FULL membership of the Association is open to the governing bodies of Trust Schools, “provided that such schools are effectively independent of control by anybody other than their Governing body or Trust and that the school shall not carry on its business for the acquisition of gain or profit by the school or its governing body”.

A school that wishes to become a member of ATS will be required to take the following steps:

  1. The school will submit a written application to the ATS office stating their desire for their school to become a member of ATS. The ATS office will circulate existing ATS members to request feedback if they know of any reason why the school might not be considered. The school will be sent a questionnaire to complete and return to the ATS office.
  2. The school will also submit certain documentation with their application, including the following:
    • certificate of Registration with the Ministry of Education.
    • a certified copy of the constitution of the Governing Body/Trust.
    • a list of the Board of Governors with a brief resume of each member.
    • the current fee structure.
    • a copy of the current staff list with their qualifications.
    • a copy of the school brochure, or items promoting the school, including the Mission Statement.
    • a copy of their most recent external examination results report.
    • a letter explaining the reasons why the school seeks membership, including what will be the advantages to the school and how the school believes that it will be able to contribute to the ATS.
  3. The school will, at the same time, confirm its willingness to adhere to the standards set within the following documents:
    • Guidelines for Governors and Heads of Trust Schools
    • CHISZ Code of Conduct
    • CHISZ Charter for Sport

If the school is deemed to have met all the criteria up to this stage:

  1. CHISZ will arrange for a visit to the applying school, which will be undertaken by one representative from ATS (normally the Executive Director) and two representatives from CHISZ (appointed by the Chair of CHISZ), normally experienced or retired Heads, prior to any recommendation on membership being made. This visit will take a full day (two days for a boarding school) and will look at all aspects of the school in action.
  2. The ATS representative and CHISZ representatives will draw up a report following their visit and submit the report to Stanco for their consideration. On the basis of this visit, Stanco will either recommend or not recommend the school’s application.
  3. If the school is still considered to be suitable at this stage, ATS (through the Executive Director and the ATS Chair or nominated representative) will conduct an interview with the Board Chair and other representatives from the school Board.
  4. ATS will then take the recommendation from Stanco, along with their own findings from the interview, forward to its executive committee (Exco) for final consideration and approval.
  5. Finally, if a school’s application to join ATS is approved, the ATS will be allowed to conduct a Governance workshop for the Board of Governors, within six weeks of the approval, to ensure the Board understands what due governance is required.

Continued membership of ATS is dependent on the school meeting the same criteria that was required on joining the ATS. A Compliance checklist will be completed and approved annually for that purpose. Once a school has been successful in becoming a member of ATS, the incumbent Head is eligible to apply for membership of the CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS of ZIMBABWE (CHISZ). It is a prerequisite that the school be a member of ATS before the Head can become a member of CHISZ.


A school that wishes to become a member of ATS will be required to meet the following criteria:
As stated in the ATS Constitution:

  • It is a school, whether owned by a Trust, Association, religious or charitable body or a company, registered in terms of the Education Act as a non-governmental school in Zimbabwe, as evidenced by a copy of its certificate of Registration from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education;
  • It is effectively independent of control by any body other than its Governing Body;
  • It does not carry on and will not carry on its activities for any acquisition of profit by the school, its Governing Body or any member thereof or its owner;
  • It is a Primary or Secondary school (no ECD on its own may become a member).

In addition, the following criteria must be met:

  • It must have been in operation for at least seven years and at the senior level of the school for two complete years – existing ATS schools which form another school (Primary or Secondary) may seek special dispensation.
  • It must have evidence of sound financial management, strong educational results, a broad curriculum, clear social responsibilities and active spiritual programmes.
  • It must provide a copy of the Constitution (or other enabling document) of its Governing Body and a list of those appointed to the Governing Body with a brief resume of each.
  • It has a properly-constituted and fully-functioning Parents representative group working in close association with the Governing Body (or other ‘Responsible Authority’) and the school management team.
  • It must have Contracts for all staff members.
  • It has a school Mission that fits within the Mission of ATS.
  • It is committed to a holistic education for all its pupils, with all pupils involved in sport and culture on a weekly basis.
  • It has had on-going involvement with ATS schools in academic, sporting and cultural spheres.
  • All of its pupils have the opportunity to participate in regular sporting fixtures against other schools at all levels.
  • Its Head and teaching staff are suitably qualified and experienced.
  • It has clear policies on all areas required by ATS, easily accessible by their parent body.
  • The Governing Body does not interfere with the day-to-day running of the school and will present itself for a Governance Workshop.
  • Its Governing Body shows good employment practice.
  • Its accounts are independently audited and approved annually.
  • Secondary schools have a report on their Academic Examination results available.
  • It follows a rigorous and respected curriculum.
  • Its buildings and facilities are of an acceptable high standard with clear development plans.
  • It shows a commitment to professional and faculty development.
  • It is willing to subscribe to and abide by the CHISZ Code of Conduct, the Charter for Sport and all other policies of ATS.
  • It is assessed independently to the standards required by ATS.
  • Termly subscriptions will be made timeously.
  • The Head and Governing Body representative must attend regional CHISZ or ATS meetings as well as the national Conference and thus contribute to the development of the organisation.
  • It shows it can bring something positive to the existing members.

Associate Membership is available to the following as stated in the ATS Constitution:

  • any other properly constituted organisation of non-governmental and non-profit schools, whether in Zimbabwe or foreign;
  • the governing body of any foreign school which would, if in Zimbabwe, qualify as a Trust School;
  • an Honorary member – any individual, nominated by ATS Exco, who has given significant
    service in and to the private education sector or the Association and is endorsed for such
    membership at an Annual General Meeting