Small but experienced

Our small, but strong team bring experience from right across the education system.

About Gillian Hamilton

Gillian took up post as the first Chief Executive of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership on 1 September 2014. She has worked in Scottish education for 26 years and has held posts as a Primary Teacher, Senior Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher in schools in Glasgow, North Ayrshire and East Ayrshire.

As CPD Co-ordinator and then Quality Improvement Officer in East Ayrshire, she worked extensively on CPD and leadership programmes and is passionate about their importance in promoting quality in teaching. During this time, she worked with a small team of head teachers to co-construct a leadership coaching programme, which had a significant impact on building leadership capacity in the local authority. She also led the authority’s work on the Scottish Qualification for Headship and the Flexible Route to Headship.

Gillian was Head of Educational Services at GTC Scotland for three years before becoming Chief Executive. At GTC Scotland she led the revision of the Professional Standards and the pilot programmes of Professional Update, which was rolled out nationally in August 2014. She sees these developments as crucial in maintaining and enhancing teacher professionalism in Scotland.

She has been a member of a number of national education groups with a focus on professional learning and leadership, including the National Partnership sub-group focusing on leadership and the National Implementation Board. She is currently a member of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education and the Advisory Group for the Scottish Attainment Challenge. She contributes regularly to educational conferences, seminars and events in Scotland, the UK and overseas.

Gillian is thriving on the challenging role of establishing SCEL, and driving forward leadership development for teachers at all stages of their careers. High-quality teaching and outstanding school leadership are vital if we are to ensure the best possible outcomes for every young person in Scotland, and Gillian sees SCEL as having a significant role in achieving this.

About Lesley Whelan

Lesley took up post as SCEL’s Depute Chief Executive and Director of Programmes in February 2015. Before joining SCEL, Lesley worked in the College sector for over 20 years in three different colleges and with the College Development Network (formerly SFEU) where she led the organisation’s work on Governance and Leadership and Management Development. Before joining the college sector Lesley worked with the John Lewis Partnership.

Lesley’s time at the College Development Network was focused on developing leadership capacity and capability in the college sector. This included the development of a Masters in Management for Tertiary Education with the University of Stirling. Lesley led the Leading and Learning development programme aimed at principals and senior college leaders, introduced the first development programme for college board members, developed and delivered programmes for emerging leaders with a focus on creativity in education, had responsibility for the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas and supported a number of networks across the college sector including the Marketing Network and Marketing Awards, the HR and OD Network and was the Secretary to Board of Management Network. Lesley also project managed the work to develop a Code of Good Governance for Scotland’s Colleges.

Since joining SCEL, Lesley has worked with the team on the design, development and implementation of the new national Into Headship qualification, the development and launch of the online Framework for Educational Leadership and the organisation’s new website. A next focus will be the creation of a suite of programmes to support developments in educational leadership at all levels.

About Fearghal Kelly

Fearghal has worked in education in a variety of contexts and is our Lead Specialist for Teacher Leadership. He originally joined us on a seconded basis to lead an extensive engagement process across the profession on teacher leadership and is now responsible for putting activities in place to support the development of teacher leadership which are informed by this engagement work. Fearghal joined us from his post as a Biology Teacher in an East Lothian Secondary School. He also has experience as a Principal Teacher, a Local Authority Development Officer and as an advisory teacher in Namibia on behalf of Voluntary Services Overseas.

Fearghal has a real passion for supporting teachers to develop and share their practice and learning. As a classroom teacher he played a leading role in the professional learning provision for colleagues at his school and beyond. Fearghal was the driving force behind the creation of the online community of teachers www.pedagoo.org which has provided alternative, community driven approaches to teacher professional learning across the UK.

Fearghal is passionate about his own professional learning and has completed a Masters in Education in Professional Enquiry in Education through the University of Stirling.

SCEL’s Lead Specialists work across a range of areas ensuring that we utilise the experience of our team members to bring value to all aspects of our work. 

About Louise Henderson

Louise joined SCEL as Digital Manager in February 2016. She has responsibility for SCEL’s growing range of digital presence including our recently launched website, our Framework for Educational Leadership, and the on-line Moodle environment for the Into Headship programme.

She also leads our work on social media, supporting the SCEL team to share our work, thinking, and professional learning opportunities and also ensuring maximum engagement with the education community across Scotland.

