About NLCS International

Managing our family of international schools since 2009.

Our mission

Our mission is to develop an NLCS global family of schools, offering a consistently outstanding educational experience for all students, which reflects the aims and values of NLCS. Whilst our founding school is girls only, our ethos and culture is reflected across all our international co-educational schools. With our partners, we have an ongoing commitment to establishing communities where a world-class education is coupled with opportunities for staff to work in a highly aspirational environment whilst developing their skills and furthering their careers.

NLCS (UK) has an impressive and pioneering history in education. As the oldest academic girls day school in Great Britain, it offered the same academic opportunities to girls that had been offered to boys for centuries. For over 170 years, NLCS has produced generation after generation of positive, articulate, confident and inspirational leaders. For more information about the history of North London Collegiate School, click here.

We aim to grow the NLCS International group further and are actively seeking opportunities to open NLCS schools overseas. We also offer a range of consultancy services, such as school design, teacher recruitment and training.

What people say about us

"‘My 13-year-old can construct an argument, tell you both sides of a debate, ask your view, discuss it respectfully and then present the conclusions to a group of people standing up with the confidence of a girl far older.’ NLCS – a greenhouse for tomorrow’s leaders?” Tatler
“Consistently outstanding A level and International Baccalaureate results reflect the commitment of the school to scholarship and academic challenge. There is a vibrant atmosphere, outstanding pastoral care and support for each pupil to achieve her highest potential.” Independent Schools Council

The NLCS Approach

Our Educational Philosophy

The NLCS education philosophy is based our three pillars. This approach to education is founded on NLCS (UK)’s 170-year pioneering educational history and is adapted for each of our international schools.

Ambitious Education

book icon

To offer an academically ambitious education, instilling a culture of scholarship and a life-long love of learning.

Pastoral Care

hands family

To create a warm and vibrant atmosphere, with a genuine care for every individual, where pupils can achieve their best and flourish.

Extra Curricular Enrichment


To support a rich programme of activities outside of the classroom, where pupils can explore academic and non-academic interests.

“An NLCS education is not solely focused on academic achievement, it aims to support pupils to achieve their potential and to develop the whole individual. Each of the three pillars contributes to this by inspiring students to develop their intellectual curiosity, and providing a supportive environment to ensure that each student is well known to, and supported by, staff. By creating this atmosphere, students can explore their interests both inside and outside the classroom, whether these are academic or non-academic pursuits. These skills are invaluable as our alumni pursue further academic study and begin their careers. This holistic educational approach creates self-assured individuals, confident in their abilities, and is the core of how each NLCS school operates.”

Ms Gwen Byrom, Director of Education Strategy

The NLCS Family of Schools

The NLCS group has a shared educational philosophy, ensuring that each international school delivers an ‘NLCS’ education. NLCS International provides ongoing support to maintain the consistency of the educational experience.

We have a close connection to all our international schools and work collaboratively with one another in order to fulfil our mission. We currently have several job opportunities throughout the NLCS Family of Schools.

Our values

Each school has its own set of values, but they are based on a common set of beliefs and values, which underpin the common and distinctive philosophy of all North London Collegiate Schools. In  particular, we hold the belief in:

The Team

NLCS International has a dedicated support team. We are co-located with NLCS (UK), working in close contact with the school to support partnerships with our international schools. Our team have extensive business, educational, school management, recruitment and franchising experience.


  • Ms Gwen Byrom, Director of Education Strategy

    Gwen has over 20 years of experience in education, in boarding and day schools, single sex and co-educational schools, and maintained and independent schools. During her career, Gwen has led teams and held senior leadership positions at some of the UK’s most prestigious schools. This includes Roedeon School, where she was Senior Housemistress, Cheltenham Ladies College, where she held the roles of Vice Principal and Acting Principal, and Loughborough Endowed Schools, where she was a Head Teacher.

    She has also been involved with the Girl’s School Association throughout her career, holding the position of President in 2018, and writes regularly on educational matters for the Times Education Supplement and other publications.

    Gwen holds a first-class BSc from the University of Manchester, a PGCE from Goldsmith’s College, University of London and an MA in Education. She has also carried out postgraduate research into independent schools as drivers of social mobility.

    In her role as Director of Education Strategy, Gwen ensures that the vision of the NLCS Group is realised and that the same high standards for education are held within all schools that hold the NLCS name.

  • Mr Ian Callender, Chief Executive Officer
    Ian joined North London Collegiate School (NLCS) UK as its Chief Operating Officer in 2015 after a PGCE course at Oxford University.  Ian was accountable for finance, operations and compliance at NLCS (UK), and in addition the School’s overseas franchises and partnerships.  Since October 2023, Ian has been the CEO of NLCS International accountable for expanding the school’s international franchising business.  Ian has over 30 years’ experience in the aviation and aerospace sectors working for Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, HAECO, the Swire Group and Rolls-Royce Plc.  Prior to joining Rolls-Royce in Derby, Ian spent 23 years living overseas in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and the USA.    Ian has extensive experience in joint ventures. He has held senior leadership roles in a wide variety of disciplines including business development, international affairs, personnel, marketing and sales, country management, and manufacturing and service operations.    Ian has a degree in geography from Oxford University. He is a keen skier, bicyclist, tennis player and ornithologist, and is also a qualified rowing coach. 
  • Mr Michael Burke, Director of Educational Quality

    Michael joined NLCS (UK) in 1997 and has three decades of educational experience in boarding and day schools across the maintained and independent sectors. This includes Sibford School, Oxfordshire, and Newcastle Church High School (now Newcastle High School for Girls). He holds a first-class BA from the University of Newcastle and an MA with distinction from the University of Durham.

    During his time as a member of the academic staff at NLCS, Michael held several academic positions, most significant serving as Director of Studies at the UK school until 2023.  He joined the school’s senior leadership team in 2006, where he led several major educational projects; including the introduction of the International Baccalaureate Diploma curriculum at NLCS (UK).

    Michael has been closely involved in the decisions to open each NLCS school overseas, as well as playing a critical role in their establishment. In his current role as Director of Educational Quality for NLCS International, Michael leads on the educational inspection and monitoring of the overseas NLCS schools, a key area of our approach that he has overseen for more than a decade; this is a collaborative process with the schools to ensure that they meet NLCS’s high educational standards.

  • Mr Ali Aliev, Director of Business Development

    Ali has over 20 years of international development experience, with expert knowledge in international franchising. He is highly experienced in executing business development strategy in multiple countries across a wide range of industries (both in FTSE 100 companies and small entrepreneurial start-ups).

    During his career, Ali worked for Mothercare Plc, easyGroup Ltd, Carphone Warehouse Plc, WHSmith Plc and Regus Plc. In these roles, Ali delivered business solutions in over 30 markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East including the UK, Germany France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden, Norway, China, India, the UAE, Oman and Jordan. He has a strong track record of developing franchises and alternative channels, delivering commercial, financial and organisational objectives in complex multi-country matrix environment. Ali also has an MBA degree from the University of Cambridge.

    In his role as Director of Business Development, Ali works with potential partner to identify opportunities to work together. This includes opening new international schools and structuring consultancy projects.

  • Mrs Lucy Tierney, International Recruitment Coordinator

    Lucy has over 20 years of experience in recruitment and human resources. During her career, Lucy has been a recruitment team leader and helped to set-up an educational recruitment agency. As part of this, Lucy has recruited for both teaching and support staff, mainly in the UK independent school sector. For teaching staff, this has included senior leadership appointments in highly academic independent schools.

    Lucy holds an Associate level qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

    In her role as International Recruitment Coordinator, Lucy works closely with the international schools in the NLCS Group to ensure that recruitment processes are consistent and to the highest standard. Lucy also plans the training sessions which take place for all new staff.

    To contact Lucy, please email: intlrecruitment@nlcs.org.uk

  • Miss Jade Howard, Quality Assurance & Social Media Administrator

    Jade has a background in marketing and graphic design, and has worked previously in this field both as a freelancer and through contract work.

    In her role as Quality Assurance and Social Media Administrator, Jade is responsible for supporting the arrangements for quality assurance visits to our international schools as well as maintaining and growing our social media presence.

  • Mrs Harshita Vekaria, International Projects Administrator

    Harshita holds an LLB(Hons) from the University of Hertfordshire with previous experience as a paralegal specialising in property and family law.

    In her role as the International Projects Administrator, Harshita manages and coordinates various components of international projects. Her key responsibilities involve ensuring seamless project planning, execution, and monitoring. Additionally, Harshita is responsible for financial record-keeping, brand management, market research, and delivering commercial support to the Executive Team.