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Photograph of Peter Shukie

Peter Shukie

On a blustery, cold winter night in Blackpool we got back to the car after walking the illuminations.  A bit shattered and glad of the warm, by chance I happened across a radio show by a brilliant woman that led to this website, this conference and the creation of this brilliant group of academics, students and thinkers of all kinds. 

Photograph of Hina Suleman

Hina Suleman

I have recently completed a master’s degree in Education and Education Leadership and Management at Liverpool Hope University. In this conference I share my story of being a working-class lone parent. I feel between the working class and the middle class and this leads to interesting observations about how women of colour are faced with boundaries of culture and labelling whilst aware of their realities.


Kay Sidebottom

Kay Sidebottom is a Lecturer in Education and Childhood at Leeds Beckett University. Her current research explores how teachers can work with posthuman ideas to facilitate meaningful and disruptive education spaces for our complex times. With a background in community and adult education, her pedagogical specialisms include radical and anarchist education, arts-based practice and community philosophy. 

Photograph of Kay Sidebottom

Mollie Louise Baker

Mollie is a PhD Education student at Newnham College, Cambridge. She grew up on a council estate in Colchester, Essex and spent her teenage years watching a family member fade due to addiction. She has mixed feelings about her current student status. She is proud on some days and mortified on others. Mollie’s PhD explores the classed and affective(ing) dimensions of resistance amongst academics. Her research is motivated by a hatred for the New Labour lies about social mobility and meritocracy –  bastards, she says, utter bastards.

Photograph of Mollie Louise Baker
Photograph of Alex Dunedin

Alex Dunedin

Alex Dunedin has been a part of developing the Ragged University project over the last ten years which has been using available infrastructure and common technology to pursue educational processes in the community.

Photograph of Maria Impedovo

Maria Impedovo

Maria Impedovo is an Associate Professor at the Aix-Marseille University, France. Originally from the South of Italy. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Psychology. She currently teaches at the School of Education. Her research interests sit at the intersections of identity and professional development, learning, and the use of technology for individual and collective empowerment.

Lou Mycroft

Lou is a nomadic writer, educator and thinker who tries to channel rage into affirmative practice. She uses Thinking Environment practices to create spaces where people can think, feel, plan and dream…safely.

Photograph of Lou Mycroft

Elaine J Laberge

Elaine uses playwriting, creative non-fiction and poetry to make visible systemic inequality and inequity in Canada. She focuses on the structural reasons for poverty discrimination in Canada and Canadian universities. Elaine’s PhD research explores how hope and imagination can create taxpayer-funded universities that focus on education for public good.


Photograph of Elaine J Laberge
Photograph of Andrew Preater

Andrew Preater

I am a library director at a modern university. My work and practice is informed by critical theories of librarianship (or ‘critical librarianship’) and critical sociology of education; and professionally I am interested in the role of academic libraries in supporting equity and widening participation.

Photograph of Kevan Thompson

Kevan Thompson

Northumbrian born with a Celtic heritage from Galloway, Caithness and South Ronaldsay in Orkney. His family moved to the West Yorkshire coalfield in the late 60s where he attended high school which sought to prepare young boys for a working life on the railways, glassworks or in the mines.


Ian Duckett

Ian is an award-winning teacher (albeit a long, long time ago) and an education and training consultant with comprehensive experience in curriculum planning and  partnership development across the 14-19 sector. His recent teaching has been on intervention and engagement programmes.

Photograph of Ian Duckett

Stephanie Alexander

I work and live in beautiful, rural, southeastern Ohio, and hold a BS in Education (elementary), BA in History, MEd in Classroom Teaching/Humanities and PhD in Cultural Studies in Education. As a first-generation college graduate, I strive everyday to make higher education more accessible to others, like myself, who are ready to make that leap.

Photograph of Stephanie Alexander
Photo of Caroline Bald

Caroline Bald

Caroline Bald is a working class academic currently working in the Social Work and Social Justice Division of the University of Essex, where her work focuses on social injustice. Her work explores the politics of suitability in public sector professional education currently researching criminal records.  Caroline positions herself as a researcher activist interested in exploring power and ‘class’ selection decision-making at the point of admissions to higher education.

Photograph of Anastasia Christou

Anastasia Christou

Dr Anastasia Christou is Associate Professor of Sociology at Middlesex University, London and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Anastasia is a long-term committed academic activist, trade unionist, feminist and anti-racist. As an interdisciplinary critical scholar her work is fully immersed in the humanities, social sciences and the arts in the pursuit of a public sociology which is relevant, meaningful and impactful.


Jo Fletcher-Saxon

Jo Fletcher-Saxon has been in further and college higher education since 1996. She is an Assistant Principal and is the college’s Practitioner Research Lead.

Photograph of Jo Fletcher-Saxon

Cheryl Hedges

I am a first-generation university graduate from a working-class family in South Yorkshire. Having attended university of York I went into teaching. Following a successful career in which ended as a deputy headteacher, I left school leadership in 2015 I gained a part time post in an FE college teaching adult on an Access to HE programmes.

Photograph of Cheryl Hedges
Photograph of Laura Bentley

Laura Bentley

Laura Bentley is a Research Fellow and Teaching Associate at the University of Birmingham. Her work seeks to examine how inequalities are established and reproduced through policies and practices in education, employment and wider societal structures, and she then works to eradicate these.

Photograph of Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor

Lisa (she/her) is a working-class, emerging early careers academic and is an Education and Early Childhood Studies Lecturer at the University of East London. Lisa entered HE as a mature, single parent to two children who had no expectations of ever teaching in HE, until embarking on the transformational journey of critical education as an undergraduate at the University of East London.


Teresa Crew

Teresa is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Bangor University. She’s not the typical academic as she still lives on a council estate and her family biography includes poverty, the ‘dole’, low paid employment and various social problems.

Photograph of Teresa Crew

Alexandra Shukie

I am a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Mathematics at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). Prior to moving to SHU three years ago, I taught across further education and college based higher education for 10 years.

Photograph of Alexandra Shukie