The River Thames outside DLD College London

From the Principal #79

9th May 20

As the nation celebrates the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, I thought I would delve into the archives and find out how DLD College London coped during the war.

‘Educational requirements did not cease with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, although there was a discontinuation of the Civil Service Examinations. Therefore, the staff and forty students of DLD temporarily rehoused at Radley College, Oxfordshire and educational success continued there until all returned to Holland Park, in January 1940. The demand for education continued to grow, with Mathematics tuition reported at its highest level. Despite the difficulties experienced during these uncertain times, DLD was reportedly described as having a happy and homely atmosphere’.

That was some 75 years ago, and that ‘happy and homely atmosphere’ still exists today at DLD as echoed by our powerful ethos and vision. We have worked hard to create a homely feel and a happy place for our students and staff even whist being in the virtual world and online. We may be apart, but we are still all together and that keeps us going and makes us even stronger as a community, as a family during this challenging time. That determined bulldog spirit which was so evident at DLD back in 1940 still resonates today as our staff have rolled up their sleeves and taken on the challenges of this crisis and have delivered in their bucket loads, not too dissimilar from what happened some 80 years ago when the war started.

It was reaffirming to see the new Student Council this week and we met to discuss what the school would look like post-lockdown. I was taken aback by the sheer enthusiasm and passion of this impressive group of young leaders whose legacy will be judged on how well they and their peers responded to a post COVID-19 era. There is nothing snowflake about them. And we were featured on BBC London News on Thursday evening as our Houseparents and boarders talked about how their home ‘is a beacon of hope’ during these troubled times bringing much happiness to our key workers and the NHS – that atmosphere is still alive and well at DLD.  I have every confidence that we will get through this together, just like those before us did 75 years ago.

We’ll meet again.



Irfan Latif, Principal DLD College London