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The American International School of Cape Town (AISCT) is a private, independent, and not-for-profit organization, and sound governance is fundamental to the success of the school. We have a diverse learning community where we aim to provide students with the opportunities and confidence they need to positively impact the world.

AISCT is overseen by a Board of Governors who are responsible for the school’s fiscal solvency and overall success. As well as having a Board of Governors, AISCT also convenes a School Council. The School Council is made up of seven members: three community members elected by the school stakeholders, three appointed by the International School Foundation (ISF) Board (including a U.S. Consulate representative), and one faculty representative voted in by the faculty. 

The Board and School Council provide strong governance and oversight to the leadership of the Head of School and the school’s long-term strategy.

Role of a School Board at AISCT

A successful school board can be seen as one that focuses on governance and not on management. Although the AISCT School Board and School Council provide oversight to the Head of School, their goal is to serve as representatives of the wider community and their perspectives and interests. Their focus is on the strategic future of the school with generative thinking, while the operation of the school remains with the Head of School. 

The School Board at AISCT operates with a self-perpetuating, “corporate governance” model, a model endorsed by such organizations as the Council of International Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. The corporate model of a self-perpetuating board allows the board to choose itself and its successors and to focus largely on the strategic future of the school.

The School Council advises and guides the direction of the school, as outlined in the School Council Constitution. Together, the Board of Governors and the School Council work to ensure the highest quality of education for AISCT students, ensuring sufficient resources to support that education. They provide governance, not management, and serve and represent the interests of all community stakeholders. 

Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing and promoting the overall success and fiscal health of the school;
  • Appointing and evaluating the Head of School who administers school policy;
  • Developing, approving, and ensuring the implementation of school policy and efficient and logical allocation of the school’s resources;
  • Monitoring the use of the school’s existing facilities and deciding on new ones to enhance program delivery;
  • Ensuring the maintenance of the school’s relationships with the government and the Ministry of Education.

Voting and Evaluation

There is also oversight and evaluation of the Board and the Head of School to ensure they continue to serve the school community and stakeholders in the best way possible. 

The Board evaluates the Head of School annually, and parents, teachers, and students have the opportunity to evaluate the Board’s performance in annual surveys. There are also regular open meetings held by the Board to communicate the school’s financial position and plans for the future. 

The parent community has the opportunity to vote in a parent-elected member to the School Council. Each year, several parents self-nominate for this important position to represent the parent community. School Council member elections take place at the start of the academic year in August, followed by a Council meeting in September.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

The Board of Governors and the School Council consist of a diverse group of members who aim to represent our diverse school community and uphold the school’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice. These governing bodies are supported with greater representation through the Parent and Teacher Association (PATA), as well as the Student Council.