About the organisers

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Launched with the support of the Gulbenkian Foundation and European Commission, Translators in Schools is delivered by the Stephen Spender Trust. The training programme was devised by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Holmes, who also lead the training sessions and public events.

Sarah Ardizzone

portrait of Sarah Ardizzone

An award-winning translator from the French, Sarah Ardizzone translates authors such as the young French-Algerian writer Faïza Guène, bande dessinée star Joann Sfar and Daniel Pennac. Twice recipient of the Marsh Award for children’s literature in translation, she has a special interest in translating sharp dialogue, urban and migrant slang, and in what Alain Mabanckou calls “a world literature in French”. Sarah has twenty-four years’ experience of running workshops in primary and secondary schools, from Buenos Aires and Paris to inner-city London and across the UK. Her ludic approach is rooted in her training in theatre with Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She has also worked as a journalist reporting on multicultural and multilingual issues, and makes regular appearances on the book festival and live-literature circuit. Sarah curated the primary element of Translation Nation, which she wrote about in a blog for Vintage Books.

Sam Holmes

portrait of Sam Holmes

Initially a French teacher and EAL coordinator at a secondary school in Lambeth, Sam Holmes has an MA in Education at Goldsmiths University focusing on the needs of bilingual learners and is currently completing a PhD at King’s College London examining the diversity and academic potential of the linguistic skill sets which EAL pupils bring to school, the subject of the blog he wrote for Free Word. Sam co-founded and is on the lead team of Hean, the higher education access network, and was a member of the team behind KCL’s recent Multilingual Creativity project. He was also on the steering committee of the M)Other Tongues project run by Arvon and the Gulbenkian Foundation and was a workshop leader with Translation Nation, curating the secondary strand of the translation workshops which ran from 2012 to 2014.

Robina Pelham Burn

portrait of Robina Pelham Burn

Robina Pelham Burn was Director of the Stephen Spender Trust from 2001 to 2016. The Stephen Spender Trust is a registered charity whose activities include creative translation programmes for schools and the Stephen Spender Prize, an annual poetry translation prize.


I had a really fantastic time yesterday and was impressed with how well organised the day was. Sarah and Sam were so motivated and the variety of language and professional backgrounds was quite amazing. I also found the panel discussion very useful.

Gisela Boehnisch (translator from English, Spanish and French into German)

The day totally exceeded my expectations. The organisation, children, sharing and supporting atmosphere, as well as the massive sense of achievement, all made for a valuable and memorable day

James Brown (translator from French and Portuguese into English)