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 have held an extensive range of leadership-related roles in the School of Education, including Post Graduate Research Co-ordinator; and Course Leader for six masters-level courses. I have been responsible for the development of the highly successful MEd in Educational Leadership and Into Headship. 

My research interests are broad but the principal areas relate to inclusion and leadership, coalescing in a 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. I have a specific interest in mental health, social, emotional and behavioural needs (SEBN) and transitions and, more recently, the impact of Covid-19 on the wellbeing of children and young people. I am currently engaged in research on how school leaders have supported their school communities during the pandemic, funded by a BELMAS grant. I am also authoring a commissioned monograph for Routledge, focussing on the creation of equitable, inclusive, caring and compassionate schools.

I gained funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to carry out a research and development project in two local authorities in Scotland evaluating an intervention to support children with SEBN across the Primary-Secondary transition. This led to further consultancy work in one local authority. I am currently leading a research and development project focussing on practitioner enquiry in South Lanarkshire.

I was formerly an executive member of the Scottish Educational Research Council and I am founder and Co-Convenor of the SERA Leadership for Scottish Education Network. I have undertaken several commissioned pieces of work, including working with the 3rd sector. I served on the selection panel for the Academy of Social Sciences’ publication ‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences no. 12: Education.’ 

I am an active participant in the International Bridge 47 network focussing on the achievement of UNICEF’s sustainable development goals. I also participate within the International Network of Transitions Researchers. I am a member of the Cross Party Group on Children and Young People convened by the Scottish Parliament.

I successful co-led a Scottish Universities Insight Institute Seminar series - ‘Poverty, attainment and wellbeing: Making a difference to the lives of children and young people’ - hosted in the course of 2018-2019. The Scottish Government and Education Scotland took an active interest in this work and representatives of the organising team were invited to the Scottish Parliament to share the research briefs. It has led to further opportunities such as forging partnerships with the NHS, 3rd sector organisations and international collaborations.


Establishing the medium to long-term impact of Covid-19 constraints on the socio-emotional wellbeing of impoverished children and young people (and those who are otherwise disadvantaged) during, and in the aftermath of, Covid-19
Mowat Joan
Education in an Altered World World Pandemic, Crises and Young People Vulnerable to Educational Exclusion (2021) (2021)
Working collaboratively with the school community to build inclusion for all
Mowat Joan
International Encyclopedia of Education Researching Disability Studies & Inclusive Education (2021) (2021)
What might the Covid Pandemic mean for the SERA Leadership in Scottish Education Network (SERA LiSEN)?
Mowat Joan
Scottish Educational Review Vol 52 (2020)
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 Critical Perspectives on Theory and Practice (2020) (2020)
Management in education : reflective piece draft guidelines
Mowat Joan, Jopling Michael
Management in Education, pp. 1-2 (2019)

More publications

Professional activities

Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group for Children and Young People (External organisation)
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

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
Into Headship
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator) Rivers, Ian (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2023
Mowat, Joan (Academic)
01-Jan-2014 - 09-Jan-2014
Digital Resources Development, Scottish College for Educational Leadership (£7,584.62)
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