HMC, the Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference, started in 1869 as a club for headmasters. It has changed its name to accommodate the Headmistresses who are now members (it was chaired by a Headmistress for the first time in 2005) and still regards itself as representing the élite independent schools. It is now a professional organisation which supports Heads as effective leaders, promotes discussion of educational issues and influences policy and public opinion on the independent sector.

It has some 250 members who are heads of secondary schools in the UK and Ireland (plus 60 overseas and 30 additional state school members). The Heads, not the schools, are the HMC members and they must reapply when they change schools. You can find out more information on its website