SELMAS forum 2018

Our forum this year did not disappoint: keeping alive the bold discussions about things that really matter to educators and to our system.  Like, for example, how do we manage provision for marginalised, young people? What can we learn about supporting them from some of the practices that are  taking place in non-mainstream (Newlands Junior College) settings? What valuable work is going on in alternative organisations who support young people, but not through schooling (like Wildfire Theatre, for example)?
Here are some of the very impressive young people from Newlands Junior College, Giancarlo and Eadan, confidently sharing their experiences at the forum: SELMAS 2018
Award winning actor and theatre maker, Pauline Lockhart of Wildfire Theatre also spoke about ways of engaging young people outwith traditional schooling structures.
Pauline is interviewing students and educators about their experiences of the education system for a new theatre piece.  “Behind School Doors”, is being developed for the Traverse Theatre with support from Edinburgh University and aims to shine a spotlight on our education system.
If you or your students would like to take part in the development of this new piece of theatre, please email Pauline at
Finally, John Loughton, CEO of Dare2Lead and founder of the Scran Academy and Outstanding Youth of the Year 2013, inspired, challenged and energised us all with his passionate  account of how badly, sometimes, things can come across in the classroom from the other side of the desk. Relationships really matter.20180517_193606 (1).jpg

The Scary World of Student Leadership: what will education and schools look like in 2023 and how will you play a role in leading that?

We all now recognise the importance of listening to the young people in our schools and of developing their capacity to engage directly with us on the big educational issues.
For some time SELMAS has been encouraging the attendance of senior students at our events.  Their contributions and their observations have frequently been sharp and perceptive.
We therefore decided to organise a conference geared to developing schools’ capacities both to listen to the student voice and to encourage it.
Appropriately therefore, on Hallowe’en this year, 31 October, The Scary World of Student Leadership: what will education and schools look like in 2023 and how will you play a role in leading that?  will take place in Larbert High School.
The headline speaker will be Jason White, former Scotland rugby captain, who will bring experience of leadership, of skills development and of working together.  A large part of the day however will be led by young people themselves with contributions from Paradykes Primary School in Midlothian, Roseburn Primary School in Edinburgh, Ross High School (Tranent), St Andrew’s High School (Coatbridge), and Govan High School.  There will also be a session, led by Mark Cunningham, DHT at Castlebrae High School, and Alan McLean, educational psychologist, examining future schools in the contexts of technology and of interpersonal relations and a session led by Neil Craik-Collins and Michelle McAndrew on Ownership of Learning.
We are designing this event particularly for school pupils from P6 to S3 (although several of the presenting students will be S5 and S6), the day will be active and inter-active and we are charging £40 for adults and £10 for school students.  (We are suggesting that there should be at least one member of staff for every five pupils although, of course, we realise that many schools will send smaller delegations than that.)
The day will start with registration from 9.00 to 9.45 am.  There will be a buffet lunch between 12.15 and 1.15 and the event will close at 3.30 pm.
We believe this will be an excellent opportunity for your budding young leaders to meet their peers, to hear of good practice and to reflect on what they want and need from schools.  For school leaders and school staff generally this will offer the opportunity to look to the future and to consider how best to encourage and to hear the voice of our prime service users.
If you wish to book places at the conference, please contact Alex Wood  by email or letter with the number of places you wish to book and he will reserve your places and invoice you.  Finally, please accept our apologies for the relatively short notice for this event.