Heathside Preparatory School

About us



Nadia Ward

Nadia Ward was appointed Headteacher on 5th January 2023.

Nadia has worked in pre-prep and prep education for over 20 years, working mainly for the Eaton House group where she was Deputy Head for 10 years. Following the acquisition of Eaton House by Dukes Education, Nadia worked for several Dukes schools sharing her expertise, particularly in Early Years and safeguarding. Nadia has robust experience of guiding families through preparation for 11+, ISEB Pre-Test and Common Entrance exams for the majority of the UK’s top independent schools and has an excellent understanding of how best to prepare every child to fulfil their academic potential.

Nadia trained as a Montessori teacher and is passionate about making sure that every child has strong foundations and develops a love for learning.  Nadia holds a BEd (1st Class Honours) from UCL and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from The University of Buckingham.  A life-long learner, she is currently studying for the National Professional Qualification for Headship and will complete the course in March 2023.  She is married to Jason, a psychotherapist who has a grown-up son.

Nadia has a firm belief in delivering a holistic, well-rounded and inclusive education for every child in her care. Nadia has worked across all primary key stages and believes it is vital for all teachers to keep their approach to teaching fresh and innovative, she is keen for teachers to engage in meaningful discussion and participate in regular professional development.


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.

Michael Hogan

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Michael was appointed Designated Safeguarding Lead in September 2022.  He has taught across Key Stages 1 and 2 in both the independent and state sectors, and joined Heathside in 2015. He gained a degree in history, distinction in the PGCE, and in 2021 completed the Dukes Leadership and Management course.  As well as being an experienced class teacher, Michael is PSHE co-ordinator for the school.

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 Marketing, Admissions and Communications

Anna was appointed Head of Marketing, Admissions and Communications  in September 2021.  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








Join our school


Head of Admissions

We are seeking a new Head of Admissions for Heathside School Hampstead to lead our Admissions and sales function at the school. To apply, please review the job description below and then send your CV and cover letter to eliza.cummings-cove@dukeseducation.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Head of Admissions JD – Heathside