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CISC Today

CISC’s mission and purpose is to:
  • support our members and promote the leadership of our schools in the UK, Ireland and abroad
  • develop communication and resources to support Catholic education
  • develop training opportunities for CISC schools and the wider Catholic community
  • co-ordinate opportunities for students in CISC schools and the wider Catholic community
  • develop and extend the partnerships which promote Catholic education

The Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference is a dynamic and forward-thinking family of schools with members in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Gibraltar and Italy. There are 124 schools in CISC educating more than 38,000 pupils from nursery age through to eighteen.

There is a wide variety of types of school in CISC, with co-educational, single sex, day, boarding, junior, prep, senior and all-through. We also have in our family of schools ten special schools (two independent and eight non-maintained special schools) serving a wide range of complex needs from profound physical disability to visual impairment and autism. For more information on our special schools please follow the link from Schools on the homepage.

Most of our schools have their foundation in a Religious Order or Congregation. These orders, many from the Continent, set up Catholic schools in Britain when there was little educational provision for the Catholic population. Despite the great variety of these religious foundations there is a strong common goal to serve the mission of the Church by educating young men and women to take their place in society as young disciples, or for those who are not of the Catholic faith, principled citizens with values based on the Gospel who will work for the common good.

CISC is very much part of this living tradition and is committed to playing its part in the mission of the Church in education. A priority for us is to support the formation of our members, the heads of our Catholic independent schools.  The CISC annual conference provides a focus for this but personalised support is also provided for those in leadership roles. We are also committed to developing the next generation of Catholic leaders and collaborate with EducareM on a personalised journey of formation, the Tabor Programme for those aspiring to leadership of a Catholic school.  CISC also works closely with the Catholic Education Service across a range of areas but specifically with reference to executive leadership, the Formatio programme, for those leading more than one school.

CISC sees itself as a distinctive, traditional yet forward thinking part of the Catholic educational landscape which enriches and is enriched by our work with colleagues across all elements of Catholic education namely the maintained sector, dioceses and the CES.

All of our current priorities can be found in the Strategic Plan in the Key Documents and Policies tab. For more information about membership, please see the information at the bottom of the homepage.

CISC is a charitable organisation and the main beneficiaries are our members and their colleagues. While we support opportunities for the pupils in our schools (e.g. through competitions) we do not provide services or supervise any activities for our pupils. CISC is governed by a committee made up of serving heads, who are trustees of the charity. CISC employs a Secretariat who is responsible for delivering on the strategic aims of the organisation. Every year at the annual conference CISC members have an opportunity to attend the Annual General Meeting, to view the annual accounts and statement form the trustees, and share their views on the direction and priorities of the charity.