Timothy Hands

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Tim Hands
Timothy Hands speech.jpg
Hands in 2022
Born (1956-03-30) March 30, 1956 (age 67)
London, England
Known forHeadmaster of Winchester College

Timothy Roderick Hands (born 30 March 1956) is an English schoolmaster and writer. Previously the Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford, he was the Headmaster of Winchester College until August 2023. [1]


Education and early life

Timothy Roderick Hands was born into a family of schoolteachers. [2] His father, Rory K. Hands, founded Chiswick Comprehensive School in 1968. [3]

Hands was educated in the state sector, at Emanuel School in London, and later studied the violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before reading English at King's College London, where he also gained a qualification in Theology. He then became a graduate student at Oxford, [4] where he was senior scholar at St Catherine’s and then Oriel College. [5]


Hands was a Lecturer in English at Oriel College before becoming a housemaster at the King’s School, Canterbury, and then Second Master at Whitgift School. [5] In 1997, he became Headmaster of The Portsmouth Grammar School, [6] before moving in January 2008 to Magdalen College School as its 61st Master. [7] Hands has appeared as a spokesman for the independent sector on educational matters, [8] especially partnership between the sectors, and university admissions. [9] He was elected to the Committee of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference in 2003, [10] becoming chairman of its University Committee one year later, and serving in that capacity for seven years. [11] In 2012, he was elected as Chairman of the Conference for 2013-14. [12] He became Headmaster of Winchester College in September 2016. [13] In March 2022, it was announced that he would retire in August 2023. [14]


Hands has written books on English literature, especially on Thomas Hardy. [15] These include A Hardy Chronology, [16] Thomas Hardy: Distracted Preacher?, [17] and the Hardy volume in Macmillan's "Writers in their Time" series. [7] He contributes to other books about Hardy including the Oxford Reader's Guide and the Ashgate Companion. [1] [18] In 2021, he wrote an illustrated guide to Winchester College's heritage, A Winchester A–Z. [3]

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  1. 1 2 'HANDS, Timothy Roderick’, Who’s Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013, online edn Oxford University Press” : UK Who's Who
  2. "You don't raise standards skewing them". New Statesmen. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 Shurlock, Barry (28 February 2022). "Heritage: The hidden corners of Winchester College". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 25 February 2023. He is inspired to do this by, amongst other things, the example of his father, R. K. Hands, who in 1968 became the headmaster of a pioneering comprehensive school in Chiswick.
  4. "Politicians are in his sights". Oxford Times. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  5. 1 2 "HMC executive". HMC. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  6. "Magdalen College School". Conde Nast. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Timothy Roderick Hands". Debretts. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  8. "Gove is stuck on a scottish moor firing off rockets".[ dead link ]
  9. Henry, Julie (17 February 2013). "Leading Headmasters defend values of Independent Schools". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  10. "THE HEADMASTERS' AND HEADMISTRESSES' CONFERENCE" (PDF). HMC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  11. "HMC Chair Elect Tim Hands says academic potential should be the only requirement". ITN. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  12. "Nick Clegg using 'old-style Communist' tactics, says private school head". The Guardian. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  13. "Winchester College Society - Winchester College Wykeham Campaign". www.wincollsoc.org. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013.
  14. "Dr Tim Hands, Headmaster of Winchester College, announces his retirement". www.winchestercollege.org. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  15. "Magdalen College School". Gabbitas Education. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  16. "Select Publications". Magdalen College School. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  17. "A Short Bibliographical Survey of Thomas Hardy Studies". Warsaw University. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  18. "The Ashgate Research Companion to Thomas Hardy" ed. Rosmarie Morgan (London: Ashgate,2010)
Academic offices
Preceded by Headmaster of Winchester College
Succeeded by