Headmasters' Conference, later the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC)

Scope and Content

This collection includes: minutes and papers; subject files; annual accounts; 'Bulletin'; records of regional divisions.

Administrative / Biographical History

This organisation originated in 1869, when Edward Thring, headmaster of Uppingham School, invited thirty-seven of his fellow headmasters, of whom twelve accepted, to a meeting to consider the formation of a "School Society and Annual Conference". By 2006 the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference represented the heads of 250 leading independent schools in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It also had a further 60 or so international members, up to 30 additional members (heads of maintained schools in the UK), and 40 Honorary Associate Members (retired members).


The HMC and the Headmasters' Association (HMA) shared a secretariat and the distinction between the records of the two bodies is not always clear. The series of subject files received under the reference MSS.58, for instance, seem to include records of both. Some of these files include letters addressed to the secretary of both bodies. The records which seem clearly to be those of the HMC have been catlaogued separately, but there are probably still some among the HMA archive because of the overlap described above.

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/using/

Other Finding Aids

Custodial History

These records were deposited in 1974 and 1980 (references prefixed MSS.58B) by the Headmasters' Association with records of that body.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre also holds records of the Headmasters' Association (also MSS.58), the Association of Headmistresses (MSS.188), the London branch of the Secondary Heads' Association (MSS.218) and the National Union of Teachers (MSS.179)