Louise brings ten years’ experience of working in the digital industry, and has developed her skills and knowledge from previous roles in the third sector and the music industry. She studied music at University, and has a love of all things digital, probably starting with the gift of a modem for her 10th birthday! This steered her towards a digital communications role in a record company. From there, her career has covered both the technical and community aspect of digital and social media, and she enjoys the challenges that the ever-changing digital landscape brings.

Louise has a passion for photography and graphic design. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, softball and snowboarding.

About Kathleen Kerrigan

Kathleen joined the SCEL team in April 2016 as Development Officer responsible for the Framework for Educational Leadership. She has seventeen years’ experience of middle leadership during which time she held principal teacher posts in both Home Economics and Support for Learning. She has a passion for ensuring high quality teaching and learning experiences for all learners. Although most of Kathleen’s teaching experience is in secondary schools, she also taught in a school for young people with additional support needs and worked as a peripatetic teacher providing additional support for pupils in mainstream secondary, primary and nursery classes.

For a number of years Kathleen assisted in the development and delivery of a twilight course in Support for Learning & Inclusion for teachers in North Lanarkshire. She has been a member of local authority working parties to lead the implementation of new curriculum and policy and served as an SQA nominee. Kathleen has embraced opportunities to engage in professional learning throughout her career gaining additional qualifications in computing and an MSc in Support for Learning from Strathclyde University.

About Sally Armstrong

Sally joined the SCEL team as Organisation Manager in December 2014, having previously worked with the team on a temporary basis. Sally provides valuable PA support to our Chief Executive, which includes the management of an extremely full calendar! She also provides the administrative support to SCEL’s Board of Directors and the related sub-committees. She has responsibility for a wide range of SCEL’s activity, including the recording of our financial processes. She has played an important part in establishing and implementing SCEL’s operational processes, an interesting challenge when a new organisation is being built from scratch.

Sally brings a significant range of skills to the team at SCEL, honed from many years working as an Assistant Accountant and an Office Manager/PA. Before joining SCEL, she was PA to members of the Board and finance teams at Clyde Blowers.

About Lorna Hume

Lorna joined the SCEL team in November 2015 and is now our full time Events Assistant. On joining the team, Lorna was  originally responsible for a wide range of administrative tasks but played an increasingly important role in the organisation, planning and successful execution of our growing number of events and professional learning opportunities. She is now responsible for organising and promoting all SCEL events and conferences.

Lorna brings valuable experience to the team at SCEL from previous employment within Social Work Department, the National Health Service and the Scottish Children’s Reporter’s Administration. Lorna also spent five years working in schools as Classroom Assistant and Clerical Assistant. She gained invaluable experience whilst in school, organising all the school outings and events. She was also a Children’s Panel member for 10 years.

About Katie Ann McGeary

Katie initially joined SCEL as Communications Intern in July 2016 to assist our Digital Manager Louise and is now Communications Assistant within the organisation. She is responsible for SCEL’s communication with our target audience – the education and leadership communities in Scotland and beyond. She advises other employees and managers on communication tasks and uses her written and verbal skills to create both internal and external communication material. With the guidance of the Digital Manager, Katie employs her skills in data analytics and social media strategy to ensure SCEL’s media presence is professional and warm, featuring high quality engagement and two-way communication.

Katie has worked in a variety of broadcast media and communications roles both during and after graduating with a BA(Hons) in Multimedia Journalism. Over this time, she has discovered that her strengths lie in interacting with digital audiences, creating meaningful connections between an organisation and its followers.

When Katie isn’t tweeting about SCEL she is pursuing a passion for video editing and filming, with credited experience working on a range of live events, conferences, music festivals and TV programmes.

About Rachael Anderson

Rachael joined the SCEL team in September 2016 as an Administrative Assistant and helped to support the busy team by scheduling appointments, dealing with enquiries and undertaking various other organisational and administrative duties. In June 2017, Rachael took up post as SCEL Programmes Administrator to become the key point of contact for all aspects of administrative work related to the expansive suite of programmes. This new role involves communicating with participants, supporting events related to programmes and supporting the team in their work with programme development and delivery. Her organised approach to work helps to ensure the smooth running of a wide variety of SCEL activities.

Before she joined SCEL, Rachael successfully achieved a business degree at Glasgow Caledonian University and gained work experience in business marketing and communications. Through this, she developed key strengths that contribute to her work at SCEL, including communication skills, multi-tasking abilities, working with technology, team-working and helping others. Rachael enjoys the varied day-to-day duties at SCEL and always tries to maintain a positive outlook at work and in life.