Meet the Widening Participation team

General contact details

For general widening participation enquiries, please call +44 (0)20 7852 3662 (between 10am and 3pm) or email

For other admissions enquiries, please contact Student Marketing and Recruitment.

Teachers and advisers are invited to join our mailing list.


Our postal address is:

Widening Participation Team
7th Floor Pankhurst House
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

Team details

jess bond photo

Jess Bond - Head of Widening Participation 

Jess is responsible for LSE’s widening participation strategy and works with colleagues across the School to ensure the effective delivery of the commitments made in our Access and Participation Plan.

Jess leads the School’s Widening Participation team, who work with hundreds of young people each year from groups that are under-represented in higher education. We deliver a range of events and activities to help students to better understand the benefits of higher education and to provide information to help them make decisions about their own educational futures. 

Prior to joining LSE in June 2020, Jess was Head of Widening Participation and Interim Head of Student Recruitment at St George’s, University of London.  She has also worked in a number of widening participation roles at the University of Cambridge, where she set up a flagship outreach project called HE+ and ran many summer schools and residential events.  

Outside of work, Jess is a school governor at a primary school in Cambridge and a long-standing volunteer with Girlguiding in the UK and worldwide.





Jonathan Plummer - Deputy Head Widening Participation (Programme Operations)
(Maternity Cover)

Jonathan joined LSE in May 2023 and is the maternity cover for Alice King.

Jonathan leads the day-to-day operations of the team’s pre-entry outreach and widening participation access programmes, events and activities to ensure the team is delivering exciting, impactful and high-quality activity, aligned with the School's strategic priorities.

Jonathan has over nine years experience in the sector and previously led on Widening Access at Royal Holloway, University of London where he formed a new team and created a number of impactful long-term sustained programmes for students across London and the South East. Before that he was a key part of the Widening Participation team at the University of Surrey and has also worked for HEON (the Uni Connect partnership in Surrey/Hampshire). 



Alice King

Alice King - Deputy Head Widening Participation (Programme Operations)  

Currently on maternity leave

Alice leads the day-to-day operations of the team’s pre-entry outreach and widening access programmes, events and activities to ensure the team is delivering exciting, impactful and high-quality activity, aligned with the Schools’ strategic priorities.  

Alice joined the WP team in August 2020 as a Widening Participation Officer. Alice is a qualified teacher with global experience in widening participation. She worked at the University of Sydney, delivering their admission pathway schemes, and in the Widening Participation team at UCL, delivering post-16 outreach, including their flagship residential summer school. She has also worked for a social mobility charity, delivering outreach in schools. 






Sam Bailey - Deputy Head of Widening Participation (Strategic Projects)

Sam leads on the evaluation and impact reporting of the Widening Participation Team’s pre-entry outreach and widening access initiatives, and manages financial reporting, forecasting and planning. Sam also contributes to the development, monitoring and evaluation of LSE’s Access and Participation Plan commitments.

After completing a BSc Zoology degree at the University of Southampton, Sam has worked in a number of roles developing partnerships with schools and colleges in London, Essex and Hampshire to increase access to Higher Education. Prior to joining LSE in November 2022, he led the evaluation of outreach programmes at Imperial College London.

Outside of work, Sam is a governor at a sixth form college in North London and spends his weekends as a volunteer zookeeper. 





Firas Ashraf - Access and Participation Plan Project Manager

Firas joined the team as the Project Manager of the School's Access and Participation Plan (APP). Firas will be overseeing the governance and monitoring of the APP and the development of the new four-year APP plan covering 2024-25 to 2027-28. Firas is also acting as Secretary to the School’s Access and Participation Plan Steering Group and the Access and Participation Plan Evaluation and Monitoring Group.

Prior to joining LSE in September 2022, Firas worked in higher education for more than eight years; from supporting the delivery of WP summer schools to developing leadership programs for young males to deconstruct notions of toxic masculinity. Firas has also designed and developed comprehensive adult education programmes for migrant labourers in the UAE, supporting the growth of these programmes to become an educational model for organisations in the MENA region.

Firas completed his MA in Education Policy at King's College London in 2022 and his BA in Social Research & Public Policy at New York University in Abu Dhabi in 2019, through the support of the Sutton Trust and US-UK Fulbright Commission's WP programmes. As a widening participation student himself, Firas is deeply passionate about social mobility and bridging the inequalities students face in education.




Rebecca Saxby

Becky Saxby-Smith - Senior Widening Participation Officer

Becky joined the WP team in November 2015 and has worked across many of the team’s projects.

Becky currently manages the Student Ambassador Programme and leads on the development and delivery of the Schools Partnership work.

Prior to working in the widening participation team at LSE, Becky studied Psychology at Cardiff University and has worked in higher education for eight years.





Jess King


Jess King - Senior Widening Participation Officer

Jess works with the team on projects relating to improving access to LSE, as detailed in our Access and Participation Plan, and also leads on our support for care-experienced students.

