HMC Executive

Officers for the current year are:

Chair: Sally-Anne Huang - St Paul's School

Sally-Anne HuangSally-Anne Huang was educated at Bolton School, and is now delighted to be a member of their governing body. She also has experience of governance of boarding and prep schools. She read Classics and English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 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 High Master of St Paul’s School, having previously been Headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School, and Kent College, Pembury. In this post she was 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 adult sons and two dogs; her interests include young adult fiction, playing the tenor saxophone and watching rugby.

Vice Chair: 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.

Guildford High School, as part of United Learning, is the lead school in the Teaching School Alliance for 71 Academies and 14 Independent Schools. Fiona has been a National Leader of Education since March 2013.

Fiona is a Member of the Athena Schools' Trust and a member of the governing body of Hoe Bridge Prep School, St Ives Prep School and Epsom College. She is an Advisory Board Member of the Institute for Ethical Artificial Intelligence in Education.

Additional Vice Chair: Vicky Bingham - South Hampstead High School

Vicky Bingham has been Head at South Hampstead High School (GDST) since January 2017. Before this, she was Academic Deputy Head at Guildford High School, where she also began her teaching career as a Classics teacher. She was also Head of Classics at St Catherine’s School, Bramley, for six years. She holds an MA in Classics from Keble College, Oxford, and went to school abroad at the European School in Brussels. During her time as a Classics teacher, she discovered a love of the spoken word, coaching countless students for success in debating competitions and in Latin and Greek declamation, a subject she continues to train novice Classics teachers in at Kings College, London. Having spent her career in girls’ schools, she is passionate about enabling young women to find their voice. Vicky has served HMC as the London Division Secretary and now as HMC Additional Vice Chair. She is a Governor of The Hall School in Hampstead.

Chair Elect: Richard Backhouse - Berkhamsted School

Richard read Economics at Selwyn College, Cambridge. After holiday jobs at factories and warehouses in Swindon, his first permanent job was at Oundle School, where he taught Economics and Business Studies, coached rowing, was a resident tutor in a boarding house, Head of Year 9, and ran a CU. Nine years at Bradfield College followed, and roles as Head of Economics & Politics, Boarding Housemaster, and Director of Pastoral and Extra-curricular Activities. In 2005, he was appointed Principal of Monkton Combe School, where he spent 10 years. In January 2016, he took up the role of Principal of the Berkhamsted Schools Group. He has, at various times, been a trustee of three other charities, governed two academies, is a trustee of a MAT and an independent school. He is married with two adult children. Interests include skiing (fast), golf (badly), gadgets, and, as a Good Schools Guide reviewer put it once, he “... gnashes his teeth weekly in support of Southampton FC”.

Treasurer: Brendan Wignall – Ellesmere College

Brendan WignallBrendan Wignall has served as the Headmaster of Ellesmere College in Shropshire, a coeducational boarding and day school, since 1996. He grew up in Preston and has a BA in Philosophy from York University and an MA in Philosophy from Leeds University. He has a PGCE from Leicester University. He began his teaching career at Oakham School in 1984. After three years at Oakham and five and a half years at Christ’s Hospital, Brendan was appointed as Head of English at Denstone College in Staffordshire and subsequently added to that responsibility by becoming Registrar. After three and a half years at Denstone he was appointed to Ellesmere. In his time at Ellesmere pupil numbers have grown by 70% and there has been an extensive building and land acquisition programme. Brendan was Chair of the HMC Membership Committee for five years. He is also Chair respectively of North West Academies Trust; CReSTeD, the leading dyslexia accreditation charity for schools; and British International Education Association, a non-profit organisation with a mission to promote the best of British educational practice overseas. He is married to Anne and has two children, both of whom attended Ellesmere. His son works in finance and accounting and his daughter is a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Brendan is a keen Liverpool supporter and attends most home games with his son.

General Secretary/ Membership Secretary: Dr Simon Hyde

Simon joined HMC following nine years as Head of the King’s School in Macclesfield, where he was also a pupil. In that time, he led the Foundation’s 2020 vision, which transformed the split-site diamond school into a fully co-educational school operating from a bespoke new campus in the country’s largest school improvement project.

After reading history at Christ Church, Oxford, Simon completed a doctorate on mid-nineteenth century Prussia at the universities of Oxford and Bonn.

Whilst a postgraduate, he taught for a year part-time at Stowe. His first permanent post was at Loughborough Grammar School, after which he became head of history and humanities at Oakham. Moving to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School as Deputy Head (Development), he was allowed to dabble in most areas of school life.

Simon has been Chair of Trustees at the Macclesfield Music Centre and involved in a variety of groups supporting the town’s regeneration.

An ISI inspector, Simon has been a member of HMC’s Professional Development Committee as well as Secretary and Chair of the North West Division.

He added: ‘I am hugely looking forward to sustaining and supporting the work of my extraordinary colleagues in HMC. Post-Covid, it has rarely been more important to champion our schools’ contribution to a forward thinking and diverse educational landscape, where pupils come first.’