Dr Joan Mowat




Personal statement

I am a Reader 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 the role of Post Graduate Research Coordinator and have been Course Leader for the MEd and five educational leadership-related courses. Working collaboratively with Professor John MacBeath, I was responsible for the development of the MEd/MSc in Educational Leadership and successfully led Into Headship for eight years. I have held External Examining posts at Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Cumbria and the University of Bangor.

My key research interests are inclusion (in particular, social, emotional and behavioural needs), the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, leadership for social justice and educational transitions. My most recent research has focussed on the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged, and on the broader school community (the latter funded by a small grant from BELMAS), and on the poverty-related attainment gap. In December 2022, I published a research monograph for Routledge - 'Building Community to Create Equitable, Inclusive and Compassionate Schools through Relational Approaches'. From 2020-2022, I was a member of the International Bridge 47 network focussing on the achievement of UNICEF’s sustainable development goals and I participate within the International Network of Transitions Researchers (TCELT). I was formerly an executive member of the Scottish Educational Research Council (SERA) and founded and, until 2022, was 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,’ and acted as an expert advisor to the NFER on a research project focussing on policy across the four nations of the UK. My expertise has been recognised through acting as an expert witness to the Scottish Parliament, most recently in June 2023 on the topic of violence in schools.

In 2018-2019, I successfully co-led a Scottish Universities Insight Institute Seminar series - ‘Poverty, Attainment and Wellbeing: Making a Difference to the Lives of Children and Young People,’ publishing a set of research briefs for stakeholder groups and recommendations for policy and practice which were shared at a meeting hosted by the Scottish Parliament. This led to a wide range of external engagement activities, such as participation within the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group for Children and Young People (2020-onging) and Public Health Scotland’s Special Interest Group, exploring topics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences and the impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. I have carried out consultancy work in a range of local authorities, most recently leading a project focussing on practitioner enquiry in South Lanarkshire.

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Rising to the challenge of creating equitable, inclusive and compassionate school communities in the recovery phase of the pandemic : the role of aspiring headteachers
Mowat Joan G, Beck Anna
Education Sciences Vol 13 (2023)
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 (2023) (2023)
Building Community to Create Equitable, Inclusive and Compassionate Schools through Relational Approaches
Mowat Joan
Routledge Research in Special Educational Needs Routledge Research in Special Educational Needs (2022)
Working collaboratively with the school community to build inclusion for all
Mowat Joan G
International Encyclopedia of Education Researching Disability Studies & Inclusive Education (2022) (2022)
Understanding the value of parental engagement through pupil voice in a Scottish Primary School
Cameron Toni, Mowat Joan, Adams Paul
Education 3-13, pp. 1-16 (2022)
What might the Covid Pandemic mean for the SERA Leadership in Scottish Education Network (SERA LiSEN)?
Mowat Joan
Scottish Educational Review Vol 52, pp. 19-22 (2020)

More publications

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Professional Activities

TCELT Seminar
PGR Supervision Workshop
International Journal of Inclusive Education (Journal)
Peer reviewer
TCELT (Educational and Life) Transitions Seminar
The Palgrave Handbook of Multiple and Multi-Dimensional Educational and Life Transitions (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Presentation at International Collaborative Workshop with Bejing Normal University, China
Invited speaker

More professional activities


Sector Expert Briefing: Initiative Mapping Study (NFER)
Mowat, Joan (Co-investigator)
Offering expert guidance on Scottish policy initiatives to be included within a study conducted by NFER across the UK
03-Jan-2022 - 12-Jan-2023
The role and perceived effectiveness of approaches adopted by Into Headship students at a Scottish university to support the wellbeing of the school community during and in the aftermath of the pandemic and the perceived efficacy of the course in preparing them to meet these challenges
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator) Beck, Anna (Co-investigator) Firth, Jonathan William (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2024
Participation in bid for funding to the Nuffield Foundation
Mowat, Joan (Co-investigator)
Attendance at multiple meetings and member of core writing team for the bid
06-Jan-2021 - 09-Jan-2023
Into Headship
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator) Rivers, Ian (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2023
Founding member and Co-Convenor of SERA Leadership in Scottish Education Network
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator)
29-Jan-2015 - 19-Jan-2020
Digital Resources Development, Scottish College for Educational Leadership (£7,584.62)
Mowat, Joan (Academic)
01-Jan-2014 - 09-Jan-2014

More projects

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Dr Joan Mowat

Email: joan.mowat@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 444 8075