circumstances, the primary aim of the brand owner and its partners is to support Your return to meeting fully the requirements of the SchoolMark framework/s.
Where there is evidence that You are not meeting the requirements, Your accreditation may:
- continue to be retained pending satisfactory completion of agreed improvement actions within a specified period of time; or,
- be suspended by SchoolMark pending a re-assessment against the; or,
as a last resort, be removed by the brand owner following independent review by the brand owner.
Removal of Your accreditation shall only occur if You:
are, in the reasonable opinion of the brand owner, not meeting fully the requirements of the SchoolMark Standard and You no longer have any prospect or wish to do so; or fail to cooperate with an investigation into Your conduct relating to the application of the SchoolMark framework/s; or cease to trade or operate; or are deemed to have brought the SchoolMark framework/s into disrepute.
In such cases, evidence shall be collected by the SchoolMark for consideration and determination. This may include information gathered from public or third party sources such as Ofsted, DfE, Companies House and the media. SchoolMark’s decision shall be final on suspending accreditation. The brand owner’s decision is final in regards to the de-accreditation of organisations. Decisions are binding on You and there is no appeals procedure beyond the decision of the brand owner.
Bringing the SchoolMark framework/s into disrepute
The SchoolMark framework/s are prestigious awards and are highly valued by those organisations or organisational divisions, which have been successfully assessed and accredited. Occasionally, accredited organisations or organisational divisions attract adverse publicity in the media or its people or its customers complain about its practices. Cases like this are extremely rare but can cause substantial damage to the credibility of the SchoolMark Framework/s. If You become involved in such, the SchoolMark has the authority to suspend Your accreditation.
Without limitation, the circumstances in which this may arise include: –
serious proven breaches of Health & Safety, Equal Opportunities, Employment or Environmental legislation
serious proven management or leadership failures identified following a public or other independent inquiry
a refusal to comply with the specific instructions of a court of law or industrial tribunal;
fraud or other proven serious financial irregularities;
serious proven instances of employee mistreatment;
involvement in activities considered incompatible within the interests of national security;
statements to the media from top management that conflict with the ethos of SchoolMark;
The decision to suspend Your accreditation shall always be made by the SchoolMark in its discretion If the SchoolMark decides that Your status as an accredited organisation is to be suspended, You shall be informed in writing. The correspondence shall clearly indicate why accreditation has been suspended and the date from which this takes effect and if possible what SchoolMark will be investigating during this suspension period and how long this will take. Once accreditation has been suspended, You may continue to use the Trade Marks in pre-existing ways (e.g. on existing stationary), but You must not: make any new references to being an SchoolMark organisation seek to use SchoolMark as grounds for contesting any circumstances which may have led to the decision to suspend Your accreditation.
Removal of Accreditation or “de-accreditation”
The decision to remove Your accreditation shall always be made by the brand owner (SchoolMark Limited) informed by evidence presented to it. If the brand owner decides that Your status as an accredited organisation is to be removed, You shall be informed in writing. The correspondence shall clearly indicate why accreditation has been removed and the date from which this takes effect. Once accreditation has been removed, you must:
- remove from public display, within 30 days of receipt of the correspondence referred to above, all plaques and certificates related to your accreditation and make available for return to the provider those that were gifted;
- remove all other associated merchandise and Trade Marks from all public display within 30 days of receipt of the correspondence referred to above;
- withdraw or obliterate the Trade Marks from printed stationery and publicity material within a maximum of four months measured from the date of receipt of the correspondence referred to above;
- immediately destroy all artwork related to your accreditation so as to prevent it being used by mistake in the future; and
- must not make any claim to being accredited or being an SchoolMark organisation (previous accreditation can be mentioned with reference to appropriate dates).
You shall comply with The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1992, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Data Protection Act, 1998, Equal Opportunities legislation and all other current employment legislation.
You shall not use any confidential information belonging to the brand owner (including, without limitation, the SchoolMark framework/s) for any purpose other than in accordance with the terms of this acknowledgement. Nor shall You disclose, copy, replicate or distribute any such confidential information to any person except with the prior written consent of SchoolMark Limited. This obligation of confidentiality shall survive the termination of this acknowledgement.
Term and Termination
This agreement shall continue in force from the date that You acknowledge it until it is terminated as specified in this acknowledgement or until You otherwise cease to be accredited.
Without prejudice to any other remedies which the brand owner may have, the brand owner may terminate this acknowledgement immediately by giving notice to You in writing:
in the event that You commit a material breach of these terms and conditions which is not capable of remedy;
in the event that You commit any other breach of these terms and conditions which is not remedied within 30 days of written notice from the brand owner requiring You to do so; or if an order is made or a resolution is passed for Your winding up or if an administrator, administrative receiver or receiver is appointed in respect of Your assets or business or any part thereof or if You make any voluntary arrangement with Your creditors or if You take or suffer any similar or analogous action in consequence of debt.
Termination of this acknowledgement shall not affect the brand owner’s accrued rights arising in any way out of this acknowledgement.
This acknowledgement constitutes the entire agreement and understanding between the brand owner and You and supersedes all prior oral or written understandings, arrangements, representations or agreements between the brand owner and You relating to the subject matter of this acknowledgement.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
This acknowledgement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of England and You hereby agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England.