DLD College London atrium interior

Leadership Team

Our staff come from a diverse range of backgrounds, many have enjoyed previous careers in academia, government service, industry and commerce. Many of our teachers have been educated at the UK’s top universities and have a depth of experience.

Leadership Team

Irfan Latif, Principal

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), PGCE, FRSA, FRSCIrfan Latif, Principal of DLD College London

Irfan Latif joined DLD College London in January 2018 having been the Headmaster of Sexey’s School in Bruton, Somerset for nearly five years. During his career Irfan has held a number of leadership roles in the independent sector, including Deputy Head (Academic) at Bedford School, Head of Science and Chemistry at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, Senior Housemaster at Whitgift School, as well as being an Assistant Housemaster and Teacher of Chemistry at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys.

Irfan was educated at Emanuel School, London and graduated from King’s College, University of London with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and a PGCE in Secondary Education. At university he was on the student council and also played representative sport, including rowing. He has also an active role in boarding and has been the Vice Chair of the Boarding Schools’ Association, Chair of the State Boarding Forum and also sat on the Board of Education at the Diocese of Bath & Wells. Outside of College, he enjoys art and attending concerts, follows Arsenal and Wasps RFC, camping and trekking and engaging in politics. He is married to Jocelyn (a former Head of Science at an independent girls’ school) and they have two daughters and their Jack Russell terrier, Rodney.

Tom Hadcroft, Vice Principal (Pastoral)

Tom Hadcroft, Vice Principal Pastoral of DLD College LondonTom Hadcroft joined DLD College London in August 2016, overseeing the boarding and pastoral areas of the College. He is wholly committed to strengthening the excellent support structures that the college offers and can draw on a wealth of experience gained in both the UK and Internationally.

Tom was a Senior Houseparent at Collège Alpin Beau Soleil for five years, an international boarding school located in the Swiss Alps. Prior to this experience he worked for seven years as Assistant Boarding Housemaster and Head of Department at St John’s School, Leatherhead. Previous to that, he worked both in the UK and Europe in the education and finance sectors.

Tom has a particular interest in the emotional wellbeing of the students. He is focussed on providing an enhanced framework, ensuring the whole community is focussed on realising the individual potential of the students. He has worked to develop the College’s Wellbeing Centre alongside a culture of coaching within the College and also to define the urban boarding experience.

Tom has experience as an International School Accreditor for CIS, he is a course tutor for the Boarding Schools’ Association, a Mental Health First Aid Youth instructor and is currently working on an MEd in Educational Leadership from the University of Buckingham.

Marie-Dominique Reza, Vice Principal (Academic)

Marie Do-Raza, Vice Principal Academic DLD College LondonQualifications: Licence es Lettres, MA with distinction (Angers)

Marie-Dominique Reza joined DLD College London in 1999. At university, she read French Literature and then specialised in Comparative Literature for her Master’s degree. Prior to starting a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Nantes (France), Marie-Dominique spent a year in Hertfordshire teaching French, Latin and Classical Studies.

Delighted by her teaching experience and charmed by the British wit, she decided to stay in Britain. Since then, she has taught in a variety of secondary schools and colleges but took a break from teaching to look after her three children. She could not however keep away from teaching for long and ran tailor-made courses for three companies in London. Once her children were at school, she came back to full-time teaching.

Marie-Dominique is passionate about giving students the best learning experience and broadening their skills to prepare them for the future.

Shoaib Ali, Assistant Principal (Staff Development & Partnerships)

Shoaib Ali, Assistant Principal DLD College LondonShoaib joined DLD College London as Head of Social Sciences Faculty in August 2014. He was previously Head of PSHE and taught in the Business Education department at Mill Hill School.

Born and raised in London, Shoaib completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Leicester where he read BA Management Studies. After a brief spell working in Finance and then Marketing, he completed a PGCE in Business and Economics at the Institute of Education, UCL. He has served as a Governor of an academy school, has experience marking for exam boards and is a Fellow of the RSA. His time away from DLD is usually spent with his wife and two young children. The only time Shoaib is willing to accept underachievement is when he is watching his beloved Arsenal F.C.

