About Mike Buchanan
G: Hello Mike, please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
M: I’ve spent 13 years at Ashford School as Head, having already taught at several leading schools. I’m also a school governor, a trustee of a children’s charity and a Lead Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. I will be handing over to a new Head between A-Level and GCSE results this year. I have previously been Chair of HMC in 2016/17, and was preceded and succeeded by Chris King who was until recently, Headmaster at Leicester Grammar School and is now the new CEO of IAPS.
G: Thank you, can you explain a bit about the Executive Director role you will be taking up at HMC?
M: HMC is well established and has formal governance arrangements, for example, the elected members are company directors. The General Secretary is an employee (currently Dr William Richardson) and the Executive Director is a new role replacing the post of General Secretary from November 2018. As a former Chair, I was involved in the selection process for a new Executive Director. In the first round we didn’t appoint, and then people suggested I “throw my hat into the ring”. I had already resigned as Head at Ashford as I felt that it was time for a new challenge.
G: It’s quite a brave step to just resign without knowing what would be next for you?
M: Ashford School has been utterly transformed and I’m very content. The first task on taking up the post was to create something new, and it was a huge opportunity and privilege. Ashford is also part of a larger Multi-Academy Trust (MAT – United Learning), and the next logical step for me was to go out and do something on a national scale. As the most recent Vice-Chair and previously, Chair, I’d had a taste of that and I now have an opportunity.
Aspirations for the future of HMC
G: Are you already turning over ideas in your mind about the future for HMC under your leadership?