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Staff Profile: Emma Coulston

Emma Coulston

Academic Registrar

I have worked with children and young people in a variety of environments since 2000, with a focus on encouraging them to continue their learning beyond their schooling.  My most recent appointment in the UK was as Head of Access at the University of Oxford, where I oversaw the University’s outreach to widen access to higher education, including the creation of the UNIQ Summer Schools programme.

As Academic Registrar I coordinate all of the information required to support our students’ chosen High School academic pathways.  This means that as part of the Assessment and Curriculum Team, I work alongside Heads of Year and subject teachers to ensure that students make appropriate and realistic choices for their GCSEs and IB programmes.  As Examinations Officer, I administer the procedures for these qualifications, ensuring that our school, as well as each candidate meets all of the Exam Boards’ requirements.  Additionally, as part of the Post-16 Team I contribute to our students' College and University applications; in particular the preparation and submission of UCAS applications and High School Transcripts.  Bringing these functions together gives our students and their families one point-of-contact for the procedural systems that support their learning.

I chose to study Chemistry at University, alongside education studies, and then stayed on for PhD studies in Microwave Spectroscopy.  Since then, I have worked in a wide variety of roles from a high-end cupcakery through to assisting in a veterinary operating theatre!  Most recently, in education, I was responsible for the University of Oxford’s outreach to non-traditional applications - students on track to attain grades that would allow them to make competitive applications to Oxford but were from a school community or family with little or no tradition of progressing to Oxbridge, or even University.

I have a deep personal passion for learning, which means that I enjoy a wide variety of activities.  Having never had a childhood pet, my husband and I have now fostered several dogs for a local rescue group, two of which have joined our family as “foster failures”.  Long-term I would like to return to the UK to reside in a narrowboat on the English canals.

What the students say about me...

"When it comes to that scary time in year 12 and 13 where you suddenly have to decide what you want to do at University, Ms Coulston is the person to go to.  Not only is she so connected with the universities and knows all about what courses are right for your interests, she’s also a great ‘shoulder to cry on’ when school gets overwhelming and making this big decision becomes difficult.  I would not have a creative path if it wasn’t for her to encourage me to do so.  She inspired me to apply for a course that followed what I love most at school, and for me that was being creative."