Meet the team
Dr Peter Claus
Access Fellow, Historian, Director of OxNet & CredOx (Pembroke College, Oxford)
At Pembroke College, Oxford, Dr Claus is chiefly responsible as Access Fellow for a professional network of universities, schools and third-sector organisations that encourage pupils from challenging socio-economic circumstances to enter Oxford and other competitive universities.
As a former mature student, Dr Claus has a particular interest in pioneering teaching strategies that enthuse students from non-traditional backgrounds, international students or students from cultural or ethnic minorities. He has taught courses at every level, from school students to postgraduate.
Miss Morgan Lewis
Based at Pembroke College, Oxford, Morgan is responsible for overseeing the organisation of all OxNet programmes.
Graduating from Cardiff University in 2019, she holds a BSc in Social Science, with specialisms in Education alongside Social & Public Policy. She is also an alumnus of the University of Oxford, having completed an MSc in Education (Higher Education) (with Distinction) in 2021, in which her specialism was Widening Participation in the UK.
As a White and Black Caribbean women who was state-school educated and a first-generation student, Morgan is passionate about ensuring diversity within the OxNet cohort and tackling educational inequality from a variety of perspectives.
Mr Felix Slade
Languages Subject Lead
Felix is a former teacher of Modern Languages and previously worked as a literary translator. He also worked as the OxNet Administrator for three years before starting his current post in the civil service. He holds a BA in French with Italian and European Studies and an MA in Translation. He has previously taught on Proust and his relationship with impressionism and Freud, contemporary women's writing, trauma literature, identity in North African literature, and the use of violence in Italian film. He is currently researching the relationship between autobiography and truth.
Miss Holly Roach
Biological Sciences Subject Lead
Holly is a recent Biochemistry Master’s Graduate, who studied at Pembroke College for 4 years. Her Master’s research project focused on understanding the mechanism of X chromosome inactivation, an epigenetic mechanism to equalise the levels of X-linked gene expression in XX females relative to XY males. After completing her integrated master’s degree, she has started working as a Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, where she is investigating gene expression mechanisms in health and disease. She originally comes from Warrington, a town located in the North West, where her sixth-form was linked to Pembroke’s access program. Having support from her sixth-form teachers, and visiting Pembroke through the access program in year 10 and 12, gave Holly the confidence to apply to the Biochemistry undergraduate course at Oxford. She has never looked back since and wishes to help and inspire future students to apply for courses in Higher Education.
Dr Thomas Hird
Physical Sciences Subject Lead
Thomas is an experimental physicist who has been in Oxford for over a decade having arrived as an undergraduate at Somerville to read Physics in 2011. Following a master’s in physics MPhys he was awarded a place at UCL’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Technologies. He completed a Masters of Research in Quantum Technologies and returned to Oxford for his doctoral studies. Thomas’ DPhil research was in atomic and laser physics and focused on Quantum Memories – an exciting technology with applications spanning quantum information and quantum communication. His current research remains within the realm of quantum technologies, on the exciting AION project. The Atom Interferometry Observatory and Network (AION) project uses laser cooled, ultracold atoms to perform interferometry as a means to both detect gravitational waves and investigate ultra-light dark matter candidates.
Thomas has been involved in increasing access and participation to higher education throughout his academic career from developing and delivering CPD for teachers, developing resources and talks for all age groups of students from primary schools up to 6th form and leading workshops and developing partnerships between universities and schools. As well as researcher, college lecturer and admissions tutor, Thomas is the representative for atomic and laser physics on the physics department’s access and engagement committee.
Dr Richard Lee
English Subject Lead
Richard is the OxNet English Seminar Series Coordinator based at Oldham Sixth Form College where is an Assistant Principal with responsibility for transition and progression.
He is the Careers Leader, with specific responsibility for the college’s Oxbridge Group and its programmes for Aspiring Medics and Aspiring Lawyers. He has been teaching English Literature for almost 30 years and has a particular enthusiasm for postcolonial literature which is at the heart of the OxNet English Seminar Series – ‘The Empire Writes Back’.
Richard studied for his first degree, in Philosophy and Politics, at Durham University, before completing an MA and PhD in Literature through the Open University.
Mr Chris Dobbs
Coordinator of Pembroke Youth Scholars
Chris is the coordinator of the Pembroke Youth Scholars' programme, hosted at Hollingworth Academy, Rochdale and responsible for academic enrichment events, that support students from Rochdale, Bury and Bolton.
This Programme, the latest addition to the Oxnet family, aims to develop academic confidence in students, from year 7 to year 11, through weekly and half-termly activities. It also aims to support parents and carers, who have little or no experience of higher education, through a series of information, advice and guidance events.
