Heathside Preparatory School

About us



Katherine Vintiner


Katherine was appointed Headteacher in July 2019 having worked with Heathside in a consultancy role for the previous six months. Katherine has held multiple Executive Director positions spanning education, training and children’s services.

She brings a wealth of professional experience in education, with particular expertise in supporting children to transition into robust, resilient, ambitious young adults. Kate is a founding member of the Moving Education Academy Trust, the Founder of Spark London and is Education Director at Aspire.

As a Director of Place2Be, she had extensive experience in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in young people. She also serves as a Trustee of City Gateway.


Jonathan Breaden

Executive Deputy Head Lower School

Jonathan joined Heathside in 2019 from fellow Dukes Education school, Eaton Square School, Kensington where he was most recently Deputy Head. He began his career as a teaching assistant at The British School of Beijing and taught in Beijing in both Key Stage 1 and 2. He also spent a year in Myanmar as one of the founding teachers at the British School Yangon. Jonathan holds a 1st class degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Central Lancashire and a PGCE. He is also an experienced SENCO. Jonathan was recognised by Dukes Education with the Innovative Educational Practice award in recognition of his new initiatives, strategic thinking and whole school approach.

Katy Deacon

Executive Deputy Head Upper School

Katy joined Heathside in 2019 from Kensington Aldridge Academy where she was Assistant Principal, Tracking and Interventions, after joining the school at its inception. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology from the University of Nottingham and joined the fast track ‘Teach First programme’ on graduating. She also holds an MA in Education Management.

An experienced Key Stage 3 teacher and STEM specialist, Katy has taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as Biology and Environmental Science to A level pupils. Previously, Katy worked in another start up academy, Ark Academy in Wembley, where she jointly set up the science department. Katy is also an experienced Gifted and Talented Coordinator, organising activities and interventions for high achieving students across a range of subjects.

Nick Shaw

Deputy Head Inclusion and Executive DSL

Nick was appointed Deputy Head Inclusion in 2020 having joined Heathside in 2018, as Head of Boarding, and latterly Deputy Head of Upper School’.

Nick has a wealth of experience as a teacher and in caring for children. He has previously set up and run boarding facilities as a house master and head of boarding. He is also an experienced teacher of Maths, Physics, Chemistry and ICT at GCSE and A Level.

Neil Hounsom

Bursar & Finance Manager

Following a career in banking operations and business change management in the City, Neil changed career to operations and financial management in education.

Having had experience in both the state and independent sectors, Neil joined Heathside in January 2020. Neil also has 15 years of experience as a school governor of an Academy in Hertfordshire and was Chair of Governors for six years.

Anna Aston

Head of Business Development

Anna was appointed Head of Business Development in September 2020.  Anna joined Heathside in January 2017 and gained experience in the classroom before moving to manage communications, marketing and admissions.  Previously, Anna worked in communications for a number of UK and international companies in the retail, manufacturing and financial services sectors, covering PR, internal communications and crisis management.


Aatif Hassan

Aatif founded Dukes Education in 2015 and leads our London day schools. He is also Chairman of Cavendish Education, a group of six schools for pupils with dyslexia and autism; and Deputy Chairman of Governors of St James Independent Schools (including Chairman of the Finance & Estates Committee and Chairman of St James Junior School). Aatif is also on the advisory board of EdEx UK and Woxsen School of Business.

Aatif has a first class degree in Mathematics and Economics and also had a British Army commission.

Aatif is Chairman of Governors for Heathside School and can be contacted by email at


Libby Nicholas

Managing Director & Safeguarding Governor

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.

Isaac Dossa

Finance Director

Heathside Open Day

Saturday 24th September 2022

Click here to register