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Barney hosts first-ever HMC Projects North East Gathering

08 Nov 2022

We were delighted to welcome delegates from schools across the North as we reaffirmed our commitment to developing international relations and inclusivity in education among young people across Europe.

Headmaster Tony Jackson welcomed students and teachers for the North East Meeting of HMC Projects, an organisation that provides young people from Central and Eastern Europe the opportunity to study overseas in British boarding schools.

It is the first Northern meeting of HMC Projects, which was attended by more than 25 HMC Scholars and included a lecture on aspects of university life and education in the UK delivered by Newcastle University, a session with leading performance and executive coach Mark Russell and a tour of The Bowes Museum.

HMC Projects, a charitable organisation, normally places between 80 and 90 gifted Central and Eastern European students, from non-affluent families, into British boarding schools each year through its scholarship programme. This year, as a result of a special appeal to HMC schools, a further 35 Ukrainian students were included in the programme. Scholars go on to study for two years at a participating member school, the vast majority of which are member schools of HMC (The Heads’ Conference).

The aim of the scholarship programme is to foster bonds of understanding and friendship between young people in Europe and to give those from these former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe an enriching and rewarding experience in some of the best schools in the world.

Commenting a successful, collaborative day, Mr Jackson, who is also a Trustee of HMC Projects, said: “We were delighted to welcome so many colleagues and friends to Barney to highlight and develop further such an enriching programme that benefits countless young people each year. Barney has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with HMC Scholars that affords teenagers the chance to experience life at a British boarding school and the vast opportunities that come with an independent education. 

“Barney’s HMC scholars contribute a great deal to our thriving school community, comprising children from all over the world, which benefits our British students too, who develop cultural literacy through the friendships they form with international students. We are proud of our affiliation and commitment to the programme, which supports the development of scholars’ character education, while preparing them for life beyond the classroom through a broad and balanced curriculum, complemented by a robust activity programme.”

Jonathan Wolstenholme, Director of HMC Projects, said: “HMC Projects is committed to delivering opportunity in education and providing gifted young people in Europe unparalleled opportunities to study at British schools of the highest quality each year. The Northern gathering was the first of its kind and we are hoping, following its initial success, to develop it further and organise similar meetings in other areas of the UK, which will help broaden our message and purpose of supporting young talented Central and Eastern Europeans in education.

“I would like to thank Tony and Barnard Castle School for hosting us, as well as everyone in attendance in what was a truly inspiring day for our scholars and wider HMC Projects community.”

Participating schools at the HMC Projects North East Meeting included Barnard Castle School, Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation, Harrogate Ladies College, Scarborough College and Woodhouse Grove School.

Mr Jackson added: “I am grateful to all attendees and partner schools for visiting us and helping to drive forward HMC Projects’ aims, while giving our own scholars the opportunity to meet like-minded young people and make lasting friendships.”