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Governance continues to be the most discussed leadership topic across international school regions, as confirmed by ongoing AAIE surveys of school heads across five continents. Board trustees and head of school form the single most important team within a school. If the school head and board team are not in harmony and productive, then all other functions across a school are compromised.

If it could be measured across overseas schools around the world, it would surely be found that boards and school heads in “high-achieving schools” come together to create a strong working relationship, where shared vision and action over time promotes continuous improvement– guided by high-quality board policies, procedures and strategic intent.

This curriculum was developed based on extensive review of proven practice, established guidelines of the leading international school and non-profit governance consulting organizations, accreditation standards, and the wise input of scores of Board Chairs and Heads of Schools. The curriculum then led directly to the production of a Board Evaluation Instrument, serving as a self-assessment tool for Boards interested in assessing and strengthening their governance capacity.

The Curriculum, comprised of seven modules, is designed to serve as a guide for Boards in forging their own learning journey. Using the Evaluation Instrument, Boards can bring focus to strengths and needs, and make the changes they need to optimize their work.

Supporting these anchor documents are a number of related resources, prime among them is the Leading Together initiative. Given that the prime responsibility for effective governance and leadership in a school belongs to the Chair-Head of School team, that partnership and how it serves the Board is the focus of the Leading Together Curriculum, a research-based roadmap for the work of that team.

Other resource materials within the scope of the Project include model foundational documents (Articles of Association and Bylaws), a guideline and exemplar of a sound International School Policy Manual, a practical Board Handbook template, complete with links to over thirty supporting documents, and guide-sheets/instruments for Head of School evaluation and the Head search process.


The Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State, and The Association for the Advancement of International Education

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