The Board and Founding Members

Oeiras International School, Associação Sem Fins Lucrativos (OIS, ASFL) is a non-profit Association founded in 2009 by 30 parents and associates.  As the school grows over the years, so too does the pool of Associates.  

Every four years, the OIS Associates elect the Board, the Fiscal Board and three officers to run the General Assemblies: the Chair, the Vice-Chair and the Secretary. 

The Board consists of a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, and two or four other members, and the Principal of the school who is a non-voting member. They meet at least once a month between September and July. A General Assembly is held, at least, twice a year.   

OIS, ASFL is governed by the by-laws that are approved by the General Assembly. All Board members are leaders in their respective fields and together have responsibility for fiduciary oversight and institutional guidance: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing and add, inter alia, an important advisory support to the Principal and Senior Leadership Team. 

OIS stands out among the schools in the Greater 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. All 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 progress, not for profit.  

With this governance structure there is 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 would you do for your school? 

Filipa Mendes Pinto

The last elections occurred on November 28th, 2023

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 Business and Finance Manager) are involved in the development and communication of the school’s strategic plan.

The Principal

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

The Administration Team

The operations and day-to-day running of the school are the responsibility of the Administration Team: Business and Finance Manager, Accounts, Talent Manager, 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.

A Not-for-Profit School by Parents for our Children.

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 “founded by parents, for our students”. Also, parents still make up the majority of our Associates and Board. Today, just like when it was founded, parents still play a fundamental role in the life of OIS. 

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