2021 Virtual Conference Keynote Speakers | Rachel Wolford

We are delighted to welcome Rachel Wolford as a keynote speaker for our 2021 virtual conference in November.

Our conference is about putting trauma and trauma-informed practice into the context of children and young people from forces families and exploring the impact their unique experiences can have on mental health and wellbeing, relationships with others and future pathways in life. If we embed trauma-informed practice in our work is that enough to support Armed Forces Children and Young people? Is there anything else we should be considering? Is there anything we need to be mindful of in relation to this group of children and young people’s unique experiences Whatever your background, our conference is an opportunity to join us in this exploration and conversation.

Why another conference on trauma-informed practice?

We know that trauma can affect any one of us and that the Scottish Government’s ambition, shared by many partners, is for a trauma informed workforce and services across Scotland. At Forces Children Scotland, like many other organisations, we have been re-evaluating our organisational practice through a trauma lens and asking ourselves is there anything we need to take into consideration that is specific to the unique experiences of children and young people, from serving personnel, reservist and veteran families across Scotland? We have been exploring the research and listening to what our young people tell us.

Rachel Wolford

Rachel Wolford is Head Teacher of a Primary School in Moray with a high percentage of children from the Armed Forces including Serving, Reserve and Veterans in the school.

Rachel was Depute Head Teacher at a Primary School in Lossiemouth with a large proportion of military children and worked to develop transition resources to support Armed Forces Children transitioning in and out of the school.  In 2017, Rachel won the Regional and National STEM Learning Enthuse Award for teachers of STEM. Later that year she was also awarded the Primary Science Teacher Award from the Primary Science Teaching Trust and became a PSTT Fellow, Rachel also presented at their Primary Science Education Conference in Edinburgh in 2019.

Rachel completed her Education Scotland qualifications for Into Headship (2018) and In Headship (2020) and has just submitted her Masters dissertation, with a focus on supporting Armed Forces Children “What are the key considerations for a school leader, to successfully implement educational transitions for children from Armed Forces Families?”

Since joining her latest school, Rachel has worked to support and understand the challenges facing children from the Armed Forces transitioning in and out of school in Scotland. This has included attending many Wellbeing and Mental Health courses to her develop her own practice and understanding and leading a Health and Wellbeing Fair in 2019 with Army Welfare Services and partners from across Moray. She has worked collaboratively with other Head Teachers in Moray to secure funding specifically for Armed Forces Children to meet their social and emotional needs and was part of the successful Moray Dandelion funding bid. Rachel regularly attends meetings to support Armed Forces children across Scotland and also as part of the Armed Forces Families Professional Leadership Network – UK.

On attending the conference, Rachel said

“The work that Fores Children Scotland do is incredibly valuable for all of the Armed Forces Children across Scotland, the Conference is a fantastic opportunity to understand and identify how Trauma-Informed Practice can support Armed forces Children in Education in Scotland, and I am delighted and honoured to be asked to attend. I look forward to learning a lot from all of the speakers, the good practice that is shared, and from the discussions.”

Who Should Attend the Conference?

Since being trauma-informed is a national ambition within Scotland, relevant to all of us, our conference will be of interest to a wide variety of people who wish to expand upon their continual professional development; from those working within education, social care, community, armed forces, and the third sector. Our virtual conference is an opportunity for professionals working with Armed Forces children, young people, and families to come together, hear about and share good practice.

• Primary/secondary education
• Further/higher education
• Community/Youth/third sector
• Clinical Practitioners (Psychology/Mental Health/Social Care)
• Military Welfare Personnel
• Undergraduate/Postgraduate Students
• Policy & Development


The Conference will be held virtually this year to ensure that it can go ahead safely due to the ever-changing situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For further information about our virtual conference, please email admin@forceschildrenscotland.org.uk