HMC Executive

Officers for the current year are:

Chairman: Dr Tim Hands - Magdalen College School

Tim Hands is a Londoner, educated in the state sector. He studied the violin at the Guildhall School of Music before reading English at King’s College London and researching 19th Century Literature at Oxford, where he ended as a lecturer at Oriel College, helping to admit and then teach the first women in Oxford’s last all-male college. He taught English at King’s School, Canterbury, where he also ran a Boarding House, before becoming Second Master at Whitgift School and Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School, where he stayed for a little over ten years. He is now Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford. He was co-chair of the HMC/GSA Universities Committee for seven years and is now HMC’s Chairman for 2013-2014.

Tim is married to Jane, and they have two children. His interests include writing (three books on Thomas Hardy, for example), sport (especially cricket and rugby) and music – he was conductor of the Oxford University Chamber Choir, the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, for three years, and is now Vice-Chair of the Choir’s Board of Trustees.

Vice-Chairman: Dr Christopher Ray - British School Al Khubairat (Abu Dhabi)

Dr Christopher Ray is the Vice-Chairman of HMC and held the position of Chairman for the year 2012/13. He was educated at Rochdale Grammar School, University College London, Churchill College Cambridge and Balliol College Oxford where his doctorate was in History & Philosophy of Physics.

His first teaching post was at Marlborough College after which he went to become Director of Studies at Framlingham College and then King’s College School, Wimbledon. His first headship was at The John Lyon School before he became High Master of The Manchester Grammar School and now Headmaster of The British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi.

Dr Ray has undertaken several appointments at Universities at home and abroad; at Oxford; the National University of Singapore; Portland State University, Oregon; and Essex. He is a principal examiner for Physics A-Level (Oxford/OCR) and a principal scrutineer for Science, QCA. He is also a governor at the King’s School Chester and Willows Primary School, Wythenshawe. Dr Ray has published several books: The Evolution of Relativity; Time, Space and Philosophy; Logical Positivism; The Retreat from Scholarship.

Vice-Chairman (UK): Kenneth Durham - University College School

Ken Durham was educated at St John’s School, Leatherhead and won an exhibition to read Philosophy, Politics & Economics at Brasenose College, Oxford. His decision to become a teacher followed at once, with a PGCE at the Institute of Education of London University.

He taught Economics at St Albans School for twelve years, finishing as Head of Department, having looked after General Studies and directed a good many school plays and musicals in the meantime. He moved from St Albans to King’s College School, Wimbledon in 1987, initially as Head of Economics & Business Studies. He was later promoted to be Director of Studies. The high point of his KCS career was to play the role of God in a production of The Mystery Plays – a fitting preparation, perhaps, for his appointment as Headmaster of University College School, Hampstead in 1996.

During his time at UCS, Ken has expanded the school, introduced coeducation into the Sixth Form, built new facilities for indoor sport, art and design and modern languages and has taken significant steps to broaden access. He has also found time to become involved in the work of HMC. He served on the Professional Development Sub-Committee for many years and was its Chair from 2004 until 2010. Ken was elected to serve as Chairman of HMC in 2011/12 and is currently Vice-Chairman. Ken is married to Vivienne, who is Headmistress of Francis Holland School, Baker Street.

Chairman Elect: Richard Harman - Uppingham School

Richard HarmanRichard Harman has been Headmaster of Uppingham School since September 2006.  He was educated at The King’s School, Worcester, followed by Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read English.  Having spent two years working for an academic publisher, he decided his real vocation was in teaching.  After five years at Marlborough College teaching English and Drama, during which time he also completed his PGCE at Exeter University, he spent 12 years at Eastbourne College.  Progressing from Head of English to Housemaster of a Sixth Form girls’ house to member of the senior management team, he then became Headmaster of Aldenham in September 2000 and thence to Uppingham in 2006.  He is married to Karin and has one daughter, Olivia.  Richard is a keen follower and occasional practitioner of various sports and loves music and the theatre.  In another life he would have been a director at the RSC, the National, or in the West End, or possibly manager of Arsenal FC.  While he awaits that call, however, he is much enjoying the challenges at Uppingham and was Chairman of the Boarding Schools’ Association for 2011-12.  He is Chairman-Elect of HMC for 2013-14.

Treasurer: Stephen Holliday – Queen Elizabeth's Hospital (Bristol)


Stephen Holliday has served as the Headmaster of Queen Elizabeth's Hospital (QEH), Bristol, a boys' day school, since 2000. He is the Treasurer of HMC for 2013-14.

Educated at Batley Grammar School and Jesus College Cambridge, where he read history, Stephen then joined British Rail as an Operations Manager in Dundee and Glasgow before hearing the call to return to school. After six years at Dean Close in Cheltenham where he was a boys’ boarding housemaster, he became Head of History at Giggleswick in his native Yorkshire. He ventured across the Lancashire border to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn to become Deputy Head (Pastoral) for five years before taking up his current role in Bristol.

At QEH he has overseen the closing of boarding and the opening of a Junior School in the same premises. He has built a new Sixth Form Centre and is currently battling with planners to build a new science block. 

In his spare time he enjoys watching all sport, especially cricket and is a keen fan of Leeds United. He is married to Gail, a teacher at Redland High School in Bristol and has two sons, one at Durham University and the other a pupil in his own school. He is also a Methodist Local Preacher.

General Secretary: Dr William Richardson

William Richardson has been General Secretary of HMC since September 2011. He was educated at Highgate School, Bristol University and New College Oxford where his doctorate was in Tudor religious history. After Oxford he joined Unilever plc in 1982 as a ‘fast stream’ management trainee, before assuming company posts in brand management and industrial relations.

In 1986 he moved to a research fellowship at the University of Warwick funded by BP and then held a lectureship at Sheffield, before being appointed Professor of Education at the University of Exeter in 2000. During 2002-2008 he led the School of Education in succession to Ted Wragg and served on both the governing council and key strategies committees of the university at a time when foundations were laid for its recent rapid rise into the top tier of UK universities. He is married to children’s author Ellen Renner.

Membership Secretary: Ian Power

Ian Power has been the Membership Secretary of HMC since September 2009. He was educated at Guthlaxton College, Leicestershire after which he read Natural Sciences at Girton College, Cambridge and completed a PGCE at Girton in July 1983.

He taught Physics and Mathematics at Aylesbury Grammar School, followed by posts at The King’s School, Worcester (Head of Physics) and Millfield (Head of Science and Houseparent), before becoming Headmaster of Lord Wandsworth College in September 1997. After twelve years at Lord Wandsworth he became Membership Secretary of HMC. Ian has also been an ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspector since 1998.

Ian is a member of the Royal Institution in London, a safeguarding officer and sidesman at St. Andrew’s Church, South Warnborough and a keen cyclist and squash player. He is married to Lynn (who teaches Religious Studies at Lord Wandsworth College) and has two daughters (one who teaches English at Bradfield College, and the other has just graduated from King’s College, London).