Small but experienced

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

About Gillian Hamilton

Gillian Hamilton was appointed as Strategic Director when the roles and functions of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) transferred to Education Scotland on 01 April 2018. Gillian has responsibility for Professional Learning and Leadership, as well as for Organisational Development within Education Scotland. Prior to the transfer, Gillian was the first Chief Executive of SCEL at its inception in 2014.

Gillian has worked in Scottish education for 28 years and has held posts as a Primary Teacher, Senior Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher in schools in Glasgow, North and East Ayrshire.

Gillian was Head of Educational Services at GTC Scotland for three years before becoming Chief Executive where she led the revision of the Professional Standards and the pilot programmes of Professional Update, which was rolled out nationally in August 2014.

She has been a member of a number of national educational groups with a focus on professional learning and leadership. She is currently a member of the Strategic Board for Teacher Education and the Head Teacher Recruitment working group.

About Lesley Whelan

From 1 April 2018, when SCEL and its programmes transferred to Education Scotland, Lesley was appointed as Director of SCEL Programmes  with responsibility for SCEL’s suite of programmes and the Framework for Educational Leadership.

Prior to that Lesley was SCEL’s Depute Chief executive and Director of Programmes.

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 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 Alison Weatherston

Alison Weatherston joined SCEL in July 2018, as Lead Specialist with responsibility for school leadership, including the programmes for Into Headship, In Headship and Towards Headship.

Alison has had a career of over 30 years in education with a background in primary teaching, working in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire. After twelve years as a Depute Headteacher she became Head Teacher of Heathery Knowe Primary School in 2011.

In 2016, Alison was seconded to the strategic role of Lead Officer for School Leadership, in South Lanarkshire Council, supporting and developing the professional learning of school leaders at all levels. She has a particular commitment to using coaching as a tool for professional growth and promoted its development throughout South Lanarkshire’s professional learning activities, developing a network of experienced coaches. Through her role, Alison also developed an interest in the recruitment and retention of teachers.

In a changing educational landscape, her personal energy and drive come from motivating, encouraging and supporting school leaders to continue to make a positive difference to young people and as Lead Specialist, looks forward to developing programmes that reflect the evolving roles of school leaders.

About Annette Beaton

Annette Beaton joined SCEL in May 2018 to take up the post of Lead Specialist with responsibility for system leadership which includes the Leading Systems Change programme and the second system leadership programme to be introduced, Evolving Systems Thinking. Prior to working with SCEL, Annette was appointed to the post of Head Teacher of Crieff Primary School in 2012 as her second Headship, the first being the Royal School of Dunkeld. Annette trained as a Primary Teacher, as a Teacher of the Deaf and held leadership posts in two local Authorities prior to becoming Head Teacher.

In recent years Annette’s work has had a particular focus on Social Justice Leadership and how inclusive practice in schools is critical to improve attainment and achievement for young people experiencing social and economic disadvantage.

Annette participated in the first SCEL Fellowship programme during her second headship. Her area of enquiry throughout the SCEL Fellowship programme, alongside its particular focus on developing outstanding head teachers 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 SCEL Fellowship in 2015, Annette has had a wide variety of opportunities to continue with her own learning, representing SCEL nationally and internationally, working with the Ontario Principals Council, participating in the Deputy First Minister’s Teachers Panel and working within her own local authority to contribute towards school and system and improvement.