HMC 150 – celebrating friendship and inspiration

Fiona Boulton, chair of HMC and head of Guildford High School, details the fantastic speakers at this year’s Autumn Conference

The 2019 HMC Annual Conference brings together heads from leading independent schools plus our partners from other independent sector organisations and the maintained sector. We are delighted that it is being held in London as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.

The ‘HMC 150’ conference includes a wonderful range of speakers within the programme to enable heads to pick up some inspirational thoughts and ideas to take back to their own schools, networks and communities.

Leadership is crucial to the success of any school. In the homeostatic mechanism of a school, there are so many finely balanced systems that we have to juggle to maintain an equilibrium, from quality assurance of teaching and learning to wellbeing, pastoral care and the support of staff and pupils. There are big decisions that need to be made but the numerous small decisions that we take on a daily basis are equally vital.

We have a number of speakers highlighting the importance of leadership to equip us afresh with new ideas and strategies.

Inspirational speakers

Lord Dr Michael Hastings CBE began his career as a teacher. He is recognised for his leadership at KPMG, as international global head of citizenship, the BBC, as head of public affairs and its first head of corporate social responsibility, and for his work in international development. He will be talking to HMC 150 about the importance of having a vision and about inspiring others to take action.

Mark Thompson is the current chief executive officer of The New York Times Company. From 2004 to 2012, he served as director-general of the BBC, and before that was the chief executive of Channel 4. He will be speaking about his experiences of running internationally revered institutions which are under attack from many quarters, plus lessons learnt.

HMC 150 is a time to stand tall and proud of all that HMC has achieved and to be excited about its future

Andy Buck was head of two schools in East London, he was a director of the National College of School Leadership, managing director at United Learning and is the founder of Leadership Matters. He will be speaking to us about how to improve educational outcomes for pupils by supporting great leadership development.

Floyd Woodrow, one of the youngest soldiers ever to have been selected for the elite SAS, will be talking about how to motivate ourselves and others, and how to build-up our personal skill set of physical and emotional resilience.

Professor James Tooley from the University of Buckingham co-created low-cost private school chains in Ghana, India, Honduras and England. He will bring us new ideas and a fresh perspective on how to provide value for money.

Other sessions include Robert Plomin, professor of behavioural genetics at Kings College, London, who will be talking to us about how DNA makes us who we are.

There is a ‘Question Time’ session hosted by Adrian Chiles, with guests Sir Jon Coles, chief executive of United Learning, chair of Challenge Partners and former director general at the Department for Education; Sue Campbell CBE (Baroness Campbell of Loughborough), chairman of UK Sport between 2003 and 2013 and currently the Football Association’s head of women’s football; and heads Leon Wilson, Vicky Bingham and Julian Thomas. The session will enable us to engage, talk and debate issues of the day.

We are also hearing from Clare Balding OBE, one of Britain’s leading broadcasters, journalists and authors, who will be bringing many thought-provoking stories.

From its beginnings in 1869, when 13 headmasters met at Uppingham School, to 2019 when 296 headmasters and headmistresses will meet in London, HMC has gone from strength to strength. HMC 150 is a time to stand tall and proud of all that HMC has achieved and to be excited about its future. HMC is recognised as leading educational best practice globally – our conference is a time for friendship, collaboration, challenge and inspiration.

Fiona Boulton


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