About Quest for Learning

What we do

Since 1995, Quest for Learning has been helping to close the gap in literacy and numeracy between Oxfordshire’s most disadvantaged primary-age children and their better-off peers.

We believe that too many children are not fulfilling their academic potential through no fault of their own. The reasons for this are not easy to unpick: it may be because they arrived at school with only limited English, they don’t have much support at home, or they miss vital teaching through illness or disruption. Sometimes, they simply don’t have the confidence to engage in lessons.

Whatever the reasons, two things are clear. Firstly, if these children don’t catch up with their peers by the time they leave primary school, their chances of doing so at secondary school are almost non-existent. Secondly, Quest for Learning, through our carefully designed interventions and resources, can make a real and lasting difference.

“Everything we do is about giving children life chances… we are determined to reach out to support as many pupils as possible who may need help”

Siân Renwick, Director

How we do it

We use trained, paid, and experienced tutors to deliver programmes in Oxfordshire primary schools. Some schools approach us for help themselves, while others are identified by Quest for Learning and our funders as needing extra support for some pupils. We have many long-term relationships with schools across the county and are always very happy to hear from new schools who’d be interested in working with us. Last year, we worked in over 25 schools.

Our programmes

ReadingQuest is designed to help early readers, who don’t have the key skills and strategies needed for successful reading. 

BookQuest is designed to help KS2 pupils who have basic reading accuracy but low levels of comprehension.

 Exciting banks of resources for use with small groups of children to help them improve their mental maths and calculation skills

Training courses

In addition to our teaching programmes, we also run a comprehensive programme of affordable, up-to-date, and inspiring CPD refresher courses for primary teachers and TAs, including workshops on KS1 and KS2 moderation and assessment.

Anne Bajorek

Anne Bajorek

Position - Development Manager

Anne has worked as a fundraiser in the charity sector for 20 years.

Claire Bishop

Claire Bishop

Position - Tutor

Claire has always enjoyed maths puzzles and playing games so being a NumSkills Tutor is her perfect job.

Ben Brice

Ben Brice

Position - Trustee

Ben is a Legal Director at Blake Morgan solicitors, where he heads up the firm's charities team.

Sheenagh Broadbent

Sheenagh Broadbent

Position - Trustee

Sheenagh has spent her working life involved with education.

Reka Chrystal

Reka Chrystal

Position - Tutor

Reka trained as a primary school teacher at Oxford Brookes University and has several years of experience teaching students in KS1 and KS2.

Becky Clark

Becky Clark

Position - Tutor

Becky graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2008 and has since taught across all year groups.

Roger Copleston

Roger Copleston

Position - Chair

Roger is a Senior Management Consultant with over 20 years experience working with global Fortune 500 organisations.

Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies

Position - Patron

Nicola Davies is the author of more than 50 books for children, fiction, non fiction and poetry.

Emma Deasy

Emma Deasy

Position - Tutor

Emma graduated from Exeter University with a degree in Primary Education and started her career teaching in Key Stage Two.

Rachel Deegan

Rachel Deegan

Position - Tutor

Rachel has worked in a variety of education settings over the past 25 years.

Julia Edwards

Julia Edwards

Position - NTP Co-ordinator

Julia has worked in education for over 10 years and trained as a teacher through the Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance.

Tamzin Einon

Tamzin Einon

Position - Head of Teaching

Tamzin has worked in the primary sector for many years, following her training at Oxford Brookes University.

Amanda Ferguson

Amanda Ferguson

Position - Training Co-ordinator

As training co-ordinator, Amanda is responsible for the marketing and administration of QfL's CPD programme for schools.

John Foster

John Foster

Position - Ambassador

John grew up in a village outside Carlisle. As he didn’t have a TV, he read a lot and so began a passion that remains with him today.

Liz Gamlin

Liz Gamlin

Position - Tutor

Liz has taught in a range educational settings including special schools, pupil referral units and higher education.

Dr Andrew Gosler

Dr Andrew Gosler

Position - Patron

Dr Andrew Gosler is University Research Lecturer in Ornithology and Conservation at Oxford University

Mini Grey

Mini Grey

Position - Ambassador

Mini was given her name after being born in a mini car in an icy car park in South Wales.

Anna Hammond

Anna Hammond

Position - Trustee

Anna grew up in Oxford and took part in Reading Quest as a child, enabling her to really enjoy reading for the very first time.

Julia Hamper

Julia Hamper

Position - Tutor

Julia has worked in Oxfordshire for over twenty-five years. She has worked predominately in primary schools leading in literacy and the arts.

Tony Hobbs

Tony Hobbs

Position - Financial Advisor

Tony is an accountant with experience in many sectors, having qualified in 1992.

