In 1957, the Texas Association of Episcopal Schools (TAES) was formed by Episcopal Schools, spread across a daunting geographic region, for the purpose of celebrating their shared Episcopal identity, of enlightening the minds of teachers through cooperative seminars, and of providing the opportunity to exchange ideas with each other on an informal basis. The organization did not officially accredit schools, but it did "certify" their academic quality and Episcopal identity through requiring approval of specific documentation by a governing board.
In the early 1970's, Episcopal schools in Louisiana and Oklahoma joined with Episcopal schools in Texas to form the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools. During the following twenty years, Episcopal schools in the states of Arkansas, New Mexico, and Arizona joined SAES, expanding the number of dioceses represented in the association to eleven.
Although high standards have always been a priority among Episcopal schools, SAES did not formally accredit schools until 1987, after the association had become on of the founding members of the Texas Private Schools Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC). At the present time, 85 Episcopal schools spread across five states and eleven dioceses of the SAES region have been accredited by SAES.
In addition to being approved by TEPSAC and recognized by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the SAES accreditation process is also approved by the State of New Mexico Education Department and the Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction.