Dame Helen Hyde

RSA Patron

Holocaust Commissioner
Religious Education Commissioner
Co-director of RtoR (Refugees to Recovery)


After studying at Witwaterstrand University, South Africa, Helen Hyde became a teacher of French in the 1970s, subsequently doing her MA in Theology at King’s College London in 1974.  She taught French at Acland Burghley School, London, becoming Head of Modern Languages in 1978.  Helen Hyde moved to Highgate Wood School in inner London as Deputy Headmistress in 1983.  She became Headmistress of Watford Grammar School for Girls in 1987.


Watford Grammar School for Girls was established in 1704 and now educates 1310 girls from age 11 to 18.  The pupils come from widely diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. 


The school has been awarded four Charter Marks, in 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2005. In 2008 it was the first school to achieve the new Customer Service Excellence Award. It has achieved two Investors in People awards.  Helen Hyde became an Accredited Trainer for the Edward de Bono Thinking Skills in 2003 and the school is a Nationally Accredited Training School for de Bono Thinking Skills.  Additionally, Mrs Hyde became a trainer for Buzan Mind Mapping in 2004.   The school has been accredited as a national Thinking School by Exeter University.  She is a Fellow of the Imperial War Museum (Holocaust Studies) and has completed studies at the Centre for Holocaust Studies at the Institute of Education in London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a trustee of the Holocaust Education Trust. She was appointed a Holocaust commissioner and sits on the educational advisory Board of the Commission. She is also an advisor to the  and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.


She was the Executive head of Rickmansworth Secondary School.


In 2012 she was made Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for serves to national education and Holocaust Education.


Away from the immediate school environment Helen Hyde is a Board member   of FASNA,  Freedom & Autonomy for Schools – National Association.  From 2000-2002 she was a DfES Quality Assurance Advisor, visiting a variety of schools in various counties.   She was an External Advisor to School Governors and an Executive Mentor to a number of Headteachers.  Helen Hyde sits on various committees on a local and governmental level.


Helen Hyde is married to Dr John Hyde and has two daughters, one of whom, now a doctor herself, was educated at Watford Grammar School for Girls. 


Updated Sept 2015