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 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to develop the approach in two Scottish Local Authorities – Falkirk and Aberdeenshire. 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. 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. 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 am 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. 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.’