Call for applicants - Teaching Slavery in Schools Programme 2023-2024

Published: 17 October 2023

Deadline for applications: Friday 27 October 2023

Call for applicants - Teaching Slavery in Schools Programme 2023-2024

Anti-racism, inclusion and social justice are increasingly regarded as key components of a contemporary curriculum where children and young people learn about and investigate past and present events in a way that amplifies under-represented perspectives and stories, and understand and enquire into Scotland’s role in historical world events, including trans-Atlantic enslavement and colonial histories, and their continuing impact today.

The Teaching Slavery in Schools programme has been designed to address and support educators that are committed to developing their practice in the curriculum area of social studies and specifically history.


We are offering an opportunity for twenty teachers to join an expert project team for a year-long fully-funded programme of professional learning and reflection through meetings, residential training, development workshops, and a closing public panel discussion. The aim of the programme is to offer teachers from across Scotland the opportunity to refine their historical understanding, develop new pedagogical approaches, and foster sensitive and thoughtful approaches to the topic of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery.

Successful applicants will receive library access to the University of Glasgow Library, including electronic resources, attend an introduction to researching slavery and the slave trade, participate in academic-led reading tasks and complete an online part-time course, take part in a fully-funded residential training and development weekend, work together to develop new resources, and disseminate their knowledge and understanding through an online public panel discussion in summer 2024.

Applicants are expected to confirm agreement with their headteacher to attend, commit to  attending all programmed events, and completing the required components, which include:

  • the launch event;
  • completing the online course and three required readings that centre on West Africa, the Caribbean, and Scotland and Slavery;
  • the residential weekend; and
  • the two post-residential half-day development workshops.

A provisional timeline is set out below.

The residential weekend to be the start of a process of development and exchange which will include two in-person half-day development workshops in addition to the first weekend, working with at least one other teacher and an academic to refine and edit your learning resources. The learning resources will be peer-reviewed by a panel of academics, education specialists, and teachers for final approval and the panel may request revisions. The programme will end with a webinar panel discussion to disseminate best practice nationwide. Participants who successfully complete all elements of the programme will be awarded the designation ‘Teacher-Scholar of the Teaching Slavery in Scotland Programme 2023-24’.

Application deadline: 5pm, Friday 27 October 2023.

Submit your application here

Further details

The programme will be based on the latest historical and pedagogical research and offer new approaches to developing an inclusive curriculum. Participants will meet in November 2023 for induction and complete a four-week part-time online course in December. Three specially-designed reading tasks will cover key themes: African cultures and societies; experiences of the Middle Passage and life on the plantations; and the economic and social impact of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade on Scotland.

The residential weekend will provisionally include sessions on: anti-racist principles and practice in teaching slavery; gender relations and women’s experience in Caribbean slavery; slavery and Scotland’s economy and society; Caribbean foodways and slavery; the impact of Atlantic slavery on African societies. There will also be time for reflection on current teaching and curricula and on how these might change as well as brainstorming around the creation of new lesson plans and resources. Each session will be co-led by one or two historians in conjunction with Katie Hunter and Lisa Williams, who will ensure the research discussed is presented accessibly for classroom use. Katie Hunter, a history teacher at an Edinburgh secondary school, is experienced in teaching the history of Africa, slavery and the Caribbean and is an eight-time Teacher Scholar including Atlantic Slavery residentials in Barbados and North Carolina. Lisa Williams is a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD student St Andrew's University. She has substantial experience working in Scottish schools on topics related to slavery. The residential’s design and implementation will be supported by Dr Joe Smith (Lecturer in Education, Stirling), formerly a secondary history department head; now researching school history education.

After the residential weekend, two in-person development workshops with smaller groups will focus on developing, refining, and designing new resources for classroom use. Participants will work in small groups of three to four people with a focus on a particular theme or enquiry question. In-person development and refining session will allow for a higher quality of feedback as well as the chance to walkthrough teaching techniques. The project will not only generate a range of useful resources for classroom use: it will also create a dedicated space for the discussion of anti-racist teacher training, build participants’ confidence to share knowledge with colleagues, and further develop a network of educators working in this important area. Participants will feedback through these workshops on their experiences and learning about anti-racism in education.

This programme is funded by the Scottish Government, so there is no charge and travel expenses, meals and refreshments will be provided. Participating teachers will need to ensure they have support, in the form of teaching cover for the introductory event and the residential weekend. There is an expectation that the resources we produced will be of the highest standard. Quality assurance will be achieved through a process of peer review and quality improvement and will be achieved through a partnership between teachers and academics. Before publication, resources will be subject to a rigorous process of feedback, redrafting and refinement. Participants must agree to enter this process of quality improvement with enthusiasm and an open mind.

Provisional timeline



Tuesday 28 November 2023

Introductory event in Glasgow

By Sunday 31 December 2023

Complete FutureLearn course ‘History of Slavery in the British Caribbean’

By Friday 12 January 2024

Submit reading and annotation tasks  

Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 February 2024

Residential weekend in Stirling

Friday 8 March 2024

Online resource development workshop  

Wednesday 22 May 2024

In-person resource development workshop

June 2024 (exact date to be decided)

‘Lessons learned’ webinar panel

Project team

Dr Peggy Brunache (University of Glasgow), Ms Katie Hunter (St Thomas of Aquin’s RC High School, Edinburgh), Professor Diana Paton (University of Edinburgh), Dr Joseph Smith (University of Stirling), Ms Lisa Williams (University of Edinburgh & St Andrew’s) and Dr Christine Whyte (University of Glasgow).

First published: 17 October 2023