The Board and Founding Members

OIS is unique among the schools in the Lisbon area because it is a ‘not-for-profit‘ school. This seemingly simple difference has a profound impact on how the school runs, principally because there are no owners or shareholders taking profit. Any operational revenue goes back into the school for the benefit of the students. It also means that when we prioritize future development, we put the children’s needs first, not those of shareholders, so we plan for performance, not for profit. Also, the school’s Board includes parents of OIS students.

The school was founded by parents in 2009 and is essentially run by parents via the Board, who they elect from among themselves. The Principal is also an OIS parent. This is why there is such a strong community spirit, a sense of camaraderie and a tradition of positive parent contributions to school life.

In some schools, parents can be quick to complain and criticize, but OIS parents contribute suggestions and help – because it is their school! If you are used to profit-making schools, the OIS difference will really surprise you. What will you do for your school?

Oeiras International School Associação SFL (OIS, ASFL) is a charity founded in 2009 by 30 investors and associates. Every four years, the OIS founders elect the Board, the Fiscal Board and three top members to run the General Assemblies: the Chair, the Vice-Chair and the Secretary.

Furthermore, the Board consists of a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, two members, two substitutes and the Principal of the school who is a non-voting member. They meet at least once a year in a General Assembly. Moreover, OIS, ASFL is governed by by-laws that were approved at the General Assembly.
The Board meets every fortnight from September 1st to July 15th.

The last elections occurred on October 22nd, 2019.

Board of Directors

  1. President: Hugo Gonçalves Pereira
  2. Vice-President: Filipa Mendes Pinto
  3. Treasurer: João Paula Santos
  4. Member: Desmond Green
  5. Member: Koen Kam
  6. Substitute member: José Pujol
  7. Substitute member: Catarina Soares
  8. Principal: non-voting member

Fiscal Board

  1. Chair: Joaquim Paiva Chaves
  2. Member: Pedro Leitão
  3. Member: Francisco Moreira

General Assemblies

  1. Chair: João Paulo Girbal
  2. Vice-Chair: Maria do Rosário Empis
  3. Secretary: Fernando Olavo

The Principal

As the Head of the School the Principal is directly responsible to the Board of Directors.

The Educational Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team

The curriculum and day-to-day running of the school is the responsibility of the Educational Leadership Team: the Principal, the Vice Principal, the Heads of DP, MYP and PYP Coordinator. As a group, they oversee the academic program and pastoral care for the school. Also, the Senior Leadership Team ( with the Head of Administration), they are involved in the development and communication of the school’s strategic plan.

The Administration Team

The operations and day-to-day running of the school are the responsibility of the Administration Team: Head of Administration, Accounts, Human Resources, Admissions, Office, IT, Maintenance and Marketing. As a group, they oversee the operational side of the school.

The School’s Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan (SP) sets out the areas for the future development of the school. As its goals are met, the plan is revised. The SP is devised through collaboration between school staff and the Board, who have final approval of projects to be included in the plan.

Organizational Structure

A diagram showing the Strategic Plan of Oeiras International School, devised by the Board and school staff.

A Not-for-Profit School by Parents for Parents

An OIS student smiles for a photograph with her parents

Parents can be sure OIS is run by people who care. Moreover, the school is managed by the associates who created the school. And, for the most part, the founders were parents or people who planned to put their children in the school at a future date.

Because of this background, it is safe to say we are a school “by parents, for parents”. Also, parents still make up the majority of our associates and board.

Moreover, another feature that sets OIS apart is that we are one of the few not-for-profit international schools in the area. There are many advantages of being a not-for-profit school. The long-term view is that the student, no matter who they are or where they are from, always comes first. We do not have shareholders that require a dividend so we can reinvest our profits into our facilities and staff to improve the school.

In addition, because we are not-for-profit, we can keep small classrooms and a healthy teacher-to-student ratio (currently around 1:5), making learning and development easier. We are also proud to have a completely voluntary board of directors. Plus, we have full scholarships that allow students to follow the IB Programme.

Our commitment to all our students was shown again during the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time that was difficult for everyone, we were able to create a hardship fund to provide support to parents who were affected financially by the coronavirus crisis. Also, in 2021, the board decided not to increase school fees to help our community with any financial impact experienced.

OIS bylaws 1
OIS bylaws 1