Association of School and College Leaders

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Association of School and College Leaders [ASCL]
PurposeProfessional association for school and college leaders
HeadquartersRegent Road, Leicester, UK
Region served
General Secretary
Geoff Barton
AffiliationsGirls' Schools Association (GSA), Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), School Leaders Scotland (SLS),The Society of Heads (SofH)

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


The Association of Head Mistresses (AHM) was founded in 1874. The Headmasters' Association (HMA) was founded 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 with other senior teaching staff following in the early 1990s and business managers in 2005. 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 2006 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 schools and colleges. There are also some members in other education posts of similar seniority. ASCL has accepted members from primary schools since July 2015. It has members in every type of 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. Members in Wales and Northern Ireland are represented by ASCL Cymru and ASCL Northern Ireland respectively, and ASCL is affiliated to School Leaders Scotland (SLS).


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 President, Vice-President and Immediate Past President, collectively known as the Presidential trio, lead ASCL in conjunction with the General Secretary.
Other senior staff include:

  • Richard Tanton, Member Support Director.
  • Julie McCulloch, Policy Director.
  • Steve Kind, Finance and Operations Director.
  • Kcarrie Valentine, Head of ASCL Professional Development

There are 40 staff at the association's HQ in Regent Road, Leicester, and a further 48 across the UK.
ASCL has a training section called ASCL Professional Development.

Past Presidents of ASCL[edit]

The current Presidential trio consists of Rachael Warwick (President), David Waugh (Vice-President) and Richard Sheriff (Immediate Past President).

2018/2019 Richard Sheriff

2017/18 Carl Ward

2016/17 Sian Carr

2015/16 Allan Foulds

2014/15 Peter Kent

2013/14 Ian Bauckham

2012/13 Mike Griffiths

2011/12 Dame Joan McVittie

2010/11 John Fairhurst

2009/10 John Morgan

2008/09 Jane Lees

2007/08 Brian Lightman

2006/07 Malcolm Trobe

2005/06 Sue Kirkham


ASCL has corporate membership agreements with HMC, GSA, SLS and SofH.

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