The ECIS conferences grew from a combination of regular meetings and serendipity. From the inception of the idea in Beirut through the earliest days of ECIS, there were European springtime meetings. The spring of 1967 saw a more formalised structure offered, and what we now know as the leadership conference ensued.
It should be noted, though, that the first ten years of ECIS conferences were attended largely by directors and administrators, most notably college counsellors, even at the autumnal gathering. As the organisation began its second decade, however, it was recognised that the needs of teachers could be met by ECIS, specifically by means of offering a conference where ideas could be shared and networks created or expanded—and so the Special Interest Group conferences, focusing on specific disciplines, became a mainstay event for teachers professional development.
In 2020, with Global Pandemic of COVID19, the ECIS Leadership Conference was scheduled for April at UCJC in Madrid. Recognised for their innovation and agility, rather than cancel the conference completely, ECIS took the courageous step of converting the entire face to face conference to virtual with five weeks’ notice. As a result, nearly 1000 leaders internationally accessed the conference. ECIS were also able to offer extended, and therefore, embedded professional development for their International Leaders, by extending the conference content accessibility for sixty days after the conference, on-demand.
ECIS conferences, and their suite of digital and face to face professional development, continue to evolve and are rooted in evidence around effective professional learning, and shows ECIS’ commitment to delivering professional learning that is flexible, innovative and creates impact to their International School Community.