Meet our Progression Specialists
Our Progression Specialists work one-on-one with students on our programmes to help them work their way through the university application process. They have many years of experience in teaching and a passion for helping students achieve their potential.
Beckie has worked as a science teacher for over 10 years and has led various initiatives in schools aimed at narrowing the attainment gap. Her experience also includes several years mentoring students through the UCAS statement writing process. She is passionately committed to helping students realise their true potential.
Sarah has worked in education for over twenty years, both in teaching and leadership roles. She has worked on a variety of school development initiatives as well as developing a mentorship role for students on placement, trainee and newly qualified teachers. She is passionate about helping students to develop their talents and achieve their full potential.
Jane is an experienced teacher of English and spent many years working with Sixth Form students, enjoying especially the opportunities this presented for their cultural enrichment. She continues to teach part time as a school subject leader for Classics and is a mentor for Cambridge Faculty of Education PGCE students.
Helen has taught English, EAL and Media courses in high schools and colleges in the UK and overseas. In her former role with the ethnic minority achievement support service, Helen developed staff training and pupil mentoring programmes to support school staff and individual students in narrowing the attainment gap.
Alongside her work as a Progression Specialist, Heidi works in a large FE college advising students on work experience, careers and progression. Her experience includes eleven years as an English teacher in secondary education, as well as being a teacher trainer in Japan, and she is currently completing her Level 6 Diploma in Career Information, Advice and Guidance. She is passionate about motivating young people to believe in themselves, empowering them to access the opportunities available to them.
Sam is an experienced teacher and leader, having spent over 17 years providing the vision and leadership required to ensure high quality education for all pupils. Sam is currently working as an education consultant, running a middle leaders program and creating an online CPD toolkit.
Nicola has worked in FE for the past three years leading the schools partnership provision for New College Nottingham; she previously worked in a Nottingham City Academy overseeing the 14-19 agenda and college and university links programme. Nicola has extensive experience in employer engagement and brokering relationships between the education sector and business.
Simon started teaching in 1994 after a career in the City and is qualified to teach biology to A level and beyond. Having served 11 years as head of a secondary boarding school he stepped down from headship in 2016 in order to have a second kidney transplant and begin a freelance career in education. His particular interests are widening access, mentoring school leaders and the role of education in strengthening communities.
Derek spent 23 years as a serving member of the Royal Air Force, before switching to the education sector. He has worked both in schools and universities managing various progression and outreach programmes as a senior leader, with a particular focus on widening participation issues.
Alison has spent the majority of her career in the Army, specialising latterly in the career progression of junior officers and in community engagement. This included running various work experience programmes for Year 11 pupils with the military. In her last position she set up and ran a national mentoring scheme for Reserve Potential Officers to assist them through the Army Officer selection process, for which she received an MBE. She is a strong believer in the value of preparing school leavers for the next step in their education or training.
Ali studied philosophy at the London School of Economics and went on to become a secondary English teacher. He has worked with EAL students, the Latin American Women’s Rights Service and schools across south-east London to increase participation and HE progression of recent arrivals to the UK.
Ali has an MA from the University of Westminster where he also worked on improving the accessibility of the admissions processes.
Alongside her work as a Progression Specialist, Rosamund is an English teacher in Hertfordshire. She has a masters degree in Leading Teaching and Learning and has held a number of leadership roles in schools, specialising in student intervention and coaching.
Claire Gibson Oxley
Claire taught Art, English and Critical Thinking, serving as a head of sixth form and senior leader. Now a freelance higher education advisor, she is committed to helping students find the right path towards their chosen careers.
An experienced teacher, Helen has focused on widening participation roles, delivering Family Learning programmes in schools, and teaching on the Access pathway in FE. She is a qualified dyslexia specialist (AMBDA) and has an MSc in Specific Learning Difficulties.
Kevin has over 30 years’ experience working in schools and Sixth Form Colleges in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Norfolk. Much of this time has been in Senior Leadership roles and latterly has Principal of a successful Sixth Form College. He has a masters degree in Education Management and is particularly interested in widening participation, leadership, quality management and liaising with stakeholders.
Dr Amanda Hampson
Amanda has extensive experience in science education. While completing her PhD in Genetics she supported Biology undergraduates and contributed to the university outreach programme for sixth form students. She developed a passion for teaching, particularly in widening participation. Having taught secondary school science for a number of years and acting as a student coach, Amanda now works as a freelance tutor.
Neil has worked in education for 20 years as a class teacher, deputy head, head teacher, adviser and senior adviser. He specialises in support for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners, effective one to one tuition and peer tutoring.
Yvonne has spent over three decades working within the comprehensive education system. Much of that time has been spent in senior leadership and latterly as the Principal of a large, successful comprehensive in Wiltshire. Extensive experience of leading and managing a variety of teams as well as working with students and stakeholders to improve the life chances of all children.
Karen is a qualified trainer and motivational interviewing practitioner. She has extensive experience working in the early intervention and education sector mentoring and supporting young people and their parents.
Dr Audrey Matthews
Audrey is a former university Principal Lecturer in sciences, who has specialised in admissions and widening participation roles. She a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an active STEM Ambassador.
Leona's most recent appointments have been managerial posts in the social care sector and she worked in the education sector for a number of years during her time as a practitioner. Leona gained experience in multiple roles which were based in schools, pupil referral units and other alternative education provisions specialising in improving attitudes to learning, raising standards of achievement and widening participation.
Keith worked as a teacher and Access to HE Co-ordinator in schools and FE colleges for 16 years before going on to leadership roles in awarding organisations and post 16 skills bodies. Keith is currently working as an education consultant and is a governor at a secondary school in Essex.
Louise is an experienced lecturer and teacher, having worked in the education sector for over 10 years. She is currently working in a university helping improve graduate outcomes for those moving into the Health and Education industries. Louise is passionate about empowering young people with the best possible skills and knowledge to help them progress towards successful, fulfilling careers.
Stephen has worked in 14-19 education for 36 years. During this time his experience has included working as a sixth form tutor, partnership director, county adviser and consultant. A theme interlacing Stephen’s work has been clarifying progression routes for Learners and helping them make informed choices.
Sarah was previously International Director at Bath College where she worked with students from all over the world to help them progress to university in the UK. She taught organisational behaviour at UWE Bristol, is a qualified coach-mentor and is also a respite foster carer.
Emma Salgard Cunha
Emma's background is in the Higher Education sector. She completed her doctorate at the University of Cambridge where she now also works in access, outreach and public engagement. An experienced examiner, tutor and university lecturer, she has particular interests in student progression in humanities and arts subjects, and in research-led initiatives for widening participation.
Elaine is an experienced teacher, who has led a department and a pupil premium intervention programme. She is committed to ensuring that all young people achieve their potential irrespective of their socio-economic background.
Heather has extensive recent experience of advising post- 16 students on the UCAS process, and a background as a Literacy and Skills for Life specialist tutor in the FE sector. She is currently working towards an MA in Student Affairs in Higher Education.
Susan has worked in education for over 40 years, most recently as Vice Principal of a large academy. Since 2010, she has worked as an education consultant, supporting senior leaders in schools which have been placed in special measures.