Dr Tim Hands - A Remarkable Career

14th March 2022

Dr Tim Hands, Headmaster of Winchester College, today announced his retirement in August 2023 after a remarkable career spanning three headships and the Chairmanship of HMC.

After 10 years as Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School, and 8 years as Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford, Dr Hands came to Winchester in 2016, so in September this year he will have served 25 years as a head.

He will probably be remembered at Winchester chiefly for the introduction of girls into the Sixth Form and his opening up of the school, diversifying pupil intake through an expansion of the bursary programme, and developing links with the local community and beyond with a host of cultural and sporting initiatives. The Warden of Winchester pays tribute to his contribution below, citing his energy, passion and industry, as well as his sense of humour and fun.

The Warden's letter to parents

The Headmaster is writing to you today to let you know that he will be retiring at the end of the next academic year in the summer of 2023.  

There will be more appropriate times to reflect on and thank him for all he has done. But the Warden and Fellows are very conscious how much Dr Hands has contributed to the development of the School since he arrived in 2016. We have all been deeply impressed by his energy, passion and industry – and also by his sense of humour and fun. On a more personal note, I have hugely enjoyed working with the Headmaster over the last two and half years. I shall greatly miss his wisdom, experience and enthusiasm.  

We now begin the search for a successor. The Governing Body has engaged RS Academics to undertake the search. Claire Oulton, formerly Headmistress of Benenden, has been appointed to lead this process. She has already consulted the Headmaster and all members of the Governing Body. The post will be advertised shortly and I will, of course, keep you informed.  

Sir Richard Stagg KCMG

The Headmaster’s letter to parents

When I was offered the headship of Winchester, the Warden and I fixed on 67 as the age of my retirement, meaning summer 2023. In light of the developments planned for the next few years, the Warden and Fellows and I have given further careful thought to the best timing for transition to a successor, and concluded that, serendipitously, this is indeed the same date. By then, the school will have admitted the first cohort of boy and girl day pupils into the Sixth Form, and my successor will be able to finalise preparations for the first girl boarders.

I have been a head for 25 years, serving three different schools, have taught for three Oxford Colleges, the University of London and three American universities. But, of all these prestigious institutions, Winchester is the only one where the whole so greatly exceeds the sum of the parts. Winchester College is a remarkable institution and it is a privilege to serve as its Headmaster. 

I look forward to the exciting work of the next year and to completing my part in the school’s development.

I shall look forward to providing my successor with the fullest possible handover, confident that this remarkable school will go from strength to strength.

Dr Tim Hands  

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