EduMod Speakers 2019-06-14T10:07:40+01:00

EduMod at the fringe.


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.

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.

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.

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?

Rowena Arshad

Curriculum for Excellence 2.0

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.

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’ (http://sceptical.scot/2018/01/seven-reasons-scottish-education-performing/) and ‘The Parochialism of the Present’ (http://sceptical.scot/2019/02/the-parochialism-of-the-present/) – attracted considerable interest on social media.


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 www.lovetoteach87.com

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.

Maria O’Neill

How to raise a teenager in 2019

Speakers from RSA

Ideal school exhibition


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.