Former student returns to head up College Oxbridge programme

Diweddarwyd 25/09/2018

A familiar face is set to return to Gower College Swansea.

Fiona Beresford, who studied A Level History, English and Maths at the Gorseinon campus, has been appointed as the College’s brand new Oxbridge/HE+ Coordinator.

After completing her A Levels in 2009, Fiona attended Churchill College, Cambridge where she achieved a First in History before beginning a teaching career.

Following the completion of Teach First and Teaching Leaders programmes, Fiona became Head of English at a school in North West England and was, most recently, Lead Practitioner at The Bishop of Llandaff High School in Cardiff. Alongside her teaching career, Fiona also completed a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Manchester in 2016.

Fiona will officially join the College in January 2019, taking over from Felicity Padley who has worked at the College since 1986.

“I am really delighted that Fiona is ‘coming home’ to Gower College Swansea to take on the mantle of the Oxbridge Preparation Programme,” says Felicity. “She will be a wonderful role model for our students and – having gone through the process and been in their shoes herself not that long ago – will be able to provide just the right level of support and guidance they will need. Both Gower College Swansea and Churchill College, Cambridge are thrilled by this appointment and it's particularly pleasing that a Churchill graduate is going to shape the future direction of the Swansea HE+ Programme.”

Churchill College has particular responsibility for outreach programmes in South Wales as part of the University of Cambridge’s Area Links Scheme. It works closely with schools and colleges in the region to ensure students, regardless of background, get the best possible information and guidance about the University and its admissions process.

“As a beneficiary of the College's Oxbridge Preparation Programme, I cannot wait to continue to develop the scheme that has had such a profound impact on the educational opportunities and success of young people in Swansea,” says Fiona. “It will be such an exciting venture to be part of this academically enriching community.” 

Fiona will attend the official launch of the 2018 Swansea HE+ Programme at the Gorseinon campus on 25 September where she will have a chance to meet the approximately 300 young people – comprising College students and Year 12 pupils from the participating secondary surrounding schools - who have expressed an interest in the programme this year.


Gower College Swansea, at the invitation of and in collaboration with, the University of Cambridge, is the ‘hub’ institution in the Swansea HE+ Consortium, working with the seven state sixth-form schools in the City and County of Swansea.

The Swansea HE+ consortium is supported by the Welsh Government’s Seren Network Programme, which is a series of regional hubs aiming to help Wales’ brightest Year 12 students fulfil their academic potential.

Established in 2010, the University of Cambridge’s HE+ programmme encourages and prepares academically high-achieving state school students to make competitive applications to top universities. The programme sees the University and its colleges working with groups of state schools and colleges in fifteen regions to engage their best students in a sustained year-long programme. This includes academic extension classes, subject masterclasses, information and guidance sessions and visits to the University.