For almost 150 years HMC members have communicated with each other and a wider public primary through print. In the process we have built a full and historically important archive. Now we are moving decisively into electronic media and intend all of our significant communications to be managed in future through the website of the Association.
The timing is significant. At several points in HMC’s history there has been considerable public interest in the workings of leading independent schools – for example, in the 1870s, 1940s and 1960s. This is the case again today. However, this time around the issues are exceptionally nuanced and complex. They include our involvement with maintained schools, the ingredients of our success as educational institutions, our role in public debate, the financing of education, improvements to assessment and public examinations, the nature of educational opportunity in society and our duties as charities under the law.
All of these are areas well worthy of debate. They also serve to keep independent schools fresh and supple. Discussion of them helps strengthen our own institutions and identify areas of mutual benefit when we work with schools maintained through public funds. It also raises public understanding of what we do and why.
Not only this. The issues play differently in the various counties in which our schools operate. There are 252 HMC schools spread across the five countries of the British Isles. In addition, we have members in 27 other countries around the globe. You can gain a sense of this variety, and some of the common values these schools share, via the individual member profiles on the site.
From time to time world events place a focus on this mix variety and common values, including how they play in politics. Ian Power’s blog on the legacy for schools of the London 2102 Olympic Games is a case in point.
We hope that you will wish to visit this site on a regular basis. If you do, our aim is that you feel more informed than before about the work of HMC schools. This may be through:
- News and Events, where our work and its significance is presented in the content of current affairs
- The HMC Blog, where the members who run the schools and officers of the Association post views, comment and analysis on pressing matters of the day
- The HMC map, depicting where you can find our schools
- Schools Directory, where each member school is profiled
Above all, expect to find no one orthodoxy or set of opinions. For a key point is to realise that independent education embodies independence of mind – on the part of the heads who run our schools, their management teams, their boards of governors, our expert teachers and, not the least in importance, independence of mind on the part of the young people that we educate.
William Richardson, General Secretary, HMC