EduMod at the fringe.


Rowena Arshad

Head of the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Curriculum for Excellence 2.0

Rowena Arshad is currently Head of the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. Her research and teaching is in the area of equalities, particularly race equality. Rowena currently chairs a working group for the Scottish Government on diversifying the teaching profession in terms of improving the numbers of black and minority ethnic teachers within the Scottish workforce. Over the past 28 years, she has worked with education policy maker and practitioners in Scotland but also across the world to look at how to embed issues of equality and anti-discrimination into the formal and hidden curriculum. Previous to coming to Moray House, Rowena was a community education worker and worked largely in the third sector. She was awarded an OBE for services to race equality in 2001, given an honorary doctorate in 2010 by Edinburgh Napier University for services to gender equality. A book she co-edited with Terry Wrigley and Lynne Pratt  Social Justice Re-Examined  (currently being updated) is used by many initial teacher education and master’s level programmes across the UK.  In her spare time, she likes nothing better than to spend time with her three border collies and her grandson.

Cllr Graham Campbell has been Glasgow City Councillor for Springburn / Robroyston ward since May 2017. He’s active in community-led development plans with Springburn Community Council and Friends of Springburn Park.

A musician/cultural producer raised in London and Jamaica who moved to Glasgow in 2002, he’s a key campaigner in the African & Caribbean communities for reparations and for recognition by Glasgow of its slavery legacy (enslaved African labour being the foundation of the Transatlantic tobacco, sugar and cotton trades that made Glasgow wealthy).

He’s a member of CRER’s campaign for a Museum of Slavery Colonialism Empire & Migration which launched an online educational archive

He is Project Leader of Flag Up Scotland Jamaica (FUSJ) a twinning citizenship project linking the two countries launched August 1st 2014 during the Commonwealth Games to mark Emancipation Day. FUSJ campaigns for Jamaica to be recognised as a country of special significance as the ‘most Scottish island in the world outside Scotland’.

Co-founding African Caribbean Cultures Glasgow with Anne McLaughlin  he worked with Glasgow Life to co-produce ‘Emancipation Acts’ – a street theatre written & directed by Alan McKendrick based on Dr Stephen Mullen’s 2007 book ‘It Wisnae Us: the Truth About Glasgow and Slavery’ which was performed during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Graham was also the founder and Coordinator of the African Caribbean Centre from 2009-2013 in the Merchant City and has long been a socialist campaigner on housing, refugee human rights and anti racism.

He strongly believes in the power of cultural arts to help revitalise and regenerate working class communities

Lena has been teaching and working in education since 1992. She trained in England and taught Drama and Modern Languages in Cambridgeshire, London and Cumbria before moving to The Outer Hebrides and then Argyll in Scotland. Early in her career, she also trained in Dramatherapy and Counselling Skills and this training gave her very useful insights into the emotional needs of children and young people, as well as nurturing practices. She has held a range of middle and senior leadership roles. 

Lena was very fortunate to be seconded to her local authority team shortly after arriving in Argyll and she worked to develop policy and practice around Getting it Right for Every Child and child protection.


She is currently seconded again from her Head of Teaching and Learning post to lead on support for care experienced children.


She writes and speaks extensively on a range of issues related to inclusion and equity and is an advocate for challenging stigma around mental health.

Graham Goulden, BA, is an experienced and committed leadership and violence prevention trainer.  For thirty years he was a Scottish police officer and Chief Investigator specialising in criminal investigation, drug investigation, training and crime prevention.  For the last nine years of policing career he was a Chief Inspector and a key member of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

Since retiring from policing Graham continues to focus on supporting healthy relationships.  He works in schools, universities, in prisons, sports teams and in workplaces helping them build the environments that support success.

Graham is a member of the Men and Boys Coalition and a passionate advocate for supporting boys and men in their lives.  Throughout his career Graham has become all too aware of the challenges that boys and men face.  Much of his focus is on engaging boys and men to be the best they can be, to be authentic and to be leaders in their communities.

