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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 regularly, 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 2021–2022
Elected Members
Richard Backhouse
Berkhamsted School
Sally-Anne Huang
St Paul’s School
Melvyn Roffe
George Watson’s College
Brendan Wignall
Ellesmere College
Divisional Members
Chair – East
Chris Townsend
Felsted School
Secretary – East
Jonathan Reddin
Ratcliffe College
Chair – Irish
Robert Robinson
Campbell College|
Secretary – Irish
David Burnett
Royal School Dungannon
Chair – London
Alastair Land
Harrow School
Secretary – London
Ceri Jones
Caterham School
Chair – North East
Simon Hinchliffe
Bradford Grammar School
Secretary – North East
James Lockwood
Woodhouse Grove School
Chair – North West
Craig Mairs
Oldham Hulme Grammar School
Secretary – North West
John Browne
Stonyhurst College
Chair – Scottish
Lisa Kerr
Secretary – Scottish
Barry Welsh
The Edinburgh Academy
Chair – South Central
Matthew Judd
Leighton Park School
Secretary – South Central
William le Fleming
The Abbey School
Chair – South East
Ben Charles
King’s Rochester
Secretary – South East
Dominic Oliver
Lancing College
Chair – South West
Jaideep Barot
Bristol Grammar School
Secretary – South West
Chris Wheeler
Monkton Senior School
Chair – West
Gareth Doodes
The King’s School, Worcester
Secretary – West
Rob Jones
Rendcomb College
Chair – International
Mark Steed
Kellett School, Hong Kong
Secretary – International
Matthew Taylor
King’s College, Madrid
Co-opted Members
Chair of Academic Policy
Martin Collier
Chair of Professional Development
Ben Vessey
Canford School
Chair of Universities
Nick Weaver
Ipswich School
Chair of Inspection
Jason Slack
The King’s School in Macclesfield
Chair of Communications
Philip Britton
Bolton School
Chair of Membership
George Hartley
King’s School, Chester
Chair of Sports
Kevin Knibbs
Hampton School
Chair of Pastoral & Safeguarding
Sarah Kerr-Dineen
Oundle School
Officers (in attendance)
General Secretary & CEO
Dr Simon Hyde
Director of Finance & Operations
Chris Silver
Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference
12 The Point, Rockingham Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7QU
Tel: 01858 465260 • email: • website: www.hmc.org.uk