The developments in the 80s and various legislation that impacted on independent schools necessitated the restructuring of the Association of Private Schools resulting in the formation of a new organisation, the Independent Schools Council (ISC) in 1988.
It continued to work with Conference to advance the interests of private schools in South Africa. The constitution of HMC was amended to make the head of an ISC school an automatic member of Conference (the heads of non-Christian schools became associate members).
The operation of the two bodies was still to be influenced by political and social events in South Africa:
The release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 and the dismantling of Apartheid ushered Conference schools into a new phase in their history.
The first democratic election in 1994 brought a ray of hope and an exciting time for Conference and education generally.
The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) replaced the JMB as the first choice in examinations for private schools
Many new issues regarding the role of the private school in the new South Africa were discussed in Conference.
This period saw an increase in ISC membership from 60 to 230 schools.
There was a successful campaign to secure exemption from the payments of rates by ISC schools, and the important role played by Mark Henning (then ISC Director) in the Hunter Commission on the organisation, funding and governance of schools.