Extraordinary learning experiences, top-tier outcomes and global citizenship for every child
In 2015, Dukes Education was founded with a simple mission: to provide young people with an education that would allow them to achieve their true potential. The Dukes vision was that education would be not only good, but extraordinary. A Dukes education is rooted in the very best traditions of the British independent school system and enhanced with the broad curriculum, nurturing pastoral care and exciting experiential learning that prepares young people for the modern world.
Dukes Education has grown to include inspiring nurseries, prep schools, senior schools and sixth form colleges. In the UK, there are more than 40 settings under the Dukes Education umbrella caring for children and young people, from six months to 18 years old, located in London and the south of England. Schools in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland take the number of children and young people in the Dukes family to over 17,000.
From Little Dukes nurseries to the array of complementary educational services under the Dukes Plus name, Dukes institutions care for children and young people from cradle to career. Dukes Education is currently the largest private education group in the UK and one of the fastest growing in Western Europe.
We lead with heart. We are a team. We love learning. We do it well. These values inspire staff and young people to make a difference, be purposeful and lead extraordinary lives.
The UK has a proud and longstanding reputation for quality education. Dukes builds on that legacy, providing students with future-facing education. It continually reinvests to create innovative learning environments, such as exciting STEAM centres in prep schools or award-winning interior design in Little Dukes nurseries. Innovative curricula mean many of our youngest pupils benefit from outdoor learning at Forest School; students in Copperfield International School in Verbier can access top winter and summer sports facilities in the Swiss Alps; students at the newly opened London Park Schools benefit from experiential learning such as opportunities to study marine conservation on a tall ship in the Mediterranean; and students at the Cambridge campus of Cardiff Sixth Form College collaborate with students from Cambridge University. Everything is designed to give pupils of all ages a truly enriching experience.
The traditional UK education model means that most children will change schools – usually between primary and secondary level – at least once during their education. What makes Dukes different is the commitment to an “all through” school model. This provides seamless access to quality education that covers every age group, from six months to 18 years, and gives families the option of their child moving on to high-quality senior schools without the added pressure of sitting independent school entrance exams. Dukes Career School and the Dukes Plus suite of tutoring services, summer courses, activity camps and career immersion programmes and university application consultancies complement the Dukes schools’ provision and support students at every stage.
Dukes results are at the top of their class. Exceptionally strong exam results, whether in GCSE, A-level, International Baccalaureate, or Irish School Leaving Certificate, are obtained all across Dukes schools – Cardiff Sixth Form College has been the top achieving school for A-level results over the last 12 years. When looking at value add, the measure of a child’s progress over time, Dukes is in the top 2 per cent nationally at A-Level, demonstrating the strength of the teaching and learning, pastoral care and support Dukes settings provide.
Excellent academic results allow young people to progress to many of the top universities in the world, including Oxford, Cambridge and other G5 and Russell Group universities in the UK and Stanford and MIT in the US.
Preparing global citizens
To play a part in the future of so many young people is a tremendous privilege. Excellent academic support and results for students are to be expected in the independent education sector; what sets Dukes apart is the inspiration and multitude of experiences available to students to become global citizens, equipped with a love of learning and access to the widest range of opportunities.
Preparing students for the future also means equipping them with a sense of service so they can lead meaningful, fulfilling lives. Dukes has created its own leadership award for children of all ages so they can develop the skills and qualities they will need to successfully navigate their way in an age of rapidly changing technology and increasing uncertainty.
Having the best people ensures that Dukes delivers the best education. Staff collaborate, support and challenge each other which, in turn, allows them to learn and grow while bringing their own expertise and vision into play. All are valued: whether support staff, change makers, teachers or managing directors, everyone plays a part in influencing the lives of the young people in Dukes schools.
Dukes has created a comprehensive learning and development academy for staff with over 400 courses available, from leadership and management to mental health and wellbeing. Everyone has access to training programmes and the opportunity to learn from and with their peers. While Dukes is invisible in the classroom, the Dukes culture, that encourages reflection and self-improvement, is evident everywhere.
How we work
The Dukes values are deceptively simple but create a powerful culture that permeates the entire organisation from boardroom to schoolroom. The flat structure of the Dukes organisation reinforces a headteacher’s position as the leader of their organisation, and they are supported by the board, managing directors and other support services. Chair Aatif Hassan and the team of directors are dedicated to enabling schools to be wholehearted, kind and purposeful.
Dukes Education has forged strong links with education partners in South America, Asia, West Africa and the Far East so that students from around the world can benefit from a Dukes education. Its European arm brings carefully selected schools and colleges to the family in order to offer the same innovative, high-quality education to young people in other parts of Europe.
Quality education and exceptional people make Dukes special. What makes Dukes genuinely distinctive is the all-through model combined with long-term thinking, and a decentralised structure that empowers each of the settings. But above all, it is the unwavering focus on helping each child be the very best version of themselves that makes Dukes Education unique.