The Independent Schools Association, with membership across all types of school
The Independent Schools Association (ISA), established in 1879, is one of the oldest of the Headteachers’ associations of independent schools that make up the Independent Schools’ Council (ISC). It began life as the Association of Principals of Private Schools, which was created to encourage high standards and foster friendliness and cooperation among Heads who had previously worked in isolation. In 1895 it was incorporated as The Private Schools Association and in 1927 the word ‘private’ was replaced by ‘independent’. The recently published history of the association, Pro Liberis, demonstrates the strong links ISA has with proprietorial schools, which is still the case today, even though boards of governors now run the majority of schools.
Membership is open to any Head or Proprietor, provided they meet the necessary accreditation criteria, including inspection of their school by a government-approved inspectorate. ISA’s Executive Council is elected by members and supports all developments of the Association through its committee structure and the strong regional network of co-ordinators and area committees. Each of ISA’s seven areas in turn supports members through regular training events and meetings.
ISA celebrates a wide-ranging membership, not confined to any one type of school, but including all: nursery, pre-preparatory, junior and senior, all-through schools, coeducational, single-sex, boarding, day and performing arts and special schools.
Promoting best practice and fellowship remains at the core of the ISA, as it did when it began 140 years ago. The association is growing, and its 541 members and their schools enjoy high quality national conferences and courses that foster excellence in independent education. ISA’s central office also supports members and provides advice, and represents the views of its membership at national and governmental levels. Pupils in ISA schools enjoy a wide variety of competitions, in particular the wealth of sporting, artistic and academic activities at area and national level.
President : Lord Lexden
Chief Executive: Rudolf Eliott Lockhart