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The Welsh Independent Schools Council

Did you know that Woodlands are a proud member of WISC - The Welsh Independent Schools Council?

What is WISC?

The Welsh Independent Schools Council is the sole advisory body for the independent school sector in Wales representing mainstream and special schools. WISC are the official conduit for the Welsh Government and Estyn in Wales for our sector.

WISC strive for excellence by providing our members advice, training, networking and representation in education in Wales.

"The Welsh Independent Schools Council (WISC ) is the umbrella body representing Independent schools in Wales. The majority of children in Welsh independent schools are in WISC schools. WISC therefore speaks for the sector as a whole. WISC is strictly independent of all political parties.

An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the investment yield of an endowment. It is governed by a board of directors that is elected by an independent means and a system of governance that ensures its independent operation. By virtue of being independent, Independent schools offer a high quality of education within a framework where the focus is on the development and care of the individual. Pupils are encouraged to develop to their full potential, to participate in a wide range of activities within the school and to contribute to service in the wider community. Independent schools are inspected by Estyn Independent schools in Wales offer a high quality of education within a framework where the focus is on the development and care of the individual." WISC Website

What does WISC do?

• WISC is the official conduit for the Welsh Government and Estyn for the independent sector in Wales. WISC promotes the interests of WISC schools in Wales to the political leadership, officials, the media and the public.

• Communicates, informs and negotiates with the Welsh Assembly Government, members of the Welsh Assembly (AMs), including the Education Committee and representatives of the opposition parties (and when necessary with members of the Westminster Parliament (MPs)).

• Lobbies and negotiates with education officials on detailed policy issues.

• Advises member schools and their governing bodies on educational developments and on legislation affecting independent schools.

• Lobbies and negotiates with the Welsh Inspectorate of Education (Estyn), and the Care Inspectorate for Wales (CIW) that has responsibilities under proposed guidelines for pre- and after-school care , boarding pupils and holiday clubs. Heads, teachers and all staff working with children are subject to appropriate checks with relevant public and private bodies. WISC is now their point of contact for the independent sector in Wales.

• Monitors Welsh political developments, including those on the Welsh Language, and their impact on the independent sector, and alerts WISC members to emerging issues.

• Represents WISC schools on relevant ‘Welsh Standing Bodies’ such as WJEC, Education Workforce Council, Qualification Wales, Cardiff University Council and the Institute of Welsh Affairs.

• Liaises with ISC and other national independent schools organizations on training for head teachers and their staff on topics that have a strong Welsh dimension.

• Acts as a channel for parents and the public to ISC information services.

• Runs conferences and events.

• Promotes independent school views with local media, in close liaison with ISC.

• Provides information for parents, the general public, the media and other interested bodies

Black Lives Matter WISC and the schools it represents, support ‘Black Lives Matter’ and adopt a policy of a zero tolerance for racism or any other type of prejudice. WISC supports all of its member school with their work to eradicate racism in all its forms.

Each year, some of our team head down to Cardiff to attend the annual WISC conference. The event is always thoroughly enjoyed, with lots of seminars and discussions around independent schools in Wales and it is also a fantastic opportunity to meet the other member of WISC who run organisations similar to Woodlands across Wales.

To find out more about WISC, head to their website here:

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