Dr Durant

I spent my early years in Hong Kong and London, moving to Manchester in 2011 for my
undergraduate degree.
During my Undergraduate and Masters I volunteered as a Peer Mentor, which then led me to
work for the University of Manchester for a year, managing the mentoring and Peer Assisted
Study programmes. I then went on to do a PhD which was funded by the Arts and
Humanities Research Council.

My research looked at the influence of early cinema on 20th century poetry. I presented my
research at several international conferences, including a conference in Tokyo in 2019.
During my PhD I worked as a Teaching Assistant, running weekly seminars (in person and
online) for undergraduates, and occasionally giving lectures. I loved teaching and received a
teaching award as a result of the positive feedback from students.

I also worked as a Widening Participation Fellow, which involved designing and delivering
workshops for school groups from underrepresented backgrounds. In these workshops we
introduced the pupils to university-style learning in order to support them in considering
higher educating as an option in their future. I found this role incredibly rewarding. It
reinforced my commitment to try to expand access to high quality education, which has led
me to apply for the role of school governor. When I moved to Chorlton last year I decided I
wanted to take on a voluntary position and the school governor role seemed like the perfect
way for me to make a difference in the local community whilst also improving my knowledge
of the educational system in the country.

I’m really interested in educational policy (particularly relating to the curriculum) and think
that the school governor role will be a great way for me to learn more about this. Since
completing my PhD in 2021, I have worked in eLearning roles at the university, supporting
the online delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. My current role is in the
Executive Education team in the Business School, focusing on supporting Senior Leader
Apprenticeship courses. This has expanded my knowledge of eLearning technologies, and
has provided some insight into the requirements of Ofsted.

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