The Independent Schools Association, usually referred to as the ISA, is a UK registered charity with a focus on representing the headteachers of many of the best independent schools in the country. The ISA works to forge connections, share information, provide learning opportunities, and offer general support and advice in the pursuit of improving opportunities for members and pupils.

Sir Peter Birkett is a member of the ISA and the Founder of Highgate Hill House School. All ISA members share a passion for delivering the best education and care for all their pupils, fully meeting the needs of every young person within each school. You can learn about the ISA Badge of Quality by watching the embedded short video.

The ISA is part of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which brings together seven of the most prominent associations for independent schools in the UK and overseas. There are more than 1,300 independent schools represented by the ISC, educating a total of over half a million children each year.

The Aims of the ISA

The ISA has multiple aims which work together to deliver a stronger education for children in independent schools in the UK. These aims include the provision of information of the highest quality along with advice and support presented in a manner that responds immediately to the needs of members across a full spectrum of areas such as curriculum, inspection, legal and human resources.

Fellowship and communication networks are supported on a regional, national and international basis, which includes the UK’s seven thriving ISA Areas. Professional development courses and high-quality conferences are arranged regularly to promote excellence in education standards, alongside access to a comprehensive range of services for members, multiple resources, and the promotion of new initiatives.

Pupils are provided with opportunities for enrichment in the subjects of drama, sports and the arts, with regular competitions held both nationally and locally. On behalf of all members, the ISA promotes choice and independence as well as influencing national and global educational debate.

You can learn more about the work of the ISA in figures in the embedded infographic.

Support and Advice

Part of what the ISA exists for is to provide members with a comprehensive network where they can access support and advice on all topics relating to education and independent schooling. This includes both online and telephone support services that can be accessed by all members, staffed by a friendly team of professional with the expertise to help deal with almost any situation.

This team is able to offer informed, impartial advice on areas such as leadership, curriculum, compliance and staffing when required. Schools accredited by the ISA also come under the umbrella if the ISC, which lobbies for policy changes on behalf of schools on a national and international basis.

The regional structure of the organisation means that there is always a support network close by, with regional representatives bringing local knowledge as well as general expertise to the table. A mentoring service is available to all members who desire one, and members can also volunteer to become mentors to others through the ISA.

The Professional Development Programme provides quality courses and training for educators and hosts four major conferences annually. The ISA also provides a range of further services and resources to its membership base, which are available on request.

In the PDF attachment, you can learn more about the mental health and welfare support services provided by the ISA to all its members.