As the oldest association for independent schools, ISASA’s mission is to ensure the private schools within its association meet ethical and quality standards that guarantee they carry the prestige associated with private schooling.
Over 850 schools in South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, and Zambia are part of ISASA’s membership, making it one of the largest associations for private schools in the region.
Since ISASA-accredited schools are some of the most sought-after independent schools, if you have a private school, joining ISASA could prove vital in setting your school apart.
What Is ISASA?
The Independent Schools Association of South Africa, also known as ISASA, is a membership association that helps the schools in its association with various services.
As a non-profit organisation, ISASA doesn’t manage any schools, nor does it act as a governing body for its member schools.
To join ISASA, a private school needs to pay an annual subscription fee. This subscription fee is calculated per pupil, and the amount per pupil is determined by ISASA’s assessment of the school’s socio-economic standing. Category 1 schools pay the most per pupil, whereas category 6 pay the least. ISASA also allows schools with more than 2000 pupils to benefit from marginal costing.
How To Register For ISASA?
Joining ISASA is voluntary, but if schools do wish to become an ISASA-accredited member, they will need to meet specific guidelines in addition to completing the application process. You can learn more about the guidelines for prospective schools and the application process below.
Download and Complete The ISASA Application Form
To begin the process of becoming an ISASA member, you need to download the ISASA application form. You can find this form here. The form can be filled in electronically, or you can choose to print and scan the form; either way, all fields need to be completed. You can find the ISASA application form for private schools here. Once on the page, follow the steps outlined below.
- Select the Applicable Form
ISASA has two forms: one for primary and high schools and another for early childhood development (ECD) schools. Depending on the grades your school offers, select – and download – the applicable form.
- Attach Your School’s Mission Statement
To determine what your school’s philosophies are – and whether they align with ISASA – you will need to attach your school’s mission statement to the ISASA application form.
- Attach Founding Document
Before submitting the form, you will also need to attach the school’s founding documents.
Ensure You Meet The Criteria Set Out For Approved Members of ISASA
While completing the ISASA application, you should also begin analysing the criteria ISASA sets out for its approved members.
Sign The ISASA Conditions of Membership
To ensure that you accept and agree to uphold the conditions of membership, ISASA requires all prospective members to sign the conditions of membership. This document is legally binding and states that intend to uphold the ISASA philosophy and mission, but also acts as an agreement that outlines the conditions of your membership, determining what criteria you need to meet to ensure your membership remains valid. You can find the conditions of membership here.
Pay The Assessment Fees
Prospective members need to complete ISASA’s quality assurance process, which includes an evaluation by the Independent Quality Assurance Agency (IQAA). This evaluation determines whether your school is meeting the criteria stipulated to join ISASA. If you complete this evaluation successfully, you will be eligible to become an accredited member of ISASA. As a result, you gain access to member benefits. If not, you can still achieve – Introductory Status until you meet all of ISASA’s requirements to be an accredited member.
Why Should Your Private School Join ISASA?
But, what is the purpose of joining ISASA? Why should your independent school join South Africa’s – and Southern Africa’s – most prestigious schools?
Well, ISASA offers its members discounts and benefits in addition to supporting their interests through lobbying.
Receive Worthwhile Discounts and Benefits
One of the most significant reasons for joining ISASA would be the discounts and benefits at your disposal. The annual fee includes public liability insurance, three staff vacancy advertisements, and HR documents (primarily for South African schools), among several other benefits.
Access Expert Government Lobbying
To ensure your rights and interests are promoted, being a member of ISASA will be critical. Due to the association’s size, reputation, and credibility, ISASA holds the expertise to effectively lobby for the interests and rights of its members, representing its members on key bodies and influencing policies and practices.
ISASA membership has long been associated with renown.
Although the association is not part of an accredited body, since the schools belonging to ISASA’s network are required to maintain the highest standards, having this membership can prove worthwhile.