our consultants

Elizabeth Rickards MA (St Andrews) PGCE FRSA

Educated at St Mary's, Shaftesbury, Elizabeth read History and French at St Andrews University. From 1996 to 2007 Elizabeth was Principal of Davies Laing and Dick (DLD) in London. Elizabeth was described by in the Independent Schools Inspectorate Report 2006 as ‘an outstanding principal, a dynamic leader, dedicated to the welfare of her students and highly effective in realising her ambitions for them'. The Good Schools Guide comments: ‘….has worked at the Young Vic, and is passionate about creativity in education. Outstanding leader. “She's very sharp, very quick, really on the ball” said a parent.' In 2008 Elizabeth established the education consultancy and she has advised students, parents, schools, education organisations, and education policy makers. She has two adult children, and is married to historical crime writer David Dickinson (Lord Francis Powerscourt series), former Editor of BBC's Newsnight and Panorama.


Claire Kelly read Social and Political Science at Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge. She has worked in secondary education for many years and until July 2012 was Deputy Head at South Hampstead High School, one of the leading girls' schools in the U.K. Claire was formerly Vice Principal at Davies Laing and Dick College and where she had responsibility for University and College Applications and Careers. She has considerable experience of advising students on university applications including Oxford and Cambridge entrance. She is author of a book entitled ‘Which A Levels?' Claire is married to Ian Kelly actor, writer and television presenter. They have two school age children.

Luigi La Falce, Translator and Italian Schools Liaison

Luigi La Falce studied at the University “La Sapienza” (Rome), where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Philosophy. He is a highly experienced linguist with 20 years of experience in teaching Italian for both public and private institutions. He worked for five years as Italian Lecturer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. At present, he is Managing Director for Gateway Language Services, a company that he co-founded in 2008 and which specializes in delivering highly customized programs to British diplomats and civil servants. He also works for Davies Laing and Dick & Fine Arts College where he teaches GCSE and A Level Italian. Apart from translating school references for the Consultancy, Luigi is able to liaise with Italian schools so that they fully understand what is required of them for their UK university applicants.

Il dottor Luigi La Falce si è laureato in Filosofia con 110 e lode presso l'Università “La Sapienza” di Roma. Il Dottor La Falce è un linguista con un'esperienza professionale ventennale presso diverse istituzioni pubbliche e private. Ha lavorato come lettore di Italiano per cinque anni presso il centro linguistico diplomatico del Ministero degli Esteri britannico a Londra.

Attualmente ricopre l'incarico di Direttore di Gateway Language Service, una societ à che ha co-fondato nel 2008 e specializzatasi nella for mazione linguistica dei diplomatici britannici e dei funzionari della pubblica amministrazione nel Regno Unito.

Il Dottor La Falce continua ad esercitare la sua professione di insegnante free-lance presso diversi istituti privati fra cui “Davies Laing & Dick College e Fine Arts College dove insegna Italiano per GCSE ed A level.


Hannah Rickards BA Central St Martin's - Art School Applications

Hannah Rickards is a Lecturer at Central St Martin's College of Art. She won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2008 in conjunction with the Whitechapel Gallery. Since graduating from the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design in 2002, she has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and the USA. In 2008 she became an Associate Lecturer on the 4D Pathway of the BA(Hons) Fine Art course at Central Saint Martins.

Dr Ingrid Wassenaar FRSA – Oxford and Cambridge Preparation and Interview Practice

Dr Ingrid Wassenaar is a former Director of Studies at Christ's College, Cambridge, and a lecturer in the French Department there. Her doctoral work was on Marcel Proust and self-justification (published as Proustian Passions, OUP). She is able to advise on negotiating the interview process for Oxford and Cambridge, having conducted admissions work in both universities. She has also held posts at Queen Mary College, University of London, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and the University of Sydney, Australia. Since leaving full-time academic life to start a family, Ingrid has worked as a management consultant, and as a researcher for an online education information service. Recently she ran a project for the RSA looking at how young people approach leaving school and embarking on higher education or employment. She is currently writing a book on parenting, tutors French to A level, and coaches senior executives in change management. She is the chair of governors for a North London primary school, and is married with two children.


Jess read English Literature at the University of York (BA, First Class Honours) and the University of Leeds (MA, Distinction). She was an Associate Agent for screenwriters and directors at PFD, a leading UK film and television agency, and then taught English as a Second Language and Literacy to women, many of whom had never learned to read or write in any language, at an educational charity in Brixton, London. Currently, as well as being part-time Administrator for EREC, Jess is a Writing Examiner for Cambridge ESOL (First Certificate and PET).

Sheila Cosgrove BSc Design (USA), CFA (Oxon), BA (Hons) Textile Design (Chelsea)

After university in the States (Fashion Design and Illustration), Sheila worked as an illustrator in New York City before moving to England to do post-graduate work in Fine Art at The Ruskin School, Oxford University.

She spent 20 years as a free-lance art and design journalist before spending a five-year period teaching English in Japan. Returning to England she took a BA in Textile Design at Chelsea College, UAL. Her textile designs for both fashion and furnishings have been sold in America, Britain and across Europe.

Sheila has been teaching Fashion, Textile and Interior Design at A-level for nearly 20 years and works as a specialist colour tutor for the on-line programme at the Inchbald School, for whom she recently co-authored a 3 month on-line course for interior designers.

Sewing continues to be a major interest; Sheila has sold quilts at Liberty’s department store, taught dressmaking to women at CRISIS (a charity for the homeless) and is currently designing and making a collection of silk jackets using antique kimonos brought back from Japan.


After graduating with a First class honours in BA (Hons) Medical Sciences from Trinity College Oxford, Matthew moved to London to complete a PhD in Cardiac Pharmacology at Imperial College London. He is now completing the clinical part of the BMBCh back in Oxford. At Imperial College London, he was a Physiology tutor for first-year medics, and a PBL facilitator, covering a wide-range of topics in Medicine. He is currently College Lecturer in Applied Physiology at Oriel College Oxford. Matthew has supported applicants in all aspects of the Medicine application process since 2008, and is available to mentor Medicine applicants on their choices of where to apply, UKCAT and BMAT preparation, and interview preparation.