Mr Mohamed Al Fayed, Founding Patron of West Heath School

27th January 1929 - 30th August 2023

It is with deep sadness and a personal sense of loss that we record the death of our founding patron, Mr Mohamed Al Fayed on the 30th August 2023. Mr Al Fayed set up the Al Fayed Charitable Foundation in 1987 aiming to help children with life-limiting conditions and children living in poverty. In 1998 he bought Princess Diana’s old boarding school, West Heath School and helped set up the new school, dedicated to the memory of Princess Diana and his son, Dodi Al Fayed. Together with Mrs Val May, the first appointed Principal of the school, they set about creating a unique educational environment, directly supporting young people whose educational lives had been adversely affected by loss, bereavement and mental health issues.

Thanks to Mr Al Fayed’s incredible generosity and passionate interest in the welfare of young people, West Heath School is a thriving SEND school, graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and continues to support students with social, emotional and mental health needs to heal, recover, and reach their potential.      

Mr Al Fayed was visionary in pursuing the benefits of education for young people whose interests might otherwise have been left behind. He understood the value of a healing environment, dedicated staff and what they could bring to widening access to education at a time of reduced funding and growing need.

Our staff, students, both past and present, will always be grateful for the way in which he championed the charity and the cause of education. His personal generosity has been instrumental in the work of the school and his energy, kindness and belief in the importance of our work, have kept us going. He was unique in the way he understood the transformative power of ‘Rebuilding lives through education’, our school’s motto and raison d’être.  

Our thoughts are also with his beloved family at this difficult time, especially Mrs Al Fayed and his daughter, Camilla, both passionate supporters of our school. Mr Al Fayed will be greatly missed. His enduring legacy will be the thousands of lives and families who have benefited from their time at West Heath. Our work continues and his legacy lives on.


‘What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.’

Pericles, Athenian statesman


Mrs Photini Bohacek,