Marion studied French and Music at the University of Birmingham, and began her career as a secondary school French teacher and EFL teacher. She moved into staff training and development with the British Council, and then, after completing an MBA at Henley Management College, worked for the next 15 years as a freelance management skills training consultant. She then studied for a Masters in Education at Oxford Brookes University, specialising in dyslexia and literacy, and has for the last ten years been working at the University of Oxford as a specialist study skills tutor.
This involves helping students study more effectively, confidently and independently. Around ½ of students registered with an SPLD aren't diagnosed until they get to Oxford University. “One thing that has been interesting in the pandemic has been that we have done a lot more open book exams. [...] So of course that takes the pressure off having to memorise huge amounts of information, and actually that really helps. [...] Anecdotally, students who have taken their exams online this year, with more time than otherwise have been more comfortable and found it less stressful.”
In this conversation Marion talks about
The amazing strengths she has seen in dyslexic students she supports.
Extra time being provided to students with SPLD’s to meet the 2010 Equality Act
Primary and Secondary schools not having the resources for study skills support
“The term dyslexia is like an umbrella term for all kinds of cognitive diversity. [...] Part of our job is to identify which are the strengths.”
“I have worked with students from almost every subject. Lots study english, which is not something you might think for someone who is dyslexic, and yet these students have got amazing imaginations, they are creative and make links in a way you wouldn't have thought - just a different angle on things.”