An alumnus of The Institute of Education, UCL, Chris has over thirty years of experience, teaching in the state sector. He has led whole school and borough-wide initiatives, in collaboration with Russell Group institutions, to support academically-able students, from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is the theme of his ongoing PhD research.
OxNet Hub Coordinators
Ashton Sixth Form College-Ashton under Lyne
Alex is the OxNet Coordinator responsible for the Goldsmiths' Sutherland Centre for Philosophy and World Religions, based at Ashton Sixth Form College, Tameside.
At Ashton Sixth Form College, Alex manages the Realising Aspirations programmes, which are modelled on the OxNet system of sustained academic engagement. They offer a series of lectures, seminars and workshops led by visiting academics, information and guidance events and university visits across 15 wide-ranging programme strands.
In Year 12, Alex participated in OxNet's Philosophy and World Religions programme. She went on to study at the University of Leeds, graduating with a degree in Theology & Religious Studies in 2019.
Xaverian College, Manchester
Based at Xaverian College, Hayley has not only been teacher of History since 2013, but she is also the College’s EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) and Oxbridge Coordinator.
Hayley holds an Undergraduate degree in Ancient History (Manchester University), and her academic specialisms are in 20th Century US History, the Tudor period and the impact of the revolution in Russia.
In 2023, Hayley will be supporting the OxNet Science programme.
Cheshire College South and West- Crewe
Fiona is the Oxnet Coordinator responsible for the OxNet Science programme, based at Cheshire College South and West, Crewe campus. Fiona is a STEM Ambassador for the Northwest.
At Cheshire College, Fiona manages the Futures Aspirations programmes which offer year 12 and 13 pupil's unique academic pathways to widen their aspirations for Russell Group Universities through a 'Scholars Programme'. Activities include guest lectures, debating, networking opportunities, and a dedicated admissions programme.
Fiona graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan University in 2016 with a Master by Research Degree entitled, 'Exploring Young People’s Aspirations In ‘Urban Regeneration’ Settings: a critical reflection'. Fiona has worked extensively within the local education sector to provide outreach opportunities within FE and HE, and currently runs the 'Scholars for Schools' outreach programme which aims to introduce year 10 pupils to academic study and research.
Blackburn College- Blackburn
David is the coordinator for Blackburn and East Lancashire. He has taught A Levels at Blackburn College for 26 years. Since 2005 he has been the High Achievers’ Coordinator for the Sixth Form at Blackburn College, supporting and advising students who aim to apply for top universities and professional careers.
David studied at the University of Birmingham, where he completed a Masters in Russian and East European Studies before training as a teacher at the University of Cardiff. He teaches on a range of programmes, including the Joint Honours degree run by Blackburn College in partnership with Lancaster University. In the Sixth Form, David runs the Debate Club and hosts the annual Schools’ Quiz
Southmoor Academy- Sunderland
Claire is the co-ordinator for the OxNet North East hub based in Sunderland, as well as being the Raising Aspirations Co-ordinator for Southmoor Academy.
Whilst studying History at Durham University, Claire became particularly interested in educational disadvantage and social mobility through her role as a Durham Student Ambassador. She has since completed a Masters in Education, specialising in coastal isolation and access to HE, and is also a qualified History Teacher.
Westminster Academy- London
Finn is the OxNet Coordinator for London, working in the sixth form at Westminster Academy. He is also the coordinator for the London Centre for Languages and Culture, which focuses on fostering engagement with the study of languages amongst state school students, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Queen Mary’s.
At Westminster Academy, Finn manages a series of programmes, such as the weekly Dare to Know lecture series, wherein each week an academic delivers a lecture on their chosen research. These give students a chance to begin to grapple with undergraduate ideas and arguments, tying into OxNet’s focus on encouraging academic participation amongst students, as well as a more holistic approach to education.
Finn attended Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied History, graduating in 2021.
Priestley College- Warrington
Connie is the OxNet Coordinator based at Priestley College, Warrington where she is also responsible for the coordination of the North West Centre for Languages and Cultures. This is a collaborative project between Pembroke, the Open University, and various partner universities such as Lancaster University. It seeks to boost state school participation in languages degrees at university.
At Priestley, Connie oversees the 'Graduate' high achievers programme. This takes much of its inspiration from the academic rigor of OxNet, using undergraduate-style teaching to improve academic literacy.
Connie is an alumnus of University College, Oxford after graduating with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in June 2021. She is broadly passionate about political theory, with her interests ranging from critical pedagogy to utopian socialism.