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 most recently successfully completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).  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.


Zoe Humphrey

Deputy Head and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Zoe Humphrey is a highly skilled teacher and deputy head with both academic and pastoral experience. Zoe knows the area well having grown up in North London and attended Henrietta Barnet school. Zoe has strong management experience and has mentored many schools in the Camden area. She has worked as a SENCo and has previously been the PSHE and mental health lead in schools.

Chinyere Onukagha

Bursar & Finance Manager

Chinyere Onukagha is a Chartered Certified Accountant and FCCA with over 20 years’ experience of financial management and accounting in the education sector. Chinyere joined Heathside School as Finance Manager in February 2023 and brings with her excellent commercial acumen and communication skills.

Chinyere holds a BSc in Economics and is studying for an MBA.

Louise Shotton

Assistant Head and SENCO


Louise completed her PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in 1998 and has worked continuously in education ever since. During that time, she has taught several subject areas including Art, Maths and English, and worked in pastoral roles including Form tutor and Assistant Head of House.

Her additional qualifications include a Postgraduate Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties and a Masters Degree in Education from Durham University. Louise was recognised with the NASENCO Award in 2011 via the Institute of Education whilst working at Ark Academy in Wembley which has twice been rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Having been a SENCO since 2010, Louise has a vast amount of experience working with children up to age 18.

Louise manages the team of Teaching/ Learning Support Assistants who provide in-class support and deliver many of the interventions for children with additional needs. She also delivers her own interventions including Art & Social club and Lego group. She joined Heathside in December 2019.

Imogen Stone

Assistant Head, Teaching and Learning

Karen Murphy

Head of Early Years

Donna Simon

Operations Lead

Donna is our Operations Lead and has over 20 years experience in various global operations and leadership roles.  Donna started her career in the international charity sector before moving into the fast paced start-up world.  Joining Elvie as their first Operational hire, Donna set up the operations function, to meet with the demands of a successful global consumer brand, which grew to see a turnover of $70 million across the United States and Europe.  Donna has a track record of operational excellence, cost optimisation and process efficiency across all areas of operations, including new product development and introduction, sales and operational planning and supply chain management.

Having joined Heathside in 2022, Donna’s passion for problem solving was instantly put to work to deliver improvements in the day to day operations for both staff and parents, including new integrated systems and a revised timetable.  Working closely with the staff and parent body, Donna’s key areas of responsibility ensure there will be constant continuous improvement and flow of data throughout the school.


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