A Non-profit and Parent Governed School

Tianjin’s premier international school, IST was founded in 1994 as a non-profit and parent governed international day school for the children of expatriate families living in Tianjin. As a non-profit school, IST exists only to ensure an outstanding education for its students. Financial surpluses are invested into the school.

The school’s unique status of being state-owned but parent-governed ensures that the school has excellent relations with local government agencies while retaining autonomy of governance in all key areas, including: finance, curriculum, and staffing.


The Board of Governors consists of nine voting members and seven non-voting members. The nine voting members comprise seven appointed and two elected members, whose roles include the following: policy development; strategic planning; and making major financial decisions including capital investments, fees, and employees’ salaries. The Board of Governors delegates policy implementation to the Director, whom they appoint and evaluate.

There are five core ‘Principles of Conduct’ for Board of Governors members or ‘trustees’ which Board and other community members alike should be aware of:

  • A trustee stays fully informed about current operations and issues by attending meetings regularly, coming to meetings well prepared, and participating fully in all matters
  • A trustee takes care to separate the interests of the school from the specific needs of a particular child or constituency
  • A trustee accepts and supports Board decisions. Once a decision has been made, the Board speaks with one voice
  • A trustee keeps all Board deliberations confidential
  • A trustee guards against conflict of interest, whether personal or business related

The roles and responsibilities of the Board of Governors and the school Administration are outlined in the following documents

Board Constitution
Board Policy Manual
Board Roles and Responsibilities
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