About Fiona Anderson

Born in Canada, Fiona is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde. Fiona started her career in Education in North Lanarkshire Council in 1996 and  since then, her roles have included ASN Co-ordinator, Depute and Head Teacher in Stirling Council. In June 2012, Fiona moved to Falkirk Council as Head Teacher of Head of Muir Primary School and Early Years Class.

Fiona is passionate about lifelong learning, both encouraging others and embracing it herself. She has  gained a Post Graduate Diploma in SEN, the Scottish Qualification for Headship and an Msc in Educational Leadership.  In June 2017, Fiona achieved the SCEL Fellowship with a focus on Coaching and Mentoring. Fiona’s areas of enquiry  highlighted the need for further embedding the culture of coaching and mentoring within Scottish Education through extended discussion, collaboration, awareness raising and skills development. Fiona is currently extending this work within her local authority, the Central Scotland Partnership  and supporting developments at the GTCS.

As an avid traveller with her family, Fiona also embraces a strong sense of global citizenship and celebrates this through her support of community partnerships and projects in Malawi. She is keen that learners across the world have opportunities to access fair, equitable and meaningful education in order that they too can fulfill their lifelong goals and aspirations.

Area of Enquiry

A systems level approach to enhancing leadership through coaching and mentoring

About Annette Beaton

Annette participated in the first Fellowship Programme during her second headship. Her area of enquiry throughout the SCEL Fellowship programme, alongside its particular focus on developing outstanding Headteachers as system leaders, contributing to school improvement within, and beyond schools in the wider context of Scottish education, was on developing high quality leadership in Inclusive Practice.

Since being awarded Fellowship, Annette has had a wide variety of opportunities to continue with her own learning, representing SCEL nationally and internationally and working within her own local authority to contribute towards school and system and improvement.

Area of Enquiry

Recognising and Justifying the need to provide leadership training for inclusive school practice

About David Clark

About Sandra Clarke

Sandra is the Head Teacher at Sandbank Primary and Gaelic Unit in Dunoon. Her enquiry work in SCEL involved the provision of a Middle Leadership Network across Argyll and Bute. She has also been working on developing inter-authority sessions to support middle leaders in their professional development.

Sandra has held a number of leadership roles in her career and led in a variety of settings in England for 15 years, both rural and inner city. She  studied Leadership and Management at Staffordshire University and National College for Teaching and Learning.

Sandra is interested in current educational leadership theory, supporting leadership at all levels, developing skills across the educational curriculum, assessment, Literacy and Drama.

Area of Enquiry

Growing our own leaders in Argyll and Bute – Systems Leadership Enquiry into the Development of a Middle Leader Network  

About George Cooper

George is Head Teacher of Bearsden Academy, a post he took up in January 2008 having previously served for 6 years as Senior Depute Head of Ayr Academy.  He began teaching English in 1985 and spent much of his earlier career in Ayrshire.

George’s SCEL Fellowship Programme area of enquiry focused on developing middle leadership.  This involved him establishing a leadership programme in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council and the University of Strathclyde.  The programme delivers Masters level accreditation, in school developmental experiences, mentoring and local authority network support.

Having achieved SCEL Fellowship, George is committed to system-wide improvement, the development of teacher leadership at all levels. He supports SCEL in its key principles.

Area of Enquiry

Developing Middle Leadership Capacity in a Scottish Local Authority

About Alison Forbes

Alison Forbes is  Head Teacher at Woodside Nursery School, Glasgow.

About George Gilchrist

George was Head Teacher of two primary schools in the Scottish Borders, where he has lived for the last 25 years. In 2015 he became a Fellow of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership. He has spoken regularly on leadership and learning at events within Scotland, and further afield. He has represented SCEL at a number of different national and international  events. He has written pieces for Teaching Scotland and BERA and is regularly asked for contributions from other publications and blogs. He has his own blog entitled ‘School Leadership – A Scottish Perspective‘ and uses this for thought pieces and collaboration with educators across different systems.

