ISC Advisory Groups

ISC facilitates several advisory groups, working with experts from our member associations.

ISC Sustainability Advisory Group

The group aims to support schools address issues around environmental sustainability – by providing guidance, signposting best practice and co-ordinating sector support. In particular it will:

  • Act as a central point of reference for the sector on environmental sustainability issues – bringing together associations to share knowledge and best practice; signpost resources; and provide appropriate guidance for schools on sustainability issues. Relevant materials and links will be held on the ISC website and mentioned in ISC newsletters.
  • Inform ISC and association discussions with government and relevant stakeholders on sustainability; and provide expert input into policy discussions.
  • To inform any future projects ISC undertakes on sustainability issues for the benefit of associations and schools.

Further information is available in our developing sustainability section.

ISC Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Group

The purpose of the Group is to operate as a central point of reference, contacts and coordination for associated activity across ISC member associations and external bodies so that ideas, contacts and resources can be signposted and expertise shared for maximum effect (to be of practical benefit to schools).

The group will respond to challenges in the following areas:

  • Inclusion and equal treatment. In particular, exploring developments in anti-discrimination best practice for independent schools.
  • Themes for discussion may include, but are not restricted to: recruitment and retention of teachers and governors/trustees; curriculum and staff training resources; recommended linked organisations, experts and outstanding practitioners; school policy and best practice.
  • Developing understanding of relevant issues for schools to inform discussion and debate.
  • Guidance and recommendations to associations and member schools via the Independent Schools Council (ISC). Relevant materials and links will be held on the ISC website and mentioned in ISC newsletters.

Further information on ISC’s inclusion work can be found here, with additional resources for schools on the EDI pages in our Member Zone.

ISC Schools Community Action Advisory Group

This group has been in existence for over 40 years and brings teachers together who are involved with all forms of community action and service learning in state and independent schools.

The primary purpose of the group is to bring like-minded teachers together to discuss practice relating to students' engagement in community activities, with the aims of advancing the learning of students in the process of service engagement and increasing community impact. The group regularly advises on government and DfE consultations and policy-making.

The group holds an annual conference alongside regular meet-ups both online and in person. In 2020, the group expanded its membership considerably to teachers from over 60 schools, and now has introduced five sub-groups in charitable engagement, global partnerships, curriculum development, local partnerships, and social entrepreneurship.

This is an open group, and anyone who wants to join the group can fill out this survey and you can follow the work of the group on Twitter @ISC_Community.

Community Action, partnerships and volunteering

ISC Digital Advisory Group

The ISC Digital Advisory Group consists of heads and IT specialists as recommended by the associations. The group is focusing on ICT policy in schools with controversial topics such as social networking. More information on ISC Digital and their work can be found here.

Focusing on technology in teaching and learning

ISC Cross-association SEND Advisory Group

The ISC Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Advisory Group was founded immediately after the Warnock report in 1978 so that ISC’s member Associations could be kept well informed of current developments regarding SEND. The group consists of Heads and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) from schools ranging from those registered as specialist to academically selective and high achieving.

The remit of the group is to:

  • Assist ISC with responding to government initiatives and be a source of information for ISC
  • Keep Heads and colleagues properly informed as to their duties and responsibilities
  • Provide a networking facility to help provide training and support for SENCos’ working within member schools

Approximately 103,000 pupils at ISC schools have been identified as having Special Educational Needs

ISC Annual Census 2023

ISC Safeguarding and Child Welfare Advisory Group

The ISC Safeguarding and Child Welfare Advisory Group is established to anticipate, consider and respond to challenges in the following type of areas:

  • Developments in safeguarding practice – driven by legal challenges, changes to government guidance, inspection requirements etc
  • Developments in social media and IT – cyberbullying, offensive websites, digital imagery etc
  • ‘High risk’ areas for schools – self-harm, body image, anorexia etc

The Group is tasked with preparing and disseminating via ISC and member associations best practice guidance and practical advice notes for schools.

Safeguarding and promoting the health, safety and welfare of children is central to the ethos of all ISC schools

ISC Communications Advisory Group

The ISC Communications Advisory Group was established in 2013 with the aim of improving communications and planning between the associations, with the goal of promoting and protecting the sector. It aims to co-ordinate and implement the ISC Communications Strategy, as agreed by the ISC Board. The Group is also tasked with contributing, preparing and disseminating via ISC and member associations best practice guidance and practical advice notes for schools.

The Group’s aims are to:

  • Implement best practice in generating positive press coverage and in containing and responding to negative press coverage of the sector and associations/schools within it.
  • Co-ordinate and plan strategies, campaigns and responses in which associations can work together to increase positive stories within the media and with political influencers.
  • Share activities, news, research, publications and key events with other associations.

ISC coordinates the views of the sector, the associations and their members through the media

ISC Cross Association Sports Advisory Group

The ISC Cross Association Sports Advisory Group was established in 2014 to bring together sports representatives from ISC's Heads' associations as well as from the Professional Association for Directors of Sport in Independent Schools (PADSIS), and the Youth Sports Trust. The purpose of the group is to discuss developments in sport, physical education and games in general, and specifically within the independent schools sector.

Regular topics for discussion include:

  • Sector liaison with the National Sports Governing Bodies.
  • The dissemination across the sector of practices to promote health and well-being in schools through sports and games.
  • The development of physical education in the sector and within the schools’ wider communities.
  • The promotion and development of cross-sector partnerships involving sport and games.
  • Sector advice or consultation with government.