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ECNAIS : European Council of National Associations of Independent Schools

Annual General Meeting | Conferences

Schools as reservoirs of hope – The new landscapes for Independent Schools: opportunities and boundaries

The Hague, The Netherlands | 18 – 20 April 2013

Our aim is to reflect on the new landscapes for Independent Schools.

We consider landscapes as a metaphor for educational systems with their own identity, composed of various elements and layers. To understand a landscape we have to

  • take note of the individual and the community;
  • operate in a diversity of scales;
  • take into account existing relationships (individual and group);
  • integrate essential new knowledge.

Independent schools are self-organized educational systems, continually adapting and evolving, influenced by external and internal pressures: political, economic, demographic, cultural, sociologic, cultural, epistemological, psychological, cognitive, societal, legal … etc.
Independent schools are constantly striving to improve their performance by innovative
interaction with their environment.

A key element of the independent sector is autonomy: the ability to be an alternative, to constitute
an optional choice. Being an alternative is developed in the belief that education is only possible
within certain values, “Bildung” and empathy.

Independent schools:

  • take advantage of opportunities presented;
  • adapt to the boundaries imposed by every day life.

Independent schools reflect on:

  • the nature of the relationship established with students and their families, teachers and
  • other educators and with the educational administration (central or regional);
  • their framework of values;
  • how their skills and knowledge are managed and developed.

Independent schools develop their individual identities, composed by their own particular elements and layers.

Society should embrace these landscapes and acknowledge independent schools as true reservoirs of hope.

AGM/ MCM meeting

The formal Annual General Meeting and round table (open for members only) will take place on Saturday 20 April 2013 from 09H00 till 12H00.

The AGM and Conference will take place in the Hague, the Netherlands in

NH Atlantic Den Haag
Deltaplein 200
2554 EL the Hague
The Netherlands

phone: + 31 70 448 24 82


Registration can be done on line only, here:

It is very important that we receive your registration no later than March 20th.


Thursday 18 April 2013
08.45 – 09.15 Welcome and registration
09.15 – 10.30 Opening of the Conference

  • Minister of Education
  • Mayor of The Hague
  • Welcome by Simon Steen, chairman of ECNAIS
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee-break
11.00 – 12.30 Dr. Alan Flintham, research associate of the National College for School Leadership, Great Britain
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Dr. Geoff Newcombe, the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales Limited, Australia
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee-break
16.00 – 17.30 Dr. Sylvia Eyzaguirre, Asesora Ministro de Educación, Chile
18.00 Cocktail with representatives from schools
19.30 – 22.30 Dinner at the hotel restaurant
Friday 19 April 2013
09.00 – 12.00 School visit
12.30 – 13.30 Return of participants to the hotel
13.00- 14.00 Lunch
14.30 – 16.00 Two examples reflecting the developments of the Dutch system of freedom of education

  • Dr. Maarten Knoester, Executive Director Stichting Het Rijnlands Lyceum
  • Cosmicus, Dutch (educational) organization for world citizenship
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee-break
16.30 – 18.00 Prof. Geert ten Dam, President of the Education Council of the Netherlands
Closure of the Conference
19.30 – 22.30 Official anniversary conference dinner
Saturday 20 April 2013
09.00 – 12.00 Formal Annual General Meeting and Management Committee Meeting (open for members only)
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch (open for member only)
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