Mary Hoffman

Mary Hoffman

Position - Ambassador

Mary Hoffman is the author of over a hundred books, mainly for children and teenagers.

Vivien Hunt

Vivien Hunt

Position - Tutor

Viv has worked in the primary sector for 14 years.

Chris Jarvis

Chris Jarvis

Position - Patron

Chris Jarvis is one of the Education Officers at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Catherine Machin

Catherine Machin

Position - Tutor

Catherine completed a PGCE at Westminster College (now Oxford Brookes) and has taught across the primary age range in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Outer London.

Saskia McQuitty

Saskia McQuitty

Position - Tutor

Saskia has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years and has gained wide experience in a number of countries.

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore

Position - Tutor

Since completing his teacher training at Westminster College (now Oxford Brookes University) Andrew has been a class teacher in Oxfordshire from 1987 until 2010

Tom Moorhouse

Tom Moorhouse

Position - Patron

Tom Moorhouse is a strange hybrid being, half children's author and half research ecologist.

Dalya Moss

Dalya Moss

Position - Tutor

Dalya has worked in the education sector for the last 15 years.

Roger Mumby-Croft

Roger Mumby-Croft

Position - Patron

Roger has had a varied career as an entrepreneur, academic and manager.

Jen Pawsey

Jen Pawsey

Position - Tutor

Jen trained at Homerton College, Cambridge and taught in Suffolk in the middle school system before returning to Oxfordshire. ...

Siân Renwick

Siân Renwick

Position - Director

Siân joined Quest for Learning in November 2018.

Kimberley Rose

Kimberley Rose

Position - Trustee

Kimberley is an experienced HR professional with over 15 years’ experience across a range of roles, industries and countries.

Tony Ross

Tony Ross

Position - Ambassador

Tony is a much loved author and illustrator and his works are well known to staff at Quest for Learning as well as to the thousands of children we have supported.

Jeanette Sadler

Jeanette Sadler

Position - Administrator

Jeanette has worked in a number of administration roles across the education and child support sector.

Kevin Senior

Kevin Senior

Position - Trustee

Kevin was a partner in a major international accountancy firm from 1996 until his retirement in 2016.

Nick Sharratt

Nick Sharratt

Position - Ambassador

Nick is one of this country’s best-loved children’s illustrators.

Lynne Sonley

Lynne Sonley

Position - Tutor

Lynne has worked in the primary sector all her working career since achieving her degree.

Anna Thomas

Anna Thomas

Position - Tutor

Anna completed her teacher training after a degree in English and Drama.

Sarah Turner

Sarah Turner

Position - Tutor

Sarah has enjoyed a long teaching career and has experience of working across the primary age range within mainstream schools and within special education since 1988.

Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Position - Teaching Team Assistant

Ally joined Quest for Learning to assist the teaching team in coordinating their programmes within schools.

Ned Wells

Ned Wells

Position - Trustee

Ned is the co-founder and CEO of Zanzi, a digital marketing consultancy based in Wallingford.

Mary Wild

Mary Wild

Position - Patron

Mary is Senior Lecturer in Child Development and Education, and Field Chair for the Early Childhood Studies Degree at Oxford Brookes University.

Chris Williams

Chris Williams

Position - Vice Chair

Chris is Commercial Manager for Jennings on Monument Business Park in Chalgrove.

Our vision

A future in which children from all backgrounds can succeed equally in education and in life.

Our mission

To work collaboratively to close the disadvantage gap in children’s literacy and numeracy skills.

Our values

We are:

Child-centred We recognise each child’s individual abilities and needs, keeping them at the heart of what we do

Empowering We support our beneficiaries to increase skills, improve their self-concept, and take ownership of their learning

Evidence-led We continually review our impact and adapt our processes in line with emerging evidence

Co-operative We value the expertise of schools and other charities, and actively seek opportunities for collaboration

Our goals

We intend to:

Address the disadvantage gap in educational attainment through our charitable activities

Be widely recognised as a trusted partner by schools

Be widely recognised as an expert voice by educational policy makers and other key stakeholders

Drive third-sector collaboration in the field of educational disadvantage

Support us

Our work in helping some of Oxfordshire’s most disadvantaged primary pupils is more vital than ever, but we are funded almost entirely by donations. All donations, no matter how big or small, will help us in our quest to improve the life chances of thousands of children.

At Quest for Learning we firmly believe that education expands our horizons, fires our imagination, and gives us pleasure and opportunity in life. But not all children flourish at school and unfortunately our programmes remain as relevant, in demand and impactful as they did 24 years ago when we were founded.

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