John Branney, Assistant Principal (Teaching and Learning)

John Branney

Qualifications: MA, BA (Hons), PCET

John joined DLD College in 2013 and was tasked with establishing a BTEC course in Media Production. The success of this course led to an expansion of vocational programmes and BTECs are now an important part of the College’s curriculum, achieving 100% success rates year on year. As well as being Course Leader for the BTEC programmes, John was also Quality Nominee, leading the College through an annual quality management review, which involved a rigorous inspection of the quality assurance processes. In 2016, he was presented with a national award for Most Inspirational Teacher at the Shine Media Awards, which was sponsored by TES. John’s students are also award winning, having been presented with the Showstopper Challenge Award at the BTEC Awards in 2017.

John has been a classroom teacher for more than 15 years. He has previously worked with the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training at the University of Warwick by delivering a range of teacher training courses. John has also worked as a freelance journalist for a number of publications including The Guardian and Media Magazine. Eager to understand more about the exams process, John has worked with OCR for many years both as a moderator and as an author, helping to develop new A-Level qualifications and examinations.

John has always maintained a keen interest in academic research around teaching and learning is very much looking forward to using his experiences to help enhance the College’s approaches to teaching and learning.

Mojgan Esfahani, Assistant Principal (Pastoral)

Mojgan Esfahani, Assistant Principal (Pastoral) DLD College LondonQualifications: BSc, MSc, MBA

Mojgan Esfahani joined DLD in 1988. She teaches GCSE and A Level Maths, specialising in Pure Maths and Statistics.


Gareth Evans, Assistant Principal (Head of Lower School)

Gareth Evans, Assistant Principal (Head of Lower School) DLD College LondonQualifications: BA (Hons), MA, PGCE

Gareth joined DLD College in August 2017 as Director of Studies before being promoted to Assistant Principal (Head of Lower School). He joined us from Strode’s College where he was Head of the Creative Arts Faculty since 2009.

Aside from his role as Assistant Principal, Gareth is the co-ordinator of the DLD Diploma which he successfully launched in 2017. Gareth also teaches Film and Media Studies at A-Level and GCSE. He is also an examiner and moderator for EDUQAS. Beyond the curriculum Gareth is involved in a number of CCA’s including Community Projects, Running Club and Duke of Edinburgh.

In his free time Gareth is an avid ‘very’ amateur surfer and enjoys spending time on the beach. Gareth is a keen member of the community where he lives and was elected as District Councillor in May 2019. He is also an award winning community volunteer which recognised his contribution to his local community. He has been involved in setting up a history society, running and oral history project in collaboration with ‘Discovering Stratford Village’, organising inter-generational disco parties, running children’s events at the local library and is co-presenter of East End Mystery Show on East London Radio.

Valerie Stewart, Assistant Principal (Compliance & Operations)

Valerie Stewart, Assistant Principal (Compliance & Operations) DLD College LondonA highly experienced Biology teacher, before she joined DLD, Valerie Stewart was formerly Head of Sixth Form and Acting Deputy Head at Bedford High School. Val was a member of the joint exam boards’ consultative committee and has considerable experience as an examiner and moderator for GCSE, A level and IB exam boards. Val is also an ISI inspector and a huge fan of 70s rock band, Marillion.

John Taylor, Assistant Principal (Boarding)

John Taylor, Assistant Principal (Boarding) DLD College LondonJohn Taylor joined DLD College London as Director of Boarding in August 2017 . Having spent the majority of his career working in schools with international boarding, and latterly as the Principal of two 3-18 day schools, he is now very much looking forward to returning to boarding.

John’s early experiences of working in top boarding schools taught him how inextricable the academic and the pastoral are; happy students are much more likely to achieve good academic results, and likewise, when students are working well, they are more likely to be generally happy. As a former Head of English and Housemaster, he hopes that he will be able to help develop the already very good communication between the school and the boarding house.

DLD College London

Join us for our next Virtual Open Evening to find out more about GCSE, A Level, BTEC
or International Foundation courses at DLD College London. Meet senior staff & engage in Live Q&A.

Virtual Open Evening
6.30pm Thursday 15 October 2020