HMC school leader helicopter tourThe HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) Autumn Conference, held at the 02 Intercontinental in London, provided the perfect opportunity for this growing and highly successful organisation to celebrate its 150th anniversary. It also witnessed the most spectacular competition that Engage has staged yet, to win tickets for a helicopter tour of London, celebrating our rebrand and recent successes.

The true value of independent education

The conference’s timing could not have been more appropriate, as it provided HMC and its chair,  Fiona Boulton, with an early opportunity for a vigorous public response to Labour Party plans proposing devastating changes in the UK independent school sector which would have widespread negative impacts for education as a whole.

In her balanced and well-argued keynote, Fiona, the Head of Guildford High School stated: “There is an irony that, at present, our sector is coming under attack by people saying we are old-fashioned and out of touch. But the criticisms that are being made are, in fact, what is old-fashioned and out of touch. Our sector has made significant progress over the past 10 years in sharing, partnering, in giving back.  In organisations like mine, and many of yours, we work in tandem on a daily basis with our colleagues and partners in the state sector. There is always more to be done – of course there is. In education, in any role, there is always more to be done. But the independent schools sector that is described by those who wish to abolish us is the independent schools sector of 20, 30, 40 years ago. It is not the sector of today.”

Read Fiona Boulton’s full HMC Conference speech here.

New Engage brand and helicopter tour

In much the same way Engage has driven its own evolution over the past decade, continually improving its role in enabling schools to provide an environment where everyone can thrive. The timing of HMC’s Autumn Conference was perfect for us also as we chose that occasion to unveil our new multi-faceted Engage MIS brand. We also marked the occasion by offering 10 tickets for helicopter tours of London in a competition that soon became the talk of the conference.

The tour itself took place in groups as the event closed on Thursday. Following several intense and productive days, it was the perfect way to relax and gain new perspective on familiar sights. When the winning names were drawn at the AGM, it was joked that Engage was providing the means to go up in a helicopter but hopefully there would also be a method of arriving on the ground again. Fortunately Engage is as good on the detail as it is on the aerial view. We’re happy to report the safe arrival of 10 very excited faces from the bright orange London Helicopters Single Squirrel after touring all the key sights from the Oval and Houses of Parliament, to the Shard.

We offer as proof a brief video of the occasion – please share in their perspective of a truly capital event.