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|Headquarters||Queen Anne's Gate|
|Mainly United Kingdom|
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is a non-profit lobby group that represents over 1,300 schools in the United Kingdom's independent education sector. The organisation comprises seven independent school associations and promotes the business interests of its independent school members in the political arena, which includes the Department for Education and has been described as the "sleepless champion of the sector."
The ISC was first established (then as the Independent Schools Joint Council) in 1974 by the leaders of the associations that make up the independent schools. In 1998, it reconstituted as the Independent Schools Council.
Schools that are members of the associations that constitute ISC are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Since December 2003, ISI has been the body approved by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for the inspection of ISC schools and reports to the DfE under the 2002 Education Act. ISI was part of ISC until, in late 2007, the ISI became its own limited company, thereby separating itself from ISC.
The current chairman of ISC is Barnaby Lenon. ISC is run by the chief executive, Julie Robinson.
Figures from the 2019 ISC Annual Census show 11,466 partnerships were recorded in that year.
The types of partnerships vary from academy sponsorship to seconding teaching staff, serving as governors at state schools and sharing facilities to partnering for activities and 5,000 projects.
The ISC has published an annual report of cross-sector partnership work between independent and state schools called Celebrating Partnerships.
ISC has five principal activities:
Current priorities include the following activities:
In 2011, the ISC challenged the Charity Commission in relation to the latter's statutory guidance on public benefit. The Upper Tribunal heard the judicial review, which was combined with an Attorney General's reference, over five days in May 2011 and reserved judgment until October 2011. The lengthy ruling upheld ISC's main ground of complaint, which was that the guidance did not reflect the true state of charity law on public benefit and charities which charge fees. A subsequent hearing and ruling in December 2011 ordered that the Commission withdraw large parts of its guidance or face a quashing order. The disputed guidance was withdrawn shortly before Christmas 2011, and replacement guidance was put out to consultation in 2012.