HISST Scholarship Grant

The Heads of Independent Schools Scholarship Trust (HISST) was established in July 1994 for the purpose of providing financial assistance to promote education, learning and research on matters affecting independent schools in New Zealand.  An initial sum of money was donated from the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of New Zealand (AHIS) to establish the fund and grants are made from the interest earned on it.  The Trustees are Gail Thomson, Heather McRae and Deborah James. 

This grant is for a specific research project and excludes personal professional development.


HISST Scholarship Recipient 2019


The ISNZ Heads of Independent Schools Scholarship Trust is pleased to announce that Chay Carter, Deputy Principal of Saint Kentigern Middle College, will receive the 2019 HISST research grant.

The Grant will enable Chay to pursue a research project on how schools can cultivate a culture of thinking. Chay will examine possible strategies to prepare our future talent to reach the heights in a contemporary landscape shaped by rapid change, automation, globalisation and unpredictability.

Chay says, “Today, effective learning cannot only be underpinned by trying harder and longer, by having an outstanding attitude and putting in the effort. It must also be underpinned by thinking deeper, higher, and wider.

“We must ensure our students are metacognitively aware, knowing and valuing the fundamental causal effect: if I think – critically and creatively – then I can learn, make decisions, create and problem solve with far greater success, both now and in the future, whatever mountains are faced.”

Chay will look into what we can learn from past approaches to teaching thinking skills in schools, and what current research in cognitive education tells us about what is effective. She will also visit New Zealand and international schools that are cultivating a culture of thinking in innovative ways, and will examine the approaches they are taking and how thinking is valued across the wider school culture.

Chay will present her research at the 2020 ISNZ Annual Conference.



HISST Scholarship Recipient 2018

david boardman

David Boardman, Senior School Principal at Kristin School in Auckland, was the 2018 recipient of the HISST Scholarship Grant. David is using the grant to explore why New Zealand students are reportedly over-anxious about school-based assessment compared to their European counterparts, and what schools can do to reduce this problem.

He will visit schools in New Zealand, the UK, Germany and Switzerland and will interview head teachers and counsellors about issues such as assessment loading and style, pastoral care and support models, and approaches to teaching mindfulness and wellbeing. This will allow for some comparison between the countries, and  identify differences that can be investigated in a New Zealand context.


HISST Scholarship Recipient 2017

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David Scott, Middle School Principal at Kristin School in Auckland, was the 2017 recipient of the HISST grant. David used this grant to assist with the continued development of an Adaptive Leaders Programme. He will present a case study of the programme at the 2018 HMC Conference in the United Kingdom.

View David's HISST research


Further Information

For further information please contact Deborah James, tel 04 471 2022, email deborah.james@isnz.org.nz.