international school

Why should I choose a not-for-profit international school?


When it comes to international education, there are two models of schools. These fall under the categories of those that are ‘for profit’ and those that are ‘not for profit’.

What’s the difference between for-profit and not-for-profit schools?

The most significant difference between a for-profit and a not-for-profit school is that a for-profit school is usually owned or backed by a corporate group or an equity investor. This means the school’s business model requires a return on investment, and the school makes a profit. A not-for-profit school doesn’t run for profit. Instead, finance is fed back into the facilities to enhance the students’ learning experience. In this case, there are no investors or owners requiring payment.

Do not-for-profit schools have more parental involvement?

Usually, a not-for-profit school is run by a parents’ association or a board of people in the local community. This means parents can be more active and supportive in their child’s education. It also means total visibility in how and where money is spent.

At for-profit schools, the parent becomes the customer. Similar to a traditional business, they are controlled by the owner or a corporation.

Do not-for-profit schools have clearer governance?

Not-for-profit schools will be run by a Board of Directors or a Council. These will often include members elected by the parents or the local community. The board appoints the Head of the School and directs on how to run the school. Decisions made within a not-for-profit environment are often put forward to community members, making them visible and more openly led.

The difference here is that at for-profit schools, the school may be run with profit in mind. As the school needs to create a return investment, financial turnover may come first over student education. Decisions may not be as transparent, and parents may have less say in how the school is governed.

Is Alice Smith Malaysia’s oldest not-for-profit British International school?

The ASSA (Alice Smith Schools Association) is a not-for-profit educational foundation. It’s the oldest school of its kind registered in Malaysia. We give full transparency to parents of students at our school by enrolling them as members of the ASSA. As a part of their membership, they’re invited to join the Annual General Meeting and have their say on the election of parent governors.

The foundation of Alice Smith International School is providing high academic education, life skills and community engagement in an international setting.This is something we’ve been proud of since we opened.

At the heart of our system is our Council of Governors. These are appointed to manage our school’s future, with our students’ success remaining at the forefront of their decisions. In every aspect, they work closely with our executive team to set and maintain both short and long-term goals.

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