Dukes Education

Together we’re extraordinary.

Heathside School Hampstead joined the Dukes Education family in 2019. Dukes is a family of schools, teachers, learners, and parents connected by our pursuit of an extraordinary life for every member of our community. Our philosophy is to support each individual to live with purpose, to encourage a love of learning, and to act as a team. All of this is underpinned by a quality standard that runs through everything we do. We believe that education is a journey to be enjoyed and shared at every stage of life, unlocking extraordinary possibilities for every student.

When you join Heathside, you join the Dukes family too. Being part of the Dukes Education family has benefits. There are programmes and opportunities available to your children that wouldn’t otherwise be possible from a single school. For example:

Dukes debating

A chance for children to develop their critical thinking and communication skills by participating in debates on important topical issues.

Poetry Together

A beautiful initiative where children memorise a poem and then meet with elderly citizens to share poetry over afternoon tea.

Dukes diploma

Awarded to Year 11 and Year 13 students who complete independent learning and super curricular enrichment activities.

Along with excellent academic results and personal development, this additional qualification enhances our students’ skills in the eyes of universities and employers.

Excursions and events

Opportunities for excursions and events with students from other schools. This could include humanitarian trips, or cultural and sporting tours to other countries.

Professional governance

Dukes Education has gathered some of the leading educational minds onto it’s board of directors and educational advisory board. Heathside School Hampstead will benefit from the expertise of Libby Nicholas, Mark Bailey, David Goodhew and others.


David Goodhew, Senior Adviser and Governor

Born in West London, David attended a local comprehensive school and was the first member of his family to do A levels or go to university. He graduated from Oxford with a First in Classics. From 2012 – 2023 he was Head of Latymer Upper
School. David is committed to advancing social mobility through independent school bursary programmes, in conjunction with their partnership and outreach work. In 2017 he launched the Inspiring Minds campaign, which successfully completed its aim of raising £40m to offer 1 in 4 pupils a means-tested bursary. In 2018, Latymer won 3 TES Awards, including ‘Independent School of the Year’; David was also a finalist in the ‘social mobility champion’ category of
the UK Social Mobility Awards.

David has two sons who both attended Dukes schools; he chaired the Dukes Education Advisory Board prior to his appointment as Managing Director. He is a trustee of the Dukes Foundation, as well as a Fellow at Winchester College.

Professor Mark Bailey, Managing Director

Prof Mark Bailey was educated at Durham University, where he obtained a first-class degree in Economic History, and then went on to the University of Cambridge, where he was awarded a  PhD in History. His academic career between 1986 and 1999 included Fellowships at two Cambridge colleges, lecturing in Medieval History, and spells as an Admissions Tutor and Domus Bursar. In 1999 he became Headmaster of Leeds Grammar School and in 2008 oversaw its merger with Leeds Girls’ High School. He has been a headteacher for 18 years.

Mark was the 2018-19 James Ford Lecturer in British History at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Fellow of All Souls, Oxford.  He previously played rugby for Wasps and England and captained Suffolk at cricket.  He was President of Cambridge University RUFC between 2010 and 2018.

Most recently, Mark Bailey was the High Master of St Paul’s School in London and is a Visiting Professor of Later Medieval History at the University of East Anglia.

Libby Nicholas, Managing Director.

Alongside our Founder, Aatif, Libby is responsible for Dukes Education’s nurseries and day schools.

Having graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in English & Philosophy, Libby realised her true vocation when working with the Prince’s Trust leading a group of young people ‘not in education or employment’.

Wanting to teach and help young people, Libby completed her PGCE and was accepted on the National Fast Track Teaching Programme ranking as one of the ‘Top Ten Nationwide Fast Track Teachers’. Progressing quickly from teaching English to increasingly senior roles, Libby has held positions such as Head of Year, Deputy Head, Headmistress, Deputy Director of Education at the Girls’ Day School Trust, and Regional Director of Education for the South & West at the Academies Enterprise Trust. Most recently Libby founded and was CEO of Astrea Academy Trust- a family of 27 schools across Yorkshire and Cambridge. During her tenure, Astrea had a 100% track record of significant school improvement including over 20 Ofsted inspections many of which jumped from ‘Special Measures’ to ‘Good’. Libby also offered all 17,000 pupils the ‘Astrea Promise’- a range of enrichment experiences including, amongst many others, residential university trips in Year 5, visits abroad, climbing a mountain, and debating, to ensure all pupils benefit from experiences to raise cultural capital and learning.

Libby’s areas of professional expertise include the delivery of school improvement, strategic organisational change, curriculum design, and innovation and all aspects of teaching and learning – thinking, theory, and pedagogy. She has conducted leadership development for middle and senior leaders in primary and secondary education and has also led staff development in the Netherlands, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

Most recently co-authoring “Understanding Leadership” and “Stronger Boards, Better Education”, Libby is committed to learning-centred leadership; securing high-quality education through excellent staff development at all levels. To this end, Libby has completed the NPQH and graduated with her MBA (Masters in Business) from Cass Business School with Distinction.