senior theatre



Mike Buchanan, Executive Director of HMC, considers what makes a great school. How he tackles this question helps parents to understand that they are choosing a school not for themselves, but for their children.


Mike BuchananMike Buchanan is the Executive Director of HMC, the English-speaking world’s oldest association of Head Teachers. From 2005-2018 he was Head of Ashford School in the UK where he oversaw its transformation from a small girls’ school to a thriving all-age, co-educational day/boarding, independent school of over 1,000 children and young people.

Mike has experience in secondary education, all-through schools and boarding, and has held a variety of leadership posts in London and elsewhere. He helped to establish three new, state-funded schools in London and Kent. He is or has been a trustee of several independent and state schools in the UK and internationally, a trustee of a children’s charity, a Reporting Inspector, a UK National Leader of Education and a qualified Executive Coach. He was elected as a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching in 2018 and became Chair of the International Positive Education Network (UK/Europe) shortly thereafter. Born and educated in Australia, he made the mistake of falling in love with an Englishwoman. He plays at being a farmer in the UK.

Mike’s interests are in school culture and climate, coaching, leadership, inspection, character development, the use of positive psychology in education and the role of independent schools within the worldwide educational landscape.