The SCEL Fellowship Programme

SCEL Fellows are an active community of champions for leadership and teaching in Scotland, and we're looking for the right people to join the fourth cohort of the Fellowship Programme.

Application is open to experienced Head Teachers and Heads of Establishments who normally have a minimum of five years successful experience and a proven track record of strategic leadership in and beyond the school/establishment setting.

The Fellowship Programme aims to provide stretching development opportunities for experienced head teachers to support their capacity to contribute to system-level leadership and to have a positive impact on outcomes for children and young people across the country. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants become SCEL Fellows supporting system developments including within their own authority area.

What does it take to be a Fellow?

Fellowship is recognition at the highest level for leaders in education whose expertise is recognised within and beyond the teaching profession.

SCEL Fellows are experienced, high performing, active role models for leadership and the teaching profession in Scotland. With a rich pool of diverse experience and expertise, they continue to develop their understanding of system leadership and play a key role in the enhanced development of their own schools and the wider Scottish system for the direct benefit of our children and young people.

Fellows share their expertise in a variety of ways, and represent SCEL at a range of national events. They contribute responses to national consultations, input to strategic plans, work with regional network leaders, offer peer and establishment support, and provide an expert voice on key issues.

Fellowship Programme outline

We think it is clear that becoming a SCEL Fellow brings advantages for the individual, their authority and the system as a whole. Development on the Fellowship Programme focuses on what it means to be a high performing system leader and the core aspects towards building that understanding. We’ve provided full details in the Fellowship Programme outline (below) along with the confirmed Fellow role specification indicating expectations of, and support for, SCEL Fellows.

This diagram identifies the core areas addressed during the programme.


As part of the application process, applicants are asked to complete the application form (below), including a personal rationale for their participation in the programme and evidence of their engagement to date in system leadership. Applications should be accompanied by a letter from the Director of Education/Head of Service confirming experience at system level and support for participation. Applicants should also give consideration to an area of enquiry linked to local authority/national priorities with their Director of Education in advance of submitting the application.

The costs of the programme will be part funded by SCEL, with an additional cost per participant of £1000.

We have previously offered an information event for Local Authority personnel where we discussed the programme in detail and we would be happy to have a telephone conversation or meet in person with local authority personnel if that would be helpful. Please feel free to call or email Lesley Whelan if you have any questions relating to the programme. We can also arrange for interested individuals to discuss the programme with our current Fellows.

Download the programme information, application form and the diversity monitoring form

SCEL Fellowship Programme Information

SCEL Fellow Role Specification

SCEL – Diversity Monitoring Form

SCEL Fellowship Programme – Application Form

Applications should be submitted by email to our administrator – Emma Miller at

Applications for Cohort 4 of the SCEL Fellowship Programme will open in October 2016, with the programme starting in January 2017

Your Experiences

Read what our current Fellows have to say about their experience of the SCEL Fellowship Programme