Simon Herbert

Simon Herbert

Head of School / CEO

Simon Herbert joined GEMS Education in 2020 as Head of School/CEO of GEMS International School – Al Khail. A dynamic, culturally astute school leader skilled at encouraging and inspiring both students and staff, Simon has worked in the education sphere for over 30 years, having taught and held leadership roles in high-profile schools across the globe.

Prior to joining GEMS, Simon was based in China, where he quickly rose to the position of Headmaster of Dulwich College Beijing after initially joining as Head of Senior School. Over the course of his eight years at Dulwich, the school achieved consistently high average IB results as well as superb university placements, while maintaining its holistic and philanthropic values.

With Simon at the helm, the school also picked up numerous accolades, including the International Schools Award 2019 for Creativity in Learning and being named the Hurun Education Report’s Top Ranked International School in Beijing.

Simon also spent 12 years with the prestigious Fettes College in Edinburgh, Scotland, first as Head of Modern Languages and then as Housemaster of Glencorse House. During his time at Fettes, he led the introduction of the IB Diploma Programme and transformed the effort grades of his house from mediocre to best-in-college. He also coached the First XI Boys’ Hockey team, who went on to win the Scottish Championship.

Simon’s qualifications include an MA in Educational Leadership and Management from Bath University, a PGCE: Modern Languages from South Bank and Open University and a joint honours BA in French and Latin from Nottingham University. He is fluent in French and speaks Spanish at advanced level with an Advanced Certificate in Spanish from Institute of Linguists, London.

Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, and a member of the Council of International Schools Inspector. In addition, during his time in China, he was twice elected to the British Chamber of Commerce in Beijing Executive Committee.

As well extensive teaching and education experience, including with schools in England and Kenya, Simon has strong marketing expertise, having previously worked across advertising and marketing in London, UK. He has also represented the South of England in hockey, climbed Mount Kenya, and completed the London Marathon.

  • Sep 2020 – Appointed Head of School/CEO of GEMS International School – Al Khail, Dubai, UAE
  • 2019 – Completed MA in Educational Leadership and Management from Bath University, UK
  • Aug 2016 – Appointed Headmaster of Dulwich College Beijing, China
  • Aug 2012 – Joined Dulwich College Beijing, China as Head of Senior School
  • … Introduced IB Diploma Programme to Fettes College, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Sep 2005 – Appointed Housemaster of Glencorse at Fettes College, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Sep 2001 – Joined Fettes College, Edinburgh, Scotland as Head of Modern Languages
  • 2000 – Completed Advanced Certificate in Spanish from Institute of Linguists, London, UK
  • 1995 – Completed PGCE: Modern Languages from South Bank and Open University, London, UK
  • Sep 1994 – Joined Eltham College, London, UK as French and Spanish Teacher
  • Sep 1992 – Joined Leagas Delaney & Millward Brown, London, UK as Advertising Account Executive / Marketing Executive
  • Sep 1990 – Joinedd Glynn School, Ewell, UK as French Teacher
  • Sep 1989 – Joined St Andrew’s School, Turi, Kenya as French Teacher
  • 1988 – Completed BA in French and Latin Joint Honours from Nottingham University

In The Words of Our Head of School

Meet Simon Herbert, GIS Head of School and CEO, as he talks all things education, the IB, school culture, student life and the future of learning. It’s the inside scoop on the GIS experience!

  • PLAY VIDEOpart 1
    Part 1: Career highlights, achievements and inspirations
  • PLAY VIDEOpart 2
    Part 2: Education philosophy, school vision and the IB
  • PLAY VIDEOpart 3
    Part 3: Students, parents and the GIS experience
  • PLAY VIDEOpart 4
    Part 4: Opportunities, challenges and the future of education


Meet our Executive Leadership Team

Welcome, From our Head of School

Simon Herbert
"It is my privilege as Head of School to welcome you to GEMS International School (GIS), one of the jewels in the GEMS crown. My initial impression on my first visit to the school was how warm and caring the GIS community appears to be." 

Simon Herbert
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