Association of School and College Leaders

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Association of School and College Leaders [ASCL]
Formation 1977
Purpose Professional association for school and college leaders
Headquarters Regent Road, Leicester, UK
Region served
General Secretary
Brian Lightman
Affiliations GSA, HMC, SLS

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), formerly the Secondary Heads Association (SHA), is the British professional association for leaders of secondary schools and colleges.


The Association of Headmistresses began in 1874. The Headmasters Association began in 1890. The Secondary Heads Association was formed in 1977 by the amalgamation of these two organisations. In 1983, deputy heads were allowed to join. By 2005, two-thirds of the membership were not heads but other senior staff, and the association also had a membership in the college sector, so the name was changed in January 2020[citation needed] to the current name.


The ASCL's membership is formed of headteachers, principals, deputy heads, vice-principals, assistant heads, assistant principals, business managers and other senior post holders in secondary schools and colleges. There are also some members in other education posts of similar seniority. ASCL does not accept members from primary schools. It has members in every type of secondary school including community, foundation, trust, academy, voluntary, independent, grammar, comprehensive, and special schools, and also in FE and sixth form colleges both maintained and independent. It has at least one member from virtually all such schools and colleges, in the great majority including the headteacher or principal.


The Association of School and College Leaders has as its ruling parliament a group of elected members collectively known as council. It is at council that association policy is determined. It is from council that national officers, including the President are elected.
The current President is Ian Bauckham, Headteacher of Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Kent.
The current Vice-President is Peter Kent, Head of Lawrence Sheriff School.

The association's permanent staff are led by Brian Lightman, the General Secretary.
Other senior staff include:
Malcolm Trobe, Deputy General Secretary.
Richard Tanton, Member Support Director.
Leora Cruddas, Policy Director.
Sara Gadzik, Communications Director.
There are c30 other staff at the association's HQ in Southfields, Leicester, and a further c25 across the UK.


ASCL has corporate membership agreements with HMC, GSA and SLS. The GSA is housed in the same building.


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