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 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.’


Supporting the transition from Primary to Secondary school for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural needs : a focus on the socio-emotional aspects of transfer for an adolescent boy
Mowat Joan Gaynor
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Vol 24, pp. 50-69 (2019)
Interrogating the concept of 'leadership at all levels' : a Scottish perspective
Mowat Joan G, McMahon Margery
Professional Development in Education Vol 45, pp. 173-189 (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 (2019)
Supporting the socio-emotional aspects of the primary-secondary transition for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural needs : affordances and constraints
Mowat Joan Gaynor
Improving Schools Vol 22, pp. 4-28 (2019)
'Closing the gap' : systems leadership is no leadership at all without a moral compass - a Scottish perspective
Mowat Joan G
School Leadership and Management Vol 39, pp. 48-75 (2018)
Closing the attainment gap – a realistic proposition or an elusive pipe-dream?
Mowat Joan Gaynor
Journal of Education Policy Vol 33, pp. 299-321 (2017)

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Professional activities

The Scottish approach to addressing bullying in Scottish schools
ECER 2018
BELMAS Conference 2018
National Youth Justice Conference
BELMAS: Research Interest Group: Leadership Preparation
SERA Leadership in Scottish Education Network

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Scottish Universities Insight Institution Seminar Series: Poverty, attainment and wellbeing: Making a difference to the lives of children and young people
Mowat, Joan (Principal Investigator)
This seminar series brings together expertise from academia, the policy community, the third sector and a wide range of professionals to examine the intersection between poverty, attainment and mental health and wellbeing as a means of keeping understanding of the nature of the poverty-related attainment gap and potential solutions to it. It is led by the Universities of Strathclyde and Edinburgh.
10-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2019
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

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