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The Independent Schools’ Bursars Association originated as the Public Schools Bursars' Association. The first general meeting was held on 26 April 1932 at Epsom College. The organization changed its name to "Independent Schools' Bursars Association" in 1983. The Association is a registered charity; its stated object is "the advancement of education by the promotion of efficient and effective administration and ancillary services at independent schools." The Association provides support for bursars in independent schools and promotes good practices. Individual schools are members of the association; most schools select their bursar as the representative to the Association.
There are nearly 900 UK members in addition to about 30 overseas Associate Members. ISBA is one of the seven constituent members of the Independent Schools Council (ISC). The Association is represented on the ISC Governing Council and on some of the ISC Committees.
The ISBA has an Executive Committee. The EC members are elected for two years, and may be re-elected for a second term of two years. After a serving a second term, a member will leave the Committee unless the member is elected either Vice Chairman or Chairman. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are elected annually (at the General Meeting). No person may hold the office of Chairman and Vice Chairman for more than three years. The Executive Committee has 10 members in addition to the Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Chairman of the Scottish Bursars’ Association is an ex officio member of the Committee, representing Scottish schools.
There are more than 20 autonomous groups within the Association. These are organized on a regional basis or by type of school. The Autonomous Groups are self organizing and arrange meetings, usually once per school term. The Association Secretariat generally attends these meetings.
- "The Association". ISBA. Retrieved 15 December 2009.