The International School of Brussels

Everyone included

Everyone challenged

Everyone successful

Admissions Policy

Part One: Mission driven admissions

ISB is a leading exponent of innovative, inclusive, international education for students from Preschool to grade 12/13. The school is founded upon a Mission of inclusion, challenge, and success for all students, developing international citizens and independent learners.
The school community is characterized by a shared commitment to this Mission. It drives all aspects of school life, including school admissions.

Everyone Included

ISB welcomes a balanced community of learners with a diverse range of cultural and educational backgrounds, talents, and abilities. The school admits students with exceptionally high ability, as well as a carefully managed number of students with diagnosed learning disabilities. The fact that we manage the student population in this way means that, we may place students eligible for admission onto a waiting pool or, where there appears to be no prospect of a place in the immediate future, deny an Application for Admission.

As a strong, welcoming, and inclusive community, we expect families to engage fully with the school, supporting both its educational philosophy and community activities. We also value transparent communications and constructive, respectful, personal, and professional interactions. On the rare occasions when the school believes that individuals are behaving in ways that do not correspond to these behaviours, we reserve the right to refuse admission or suggest withdrawal to the individuals concerned. Equally, failure to provide accurate information, or to disclose a known learning disability, may result in an admissions refusal or the subsequent removal of a place.

Everyone Challenged

ISB has pioneered approaches to individualized student goal setting and sets high levels of challenge in order to sustain high levels of motivation and optimize student achievement. Based on the student’s academic experience and, where necessary, assessment tools, the school will determine grade placement and all other programme options in the best interest of the student.
Any student considered by the school to be capable of attempting the full IB Diploma will be encouraged and supported to do so. The decision as to whether a student is able to complete this course is made, in consultation with the family, at the end of grade 10 and will be based on academic achievement, language acquisition, demonstrated motivation, and learning support needs.

Everyone Successful

The School, while inclusive, is intensive, rigorous and challenging. It requires high levels of motivation and perseverance from every student. This is particularly true in the higher grades and especially if a student is changing to English from a different language of instruction. Where a student’s record suggests that s/he may not have the disposition to be successful at ISB, the school reserves the right to refuse admission.


Part Two: Admissions procedures

Student admission is facilitated by an Application Form. This form requires that the child’s parent of legal guardian accepts the school’s General Terms and Conditions of Enrolment.

The Application Form needs to be accompanied by a non-refundable Application Fee. Only in the following cases will an Application Fee be refunded:

• Where a student application is denied;
• Where a student has been placed on a waiting pool for a period of 60 days after the requested start date, whereupon the parents may request to cancel the student application;
• Where an Assisted Places award is granted, whereupon a percentage of the Application Fee will be reimbursed according to the level of financial assistance received.
• Where an Assisted Places award is denied, whereupon 50% of the Application Fee is reimbursed should the application be cancelled.

There is no general admissions test. However, to ensure that ISB can meet a student’s learning needs, comprehensive information must also be provided, along with the Application Form and Application Fee, before he/she is admitted.

Once these documents have been received, the Application is reviewed by the Head of Division. In some cases, additional information may be requested or testing may also be required prior to this decision.

Given our inclusive Mission, the majority of students applying to ISB will be accepted. However, there may occasionally be circumstances under which we:

• deny admission to students where the School determines that their needs cannot be met. This includes students with severe and profound cognitive and developmental disabilities, students who are more physically challenged than we can manage safely, students with severe emotional, behavioural, or psychiatric disorders, or students who consistently disrupt the learning of other students as a result of their behaviour. The Head of Division always has the right to deny admission if he/she considers ISB will not be a place where the student can be successful;
• require parents of current students to seek alternative schooling for their children where the school determines that their needs can no longer be met or where parents or students have not complied with formal written recommendations of the school;
• deny admission where parents fail to disclose during the admissions process all relevant information about their child’s learning needs and submit all requested documentation;
• deny a student because we are full in Learning Support;
• deny admission to students requiring learning support in cases where siblings continue to attend a comparable fee-paying international school.
The school has no obligation to admit a student who applies for admission and is not obliged to justify its decision not to admit a student.

Once a place is offered, it must be accepted in writing by the parents. The Start Date cannot be changed without the prior agreement of the school.


Part Three: Admissions and Learning Support

ISB offers a range of learning and language support services for those students who need additional resources to become independent learners.

The total number of students at ISB receiving learning support can never exceed 15% of the total student population (including special education) and never more than 17% in a particular grade. The total number of students admitted with learning support needs within these percentage quotas is always a decision made between the Head of Division and the Head of Learning Support.

The support may include:

• Structured support within the mainstream programme for students with identified mild to moderate learning difficulties, which can involve modifications for students who require them to be successful;
• In certain circumstances, individual tutor support for students with moderate to severe learning difficulties;
• Full time special education programmes for students with cognitive or developmental disabilities within the range of mild to moderate;
• Support in English Language Development (ELD) for students whose mastery of English is insufficient to allow them to succeed without language support.

The following is also to be noted:

• Additional payment is required for individual tutor support and for all testing or support services referred to external services and for some internal supports.
• Host national students currently in a Special Education programme will not be considered for admission.


Part Four: Waiting Pools

ISB was primarily established to serve the transient global community of expatriate families. While the school welcomes local residents who share our beliefs and values about education, we reserve the right to give admissions priority to expatriate families over those with a viable local alternative.

Every effort will be made to accept students applying to ISB. Waiting pools will be developed only as a last resort at the discretion of the Director of ISB and the Director of External Relations. When a child is wait-listed, parents will be advised as to the possibility of a place becoming available or an additional class formed.

Whilst places are offered according to the date when a complete application is submitted to the Admissions Office, the following criteria is used to establish the priority of students on a waiting pool at any time during the school year:

• Students of transient international families (with history of English as language of instruction)
• Students of transient ISB overseas hires
• Siblings of ISB students (including newly admitted students) not currently placed in another local school
• Students of locally-hired ISB faculty and staff
• Students of former ISB families
• Students of host national families (with or without history of English as language of instruction)

Companies and embassies already supporting a large number of students in the School will, from time to time, receive notice from the School of the enrollment capacity situation, for their planning purposes.


Part Five: Assisted Places

ISB provides a special programme that offers students the possibility to attend the school for a reduced Tuition Fee.

The criteria and the application procedure for Assisted Places are published on the school’s website and available upon request from the Admissions Office.

Applications for an Assisted Place must be made together with the application for admission. Once the student has been admitted, an Assisted Places application will not be considered in the first school year, unless there is proof of a significant change of family circumstances.

The Assisted Places Committee is Chaired by the Director of Finance and attended by the ISB Director and Director of External Relations.


Part Six: Admissions data and information

ISB recognizes its duty to protect personal information and will process personal data in accordance with all existing legislation.

This Policy was approved by the ISB Board of Trustees.