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Description: HMC
The HMC dates from 1869, when the celebrated Edward Thring of Uppingham asked thirty-seven of his fellow headmasters to meet at his house to consider the formation of a ‘School Society and Annual Conference’. Twelve headmasters accepted the invitation. From that date there have been annual meetings. Thring’s intention was to provide an opportunity for discussion at regular intervals, both on practical issues in the life of a school and on general principles in education. He believed that his guests would discharge their practical business more effectively at a residential meeting where they could also enjoy being in the company of like-minded men. Annual Meetings of the HMC still combine formal debate on current educational questions with the second element of conversational exchanges in an agreeable environment. These gatherings, which up to 1939 were usually at individual schools, then took place at a University. Nowadays they are held in major hotels and conference centres in the Autumn term. In addition to these annual conferences attended by all members, there are local meetings each term arranged by the ten branches or Divisions into which the country is divided.
Present full membership of the HMC is a total of two hundred and ninety-eight, which now includes headmasters and headmistresses of boys’, girls’ and co-educational schools. In considering applications for election to membership, the Committee has regard to the degree of independence enjoyed by the Head and his/her school. Eligibility also depends on the academic standards obtaining in the school, as reflected by the proportion of pupils in the Sixth Form pursuing a course of study beyond GCSE and by the school’s public examination results, including A Levels, the International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge Pre-U.
The Constitution provides that the full membership shall consist only of heads of independent schools in the UK and Ireland. At the same time, it is held to be a strength that the Conference includes heads of schools from the maintained sector as well as other influential figures from the world of education. There is provision therefore for the election of a small number of HMC Associates.
In addition the HMC has a number of International members, who are heads of high-quality schools from around the world. The International division meets on two occasions during the academic year and the Chair is a member of the HMC Committee. There is also a small number of Honorary Associates who have been elected to life membership on retirement.
The HMC is closely associated with the other independent sector associations that also belong to the Independent Schools Council (ISC), and with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents the Heads and senior staff of secondary schools and colleges in both the maintained and independent sectors.
The HMC Committee 2019–2020
Elected Members
Fiona Boulton
Guildford High School
Shaun Fenton
Reigate Grammar School
Sally-Anne Huang
James Allen’s Girls’ School
Brendan Wignall
Ellesmere College
Additional Vice-Chair
Chris Wheeler
Monkton Senior School
Divisional Members
Chair – East
Bill Penty
Trent College
Secretary – East
Douglas Robb
Gresham’s School
Chair – Irish
Robert Robinson
Campbell College|
Secretary – Irish
Elizabeth Huddleson
Bangor Grammar School
Chair – London
Suzie Longstaff
Putney High School
Secretary – London
Vicky Bingham
South Hampstead High School
Chair – North East
Anton Maree
Ackworth School
Secretary – North East
Kieran McLaughlin
Durham School
Chair – North West
Martin Boulton
The Manchester Grammar School
Secretary – North West
Simon Hyde
The King’s School Macclesfield
Chair – Scottish
Johanna Urquhart
Lomond School
Secretary – Scottish
Colin Gambles
Hutchesons’ Grammar School
Chair – South Central
Adam Williams
Lord Wandsworth College
Secretary – South Central
Joanne Thomson
Clayesmore School
Chair – South East
Julie Lodrick
Kent College Pembury
Secretary – South East
Bruce Grindlay
Sutton Valence School
Chair – South West
Andrew Gordon-Brown
Truro School
Secretary – South West
Mark Lascelles
Dauntsey’s School
Chair – West
Kathy Crewe-Read
Wolverhampton Grammar School
Secretary – West
Robert Jones
Rendcomb College
Chair – International
Mike Lambert
Dubai College
Secretary – International
Mark Steed
Kellett School, Hong Kong
Co-opted Members
Chair of Academic Policy
Martin Collier
Chair of Professional Development
John Watson
Leicester Grammar School
Chair of Universities
Nick Weaver
Ipswich School
Chair of Inspection
Emma Hattersley
Godolphin School
Chair of Communications
Philip Britton
Bolton School
Chair of Membership
Brendan Wignall
Ellesmere College
Chair of Sports
Kevin Knibbs
Hampton School
Chair of Wellbeing
Chris Jeffery
Bootham School
Officers (in attendance)
Executive Director
Michael Buchanan
(Tel: 01858 469059)
Membership Secretary
Ian Power, MA
(Tel: 01858 465260)
Chief Operating Officer & Company Secretary
Amy Kendrick
Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference
12 The Point, Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7QU
Tel: 01858 465260 • email: • Url: www.hmc.org.uk