Meet the Oxford Scholastica team

We often say Oxford Scholastica isn’t just a one off experience – it’s for life. One of the things that makes the experience stand out for parents and students is the passion our team has to support you and your future success, during the programme and beyond.

Our mission is to make sure you feel comfortable and confident about attending Oxford Scholastica. We’re keen to make sure everyone feels fully supported and excited to be here. 

Summer school faculty

Our Leadership

The leadership team, headed up by the husband and wife Jamie and Dr. Sophie Dear, have many years’ experience of running education programmes, and are passionate about the care Oxford Scholastica gives to every student.

Oxford summer school staff

Jamie Dear

Jamie, our Co-Director, has founded and led education ventures for the past 15 years, with 10 years of experience running summer schools. After studying at Oxford University, he founded OxFizz, a social enterprise helping students with university preparation, with profits going to charities (over £1m raised). He’s the former chair of Jacari, an Oxford University charity that provides free tutoring to children who don’t speak English as their first language.

Summer school staff

Sophie Dear

Sophie is a Consultant doctor who completed her medical training at Oxford University.  She’s the founder of Psyched Up For Medical School, a programme that inspires and supports students interested in Psychiatry, with structured work experience opportunities. Sophie is part of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Leadership and Management Fellowship scheme, and has run Oxford Scholastica with her husband Jamie for the past nine years.

Summer school team

Lavinia Abell 

Lavinia is our Co-Director, and she oversees the smooth running of the Oxford Scholastica residential and online programmes. Lavinia studied Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge University, and has been on the Oxford Scholastica team since 2016. She’s a former Trustee of Oxfordshire Youth, the leading youth charity supporting young people in Oxford and its surrounding areas, and Governor of a Primary School in Cambridge. 

Oxford summer school team

Jo Cruse

Jo is our Education Consultant, and a former teacher at one of the UK’s leading schools, where she was also university admissions advisor. With senior leadership experience in a variety of education organisations, Jo is passionate about enabling young people to thrive. She’s a member of the Founders4Schools Educational Impact Council and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has been part of Oxford Scholastica since 2015.

Summer school team

Sophie Parker

Sophie is our Head of Content, meaning she gets to do lots of fun things with our blog and over on, as well as being a friendly face in Oxford during the summer! She studied English at UCL, and tutored English for a number of community initiatives alongside her studies. Sophie currently volunteers as a reading assistant with both Bookmark and Doorstep Library charities. She first joined the OSA team in the summer of 2019, and has been in her current role since 2021.


​Stephanie Lester

Steph is responsible for looking after our students (and parents!) before, during and after their programmes with OSA, making sure they have the most memorable educational experience of their lives. She studied Communications in South Africa and has experience in higher education institutions. She is passionate about going above and beyond to ensure every student is well taken care of. Outside of work, Steph loves hiking and adventures – she is currently tackling her fear of the ocean and sharks.

Our Tutors

Oxford Scholastica tutors are the best of the best. They are highly qualified subject experts from Oxford, Cambridge, and other leading academic institutions, who are on the cutting edge of research in their fields. Our tutors often stay with us for several years and become part of the family! Meet a small selection of them below.

Summer school oxford tutor
Ivo Gruev
MSt MJur (Oxon)

Ivo holds a Law degree from Humboldt University in Berlin and a Diploma in Legal Studies from the University of Oxford. In 2015, he completed the MJur at Oxford, and is currently pursuing an MSt to doctoral research degree in Law (Socio-legal Studies). Ivo was awarded a “Best Position Paper” prize by the United Nations Department for Outreach and Education, and has participated in numerous model UN simulations, international conferences, and moot courts.

Oxford summer tutor
Alexandra Hibble
BA, MSc (Oxon)

Alexandra (Alix) studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, where she was awarded first class honours. She stayed at Oxford for an MSc in Psychological Research, and is currently completing her DPhil in Experimental Psychology. Alix’s research focuses on perception and consciousness – she previously worked on the effect of different lighting in how we perceive beauty (she conducted a workshop last year on how to manipulate lighting in order to create the “perfect selfie!”). Alix has been teaching Psychology at Oxford Scholastica since 2016.

Oxford summer school tutor
Ameya Kamath
BSc (Lond), MA (Harvard)

Ameya studied Economics at University College London, and received a first class honours degree. Tutoring with Oxford Scholastica in 2015 sparked his passion for education-related programming and policy, and he went on to a Master’s Degree in International Education at Harvard University. He has consulted for Teach for India, Teach for Mexico and UNICEF Romania, as well as working at UNESCO Bangkok. He now works as a Senior Officer at Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC). He tutors our Business students and on our Internship programmes.

