MacKay Hannah

Child Welfare in a Digital Age: evolving technologies, emerging risks and developing responses


Tam Baillie

Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People (pre-recorded Welcome Address)

Tam Baillie was Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People from 2009 to 2017.  As the Commissioner, Tam’s remit was to promote and safeguard the rights of children and young people in Scotland which are set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Previously Tam worked as a manager and practitioner with children and young people for over 30 years.  Tam worked primarily with young offenders, young people in and leaving care, and young homeless people.  He has worked in Scotland and England and in both the statutory and voluntary sectors.  Tam latterly moved into policy and influencing to help address the strategic and structural changes necessary to affect lasting improvements for children and young people.




Sue Palmer

Independent writer and consultant on literacy and child development; Author of 'Toxic Childhood' and '21st Century Boys'

Sue Palmer, a former primary headteacher in Scotland, has been an independent educational consultant for over 25 years. During that time she has written over two hundred books, software packages and TV programmes about primary literacy, and worked as a consultant for the Department for Education, the National Literacy Trust, the Basic Skills Agency, many educational publishers and the BBC.

She is a popular speaker in the UK and beyond, both on literacy and, more recently, ‘child development in the modern world’. Her first book on this subject, Toxic Childhood, was published in 2006, since when she has been involved in many national campaigns around education, outdoor play, screen-based entertainment and the commercialisation of childhood. She has twice been cited in the Evening Standard as among the 1000 most influential people in London (which she finds particularly thrilling, since she lives in Edinburgh) and is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Early Years Task Force and co-chair of the Task Force’s committee on Culture Change.


Beth Smith

Director, WithScotland

Beth Smith has been the Director of WithScotland (formerly the Multi Agency Resource Service) since 2009. WithScotland is the national hub for child protection, hosted by the University of Stirling. 

Beth initially trained as a primary teacher and worked in a number of local government services before deciding on a career in social work. She qualified as a social worker in 1987 and has worked as a frontline practitioner and manager and has also held a number of senior management and leadership positions with a focus on multi-agency partnership working.

Previously, she worked in the former Strathclyde region, Glasgow City Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council, where she was Head of Service for Children and Families and Criminal Justice Social Work and also held the role of Chief Social Work Officer.

WithScotland supports child protection practice, policy and research. We connect research with practice, exchange knowledge and ideas and coordinate activities across Child Protection Committees and are also developing links between child protection and adult protection in Scotland. At the heart of WithScotland is the principle of improving outcomes for children in need of care and protection and adults at risk of harm by working in partnership and facilitating access to expertise across Scotland.

WithScotland’s research briefings are available to download.  As well as a new internet safety resource, you can also access our new Training and Resource page for information. 

Watch a short video about us / view news and information updates for practice or get in touch at to see how we can help you. 

Professor Andy Phippen

Professor of Social Responsibility in IT, University of Plymouth

Andy Phippen is a professor of social responsibility in information technology at the Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth. He has worked with the IT sector for over 15 years in a consultative capacity on issues of ethical and social responsibility, with companies such as British Telecom, Google and Facebook. He has presented written and oral evidence to parliamentary enquiries related to the public use of ICT and is widely published in the area. In recent years he has specialised in the use of ICTs by children and young people, carrying out a large amount of grass roots research on issues such as their attitudes toward privacy and data protection, file sharing and internet safety. He is a research partner with the UK Safer Internet Centre and is a frequent media commentator on children and the Internet.

Alison Preston

Head of Media Literacy Research, Ofcom

Alison Preston is head of media literacy research at Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries.

She leads Ofcom’s media literacy research, which provide a wealth of data on the media habits and opinions of children aged 5–15 and their parents, and adults aged 16+, interviewing over 6,000 people annually. Its media use and attitudes reports show trends since 2005 in the areas of take-up and use of different media, with a particular focus on internet habits and attitudes.

She joined Ofcom in 2003, and previously worked as a research consultant in digital media policy and independent TV production business models. She has a doctorate from the University of Stirling which examined the development of the UK’s TV news industry, and has carried out a number of multi-country analyses of TV news coverage of conflicts.

Brian Donnelly

Director, respectme

Brian has spent the vast majority of his working life working with challenging and excluded children in Scotland.

He began working in a residential school where he spent 2 years before working in a number of Glasgow City Council’s residential children’s units. Brian did this for 11 years progressing to manager in a number of residential units.

He moved to the voluntary sector with where he spent over 3 years and was instrumental in the design and development of an alternative to secure care residential and fostering service.

Brian took up the post of Director of respectme the Scottish Government funded anti-bullying service in January 2007. respectme builds the confidence and competence of all adults who play a role in the lives of children and young people through training, policy guidance and campaigns.

