Autumn Conference 2018 – Welcome

Dear Colleagues

Together to Learn – HMC Conference 2018

Shaun FentonI look forward to coming Together to Learn in Manchester this autumn at Conference 2018. We come together as independent school leaders but also with colleagues in the maintained sector to continue to learn with and from each other in our roles and for the benefit of children in our care.

There is an expert teaching and learning panel as well as a panel focused on pastoral issues. The teaching and learning panel includes Laura Kearney of Osiris Educational calling on the Visible Learning work of Professor John Hattie, and the High Performance Learning programme from Professor Deborah Eyre. It will also include input from the Inspiration Trust, the successful academy chain. In pastoral matters, we will hear from equally impressive speakers including an HMC return for the impressive Natasha Devon MBE.

An important session will be led by Geoff Barton, General Secretary, ASCL drawing together threads from across maintained and independent schools about Education for All, stripping away accountability measures and inspection pressures. The thinking will be informed by ASCL work on ethical leadership and the outcomes of a symposium which recently brought together stakeholder representatives of teachers, young people, parents, governors and school leaders from maintained and independent schools.

I hope that the keynote speakers will interest and engage with Michael Buerk leading us through a moral maze of our time; David Kogan, Executive Director of Magnum Photos; and Jill Brady former Vice President of Virgin talking about leadership in difficult times.

The workshops over three sessions cover a wide range from legal advice to retirement; from Ed Dorrell talking of media links to promoting social mobility through bursaries; from out of classroom experiences to high performance learning; from good governance to thriving in an ISI inspection; from international opportunities to an important opportunity to keep developing our diversity programme. The universities panel is impressive as always, thanks to Chris Ramsey, and includes Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of Manchester University and Dame Minouche Shafik, Vice Chancellor of LSE.

Whilst the formal HMC Conference programme is always full and varied, I have always valued the friendship, mutual support, informal learning and a reminder that leaders of HMC schools do have a shared sense of moral purpose. The programme provides time for those purposes at the Conference venue and in the wonderful Manchester metropolis. There are chances to play tennis, play golf (or have lessons), cycle, use the spa and enjoy speakers at dinner such as Major General Tyrone Urch CBE (GOC Home Command) or England netball coach Tracey Neville sharing how the famous gold medal was won at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

The Conference ends with a visit to the famous Manchester Comedy Club: perhaps a reminder, as we return to our schools, not to take ourselves too seriously! We will encourage you to invite guests to this event at the Comedy Club, especially colleagues we work with in the maintained sector. Further details to follow.

It is important to us all that the quality of friendliness and peer support is enjoyed by all of us. We will write to members for whom this is a first or second conference to offer an additional welcome and mentoring through these early days of membership.

I am sure that the programme will evolve between now and the conference but, even so, I hope that the enclosed information will make you look forward to that annual oasis at the start of October. I am so grateful for the support of the full HMC team for helping make the programme possible.

See you at the Midland, if not before!

Yours sincerely

Shaun Fenton Signature







S A Fenton

Headmaster of Reigate Grammar School
HMC Chair Elect 2018-2019