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Trailblazing Leadership: Brighton College Dubai Celebrates Stability, Excellence and Innovation

by Belinda Breeze

Celebrating a remarkable journey to educational excellence, Brighton College Dubai proudly acknowledges the pivotal role played by its stable and steadfast leadership team. Since its opening in 2018, the premier British curriculum school in Dubai has consistently demonstrated its unwavering commitment to academic brilliance for its pupils, supported by an exceptional team of teachers and staff.

In a region, where leadership turnover in schools is commonplace, Brighton College Dubai stands out as a beacon of stability and enduring leadership. Global research underscores the critical role of school leadership in achieving success and effectiveness1 and headteachers, identified as the primary source of leadership by key school staff, shape the internal processes and pedagogies that contribute to improved pupil outcomes.

Under the visionary guidance of Head Master, Simon Crane, Brighton College Dubai has prioritised the College’s long-term success, through the holistic development of its pupils and retention of its dedicated leadership team. Having previously served as the Head of Senior School and Deputy Head Master at Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Mr Crane has been an integral part of Brighton College’s family of schools for 11 years. His continued presence has played an instrumental role in empowering pupils to achieve exceptional academic results and preparing them for a lifetime of success. As a Brighton parent as well, Mr Crane fully understands the impact an authentic Brighton College education can have on the pupils.

Successful school leaders define success not only in terms of test and examination results but also in personal and social outcomes, pupil and staff motivation, engagement and well-being, the quality of teaching and learning, and the school’s contribution to the community, according to a report.

As Head Master, Mr Crane has implemented various programmes, including the establishment of a strong community, prioritising well-being, promoting financial literacy, navigating inspections with excellence, and the successful launch of the Sixth Form. Brighton College Dubai was crowned as ‘Best New School in the UAE 2018-2024’ and the College has also achieved ‘Outstanding’ in all areas of the British Schools Overseas report, as well as outstanding GCSE and A-level results. These accomplishments reflect the College’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education that goes beyond academics.

Speaking on his role over the years and plans for the upcoming school year, Mr Crane said, “Being a part of Brighton College Dubai’s incredible journey has been an absolute joy. We’ve built something special here – a place where academic brilliance meets genuine care for our pupils. Looking ahead, my vision for the next school year is one of continued growth, innovation, and providing an even better experience for every pupil. Together with our committed and stable leadership team, teachers, and staff, we will shape a legacy of excellence, not just in classrooms but in every aspect of our pupils’ lives, setting them up for a future filled with success and happiness.”

Brighton College Dubai would not be complete without its long-standing senior leadership team, which has been instrumental in steering the College toward continuous improvement and growth. Sharing the same ethos to create a family-orientated, respectful, and vibrant community for all of its pupils, the leadership team includes Sarah Brannon, Head of Preparatory School, who has dedicated six years to Brighton College Dubai, bringing over 25 years of dedicated international school leadership experience to the institution. Additionally, Katy Cooke, Head of Pre-Prep, and Jane Clewlow, Head of Senior School, have been integral to the College’s journey with six and four years respectively. Furthermore, Joe Hall, Head of Sixth Form, brings eight years of leadership experience, having previously served at Brighton College Al Ain.

Craig Lamshed, Chief Operating Officer, Brighton Colleges UAE commended the leadership’s outstanding efforts, stating, “Maintaining a steadfast presence, the leadership team at Brighton College Dubai have done the hard yards, stayed engaged, and evidenced tangible improvements. This is a clear reflection of the relentless pursuit of excellence and continuous enhancement that characterises Brighton College Dubai’s approach under its extended leadership and the broader commitment of the institution to provide an outstanding educational experience for its pupils.”

Brighton College Dubai’s commitment to long-term leadership significantly contributes to the establishment of a strong and consistent educational culture, benefiting pupils, teachers, and the entire school community.