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Independent Schools’ Qualification in Academic Management (ISQAM)

Ideally suited to department heads, aspiring department heads and other middle managers within three years’ of appointment, the Independent Schools’ Qualification in Management gives you key practical skills to help you perform your role and to improve standards of learning and teaching with your department. ISQAM aims to establish best practice within the sector and become the recognised middle management qualification accepted by all independent schools.

Those beginning the ISQAM programme in 2017-18 will benefit from an improved programme model whereby Level 2 portfolios may optionally be submitted for IoE assessment for Masters level credits.

More information about the ISQAM programme can be found in this briefing document.

ISQAM – Level 1

Level 1 provides an introduction to some of the key skills required by Academic Managers, and covers the following areas:

  • Effective Lesson Observation and Feedback
  • Deepening our understanding of how coaching can improve teacher performance and how to lead challenging conversations with staff
  • Establishing Standards in Student Assessment, Marking and Feedback in the Department
  • Employment issues and employment law

NB this course requires you to have support from an in-school mentor who attends a ISQAM half-day mentor training session. The cost of this is included in your delegate fee.

GSA is running the follwing two cohorts in 2017-18 –

Mon 9 Oct 2017 & Tues 6 Feb 2018, Godolphin & Latymer School, London. Find out more…

Thurs 12 Oct 2017 & Weds 7 Feb 2018, Broadway House, London. Find out more…

If you have any queries, please email

Email the GSA PD Team

Currently doing ISQAM Level 1?

Click below to access course materials. You will have been given a username and password which you should use in the Members’ Login box.

Download course materials

ISQAM – Level 2

Delivered over two training days, ISQAM Level 2 will cover four modules:

  • The role of the HoD within wholeschool planning
  • How to conduct an appraisal
  • The use of data to improve pupil and departmental performance
  • Programmes of study and schemes of work

Bookings for Level 2 can be made through HMCPD.

Contact HMCPD

ISQAM – Masters Level

Participants wishing to gain Masters level credits for their ISQAM work can do this alongside Level 2 by completing a number of additional activities in the portfolio and submitting their work to UCL/Institute of Education for assessment. Please contact Carol Taylor on the address below for further information on what is required and the deadlines for registration.

If successful, 30 Masters level credits will be awarded. These may contribute towards a Masters degree in leadership,e.g. MA Leadership or MBA Educational Leadership (International). 180 credits are required for a full Masters degree.

In addition to the standard ISQAM fee, this assessment option will incur a charge of £636 (payable to UCL/IoE).

For any further information regarding the M level assessment process or portfolio requirements, please contact Carol Taylor at

Send an enquiry
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