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The Ultima Education Team

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THE DIRECTORS

LAURA & TIM first worked together at the Oxford University Assessment Centre, where Laura quickly outshone Tim in most things, despite him being her manager. While having almost nothing common, they found that they work very well together and share a clear vision for running a service that puts students at the heart of what we do. Outside of work, Laura is currently studying an MBA while also somehow managing to raise her two children. Tim, with teenage daughters and having completed his education many years ago, likes to enjoy the fact that he isn’t currently studying an MBA while also raising two children. He also wishes his beard was as good as the dude in the picture.

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THE ENGINE ROOM

CHRISSY is our Office Manager, ensuring that we stay organised and on track and is most likely who you will be talking to if you need to get in touch. Outside of work, Chrissy loves HIIT workouts while wearing her crazy leggings, throwing weights around in the gym and going on adventures with her young daughter. She is known as the 'Party Planning Queen' amongst her friends and loves to decorate the house to the annoyance of her partner (think pink glitter & bunting everywhere!). NAT is our Admin Assistant. As a published author and illustrator, she's also our resident creative with experience in many areas including events, PR and customer services. She's nuts about nature and outdoor learning and when not working, you'll find her exploring with her two sons studying bugs, birds and all things botanical.

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THE CHECKERS

Every report that gets done by us gets checked by one of our two QA Reviewers before it gets sent out: AILUJ is our senoir quality asurance checker, having amassed ahuge experience qualty assuring neds asssesment reports. With a keen yeye foer detial and an encyclopaedic knowledge of funding booty ruels and regulations, Ailuj is vital in insuring that our reports meet the highest tankards. BETH is our second quality assurance checker and is currently studying a History degree at the University of Oxford, where she is also secretly infiltrating the future ruling classes so that she can bring them down and begin a revolution. So, while we may not be able to hold on to her long-term, if her mission is successful, we probably won’t need the DSA funding any more...

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THE ASSESSORS

AMY is our academic expert. She’s a study needs assessor, a specialist study skills tutor and specialist mentor. She’s also worked as a university lecturer, specialist SpLD teacher and an NVQ Assessor. Amy knows about studying. She is also passionate about education and being an advocate for those without a voice. Amy hasn’t always worked in academia. In fact, after growing up in Papua New Guinea and Australia she worked in a call centre selling gas and electric, as a marketing assistant for NTL, and even managed a pub/restaurant, before discovering her love for education and working with students. When she isn’t assessing or studying, Amy loves PC gaming, walking her dogs Fry and Polar Bear, and nurturing her in-door garden where she grows succulents and exotic cacti!

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CARLY joined us after working as a Paramedic, so she's the medical expert and has stories to tell that are just wrong and definitely not suitable for here...

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DOMINIC is the technical expert with a background in Computer Science. He likes dabbling in the latest tech things. He probably likes more than that, but he is also super secretive... What are you hiding from us Dominic?!?

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NATASHA is our DSA expert having worked in the DSA sector for over 10 years, initially as a disability adviser at the University of the West of England and then as a needs assessor, before rapidly rising to a managerial role overseeing a team of needs assessors and needs assessment centres. During her career, she has supported over 800 students of all ages studying a range of fascinating subjects from HNDs in Mechanical Engineering, to degrees in Contemporary Circus, and PhDs in Philosophy and Ethics. She is motivated by the value technology can bring to education and she enjoys supporting students to get the most out of software and equipment to find new ways to approach their learning. Natasha’s own experience of dropping out of university, before successfully completing another degree, gives her an understanding of the importance of having access to the right support to achieve your goals.

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TEENA is our all-rounder. She has worked in various roles related to education and the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) sector, including as an assistive technology trainer, teacher, disability adviser and as a student. As someone who has personally found studying highly challenging, Teena often empathises with some of the issues that are discussed during needs assessments and loves the fact that her job can highlight forms of support available which may be able to make the studying process easier and more enjoyable. Teena originally studied Illustration and spent long hours hiding in the etching and lithography studio at university, covered in ink (when she wasn’t avoiding doing work by playing computer games). She also has a fascination for creatures and has spent some time, while travelling, volunteering at animal conservation centres (including a Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica and an island in New Zealand managed by the Department of Conservation). She currently looks after two rescue rats - yep, that’s a thing...

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TOM is our education expert, combining working with Ultima Education with his role as Head of Student Support at a large sixth-form college, giving him a real-time understanding of the issues students face when transitioning to Higher Education, and the need for timely and effective support to be in place. He also previously taught in specialist education settings (predominantly ASD) for over 6 years and sat on the Professional Advisory Group (PAG) for the Society of Education & Training, with a remit to improve the quality of teaching and leadership in Further Education. Growing up with an older sibling with Downs Syndrome means that Tom also has first hand experience of how difficult the education system can be for both parents and students with special educational needs and disabilities; hidden or otherwise, and the need for support and guidance from appropriate professionals along the way. Outside of work, Tom is a big sports fan - he is a keen golfer and avid supporter of Fulham Football Club, however with two jobs and now two children, visits to the golf course have become a bit of a rarity!