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Zena Rashid

Principal Lecturer (Learning and Teaching Manager)

Nottingham School of Art & Design


Zena teaches across the BA Childhood Studies and Joint Honours in Education- Early Years strand undergraduate programmes. She is also a personal tutor and has undertaken Dissertation supervisions.

Zena aims to embed her diverse industry experience and underpin this with contextual examples, to provide real life experiential learning opportunities for students. She embeds a lifelong learning approach and mind set within both her personal and professional practice.

Career overview

Zena is a qualified and experienced Montessori Directress, Early Years practitioner, project manager, equalities and diversity trainer, education consultant and an FE (Further Education) Tutor.

Over the last 20 years Zena has undertaken several roles within local government, such as a Women’s Officer, Racial harassment Officer and as an Advisor for Complementary and Supplementary Schools, within the Education sectors.

Zena has worked with disadvantaged communities and vulnerable children, young people and families from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. This includes, BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities, women, refugees, Asylum seekers and vulnerable children, for over 25 years.

More recently Zena has worked as a Workforce Training Commissioner for Nottinghamshire within Early Years services, an Education consultant within the Achievement and Equality Team and as an Education Project Manager with the NHS.

Zena is a freelance trainer and consultant and has delivered a range of projects and services to organisations nationally. She has held several senior leadership roles which include, School Principal, Trustee, Deputy Head and School governor.

Research areas

Zena has research interest in Early Years, bi/multilingualism, empowering communities’ cohesion, teaching and learning pedagogy, social justice and education impact. She has contributed to a range of reports related to vulnerable young people in schools.

Zena undertook a pioneering research project with young carers in schools from BME backgrounds, aimed to influence policy holders and practitioners. Currently she is working on a commissioned Inquiry project with NTU exploring cultural representations within early years environments.

External activity

  • Member of Citizens UK
  • School Governor – Vice Chair
  • An Nisa Women's Group – Mentoring Project

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • Watford Borough Council
  • Women’s Federation for World Peace
  • Lifeworld’s Learning
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Hertfordshire University
  • Councils for Voluntary Services
  • Women’s Centres
  • Women’s Refuge
  • Schools and Early Years Settings across Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire and London Boroughs
  • Aksaa Training Dewsbury
  • Shared Ground Foundation -The Hive
  • Muslim Hands – NGO
  • Ministry of Justice NOMS