Brian has a strategic role to influence policy and practice nationally on anti-bullying. He has co-authored a paper published in the International Journal of Youth Studies called: Bullying and Agency: Definition, Intervention and ethics. This presents a new take on how we define bullying and where responses must focus to be effective. He has also conducted research into young people’s experiences of cyberbullying and their online behavior.

Brian is also the Chair of Young Scot in Mind Management Group - a voluntary sector forum promoting children and young people’s mental health.

Heather Smith

Principal Officer - Child Care & Protection Training and Development, City of Edinburgh Council

Heather graduated with a degree in Information Management from Queen Margaret University College with a special interest in new media and emerging technologies.  After working for some time within the voluntary sector with adults with mental health difficulties and disabilities she moved into public sector Early Years Workforce Development.   For the past 10 years Heather has been working for the City of Edinburgh Council with a focus on Child care and Protection Training and Development.

Combining 20 years of information communications technology (ICT) with working in the human services has formed a basis for understanding of both evolving technologies and human behaviour within Digital Safety as a public protection issue.  Heather’s special interest lies in the development of practitioner confidence; working with children and young people to keep themselves safe online and confidence in knowing when it’s gone wrong and how to help.  Heather heads –up a workforce development team in children’s service in social work practice learning and child care and protection.  Promoting development Heather is also in the last year of her MSc Leadership and Management in Social Services.

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Bobby Elliott

Qualifications Manager, SQA

Jenny Kemp

Coordinator, Zero Tolerance

Jenny joined Zero Tolerance in October 2007 in an education role, and from July 2008 to March 2011 she worked to develop and co-ordinate the VAW Prevention Network and to develop new approaches to preventing violence.  Since April 2011 she has held the post of Coordinator, managing the staff team, overseeing all project work and leading on the organisation’s policy and media work.  Prior to joining Zero Tolerance Jenny worked for the Equal Opportunities Commission, an education funding agency and a health charity.  She is married with two young children.

Derek Howie

Social Media Manager, fatBuzz

Derek Howie is the Social Media Manager at leading digital marketing agency, fatBuzz, where he works directly with a wide range of high-profile clients across the UK on content creation, social media engagement and social media marketing.

He also provides regular PR, copywriting and editing services to a number of businesses across various industry sectors.

Derek graduated from The University of the West of Scotland in 2012 with a 1st class honours degree in journalism, and his work has appeared in publications including The Scottish Sun, STV and tilllate magazine.

He is extremely passionate about social media and has written widely about its benefits and implications for children, as well as researching it as part of his dissertation study into journalists' use of social media as a news gathering tool when reporting on teenage deaths.

Derek has also been rewarded for his academic endeavours with many personal accolades, including the 2011 and 2012 UWS Court Medal for Journalism and the 2009 and 2010 Glasgow Metropolitan College HND Journalism prize.

Jamie Tosh

Founder, Kibooku

A builder and architect with no prior knowledge of the internet, Jamie took an interest in internet safety after his own daughter was bullied online…
“There was nothing as far as I could see on the market for kids to play and interact with others on an age appropriate site.  So I came up with Kibooku and after 11 months in development we launched. Naively I thought that with a small bit of advertising the site would take off but this is harder work than I ever imagined! We are currently trying to raise awareness of the site and the fact there is now a safe age appropriate site out there for 6-13 year olds – giving parents piece of mind and something to divert their kids to, rather than giving into peer pressure and allowing them to become an underage user of Facebook.
We get support everywhere we go but still struggle to get it out to the masses on such a tight budget. Kibooku was the subject of a very successful debate in the Scottish Parliament and we were credited for our site and what we are trying to do. We continue to raise awareness of safe social networking and will keep trying to do so until the site is a major success and our kids are in a safe environment on the internet”.

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Kirsten Urquhart

Information Services Manager, Young Scot

Kirsten is Information Services Manager at Young Scot, the national youth information charity for Scotland. Kirsten looks after the digital information/content team and specialises in content strategies, social media engagement/monitoring and digital performance management.

Victoria Jack

Helpline Supervisor, ParentLine Scotland

Victoria Jack has worked with children, young people and families in a range of statutory and voluntary agencies including eight years working with children at risk of, or being abused through, sexual exploitation.  She is currently a Helpline Supervisor at ParentLine Scotland.

Anne Jarvis

Helpline Supervisor, ParentLine Scotland

Anne initially trained as a nurse and worked in oncology for 10 years where she supported patients and their families through the trauma of the diagnoses, treatment and the terminal care.

Anne then took a 15yr break to bring up her two children. She joined Children 1st in 2008 as a volunteer call taker for ParentLine Scotland. Two years later she became a sessional supervisor and following this her hours have been increased to cover a maternity leave.

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Eamonn Keane

Detective Inspector, e-crime Unit, Police Scotland

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Rebecca Hammond

St Augustine's High School

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Eilidh Mackay

Leith Academy, Edinburgh

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Ellen Worthington

Leith Academy, Edinburgh

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