Our Heroes

Heroes are young professionals who’ve gone on to have early success in different fields of study. They’re doctors, lawyers, coders, engineers, entrepreneurs, actors, and writers — you’ll be excited to meet them and learn more about their pathway to success. Learn about some of our Heroes below.

Summer school heroes

Oliver Farzin-Nia (Business) 

Oliver is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and executive with an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona. He has worked in a range of diverse businesses across industries and geographies (USA, UK, Spain, and Belgium), including a stint as a management consultant, and a Chief Executive at an award-winning social enterprise.

Summer school heroes

Fernanda Farina (Law) 

Fernanda is a social-impact oriented lawyer and researcher in law, public policy and international development, with over a decade of experience in practice and research. Her life’s mission is to help find, develop and advocate the innovative solutions that will make the world a better place. She holds a PhD in Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Oxford.

Summer heroes oxford

Dr. Bob Yang (Medicine)

Dr. Yang studied at Imperial College London, graduating in 2013 with first class honours, five distinctions and two University Prizes. He has surgical experience in a variety of fields, from vascular to orthopaedics to reconstructive surgery, and has won awards at the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetics Surgeons and the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Our Masterclass Teachers

Masterclasses are led by tutors with expertise on a specific topic, or by external speakers. They’re designed to help you build your skills and think about your future in a new way — class examples include debating, brain training, and careers applications. Meet a selection of them below.

Oxford masterclass students

Brain Training

Daniel Timms studied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He now works as a software developer, and at the same time is an international “Human Calculator”, competing in the Mental Calculation World Cup for Great Britain, where he holds the British record for calendar date calculation — he can calculate the day of the week for any date after 1582 in around one second!

Oxford summer school tutor

Social Impact

Susanna O’Brien studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, going on to a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Cambridge. She is passionate about social impact, and spent six months in the US as a volunteer consultant with Project Rousseau, where she gave 1-1 support to students from backgrounds of hardship. She now works as an Impact & Evaluation Coordinator at the Diana Ward, a charity set up to honour the legacy of Princess Diana.

Oxford summer school tutor


Mitch Artman is originally from the US, where he majored in Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He then obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from Long Island University, and another Master’s in Social Work from the University of California. Mitch is a third-generation teacher, with a passion for teaching as a way of unlocking students’ intellectual capabilities.

Our Summer School Matrons

Our two long-standing Matrons, Pascha and Tessa, have significant experience in leading boarding schools in the UK and internationally. They’re on hand to help with medical issues and homesickness — or for a friendly chat.

Oxford summer team


Pascha worked as a Matron at St. Edward’s boarding school in Oxford, looking after hundreds of 13-18 year olds — there isn’t much she doesn’t know about teenagers! She heads up our pastoral care, and is always around for a chat. Her claim to fame is that her husband used to play football for Pelé’s team.

Oxford summer team


Tessa is a Matron at Harrow Hong Kong, and flies over each summer to join us in Oxford, a city she knows well having been Head Matron at the Dragon School and Summerfields in the city. As well as being a Housemistress at Downe House school, she has also worked internationally.

Our Summer School Staff

Our staff is made of qualified educational leaders and bright undergraduates, who are on-site every day to support you and create a welcoming environment for all. Each building has a team of Activities Coordinators, typically made up of undergraduate or graduate students who attend the University of Oxford. Meet some of them below.

Summer school tutors

Tim Muggeridge

Tim studied Music at Exeter College, University of Oxford, where he was the Parry-Wood Organ Scholar. A former member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain, Tim has appeared on ITV and BBC Radio 3 & 4. After graduating from Oxford, Tim became a commercial airline pilot with Virgin Atlantic.

Summer team

Jenny Smith

Jenny studied Psychology at St John’s College, University of Oxford. She played netball, rugby, and rowing for her college and the university, and is a big musical theatre fan. After graduating, Jenny went on to become a children’s TV presenter in China.

Summer team course

Eliza Phibbs

Eliza studied History at the University of Bristol. She loved university life and all the opportunities it offered in terms of study, social life and extra-curricular activities. Eliza was brought up locally in Oxford — she’s looking forward to showing you around her city!

Reserve Your Spot

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