Richard Harman of Uppingham School to be new Chairman of HMC

Richard Harman, Headmaster of Uppingham School, is the new Chairman (2014-2015) of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents the heads of the UK’s leading independent schools. He takes over from Tim Hands, Master of Magdalen College School, on 1 September 2014.

Richard Harman has been Headmaster of Uppingham School since September 2006. Uppingham was founded in 1584 and is a co-educational boarding school for 13-18-year-olds with 790 pupils. The last Headmaster of Uppingham to be chairman of HMC was the Reverend Edward Thring, who presided over the inaugural meeting of the Conference at Uppingham in 1869.

Richard Harman says: ‘Edward Thring believed that the purpose of education was to find out what a child could do, and then he encouraged his pupils to do it to the best of their ability. He also understood the importance of the pastoral development of children. His legacy remains at Uppingham, and is indeed practised across HMC schools.

‘The UK is fortunate to have a strong and globally respected independent schools sector. Our schools make no demand on the public purse and work alongside state-maintained schools for the public good. The UK’s independent schools act, alongside our leading universities, as global brand leaders, standard bearers for British educational excellence. They also contribute £11.7bn to the British economy.

‘But while economic benefits are important, they are not, of course, the essence of education. I believe passionately in the importance of a liberal holistic education. The mission of our independent schools is to inspire young people to become confident, self-reliant global citizens; to provide them with an excellent education and a rich and varied extra-curricular programme; and give them the foundation for a happy, successful and fulfilling life.’

The HMC’s annual Conference, which Richard Harman will be addressing, takes place at The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales, 29 September – 2 October 2014. For details, please contact Denise Bennett on 01858 465 260 or [email protected].

Notes for Editors

HMC (the Headmasters' & Headmistresses' Conference) is a professional Association of heads of the world's leading independent schools. HMC has 260 members in the British Isles educating more than 200,000 children, and a further 60 international members. Our members lead schools that are distinguished by their excellence in pastoral care, co-curricular provision and classroom teaching. Members of HMC have met annually in conference since the first meeting in 1869. HMC today is a thriving, pro-active Association of leading figures in school education. See

For requests to interview Richard Harman, please contact Sheila Thompson on 07958 307637 or at [email protected].


Richard Harman was educated at The King’s School, Worcester, and 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 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’ boarding house to a member of the senior management team. He then became Headmaster of Aldenham in 2000, and thence to Uppingham in 2006. He is married, with one daughter, and has a keen interest in sport, music and theatre.

Richard Harman was Chairman of the Boarding Schools’ Association 2011-2012.