Heads accused of betrayal over ‘sexist’ club
HEAD teachers at some of the UK’S top schools have been accused of betraying their colleagues by remaining as members of a “sexist” gentleman’s club.
Last year the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) – representing Eton, Harrow and 290 other public schools – severed ties with the East India Club over its unequal treatment of women.
But despite the split, some head teachers decided to stay on as honorary members of the all-male London club.
Both male and female HMC heads can be honorary members, but only men can be full members.
“It is almost shameful now in HMC to stay [at the East India Club],” a source told The Daily Telegraph.
Stephen Lehec, the head of the £18,000-a-year co-educational Kingston Grammar School in south-west London, said he was “delighted” about the split. “I am surprised that anyone would hang on to their membership,” he said.
It prompted a discussion at the East India Club’s annual meeting, with one member suggesting that a “conversation” should begin about female membership.
According to minutes of the discussion, seen by The Daily Telegraph, the club’s chairman said that it was “full” and added it was “likely” that admitting women would lead to a spate of resignations.
Alex Bray, the East India Club secretary, confirmed that “some members of HMC, both male and female, remain honorary members”. He added: “With regard to the HMC, it is not for this club to comment on its policies, but I would point out that many members of the HMC are heads of single-sex schools.”
A spokesman for the HMC said: “There is no institutional relationship between HMC and the East India Club, and hasn’t been for a year”.