Walter Humes

Curriculum for Excellence 2.0

Walter Humes has been a Professor of Education at the Universities of Aberdeen, Strathclyde and West of Scotland.  He is now an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling.  His academic publications include work on policy analysis, history of education, curriculum studies, teacher education, and educational leadership and management. His highly critical account of the governance of the Scottish educational system (The Leadership Class in Scottish Education, published in 1986) is still cited by researchers.  He is co-editor of Scottish Education (5th edition, 2018), which has become an important source for students, researchers, teachers and other education professionals. As well as his academic output, he has written many short articles in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland and the online journals Scottish Review and Sceptical Scot. Two controversial pieces in Sceptical Scot – ‘Seven Reasons Why Scottish Education is Underperforming’ ( and ‘The Parochialism of the Present’ ( – attracted considerable interest on social media.

Sadia Hussain-Savuk

Teacher of Biology at Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire

Chair: Promoting Diversity in Education

Sadia started off her career working as a Biomedical Scientist for the NHS before deciding to move into teaching. She has been a teacher of Biology at Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire for ten years. In addition to teaching, marking for the SQA and carrying out a pastoral role as an Assistant Head of Year, she has also organised a number of expeditions to Costa Rica. Sadia is passionate about making education accessible to all and promoting equality amongst pupils.

Kate Jones

Author, Blogger, Head of History at The British School Al Khubairat

Are the Kids Alright? Generation Z’s mental health crisis


Kate Jones is Head of History at The British School Al Khubairiat in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate but is originally from North Wales where she began her teaching career. In addition to her teaching and leadership role Kate is a Lead Practitioner and Governor. In 2018 Kate’s first book was published with John Carr Publishing entitled Love To Teach: Research and Resources for every classroom. You can also visit her educational blog at

Darren McGarvey is the Orwell Prize winning author of Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass and has drawn several comparisons with George Orwell himself, from public figures like Andrew Adonis and Paul Mason. Originally published by Luath Press, Poverty Safari secured a deal with Pan Macmillan imprint Picador to republish the book in August 2018. The book is an Amazon and Sunday Times Best-Seller and thanks to strong word of mouth from across the social and political spectrum, continues to garner positive reviews and media coverage for its unique blend of memoir, journalism and polemic on the topic of poverty. McGarvey’s second book is due in 2019 and will be published by Ebury.

Neil McLennan

Curriculum for Excellence 2.0

Neil McLennan has held a number of key roles in supporting change and improvement in education.  After a teaching career in the central belt he was seconded to Learning & Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) as a National Development Officer.  After two successful secondments implementing national policy he moved to the North East as Quality Improvement Officer (Education, Culture and Sport) for Aberdeen City Council where he also undertook a period as Acting Service Manager (Schools & Curriculum). He continues to be a Reading Champion for Aberdeen City Council and is also a Burgess of Guild of the City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen.

In 2011 The Herald described Neil as, “a charismatic visionary in Scottish education.”  In 2018 Dame Sue Bruce DBE described Neil as “a pioneering figure in Scottish education.”

Neil has led a number of national education organisations and professional membership bodies.  He is a former President of both the Scottish Association of Teachers of History (SATH) and the Enterprise Practitioners’ Association (EPA).   Neil was a co-chair and the General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland and remains a Trustee of the Royal Society of Scotland Foundation.  Neil was the chair of the RSE YAS Curriculum for Excellence Working Group and the Excellence in Education Groups.  These groups engaged in issues as diverse as inter-disciplinary learning, numeracy, skill development, aspirations and the recruitment and retention of teachers.

He is an established author with textbooks being used in Scottish Schools across the country and his other articles and publications used by leaders in education and beyond.  He is a regular contributor to TESS and other national media outlets.  He has had a skills column in the Courier Newspaper, still writes a history column in History Scotland magazine and also appears on radio and broadcast media shows on education, skills and current affairs related matters.

Neil was awarded Professional Recognition for Enterprise in Education by the General Teaching Council Scotland and also was the recipient of a Royal Society of Edinburgh Medal for “for his outstanding contribution to civic society, creativity and social enterprise, education and the social sciences.”  He has also completed the Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES) Senior Leadership Development Programme as well as ILM accreditation for Leadership in Social Enterprise.

