Our Access and Outreach Team work to coordinate the Inspire Programme, as well as school visits to St John’s, visits to schools in our link regions and events for prospective students at St John’s throughout the year. We are also fortunate to draw on the experience of St John’s College Fellows, headteachers and education professionals in the Inspire Steering Committee.

Dr Sandra Campbell

Dr Sandra Campbell

Fellow for Admissions and Access and Supernumerary Fellow in Physiology

I have greatly enjoyed working in higher education for the last 20 years. In my current position as Supernumerary Fellow and Tutor in Physiology for St John’s, I have am involved in many aspects of College life including those that relate to the students directly (teaching, welfare, discipline, presidential collections, admissions, schools liaison), and those that contribute to the effective running of the college (various committees, interviewing for JRF, alumni interactions admissions, and as Dean for Degrees). I am currently the lead tutor in Biomedical sciences, and I have a substantial role as a Medical tutor. I also contribute to the teaching of the Experimental Psychology students.

Ollie Hedges

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Project Lead for the Year 12 & 13 Inspire Programme

Hi! I’m Ollie, the Project Lead for the Inspire Programme for Years 12 & 13 at St John’s College, Oxford. The programme aims to support pupils attending non-selective state schools in the college’s link regions and the Oxford for South East, by providing them with a wide range of academic skills and super-curricular resources to advance their studies and to encourage them to aim high. I am very passionate about Access & Outreach, and I find that organising and running events that make a difference to the lives of pupils is an incredibly rewarding experience!

Originally from York, I came to Oxford to study an undergraduate degree in History at New College. Since then, I have had several different jobs around the University, including working in the Sports Department, within History of Art, and on Opportunity Oxford (a university bridging programme).

Katie Inwood

Katie Inwood

Schools Partnership Coordinator

I am the School Partnership Coordinator, responsible for the the Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 9, 10 and 11, and the Inspire Critical Thinking programme. Before joining the Access and Outreach team, I taught History at a comprehensive school in Maidenhead, where I enjoyed developing and teaching a curriculum that centred on diverse histories while maintaining its academic rigour. One area of education that particularly interests me is the provision for more able students. As More Able Coordinator, I nurtured the potential of exceptional learners and ensured they received the opportunities and challenges they needed to thrive, especially students who are disadvantaged and students with SEND.  

I qualified in Secondary History at the Institute of Education, University College London in 2015. Prior to this I completed a Master’s degree and an undergraduate degree in History at Lancaster University. 

Petros Spanou

Petros Spanou

Humanities Associate

As Project Lead for the Inspire 12 & 13, I work closely with the Programme Coordinator and the rest of the St John’s Access Team to deliver the Inspire Scholars Programme for Years 12 & 13, which aims to support pupils attending non-selective state schools before they apply to university. Originally from Cyprus, I studied for an undergraduate degree in Modern History at the University of St Andrews, before reading for a Master’s degree in British and European History (1500-present) at New College, Oxford. I then completed my DPhil (PhD) in History at Balliol College, Oxford. I am committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment, and over the past decade I have developed a passion for Access & Outreach work. Since September 2021, I have been working as an Outreach tutor at Oxford’s Faculty of History. I was also a History tutor for Opportunity Oxford, a Postgraduate tutor for Pembroke College’s OxNet Programme, a Study Skills tutor and History tutor for Lincoln College’s Study Days, and a Graduate Outreach tutor at Balliol College. I was also Balliol’s Junior Dean between September 2021 and August 2022.

During my DPhil I taught classes and tutorials to History undergraduates. I am also an Access Associate at St John’s College, delivering access visits from schools in the college’s link regions.

Alfie Dry

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Digital Access Officer

As the Digital Access Officer, I am committed to ensuring St John’s College has an accessible online presence which engages and inspires prospective students, especially those who may feel unsure about the process of applying to Oxford University. I am particularly keen to get current students and alumni involved in interviews and other creative projects to demonstrate the sense of community which is such an integral part of college life.

I myself am a student at St John’s College, having just completed my undergraduate degree in Human Sciences and now moving on to an MSc in Social Anthropology. I am grateful to be working alongside a fantastic team and I look forward to supporting accessibility as a priority of the college.  

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones

Undergraduate Admissions Officer

I am the contact for individual application enquiries, interviews and Open Days. In addition to managing the undergraduate admissions process, I also provide tours of St John's and coordinate the college's participation in Open Days.