George has also recently joined the board of SPTC and is committed to building strong partnerships between schools and parents. He continues to work with colleagues within his own authority and outwith, especially around the use of practitioner enquiry as a tool for school and teacher development. He has also been involved with development of this work with GTCS and Edinburgh University.

Area of Enquiry

SCEL Fellowship Assignment, 2014-15

About Sharon Hayward

Sharon has held a variety of school-based posts within Glasgow City Council. She has been head teacher in three schools of differing size and context within the city and has always worked with pupils living in areas of deprivation seeking to meet their needs creatively and holistically. Following a SCIPD trip to Winniepeg, she was invited to chair Glasgow’s Assessment Strategy Group, providing policy and guidance for colleagues in assessing progress within the Broad General Education. Sharon is committed to establishing a dialogue-rich and bureaucracy-light approach to assessment and explored this during her work with Scottish College for Educational Leadership with whom she is a Fellow. Her latest role as Attainment Advisor for The Scottish Attainment Challenge, working with colleagues in Glasgow, allows her to extend her skills beyond the school into the system.

Area of Enquiry

Sharon Hayward – Area of Enquiry

About Jay Helbert

Jay has been a primary school teacher in his native Liverpool and in Argyll and Bute where he developed professional interests in the power of professional enquiry, behavior management and emotional intelligence.

Jay was a head teacher in three schools in Argyll and Bute over a ten year period and completed the inaugural Fellowship Programme with SCEL in 2015.  During the Fellowship Programme he undertook professional learning in the area of developing high quality teacher leadership and gestalt leadership.

Jay has often said that the Fellowship Programme afforded an opportunity for deep and rich professional learning which brought together networking with high performing school leaders, engagement with educational research and learning from other sectors.

Along with colleagues, Jay presented his learning on Gestalt Leadership to the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement in January 2016.

Between January 2015 and May 2016, Jay was an education officer with Argyll and Bute with the strategic remit for teacher professional development and leadership development.

Jay has always had a passionate interest in Educational developments in Scotland, England and worldwide and helped re-establish the podcast series www.insidelearning.net before hanging up his microphone after over 100 episodes.

Jay joined the SCEL team as a lead specialist in May 2016.

Area of enquiry

Developing High Quality Teacher Leadership in a Primary School

About David Hughes

David Hughes was raised in Viewpark, Lanarkshire. His parents, who both left school at 15, instilled in him a lifelong love of learning and a belief in the importance of education. In 2004 he became the Head Teacher of Thornlie Primary in Wishaw.

David has participated in and organised a number of leadership forums within North Lanarkshire, is one of the authority’s new HT Mentors, and is a member of its Leadership Strategy Group. He has presented for Education Scotland, Grounds For Learning, the European Heads Conference, Findhorn’s Northern Lights Conference, and the Royale Conservatoire of Tbilisi, on subjects including reducing exclusion, outdoor learning, and health and wellbeing. David gained the International School System Leadership Certificate (Modules 1 and 2) in June 2017, and will be training as a facilitator for SCEL’s Excellence in Headship programme.

He believes that educational frameworks should be ambitious as well as rigorous, and should connect with big themes of social justice, community wellbeing, global connection, and personal freedom, but can only be made meaningful through the hundreds of tiny interactions that happen in schools each day; and movement within these frameworks should be adventurous, playful and joyful.

David finds his colleagues and children to be a constant source of inspiration, and still claims that – though not for the faint-hearted – turning up for work at Thornlie is a daily privilege and joy.

About Gillian Knox

Gillian began her teaching career just over 20 years ago after five years in the pharmaceutical industry.

After ten years in the classroom at all stages, she moved into the role of assessment development officer.  This involved developing and delivering a range of staff development opportunities. In addition to working with staff from all educational sectors Gillian also worked to develop policy and practice on assessment for the local authority, in collaboration with a wide range of colleagues.

Gillian returned to school life as a depute then as head teacher and she is now leading her second school, working in a second local authority.

During her career Gillian has led authority wide initiatives as Chair of the Curriculum for Excellence Strategy Group, and as Cluster Chair leading the development of Restorative Approaches from Nursery to Secondary.  She initiated a local head teacher professional learning community and is working with colleagues to create a strategic approach to curriculum rational development.

