The ISA Board established the ISA Academic Centre in August 2021.The Academic Centre is comprised of four full-time professional educators employed by the ISA International Education Group, and also contracts educational consultants for specific projects.
The Academic Centre works closely with ISA Heads of School，other ISA school leaders，staff，and parents for action research and curriculum development projects, professional learning, and school evaluation. The Centre’s ‘Terms of Reference’ document provides a broad outline of the roles and responsibilities of, and relationships involving the ISA Academic Centre.
The overt purpose of The Academic Centre is to add measurable value to the educational outcomes of the ISA International Education Group. Underlying this is the goal of helping to build a high-quality, positive and coherent culture that embraces the entire ISA ecosystem of schools, programmes and companies. It does this by supporting the work of the ISA Board, the ISA International Education Group, and ISA schools. The Academic Centre works with ISA schools to support teachers and leaders with curriculum development, delivery, review and improvement , and with enhancing student wellbeing. In this regard, the Academic Centre, with school representatives, provides broad frameworks rather than detailed examples of daily practice. The Academic Centre will establish a system for school review and improvement, drawing upon the services of notable external organisations. At a systemic level, the Academic Centre helps to lay the foundation for a coherent network of ISA schools and community education organisations.
The Academic Centre will become the major curriculum hub of ISA schools. It will assist ISA schools develop a set of coherent frameworks to guide learning and teaching. The ISA Board believes that the Academic Centre will be the key support mechanism for ISA educators to reach high levels of professional standards and progress their career development.
With a rapidly growing number of schools, the ISA International Group believes that the Academic Centre will help build a culture of organisational coherence, professionalism, and high performance, as well as an environment of care, trust and support - The ISA Way of educating children and young people.
The Academic Centre provides three categories of services – Executive, Research & Development, and Advisory.
Executive services： include the choice of school curriculum systems; development of curriculum and wellbeing frameworks; development of whole-school curriculum standards; development of professional standards for teachers and leaders; professional appraisal (teachers and leaders); school review; and compliance with Chinese and non-Chinese systemic regulations. It also plays a leading role in the development of ISA templates for how schools consider the development of their curriculum and wellbeing documents. Executive services are provided with prior ISA Board endorsement and in close collaboration with ISA Heads of School and the Heads of Schools’ delegated representatives.
Research & Development services： include research into broader economic, social, demographic and technological trends that impact on school development, marketing, admissions, learning and teaching, research is based on the analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles and related resources, on the analysis of school systems and practices worldwide, and on action research involving ISA school communities. Research reports, with executive summaries and recommendations are shared with the ISA Board, with ISAIEG teams, and with ISA school communities.
Advisory services： include the development and facilitation of professional learning activities for teachers, leaders and other school personnel; development of curriculum resources for teachers and students; mentoring and coaching school personnel; hosting educational forums; and establishing professional networks across ISA schools. The ISA Academic Centre also publishes a comprehensive weekly newsletter for Guangzhou and Guangdong to visit.