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

Irfan Latif, Principal of DLD College London

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), PGCE, FRSA, FRSC

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.

Educated at Emanuel School, London, Irfan graduated from King’s College, University of London with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry, followed by a PGCE in Secondary Education and is currently studying for an MA in Educational Leadership at the University of Buckingham. At university he was on the student council and played representative sport, including rowing.

Irfan has an active role in boarding and is currently on the Executive Committee of the Boarding Schools’ Association, having been their Vice Chair, he is also Chair of the London Boarding Forum and on the Board of Directors at AGBIS. In addition, Irfan is a co-founder of the Inclusion and Diversity group for the Independent Schools’ Council and he also sat on the Board of Education at the Diocese of Bath & Wells.

Outside of College, he enjoys art and attending galleries, museums and concerts, follows Arsenal FC and Wasps RFC, camping and trekking, and engaging in politics. He is married to Jocelyn (a former Head of Science at a leading independent girls’ school) and they have two daughters and their Jack Russell terrier, Rodney.

James Kidd, Senior Vice Principal (Pastoral)

Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA (Ed), MA (Business Management), PGCE

James joined DLD College London in September 2020 from St. John’s School, Leatherhead where he was Assistant Headteacher (Boarding and Co-Curricular). Prior to this he was a Housemaster in the largest boys’ boarding house in the school and previously spent five years as a successful Head of Department. He teaches Economics and Business Studies and continues to teach and inspire students at DLD.

With two post-graduate Masters degrees, an MA in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Business Management from Kingston University, James also has the BSA boarding management qualification from Roehampton University.

James is passionate about holistic education and the development of young people and is pleased to have joined the DLD College London team where he can support the College with its ambitious development plans and growth strategy over the years to come.

Outside of school, James is a governor at a state school and is also team manager for the Surrey Schools’ Athletics Team. For his sins, he admits to being a Spurs and Quins fan and he loves a bit of karaoke!

Dr Sarah Watson, Vice Principal (Academic)

Sarah Watson, Vice Principal (Academic)

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), PGCE, MEd, EdD

Dr Sarah Watson joined DLD College London in January 2022 from the International School of Geneva, Switzerland where she was Vice Principal for two and a half years. Prior to this, Sarah was Head of College at King George V School (part of English Schools Foundation) in Hong Kong for ten years and was a Head of Department in Wade Deacon School in the North of England for three years.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Geography (BSc) from the University of Liverpool and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), Sarah’s desire to pursue further study has also led to her holding a Master of Education (MEd) and Doctor of Education (EdD) from the University of Western Australia.

Outside of school, Sarah is a keen explorer and hiker – with one key highlight of her expeditions including a trip to Everest Base Camp. She is also a talented musician and saxophonist, performing globally in orchestras and bands.

Helen Edwardson, Bursar

Helen Edwardson, Bursar
Helen Edwardson, Bursar

Qualifications: MA (Oxon)

Helen joined DLD College London in September 2021 from Prior’s Field School in Surrey. Helen is an experienced school bursar, having worked in a number of schools – independent, boarding and state and in industry too, where she was a Business Director for the Ogilvy Group and an accountant at PWC.

Helen is an Oxford graduate, having read Modern Languages (Italian) at St Anne’s College and has studied for several qualifications, including management studies, school business management and accountancy.

Outside of school, Helen is a regular mountain biker and currently Queen of the Mountain in various locations on the Strava App.  She is also an avid reader and a fan of the arts, visiting galleries whenever possible.

Emer Nicholson, Assistant Principal (Academic)

Emer Nicholson, Assistant Principal (Teaching & Learning)

Qualifications: BA (Hons), PGCE, CELTA, PGDE

Emer joined DLD College London in January 2022 from Bellerbys College Brighton where she was Academic Director. Prior to this Emer held roles as Head of Middle School, Head of Sixth Form and Head of PSHE. Emer has a breadth of experience in pastoral care and student welfare and holds several qualifications in safeguarding; she is excited to bring this to the team at DLD.

Emer has joined the Business faculty and will be working with both BTEC and A Level students to support their academic journey.

In her free time Emer is keen to support both school and local communities – as a Safeguarding Governor in Brighton & Hove from 2019 – 2022, and as an active member of her son’s school PTA. Emer continues to pursue further study and is working towards completion of her MA Education.

Gareth Evans, Assistant Principal (Lower School)

Gareth Evans, Assistant Principal (Lower School)Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, PGCE

Gareth joined DLD College London in August 2016 as Director of Studies before being promoted to Assistant Principal (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 currently teaches Film and Business Studies at A Level. He has also taught Media A Level and Film Studies GCSE. Gareth is an examiner and moderator for EDUQAS. Beyond these academic commitments, Gareth is involved in a number of CCA’s including Community Projects, Run Club and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

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 an 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.

Gareth is also a school Governor for Loxwood Primary School in West Sussex where he lives and is currently working towards his second Masters in Senior Leadership and Management.

Shirley Mitchell, Director of Boarding

Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, DEdPsy

Shirley joined DLD College London in 2021 as Director of Boarding. Her previous roles in education have taken her all over Europe, teaching in schools in the UK, Spain, France, and Italy. Shirley obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Childhood and Youth Studies which is when she became interested in childhood and adolescent mental health. As well as a Master’s degree from UCL in Applied Linguistics, she is currently studying for the MA in Educational Leadership. Shirley also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Psychology and is a qualified and accredited CBT practitioner.

Shirley enjoys writing mental health and wellbeing programmes for schools and volunteers her time travelling the world, delivering training to schools in the implementation and delivery of her programmes.

In her spare time, Shirley is a volunteer magistrate for the family court in Cambridgeshire and Essex.

Victoria Davies Jones, Head of Admissions

Victoria Davies Jones, Head of Admissions

Qualifications: MA (Cantab), PGdip (City)

Victoria Joined DLD College London in February 2022, after working as an educational consultant for British and international schools in the UK, India and China. She also worked in London as Academic Director of an organisation helping young people to prepare for competitive senior schools and universities. She is a graduate of Cambridge University and has worked with outreach programmes to improve access to Oxbridge, for students from a variety of different backgrounds.

Victoria has also written two books about boarding, which involved visiting more than forty independent schools across the UK. Her latest book was co-authored with Jennifer Ma and was a best seller in Hong Kong and Singapore. She has also sat on Head selection panels for international schools and helped with curriculum development, promoting the best of eastern and western approaches to learning. She is a regular speaker at parenting and educational events and is on the team of London’s ‘City Parents’.

Prior to working in education, Victoria was a producer and reporter for BBC TV news. In her spare time, she likes reading, theatre and running and she is currently writing a children’s book set in the Sussex Downs. She loves working at DLD, with its close proximity to South Bank and London’s cultural (and eating!) opportunities.

Rachel Hall, Marketing & Communications Manager

Qualifications: BA (Hons), Dip DM, FRGS

Rachel joined DLD College London in February 2020 and has worked in school marketing for over ten years, previously leading the marketing and admissions at King’s Rochester and developing the brand and communications at Eltham College. Prior to education, Rachel led the southeastern Regional Marketing for BMI Healthcare, established the Marketing Planning team at The Woolwich and worked at several leading Direct Marketing agencies supporting key clients such as RAC and the launch of Egg in her role of Account Director.

Rachel has a Diploma in Direct Marketing from the Institute of Data and Marketing and a Geography degree from UCL. Her interest in the subject continues and she is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

A Francophile, Rachel was fortunate to have the opportunity to study at the Sorbonne on the Erasmus programme. She is an avid traveller, a keen reader, skier and a Tate Member.