After 9 years’ experience as a head teacher Gillian attained the SCEL fellowship award and also promotes leadership within and between local authorities as a regional network leader.

Area of Enquiry

Professional Learning Communities

About Sheila Laing

Sheila Laing has been teaching since 1978. She became a headteacher in West Pilton, Edinburgh in 2001 and has led 4 schools since that time, mainly in areas of high poverty. In January 2017, Sheila left her substantive post as Headteacher of Prestonpans Infant School to begin a 23 month secondment to Edinburgh University as Senior Teaching Fellow in leadership and learning. This principally entails teaching on the Into Headship programme, a Masters level qualification which will be mandatory for all headteachers from 2020.

Sheila’s SCEL Fellowship area of enquiry was on the system leadership of a multi-sectoral partnership to employ a family worker across a community planning area, with the aim of raising attainment by increasing parental engagement. The multi-sectoral partnership continues to increase parental engagement across the system, particularly of parents and carers who are facing challenging social circumstances, with good impact for the children within those families.

Sheila is particularly interested in system and school leadership in relation to social justice and equity – challenging the structural, cultural and personal discrimination in society that is based on race, poverty, disability, sexual orientation and gender.

Sheila highly values the unique opportunity the SCEL Fellowship programme gives experienced headteachers to stretch their professional learning and practice in collaboration with others and under the tuition of key leaders in education and in other fields. She commends the programme to headteachers with 5 years or more experience.

About Jim McCrory

Jim McCrory is currently the Headteacher of St Anthony’s Primary School in Armadale, West Lothian.

Jim left Notre Dame College with his ITQ in 1979, and apart from a brief few years with British Steel Ravenscraig as a junior manager, has worked exclusively in Education in various teaching posts. From 1982 until 1992, Jim was a class teacher in St Aloysius College Preparatory, until leaving to further his career in St Monica’s Primary in Pollok, Glasgow as a Senior Teacher.

After holding various acting positions in St Monica’s, Jim completed both his B. Ed Inservice degree award in 1990 and later completed a Masters degree in 2000, before moving on to Headship in St Anthony’s Primary. Jim has kept up his interest in post graduate study in various universities over a number of years and has taken on dual headship roles within his local authority twice over the past few years. Jim holds key leadership positions in the Education Community as both the chairperson of the Local Authority Primary Headteacher Association in West Lothian and as the current President of the National Catholic Headteacher Association of Primary Schools. (CHAPs)

Jim was delighted to be a successful participant on the SCEL fellowship programme and looks forward to his further involvement with the Scottish College of Educational Leadership with great anticipation.  Jim is also a Regional Network Leader.

Area of Enquiry

Developing Collaborative Networks in a Local Authority

About Anne Munro

Anne Munro was appointed to the post of Head Teacher of Bellshill Academy, in January 2010.  Anne trained as a Modern Studies teacher and held senior leadership posts in three schools prior to becoming Head Teacher.

In recent years Anne has had the opportunity to work with her Local Authority on developing strategies to support school leaders in using data to improve attainment and achievement for young people experiencing social and economic disadvantage. This work influenced Anne’s area of enquiry which considers the way in which a greater understanding and management of the use of the data can support school leaders in introducing effective interventions to address the challenge of closing the poverty related attainment gap.

Anne was delighted to become a SCEL Fellow in 2017 and welcomes the opportunity to continue to contribute to the development of school and system leadership through her work with her Local Authority and the Scottish College of Educational Leadership.

Area of Enquiry

A Report on how data-driven interventions may help raise attainment of low achievers in Scotland: Implications for school leaders

About Frances Murray

Frances Murray is Head Teacher at The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway.

About Jackie Purdie

Jackie Purdie has been head teacher of a large comprehensive in the east of Glasgow for almost twelve years, having worked in other schools across the west of Scotland.  She recently completed doctoral studies in education, looking at early experiences in headship. Jackie’s further pursued this research through her fellowship enquiry which considered international approaches to head teacher preparation and induction.  She is a member of the SCEL Into Headship Design Group and Headteacher in Residence at the University of Glasgow helping to deliver the Post Graduate Certificate Into Headship.

