St Swithun's CE Primary SchoolGrundy Crescent, Kennington, Oxford OX1 5PS

Alan Young

Alan Young - Parent Governor

I am the IT director for the NDPH, a large medical department within Oxford University.  In the ever-diminishing gaps between email and paperwork I spend my time designing software and systems for large scale medical and epidemiological studies such as the UK Biobank. Previously I've been a mathematician, don, geneticist and martial arts instructor. I'm sure I used to have hobbies and enjoy reading, but having a child has rather superceded those - though that's fine by me.

I had a state education in Northumberland at the local comprehensive, then came to Oxford to study and stayed around to work.  For several years I was involved with interviewing teenagers for university admission and this gave me a keen sense of how much schooling can influence one’s life course. I moved from East Oxford to Kennington in 2004 and currently have a son at St.Swithun's.

It seems to me that although children today have many learning opportunities not available to my generation they also face more challenges - new technology and societal changes have made their world both broader and more perilous than mine ever was.  While the 3 Rs undoubtedly remain paramount, I think that it's vital children also learn about the larger world, appreciating the history and social context within which they live, and mastering soft-skills such as collaboration and presentation alongside developing the confidence to apply them. To achieve all that they need a happy welcoming environment where good teaching combines with caring support and I became a parent-governor to do what I can to assist St.Swithun's in providing it.