The Inspire Programme Steering Committee is comprised of St John’s College Fellows, headteachers from schools across London and Oxford and education professionals. You can meet the members of the committee below.

Senior College Representatives

Professor Lady Sue Black DBE OBE FRSE FBA FRAI FRSB ChFA, Baroness Black of Strome

The President, St John's College

Professor Dame Sue Black

Professor Black is one of the world’s leading forensic scientists and has most recently been the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University, tasked with raising the University’s profile locally, regionally and nationally whilst championing the economic growth and regeneration of North West England.

Since graduating from the University of Aberdeen in human anatomy and forensic anthropology, Professor Black has had a varied and distinguished academic career, lecturing in Anatomy at St Thomas’ Hospital London and working as a consultant in forensic anthropology for both the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, undertaking forensic investigations in Iraq, Sierra Leone and Grenada. She was the lead forensic anthropologist during the international war crimes investigations in Kosovo. From 2003 to 2018 she was Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at Dundee University.

Professor Black has written widely and has made regular media appearances, including on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and The Life Scientific. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Higher Education and Forensic Science and in 2021 entered the House of Lords as a crossbencher peer as Baroness Black of Strome. Professor Black is also the 65th President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and she is the lifetime Professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy.

Dr Sandra Campbell

Dr Sandra Campbell

Tutor for Access and Admissions, Supernumerary Fellow in Physiology

Sandra is the Fellow for Access and Admissions for St John’s, directing an extensive range of outreach projects including the pre- and post-GCSE Inspire Programme. She leads our team of 5 access and admissions staff, all of whom are passionate about making a difference for disadvantaged pupils. She is also involved in other aspects of College life, including teaching, welfare, discipline, presidential collections, various committees and alumni interactions. Sandra has worked in higher education for the last 25 years. She has been a tutor in Physiology at Oxford for the past 13 years, teaching within the Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Experimental Psychology courses for both the College and the University. Outside her teaching interests, she manages a team facilitating the development of laboratory imaging biomarkers for tumour detection and monitoring for use in patients.

Zoe Hancock

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St John's College Principal Bursar

Zoe is the Principal Bursar at St John’s and is responsible for the College’s assets and operations, including its buildings and contents, HR for non-academic staff, as well as the equity and property investment portfolio that supports the College’s teaching and research activities. She represents the College on external business, in particular in relation to estates matters, planning and development and is St John’s representative on the Oxford colleges Estates Bursars Committee. Zoe is currently overseeing the development of the College’s Masterplan, a comprehensive strategy that pulls together the use and provision of spaces in College to meet current and future needs in terms of accommodation, facilities and supporting infrastructure. She is also leading on the development of the College’s ESG strategy and sustainability plan.

Zoe joined St John’s in March 2021 from Oaklands College, a large further education college, where she was Principal and Chief Executive for a number of years. Beforehand she was the Director of Planning and Projects at the British Museum. Zoe studied modern history at Merton and trained as a chartered accountant with PwC. In addition to her executive roles, Zoe was the Chair of WENTA for a number of years, a not-for-profit organisation that supports business start-ups. She has just taken up a trustee role at the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBWOT).

Denise Cripps

Head of Communications, Executive Officer to the President

Denise Cripps

Denise is Head of Communications for St John’s and Executive Officer to the President, working on a wide range of projects including strategy, speech-writing and governance. She is also a member of Professor Maggie Snowling and Professor Charles Hulme’s research team working on interventions looking at children’s language and learning difficulties and how best to ameliorate them. The team recently published the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (OUP, 2018) and are now working on an effectiveness trial of the programme in 200 schools. Before joining St John’s, Denise worked in educational publishing for 25 years, after two years teaching English in state high schools in Japan. She was a Board Member of the Educational Publishers Council and Governor and Chair of Governors at Combe Church of England Primary School in Oxfordshire.