Jackie is currently on secondment as Head Teacher in Residence at the University of Glasgow.

Area of Enquiry

Reflections on the SCEL Fellowship Programme and Strategic Thoughts on Headship Preparation Post-Appointment

About Louise Sanders

Louise trained as a teacher in Bristol and her first post was in a large inner-city school. She spent several years teaching in small rural schools in Northumberland before moving to the Scottish Borders to work in a specialist provision first as teacher then as manager.  Louise was a headteacher in the Scottish Borders for nearly eight years and held her school leader post at Ayton and Reston from 2011 until 2017.

As a participant of the SCEL Fellowship programme and a headteacher of small rural schools Louise has a keen interest in system level leadership.  Since embarking on the Fellowship she has researched school networks and joined her schools with two others to develop a network with a shared school improvement plan and joint working between the staff. She now plans to include two more schools in the network, becoming a six-school network by the end of this academic year.

At a local authority level Louise contributes to the development of professional learning and coaches on various leadership programmes.

Area of Enquiry

Developing the Capacity for Improvement in Small Rural Schools through creating a Small Schools’ Network

About Dennise Sommerville

As a Headteacher, Dennise has always been keen to be involved in leadership outwith the school setting.  9 years ago, she began assisting with her Local Authority’s Introducing School Leadership (ISL) programme, supporting local teachers in their understanding and potential aspirations around school leadership.

In ensuring her efforts remained focused upon learning and teaching, 5 years ago, she became involved in her Local Authority’s Curricular Structures Group. She helped create a model from which schools have been able to create their own Curricular Framework. Alongside another Headteacher colleague, Dennise now leads the Authority Literacy Group where they have nurtured class teacher group members to create Annotated Exemplification to support literacy moderation process.

In March 2015 Dennise became one of the first SCEL Fellows and has continued with her development in relation to system-level leadership within her Local Authority. This has been enhanced greatly by the rich professional learning opportunities associated with the aspiring Fellowship programme and also the ongoing SCEL Fellowship Network events where Fellows meet to discuss and challenge both their own thinking and indeed that of others.

Area of Enquiry

In a time of significant change, how can we support schools in successful and effective curriculum development whilst considering the pressures facing education?

About Andrew Travis

Andrew completed the SCEL Fellowship programme in February 2016. He was appointed Head Teacher of Meldrum Academy, a 940 student secondary school in May 2008. Prior to this he held a number of leadership positions in north-east schools after starting his career as a teacher of chemistry and science. He holds a Master in Education (Educational Technology) and was seconded by his local authority to review provision of information technology.

Andrew has been a Flexible Route to Headship coach and field assessor and is currently the head teacher supporter of an Into Headship participant. He has been a participant and coach on the Strategic Leadership Development Programme. He has a strong interest in coaching and has supported the development of this within his authority.

Andrew used the opportunity presented by the SCEL Fellowship programme to analyse the challenges faced by semi-rural local authorities in leadership succession. He is currently involved in the development of strategies to overcome these challenges. Andrew’s engagement in SCEL will continue and deepen as has joined the team of SCEL Regional Network Leaders.

Area of Enquiry

Leadership Succession in a semi-rural Local Authority

About Carol Turnbull

Carol Turnbull is an Education Team Manager in Falkirk Council.

Previously, Carol was the Head Teacher of a primary school which included a Language and Communication Support Centre and a nursery class.

Carol was one of the first people to complete the Standard for Headship qualification and she became a SCEL Fellow in 2017.

The area of enquiry which Carol researched considered the model of a Professional Learning Community as a vehicle for systematic teacher professional development.

In her current post, Carol is involved in supporting and developing leadership at all levels. She welcomes the opportunity to contribute to system leadership within the local authority and more widely through her work with SCEL.

Area of Enquiry

Developing Professional Learning Communities in a Network of Urban Scottish Schools

About Tim Wallace

Tim Wallace is Head Teacher at Paradykes Primary School, Midlothian.