Dukes Education acquires school in London
UK-based premium private schools operator Dukes Education has acquired Notting Hill Prep in West London.
Established in 2003, Notting Hill Prep is a co-ed prep school for children aged four to 13. It has been a Thinking School since 2014 and achieved accreditation as an Advanced Thinking School by the Cognitive Education Development Unit of the University of Exeter in March 2021.
The acquisition is part of the strong buy-and-build strategy and international expansion pursued by Dukes in the last few years, with a series of acquisitions in the UK and across Europe, including the additions of Colégio Júlio Dinis (CJD) in Porto; International Sharing School (ISS) in Lisbon; Institute of Education in Dublin; Copperfield International School in Verbier; and United International School in Lisbon.
Founded by chairman Aatif Hassan in 2015, Dukes now manages 36 schools and supports more than 12,000 pupils from 90 different countries with over 3,000 staff. Dukes also operates a number of summer short courses, university and medical school consultancies, immersive career experience providers and one-to-one student support offerings.
“Notting Hill Prep is a rare thing – a relatively new school with a progressive outlook that is founded on traditional values,” said Hassan. “Under the excellent leadership of Sarah Knollys, Notting Hill Prep’s academic rigour, strong parental engagement, links with the local community and understanding of the joy of childhood make it an excellent fit with Dukes.”
Dukes has recently received a growth investment from Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Macquarie, Nomura and a perpetual capital vehicle from KKR. The capital raise comprised senior debt and long-term permanent minority equity.
Following the deal, USS remained the largest shareholder in the company, while Hassan continued to lead the group and remain as a significant minority shareholder.