HMC Executive

Officers for the current year are:

Chair: Shaun Fenton - Reigate Grammar School 

Shaun Fenton

Inspired by the life-changing education he received, Shaun Fenton has undertaken leadership roles in some of the UK’s leading independent and state schools. His practice is underpinned by a strong belief in the power of education to open doors of opportunity and the conviction that young people must be supported with the very best pastoral care to enable them to embrace and achieve academic and extra-curricular success. Prior to joining Reigate Grammar School (RGS) in September 2012 Shaun led Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham and Sir John Lawes School, Hertfordshire. For four years in a row, RGS has been named the top co-educational day school in Surrey by The Telegraph and The Sunday Times and was judged to be “Exceptional” by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2016. Shaun has been on the board of education charity and examination board AQA; a National Leader of Education; a Foundation Fellow of Gloucestershire University; a member of the UCAS Service Advisory Group; an Associate of Reform; and an ISI Inspector. Educated at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and Keble College, Oxford, Shaun briefly worked in the commercial world before returning to Oxford in 1993 to complete a PGCE and gained the degree of Master of Education in School Leadership. In addition, he holds the National Professional Qualification for Headship. Shaun and his wife Anna have two young sons. His passion for education is equalled by his love of sport, drama and music. He is Chair of HMC in 2018-19.

Vice Chair: Sally-Anne Huang - James Allen's Girls' School

Sally-Anne Huang

Sally-Anne Huang was educated at Bolton School, and is now delighted to be a member of their governing body, along with those of Tonbridge School and Sevenoaks Prep. She then read Classics and English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She has an MSc in Educational Leadership and Management and, more recently, also completed a Masters degree in Children’s Literature, which is a personal passion of hers. Sally-Anne is currently Headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School, which she joined in September 2015. Her first headship was at Kent College, Pembury where she also chair of the Methodist Independent Schools heads’ group for two years. Her previous appointments have included Housemistress at Sevenoaks School, where she taught the International Baccalaureate, and Deputy Head at Roedean. Her professional interests include the importance of cultural diversity within schools and the power of performing arts in pupil experience. Married to Alexis, Sally-Anne has two teenage sons and two dogs; her interests include young adult fiction, immersive theatre and Welsh rugby.

Chair Elect: Fiona Boulton - Guildford High School

Fiona Boulton

Fiona has been Headmistress of Guildford High School since 2002, having previously been the Deputy Head at GHS for 5 years.  She was appointed as a Housemistress of a girls Sixth Form House at Stowe School in 1989.  In 1991 she moved to Marlborough College to become the first Housemistress of New Court.  She graduated with a BSc (Hons) from Cardiff University.  She completed her PGCE at Exeter College, Oxford and her MA and NPQH in London.  Fiona is an ISI Inspector and a former Chair of the HMC South Central Division. Guildford High School became a Teaching School in 2013 and, as a member of United Learning, is the lead school in the Teaching School Alliance for the 42 Academies and 14 Independent schools across the country.  She works closely with the Heads of all the schools in United Learning and is passionate about State/Independent collaboration. Fiona has been a National Leader of Education since 2013.


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.

Executive Director: Mike Buchanan

MIKE BUCHANANMike Buchanan is now the Executive Director of HMC, the English speaking world’s oldest association of Head Teachers. From 2005-2018 he was Head of Ashford School, part of the United Learning group, where he oversaw its transformation from a small girls’ school to a thriving all-age, co-educational day/boarding, independent school of over 1,000 children and young people. Mike has experience in secondary education, all-through schools and boarding, and has held a variety of leadership posts in London and elsewhere. He helped to establish two state-funded Academies in London and a Free School in Kent. He is or has been a Governor of several leading independent schools, a trustee of a children’s charity, a Reporting Inspector, a National Leader of Education and a qualified Executive Coach and plays at being a farmer. He was the elected Chair of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) in 2016/17.
Mike’s interests are in school culture and climate, coaching, leadership, inspection, character development, the use of positive psychology in education and the role of independent schools within the worldwide educational landscape. He writes periodically for national newspapers including the TES and speaks on all of the above at conferences and more.

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).