Neil also sits on a number of panels and working groups including previously being involved in Ministerial Working Groups.  He is a lay advisor to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.  He was a Board Director for the Scottish Parent Teacher Council and the Scottish College for Educational Leadership.

Neil supports leaders in education and beyond in his role as Senior Lecturer and Director of Leadership Programmes at the University of Aberdeen School of Education.

From 1996 until 2009 I was invited by the UN to deploy to war zones in Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia and in Sierra Leone as a member of National & International Forensic teams who were tasked with providing physical and scientific evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide from the victims exhumed from mass graves, many of whom had suffered extreme torture and then executed. I also assisted in the identification of British & Australian soldiers killed in WW1 and helped repatriate victims of the South East Asia tsunami.

After retiring I experienced mild PTSD as disturbing images of atrocities visited me in the night. Concerned by this my wife, knowing I was interested in Art bought me an easel and I began to teach myself how to paint by tackling some of these these images.

I soon realised that by expressing myself through art I had found it to have therapeutic value for me.

I am currently the Vice Chair of the charity Remembering Srebrenica (Scotland) and visit schools, colleges and prisons to try to help educate people about the 1995 genocide in Bosnia and encourage people to express themselves through the Arts.

Hashi Mohammed

Barrister / Broadcaster, No5 Chambers / BBC – Former Special Adviser to David Anderson QC & Max Hill QC

What role does education play in social mobility?

Hashi Mohamed is a barrister at No5 Chambers and a Broadcaster at the BBC.

In 2010, he joined The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and completed his barrister training at 39 Essex Street Chambers London in 2012. Now at No5 Chambers, Hashi practices in public law and commercial litigation; his main area of focus is Planning & Environmental law.

He presents documentaries on BBC Radio 4, most recently on 20 years since the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, on access to the top professions, child refugees coming to Europe, and terrorism and how nations react. Hashi writes regularly in various newspaper publications, including The Times, The Guardian and Prospect Magazine.

Hashi’s forthcoming book on social mobility in Britain, People Like Us, is out on general release in January 2020.

Sir Geoff Palmer

Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a human rights activist.

Scotland’s debt: the impact of the slave trade on the nation’s wealth
Edinburgh’s slavery legacy

Geoff Palmer was born in Jamaica. He came to London as an immigrant in 1955. After various difficulties, he worked and attended evening classes to improve his qualifications. He subsequently entered Leicester, Edinburgh and Heriot Watt Universities where he gained BSc, PhD and DSc degrees, respectively.

He worked at the Brewing Research Foundation on cereals and malted barley.  He invented the barley abrasion process, pioneered the use of the Scanning Electron Microscope in the study of cereals in malting and was the first European to receive the American Society of Brewing Chemists award for research. Professor Palmer was also involved in the setting up of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at the Heriot Watt University.

Sir Geoff is the author of many scientific papers and has published books on grain science and the history of Slavery in the West Indies. He serves on the Boards of various charitable organisations. He is the Freeman of Midlothian and the Honorary Consul for Jamaica in Scotland.  Professor Palmer was awarded the OBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2014 for his contributions to science, charity and human rights.

Pran Patel

TEDx Speaker – NPQSL – x AHT Curriculum and Standards

Promoting Diversity in Education

Pran has 15 years’ experience in education, mainly at Secondary and University level. He has also worked with primary schools through leading on transition. Pran studied for his initial degree in Physics at the University of Birmingham, later pursuing a career in teaching after falling in love with the profession.  Upon completing a GTRP (placement) in a local school in Wolverhampton he held a variety of positions and responsibilities, including Classroom Teacher, Lead Coach, Head of Department, Lead Practitioner and as a Assistant Principal/Headteacher.

