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The Society of Heads
Description: The Society of Heads
The Society of Heads
The Society is an Association of Heads of just over 140 well-established independent schools. It was founded in 1961 when a group of Heads decided they needed a forum in which to share ideas and experience. Since then the Society has grown substantially in size, reputation and effectiveness and represents a vibrant community of independent schools throughout England and Wales with some additional overseas members.
The Society’s policy is to maintain high standards in member schools, to promote independent education, to provide an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and common concerns, to foster links with the wider sphere of higher education and to strengthen relations with the maintained sector by promoting partnerships.
Within the membership there is a wide variety of educational experience. Some schools are young, some have evolved from older foundations, some have behind them a long tradition of pioneer and specialist education; a number are at the leading edge of education in music, dance and the arts; and several are well known for their effective support for those with specific learning difficulties. The great majority are co-educational but we also have some all-boys and all-girls schools. Many have a strong boarding element; others are day only. All offer a stimulating sixth-form experience and give a sound and balanced education to pupils of widely varying abilities and interests.
The Society is one of the constituent Associations of the Independent Schools Council. Every Full Member school has been accredited through inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (or Estyn in Wales and HMIE in Scotland) and is subject to regular visits to monitor standards and ensure that good practice and sound academic results are maintained. The Society is also represented on many other educational bodies.
All members are in membership of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) or other union for school leaders and Full Member schools belong to AGBIS or an equivalent professional body supporting governance.
The Society hosts the autumn meeting, summer meeting and the annual conference for members. The Society also provides an extensive professional development programme.
Officers 2023–2024
Chair: David Gajadharsingh, The Royal Ballet School
Vice-Chair: Sue Hannam, Lichfield Cathedral School
Chair Designate: Gareth Doodes, The King’s School, Worcester
Hon Treasurer: Christine Cunniffe, LVS Ascot
Committee 2023–2024
Sue Hannam, Lichfield Cathedral School
Sarah Raffray, King’s International School, Bangkok
Dr Andy Kemp, The National Mathematics and Science College
Adrian Meadows, The Peterborough School
Christine Cunniffe, LVS Ascot
Damian Ettinger, Cokethorpe School
David Gajadharsingh, The Royal Ballet School
David Tickner, Newcastle School for Boys
Gareth Doodes, The King’s School, Worcester
James Davies, Halliford School
Jessica Ward, Elmhurst Ballet School
Judith Fremont-Barnes, St Paul’s Cathedral School
Julian Noad, Queen’s College, Taunton
Richard Notman, Stover School
Rob Jones, Rendcomb College
Silas Edmonds, Ewell Castle School
The Society of Heads CEO: Clive Rickart
The Society of Heads
Office 101B, Harborough Enterprise Centre, Compass Point Business Park, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9HW
Tel: 01858 433760 • email: