Council of International Schools

Council of International Schools

The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which aims to improve international education. It provides services such as: educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools.

CIS works with its member schools around the world, most of which are co-educational and independent, catering for students between the ages of 3 to 19 years. These schools serve the expatriate community, although many also have a substantial enrolment of local nationals. They vary in size from an enrolment of 50 to over 2,000. In the majority of schools the language of instruction is English, although not all students are native English speakers. About a quarter of the member schools offer part of their curriculum in a second language. Some schools offer a standard U.S. college preparatory program of studies, others a traditional British curriculum, while others combine elements from these and other systems. An increasing number offers an international curriculum culminating in the International Baccalaureate Diploma.


Accreditation service

The accreditation service transferred from European Council of International Schools (ECIS) to CIS in July 2003 with all schools in the process retaining their status as accredited or candidate schools. Currently there are some 335 accredited or candidate schools. The accreditation service offers: an internationally-based evaluation for schools operating at elementary and/or middle and/or secondary levels, an evaluation instrument designed specifically for international schools, a sympathetic but rigorous evaluation of the highest professional standard, a cost-effective program, a seal of accreditation which can be retained subject to regular monitoring. The CIS Accreditation Service is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Commission on Accreditation. Dual accreditation is possible with some regional accreditation agencies in the United States. CIS collaborates with a number of other educational and government agencies around the world.

Teacher placement service

The Teacher Placement service maintains a database of around 3,000 qualified teachers. Once registered, teachers will have a CIS placement file which will be maintained if updated annually. CIS also organizes four teacher recruitment fairs annually, two in London and two in North America.

Higher education service

The Higher Education service provides links between CIS secondary schools and institutions of higher education. There are currently some 460 accredited post-secondary higher education institutions that support international education and the goals of the Council. Each year graduates from CIS schools matriculate at CIS member colleges/universities worldwide, including institutions in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Continental Europe. Services for Higher Education members are designed to facilitate and optimize the linkage between institutions of higher education and secondary schools to increase visibility with school leavers and the school guidance community. Historically, services focused on recruitment tours that visit international and national schools throughout the world. The value of membership and the range of services offered today are ever more far reaching—and include a series of college fairs and workshops for college admissions and school guidance counselors.

Effective Governance program

The Effective Governance program involves two components: the Partnership Development Program and the On-Site Board Development Program specifically for international schools around the globe. The Partnership Development Program develops the relationship between the board chair and the head of school. The thrust of the On-Site Board Development Program focuses on the partnership between the governing board and the school head and his/her staff.


CIS maintains a professional staff of some 25 people located in different parts of the world.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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