Professor KJ Patel FRS FMedSci

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Director, Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine, Fellow for Ethnic Minorities

Professor KJ Patel is the Director of the Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine and also the MRC Molecular Hematology Unit at the University of Oxford. KJ trained in medicine in London and spent his research career until recently at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge which is one of the premier research institutes in the world. He was also professor for molecular medicine and stem cell genomics at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the molecular basis of inherited genomic instability and the role it plays in the biology of stem cells particularly those that make blood. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK (FMedSci) and also a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

Professor Kate Nation

Professor Kate Nation

Previous Tutor for Access and Admissions, Tutorial Fellow in Psychology

As Tutor for Psychology, I am responsible for making the arrangements for the Experimental Psychology (EP) and Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics (PPL) students at St. John’s. I provide undergraduate tutorials across all three years, covering a range of topics in psychology.  I also contribute to the Psychology for Medicine course. I’m College Advisor to a number of graduate students in College who are researching a wide variety of topics in psychology and neuroscience.  In the department, I give a 2nd year lecture course on Developmental Psychology and a 3rd year advanced course on Reading and Language: Development and Disorder.  I supervise postgraduate students working in the field of psycholinguistics (the psychology of language), especially written language.

I am based in the Department of Experimental Psychology.  Broadly, my research is concerned with the psychology of language, especially reading and its development.  I am interested in how children learn to read words and comprehend text, and more generally, the relationship between spoken language and written language. A key aim at present to specify some of the mechanisms involved in the transition from novice to expert. We also study language processing in skilled adults, addressing the issue of how skilled behaviour emerges via language learning experience. Alongside my research on typical development, I study language and cognitive processes in children with developmental disorders that impact on language and literacy development, including language impairment, autism and dyslexia.

Professor Patrick Hayes

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Tutorial Fellow in English

Professor Patrick Hayes is a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, where he teaches English Literature from the romantic period to the present day. His main research interest is in how we might best think about the value of literature in relation to modern ethical and political concerns. So far he have tended to focus on writing in English from beyond the British Isles, exploring the ways in which ideas and traditions move across borders and through time. He has recently completed a historical account of the diverse kinds of writing which have helped to define modern identity—including everything from autobiographies and diaries to psychoanalytic case studies, testimonies, philosophical theories about selfhood, lyric poems, blogs, and social media websites. It covers the period from 1945 to the present day, and forms the concluding volume of the new Oxford History of Life-Writing. His current work is on debates about the nature and value of aesthetic education from the late eighteenth-century right up to the present.

External Advisors

Katherine Ryan, MBE

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Former Head Teacher, Matthew Arnold School, Oxford and CEO Acer Trust

Katherine brings a lifelong commitment to improving education and a particular interest in success and progression for learners of all ages and backgrounds. She has been Headteacher of Matthew Arnold School since 2006 and has focused on ensuring that all learners are able to succeed and to progress to positive destinations when they leave school. As Chair of OCL (Oxford City Learning) from 2009–2017, a network of secondary education providers across the City, she worked with colleague Heads and Principals to improve achievement and raise aspiration for all learners. In 2015, she led the development of a multiacademy Trust, the Acer Trust, which consists of primary and secondary schools across Oxfordshire, with a core aim of ‘Achieving Excellence for All’. Prior to taking up the headship of Matthew Arnold School, she was the Principal Advisor for Secondary School Improvement at Birmingham City Council. Her career includes advisory work in science education and education leadership in three Local Authorities, as well as teaching in a range of comprehensive schools across Oxfordshire and the West Midlands. She has also worked in Higher Education as Science Education Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.

Rachel Kruger

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Head, The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, Ealing

Rachel has taught in comprehensive schools both in the UK and in South Africa, twice in girls’ only schools, and is currently the head of The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls in Ealing. She is passionate about girls’ only education. As a third generation university qualified female in her family, she works very hard to inspire girls to go to university and specifically into STEM careers. Her school has been part of the Inspire program for some time. At EWS, 99% of the Year 13 pupils go on to University, 25% to Russell Group universities and 40 % to follow STEM related courses. A significant number of the pupils are the first in their families to go to University. Rachel is on the board of the Ealing Learning Partnership and chair of their Pathways and Progression Committee, where they consider the future opportunities available to pupils from Ealing. She is a life-long learner with a very broad field of interests – she has degrees in Music and Maths and an MBA, and is currently studying towards a Law degree.

Susan Hammond

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Former Head Teacher, Whitmore High School, Harrow

After studying Natural Sciences and Chemical Engineering at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Sue joined BP and worked in various engineering and commercial roles in the UK and USA. Sue then moved into teaching and is currently headteacher of Whitmore High School in Harrow, an inclusive community school with 1700 pupils. Sue is Chair of Harrow’s High School Headteachers Group and Schools’ Forum and committed to ensuring all young people have fair and equal access to a high quality education.