Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How many Montessori Schools are there in South Africa?
A.  There are very many schools where you could be employed to teach, once qualified, in all provinces of South Africa – with over 50 in the Southern Cape area alone.
Q.  Are your staff well qualified?
A.  All staff hold a 3-year Montessori qualification and have a minumum of ten years teaching experience.
Q.  Do students have any classroom experience during training?
A.  Observation days and teaching practice with children are built into the full-time programme.
Q.  What does the full-time course cost?
A.  The current fee structure for this—and any one of our courses—can be obtained by the contacting the Administrator by eMail, or telephoning during office hours (09h00 - 13h00).
Q.  Is your Centre well-equipped?
A.  We have lecture rooms, full sets of Montessori materials for student practice and WiFi facilities.
Q.  What are the job opportunities after qualifying with the Diploma?
A.  Jobs are always available both in South Africa and overseas. Check on the Montessori Europe and the South African Montessori Association (SAMA) websites.
Q.  So will the Diploma allow me to teach anywhere?
A.  All countries have their own standards and levels of training. Students would need to check with the requirements of the country in which they wish to work.
Q.  Will a Diploma from Headstart Mercy Montessori qualify me to teach in any school?
A.  The focus of Headstart Mercy Montessori's training is Montessori education. We are confident, that on successful completion of our courses you are qualified to teach in any Montessori environment at the level for which you are qualified. It also enables students to apply for work in both traditional and Montessori environments as pre-school teachers.
To teach in any primary school (outside of Montessori), you need to have full registration with SACE, which requires that you have a B.Ed or a Bachelors degree plus a PGCE.
Q.  Is a Headstart Mercy Diploma internationally recognised?
A.  The short answer is no – and nobody can claim to have this in the truest sense of the meaning.
    The reason for not claiming international accreditation is that there is no ONE global body or organisation that accredits Montessori teacher training centres, programmes or Montessori schools. It is a misleading statement because it does imply that there is an overriding authority that oversees this process and the majority of people who are exploring Montessori for the first time make that assumption.
    What it really means is that the training centre or school has received accreditation through or by an organisation (usually an affiliated organisation) overseas. That organisation may hold accreditation with the authorities in their country of origin, which is then applied to the Southern African based organisation. That however, does not, in the true meaning translate into 'international accreditation'. Often the 'mother' organisation has accreditation in their country and it is then assumed this accreditation is transferable to other centres around the world when in fact that accreditation is only valid in the country of origin.
    MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) is often claimed to be the authority that gives 'international' accreditation. Whilst MACTE does offer accreditation to teacher education programmes outside of the United States of America, it is an organisation established predominantly to meet the quality assurance and standards required by the government of the United States.
    Although subtle, there is a difference between having accreditation through an affiliation to an organisation based in another country, and 'international accreditation'.
Q.  How do I check the registration of qualifications offered by different training centres?
A.  Ask the training centre involved. Headstart Mercy Montessori Training Centre would never presume to answer a question like this on behalf of another training organisation.