f t

About Us

ISSET has the aim of utilising space and space exploration to increase student and teacher motivation and to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning.

The International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) is a registered UK charity that was founded in 1998. The aim of ISSET is to utilise space exploration to inspire and motivate young people to believe that they can become what they want to be.

ISSET seeks to instil an appreciation of what humans can achieve and encourage young people to make something of themselves, particularly in the careers and study in STEM areas.


ISSET’s programmes include:

  • Student projects and competitions, including the UK’s most successful schools’ competition: Edge into Space that enabled teams of people form each part of the UK to be guests at a Space Shuttle landing
  • Mission Discovery Summer School
  • Message to the moon project
  • Student experiences at the US Space Centres
  • Teacher leadership programmes in Houston, Texas
  • Teacher professional development in the utilisation of space at Kennedy Space Center
  • Astronaut and Space Scientist visits to schools, colleges, universities and communities in the UK, India and Australia.
  • Videoconferences with astronauts and space scientist
  • Hands-on, multimedia programmes in schools that utilise the context of space
  • ISSET also has a highly successful educational leadership and school improvement consultancy "The Effective Schools' Group"

ISSET has worked with organisations including:

  • Johnson Space Center
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Rice University, Texas
  • Kings College London
  • University of Adelaide
  • Imperial College London
  • The Institute of Physics
  • Science Museum, London
  • National Museum of Wales
  • Science Learning Centres
  • Institute of Physics
  • Cheltenham Science Festival
  • BBC
  • US Embassy, London
  • University of Wales
  • University of Cardiff
  • University of Swansea
  • Institute of Education, London
  • College of St Mark and St John
  • The Edge Foundation
  • Houston Independent School District
ISSET was founded by Chris Barber

Chris founded ISSET in 1998 with the aim of inculcating in young people the NASA ‘you can do it’ spirit.

Chris has a long record of school leadership and transformation. Prior to his work in education he worked in finance in the City of London as an insolvency loss underwriter and corporate credit management specialist.

His school leadership includes being deputy head teacher in two large high schools. In his last school he was instrumental in taking the school from below average to be the most successful school in England and Wales’ at A level and in trebling the schools GSCE results. In that post Chris raised over £7 million to rebuild the school buildings.

Since founding ISSET Chris has worked with space centres, schools and young people in the UK, USA, Norway, India and Australia.