Jess currently manages the Student Ambassador Programme and leads on the development and delivery of Schools Partnership work, including the LSE Maths Tutoring programme in partnership with Team Up.

Jess is a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Jess has worked in Higher Education since October 2012 and before this for the Learning Department at Tate. Jess has a passion for supporting young people and ensuring fair access and opportunities within higher education. In her previous role at Central Saint Martins, Jess supported various departments to contribute to the widening participation agenda by leading on the operations and delivery of a large number of University events, activities, and staff training.




Katie Willis

Katie Willis - Senior Widening Participation Officer

Katie currently oversees the coordination and delivery of the Pathways Programmes funded by the Sutton Trust. Katie also oversees the development of transition widening access activity.

Katie graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BA (hons) in History and American Studies. Whilst volunteering abroad, she developed an interest in social mobility and worked as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) at Harper Adams University after graduating.




Alice Chowen

 Alice Chowen - Senior Widening Participation Officer

Alice joined LSE in August 2023.

Alice currently oversees the design and delivery of our post-16 access programmes including LSE Springboard, Thrive and Explore, as well as the Black Achievement Conference.

Alice is passionate about improving opportunities for young people from widening participation backgrounds and has worked in the sector for over seven years. Before joining LSE and working in the Widening Participation Team at the Royal Veterinary College, Alice spent much of her career working for a number of education and youth charities, including Action Tutoring and the Prince’s Trust.



Renaye Roberts-Sinclair

Renaye Roberts-Sinclair - Widening Participation Coordinator

Renaye joined LSE in January 2022 and is responsible for the coordination of the Student Ambassador scheme. Renaye also supports with the development and delivery of support for the transition of students from targeted groups into LSE.

Renaye graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 2016 with a Bsc (Hons) in Neuroscience and subsequently completed a MRes in Cognitive Neuroscience with Human Neuroimaging at the University of Sheffield in 2018. Prior to this she took on an advisory role for student support services as a Students’ Union Officer.

Since then, Renaye has worked for UniConnect in partnership with the University of Sheffield, where she oversaw the delivery of subject specific activity.





Zack Hurst - Widening Participation Coordinator (Pathways Programmes)

Zack graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2019 with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and joined LSE in July 2022. He is responsible for the coordination of the Pathways to Banking and Finance Programme.

Zack has a keen passion for widening participation and working towards equal access and opportunities in higher education. Prior to joining LSE, Zack worked for the Leicestershire and Rutland UniConnect hub, as well as working as an Outreach Officer at the University of Leicester. During this time, he oversaw a variety of programmes and events to help support a range of young people throughout their education, with the aim of promoting fairer access to higher education for students across the East Midlands.





Fatimah Alli - Widening Participation Coordinator (Pathways Programmes)

Fatimah joined the team in March 2023 and is responsible for the coordination of the Pathways to Law Programme.

Prior to joining the team, Fatimah was a student at LSE and graduated in 2021 with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology. Whilst she was a student, Fatimah had the opportunity to become a student ambassador where she worked with young people from under-represented backgrounds in state schools and colleges. Fatimah supported with a number of widening participation initiatives such as LSE’s Choice masterclasses, subject-specific sessions and mentoring.

After graduating from LSE, Fatimah then went on to work as the Responsible Business and Inclusion Assistant at Slaughter and May where she supported with the integration of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as part of the firm’s social mobility strategy.




Catherine Parkinson

Catherine Parkinson - Widening Participation Data and Impact Coordinator (Secondment)

Catherine joined LSE in 2021 and is responsible for evaluation, monitoring, data analysis and data management. Her work contributes to the evidence base for the team’s strategic and operational decisions with respect to LSE’s APP priorities for widening participation.

Catherine is a graduate of the Universities of St Andrews, Oxford, and Glasgow. She has worked in widening participation since 2018 and is a strong supporter of social justice and education policy reform. Catherine also previously worked in disability mentoring and advocacy in higher education and the third sector.





Jo Reed - Widening Participation Coordinator (Secondment Cover)

Jo joined us in February 2023 to cover an internal secondment opportunity and is currently responsible for coordinating LSE Explore, our subject-specific access work and LSE Springboard, our regional access programme for students who reside outside of South East England.

Jo is a graduate of History and Politics from the University in York. Prior to joining LSE they worked as a University Access Officer for The Access Project, delivering widening participation programmes to support students access higher education.





Phil Gerrard - Office Coordinator

Phil provides administrative support for the Widening Participation team across the full range of its programmes. He also deals with general external queries about Widening Participation at LSE. 

Phil graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Drama, and his first job at LSE was in the Graduate Registry. He then moved on to admissions roles at the Institute of Education and the University of London External Programme, before taking time out to pursue an acting career. During this time, he also took up temporary posts at SOAS, the University of East London, QMUL, and several other HE institutions. He returned to full-time work in the HE sector when he joined LSE’s Widening Participation team in February 2020. 

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7852 3662