Pran has led an interesting career to date focussing in areas such as leadership, leading standards, behaviour management and professional development and curriculum. His NPQSL (National Professional Qualification for School Leadership) project was to lead whole-school coaching. In 2017, Pran featured on the BBC London’s Inside Out program, where he addressed teacher well being, workload and stress. For Pran, teaching, in fact, life is fundamentally a game of people and he believes that having happier teachers and pupils mean it is more likely that both relationships will thrive. Pran is a Mental Health and BAME advocate. As a result he has extensive experience in training around unconscious and implicit bias.

Vonnie Sandlan

Public Affairs Manager at Equality and Human Rights Commission, Co Chair (Justice and Care) at Independent Care Review

Chair: What role does education play in social mobility

With a low tolerance threshold for injustice, and a values set which is rooted in communities, Vonnie Sandlan is a passionate advocate for education as a public and social good, and has a keen interest in the role education can play in securing social justice. Before becoming the first woman president of the National Union of Students Scotland in a decade, Vonnie was a mature adult returner to education, studied at Langside College before moving to the University of the West of Scotland to undertake a BA Childhood Studies.

During her tenure as NUS Scotland president, Vonnie was a member of the Commission on Widening Access which made wide ranging recommendations to improve access to education, particularly for those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds. Subsequently, Vonnie has worked in post-16 education with responsibility for learner-focused policy and laterally has been working with the college sector to prepare for Brexit.

Vonnie is a Trustee of Scouts Scotland, Causeway Education and EmilyTest. She doesn’t have free time as she has four children and two dogs but if she did, she would enjoy reading stacks of paperbacks, listening to very loud music and open water swimming (Summer only).

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham since 2015, is one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors.

He was a transformative head for 20 years, first of Brighton College and then Wellington College. He is author or editor of over 40 books on contemporary history, including the inside books on the last four Prime Ministers, was the co-founder and first director of the Institute for Contemporary British History, is co-founder of Action for Happiness, honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street, UK Special Representative for Saudi Education, a member of the Government’s First World War Culture Committee, was chair of the Comment Awards, is a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the President of IPEN, (International Positive Education Network), Chair of the National Archives Trust, is patron or on the board of several charities, founder of the Via Sacra Western Front Walk, and was executive producer of the film Journey’s End.  He appeared on the Desert Island Discs in 2016.  For the last fifteen years he has given all his money from writing and lecturing to charity.

Lisa Williams is the founder and director of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association that promotes Caribbean culture in Scotland and awareness of the significant historical links between the two regions. A curator and creator of culturally relevant educational programming, she delivers Black History Walks in Edinburgh, school visits to promote understanding of Scotland’s Black heritage, and youth projects to explore Black history through the arts. She runs a range of cultural events, including the Caribbean wing of Scotland’s annual Africa in Motion film festival and is partnering again in 2019 with Scottish Book Trust to host an author event for BME youth.

Lisa has had articles and reviews published in newspapers, journals, arts and heritage blogs and resources for use in secondary schools, and given talks at conferences and events across the UK and the Caribbean. With a BA (Hons) from the University of Sussex in Social Psychology and African and Asian Studies, and currently studying for an MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, she has recently been appointed Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

Jack Dudgeon MSYP, Chair // Josh Kennedy MSYP, Vice Chair // Caitie Dundas MSYP, Trustee // Emily Harle MSYP, Trustee // Bailey-Lee Robb MSYP, Trustee // Sarah Quinn MSYP, Trustee // Liam Fowley MSYP, Trustee

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) are a fundamentally rights-based organisation, and our mission, vision, and values are grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  In particular, our purpose embodies Article 12: that young people have the right to express their views freely and have their opinions listened to in all matters affecting them.

As a completely youth-led organisation, the words and sentiment of Article 12 have profound importance for our work.

Our democratically elected members listen to and recognise the issues that are most important to young people, ensuring that their voices are heard by decision-makers.  We exist to provide a national platform for young people to discuss the issues that are important to them, and campaign to effect the change they wish to see.


This is the first time that the Edinburgh Fringe has included an education festival, and it promises to be huge. Open your minds. Bring your thinking caps. Be prepared to laugh, cry and change your outlook on life. We’ll see you there.