Dr Joan Mowat

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. I joined the University in 2005 after twenty-eight years in the classroom, the last seven of which as Depute Head Teacher at Vale of Leven Academy in West Dunbartonshire. I hold the Scottish Qualification for Headship and have carried out a range of leadership roles within the School of Education, as Course Leader for the former M Ed; the MSc/MEd in Leadership and Management; and the Scottish Qualification for Headship. Together with Emeritus Professor John MacBeath of the University of Cambridge, I developed and led a new Masters-level qualification in Educational Leadership which has been highly successful in attracting students. Working with the Scottish College for Educational Leadership and colleagues from other Higher Education Institutions, I have developed Into Headship at the University of Strathclyde for which I am currently Course Leader. I played a key role in rationalising Masters-level provision across the School of Education. I also held the role of Post Graduate Research Co-ordinator with responsibility for doctoral students. I have participated within the university’s mentoring scheme as a mentor and mentee.

My PhD, ‘Teaching for Understanding within the Affective Field’, undertaken at the University of Glasgow, focuses upon the evaluation of a social constructivist approach to support children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Needs. This work was developed further through the award of a research and development grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to develop the approach in two Scottish Local Authorities – Falkirk and Aberdeenshire - across the transition from Primary to Secondary school. I was then commissioned by Aberdeenshire to develop the approach across the local authority. I have undertaken consultancy work with a range of schools and local authorities, including leading work with two South Lanarkshire learning communities focussing on practitioner enquiry. I have developed Masters-level modules focussing on understanding and responding to children with social, emotional and behavioural needs.

My research interests are broad but the principal areas relate to inclusion and leadership, with a specific focus on leadership for social justice. More recently, my work has focussed on broader issues of marginalisation and the relationship between poverty, attainment and wellbeing, including a focus on transitions. I was formerly an executive member of the Scottish Educational Research Council and I am currently Co-Convenor of the SERA Leadership for Scottish Education Network. I was commissioned by SCEL to write a set of research briefs. I served on the selection panel for the Academy of Social Sciences’ publication ‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences no. 12: Education.’ I have worked with third sector organisations such as Character Scotland for whom I took on the role of Conference Rapporteur.

I was Co-Lead for a successful bid to the Scottish Universities Insight Institute to host a series of seminars titled ‘Poverty, attainment and wellbeing: Making a difference to the lives of children and young people,’ hosted in the course of 2018-2019. This brings together the work of four universities and a range of charitable bodies and foundations. The Scottish Government took an active interest in the work and met with representatives of the organising team to discuss the implications of the research briefs which were the outcome of the work. It has led to further opportunities such as forging partnerships with the NHS, 3rd sector organisations and participating in the Scottish Parliament Cross-Party group on Children and Young People. I have also been successful in gaining a book contract from Routledge entitled, ‘Equitable, inclusive and caring schools: Reconceptualising Behaviour Management to Support Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.’


Interrogating the relationship between poverty, attainment and mental health and wellbeing : the importance of social networks and support - a Scottish case study
Mowat Joan G
Cambridge Journal of Education Vol 50, pp. 345-370 (2020)
New directions in headship education in Scotland
Mowat Joan
Research-Informed Teacher Learning (2020) (2020)
Management in education : reflective piece draft guidelines
Mowat Joan, Jopling Michael
Management in Education, pp. 1-2 (2019)
Exploring the impact of social inequality and poverty on the mental health and wellbeing and attainment of children and young people in Scotland
Mowat Joan Gaynor
Improving Schools Vol 22, pp. 204-223 (2019)
Poverty, Attainment and Wellbeing : Making a Difference to the Lives of Children and Young People : Final Project Report
Mowat Joan, Macleod Gale
Poverty, Attainment and Wellbeing : Making a Difference to the Lives of Children and Young People : Research Brief : Policy Community Focus
Mowat Joan, Macleod Gale

more publications

Professional activities

Presentation to Scottish Government
Tackling child poverty
Mind the gap: why equality and inclusion are key to attainment
Editorial Board Meeting (Event)
Peer reviewer
Meeting with Education Scotland
Examination of PhD Thesis

more professional activities


Scottish Universities Insight Institute Seminar Series 'Poverty, attainment and wellbeing: Making a Difference to the Lives of Children and Young People
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator) Macleod, Gale (Principal Investigator)
Seminar Series funded by SUII with a grant of £19,400. Jointly led by the University of Strathclyde and Edinburgh with participation from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian; five 3rd sector organisations and two local authorities.
03-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2019
Digital Resources Development, Scottish College for Educational Leadership (£7,584.62)
Mowat, Joan (Academic)
01-Jan-2014 - 09-Jan-2014
Mowat, Joan (Academic)
01-Jan-2014 - 09-Jan-2014
Furthering Differentiated Practice to meet individual pupil needs
Mowat, Joan (Academic)
A programme of consultancy undertaken with Paisley Grammar School, Renfrewshire to further differentiated practice
27-Jan-2012 - 28-Jan-2013
Using Support Groups to Improve Behaviour: A Social Constructivist Approach
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator)
16-Jan-2010 - 28-Jan-2013

more projects