Mrs Joanna Holmes

Teaching Fellow


Personal statement

I am an ex-secondary Head Teacher who has spent 20 years working at senior levels in both English and Scottish schools. I joined the University in 2014 to lead a project aimed at strengtheningĀ  the partnership approach to Initial Teacher Education; working across two Universities and nine Local Authorities. Since then I have become heavily involved in the development, writing and teaching of our Masters courses in Educational Leadership as well as our Headship qualifications.

I have led the MEd in Educational Leadership since 2017 and became the Director of Post Graduate Taught courses in 2019.

My research interests are focused on leadership preparation and development across different hierarchical structures in schools. Having gained a Distinction award at Masters level I am now progressing with my doctoral studies, exploring the formation of leadership identity.


Has expertise in:

    Leadership and Management development

    Design and delivery of bespoke leadership courses

    Teacher Leadership

    School Culture

    Change management

    Headship preparation and development

    Identity formation

    Emotional Intelligence/Competencies


National Professional Qualification for Headship; awarded by The National College for School Leadership; June 2006

Full registration with General Teaching Council for Scotland; Secondary teaching in Physics and Mathematics


I am course leader for the Management and Leadership in Education Masters programme.

I am module leader on our new Masters programme on Educational Leadership, titles which include: Conceptions of Leadership: Contexts for Leadership: Strategic Leadership: Work-based Project.

I am a course tutor for our Masters course (delivered in partnership with Scottish College for Educational Leadership), Into Headship Programme.

I lead the Masters disseratiotion phase of our Post Graduate Taught Promgrammes. I have supervised Undergradute and Masters dissertation students in a variety of projects related to leadership and management.

I have also designed and delivered bespoke leadership courses to a variety of clients.

Research interests

My research interests focus on the study of leadership and in particular the development of leadership. This includes development of leadership capabilities in both formal and informal aspects. Ā I am interested in the importance in school culture and its relationship to staff development.

I am currently exploring leadership identity formation and emotional competencies in the educational leader.

I am a member of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) where I am also member of their Research Interest Group in Leadership Preparation and Development.

Professional activities

External Examiner Activities at Birmingham City University
Columba 1400 Leadership Academy
Management in Education (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Aurora Women's Leadership Development Programme
Fengtai district, Beijing Head teachers visit
British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society

more professional activities


Teaching in Higher Education: training programme with Beijing Institute of Technology (Zhuhai)
Roxburgh, David (Administrator) Holmes, Joanna (Academic) McKay, Norrie (Academic)
4 week training event for 33 university academics. Responsible for input from School of Education, University of Strathclyde
30-Jan-2018 - 24-Jan-2018
Using Evaluation for School Improvement: Teacher CPD, Hexi District, Tianjin, China
Roxburgh, David (Co-investigator) Holmes, Joanna (Principal Investigator)
Contractual and organisational lead
06-Jan-2017 - 17-Jan-2017
Nurturing School Ethos to Improve Educational Attainment
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator) Holmes, Joanna (Co-investigator) Klein, Markus (Co-investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2019
Early Phase for Partnership for Teacher Education
Holmes, Joanna (Principal Investigator)
The West Partnership submitted a bid to the Scottish Government for monies to allow them to further strengthen their partnership work, working within the context of National Framework Agreement for Partnership in the Early Phase of Teacher Learning. They planned to appoint a Project Team (PT) working across all 11 establishments.
The Project Leader (Joanna Holmes) and Administrative Assistant were in post by the beginning of August 2014. A further team member (Project Advisor) joined in October 2014.
The Project Team (PT) held regular meetings with the Operational Group (which has a representative from each LA and University plus EIS representation). The Operational Group act as a steering group, discussing and agreeing recommendations and ways forward presented by the PT.
The PT also made contact with a variety of other agencies and individuals, this includes the other partnerships, Prof Graham Donaldson, TERG (Teacher Education Reference Group), GTCs, Scottish Government, additional university departments, Senior Managers in schools.
Initially after stakeholder interviews the PT developed a strategic vision which was agreed by the Operational Group. The PT also organised and held a conference which allowed University tutors, school representatives, NQTs, LA representatives and union representatives to discuss the progress made so far in ITE while reflecting on TSF recommendations.
A working group was been set up to consider an alignment of placement experience across the 2 Universities.
Further work includes networks with GTCs, Education Scotland, LA reps and the Universities to develop Professional Learning programs for staff across the partnership. And work in raising awareness and engaging more staff in the work of Partnership across the LAs in particular with Senior Managers in schools.
11-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2016

more projects