Today, at the annual conference of COBIS (Council of British International Schools), we unveiled iGNIS – the Governance Network for International Schools.  Designed to facilitate and promote good governance in international schools, and to reflect and respect their different types of Boards, we believe iGNIS will be the world’s first membership network entirely dedicated to the Boards of international schools.

Russell Speirs, Founder and Chairman of RSAcademics, was joined by his colleague Keith Clark, Head of International Leadership Appointments, to make the announcement to the numerous Heads of COBIS schools attending the conference in the City of London.  Speaking about the launch of iGNIS, Russell said:

At RSAcademics, we believe good governance is necessary for international schools to thrive.  International school Boards, whatever their model and structure, can have a huge influence on the effectiveness of the Principal, as well as the educational, reputational and financial success of their school.  In short, the better the Board performs its role, the better their school will be. 

“Principals benefit from training and can share experiences with peers through membership organisations and networks like COBIS this weekend.  However, it is hard to find an organisation which brings the same benefits to the members of international school Boards, despite the importance and complexity of their role.”

From Monday 2nd September onwards, when iGNIS goes live, Board members and Principals in iGNIS member schools will have access to:

  • Downloadable training videos and guides
  • Recorded interviews with international school Board members and other experts
  • Live training for new governors three times a year
  • Confidential helpline and Q&A forum
  • Newsletters
  • Networking opportunities and round table discussions
  • Subgroups and special interest communities (e.g. Chairs, safeguarding…)
  •  And more…

Speaking at the launch, Simon O’Connor, Chief Education Officer of the Al Futtaim School Management Company and Director of Deira International School in Dubai, said:

“The foundation of a successful school is always effective governance, supporting school leaders to achieve their ambitions.  I am so pleased to see the launch of iGNIS by RSAcademics as it addresses an important gap in the training and support for school governors.  Based on their extensive research, I have no doubt iGNIS will have a significant impact on further improving the performance of international schools”

Annual membership, per school, costs £1,000 and schools whose membership fee is paid before September 2024 will only pay £750.  There are also further discounts available to schools which are in international membership organisations, including COBIS.

For more information and to register your interest, please visit