I’m from Liverpool and left school with only a handful of GCSEs. I returned to education as a young mother via an Access course at Hugh Baird, a local FE college. As a mature student from a working-class background, I was advised not to apply to the University of Liverpool as ‘it wasn’t for the likes of me’. I ignored that warning, and achieved a BA and an MA in English Literature from that institution. I also achieved a PG Cert in Widening Participation Policy and Practice from the Institute of Education. I am four years into a part-time PhD on bringing equality into university admissions.
After my MA, I started working in the University of Liverpool’s Widening Participation team, and then worked for Aimhigher until the Coalition Government’s decision to abolish it. During my time with Aimhigher I worked with primary and secondary schools, FE colleges and pre and post 92 universities around the country giving me a full understanding of the diverse needs of the education sector as a whole. After Aimhigher sadly ended, I was re-deployed into the Recruitment and Admissions department at the University of Liverpool and went on to become the University’s Fair Access in Admissions Manager where I work to ensure all young people have the opportunity to access a university education regardless of their family background or income status. I am Innovative Practice Editor for the Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning Journal in which we encourage practitioner as well as academic research articles. I’ve been an active member of UCU since I reached the recognised grade in 2008.