GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba


Congratulations to all those who achieved the Standard for Headship through the Into Headship programme and who completed the In Headship programme. We would have dearly loved to celebrate your momentous achievements in person but, with circumstances as they are, we have been forced to move our celebrations online. We hope you enjoy the messages below, and join us on #leadGTCSES21 on @gtcs and @EdScotPLL to share your experience of the programmes and your photos.

We understand and apologise that some of you received your certificate late or are yet to receive it. We intend to update the roll call video, so please do send in your photos to by 31 May 2021 to be included.

Messages of Congratulations

Alison Weatherston, Education Scotland

Scottish Youth Parliament

Pauline Stephen, GTC Scotland

Victoria Smith, GTC Scotland

Gayle Gorman, Education Scotland

Gillian Hamilton, Education Scotland

Standard for Headship Roll Call

In Headship Roll Call

Messages of congratulations from local authorities and SCIS

Congratulations to all Cohort 5 participants who have completed the Into Headship Programme. We have faced so many challenges over the past year, and together as an Education network have manged to continue to meet the demands and changes to our daily practice while still continuing to focus on improving ourselves and others. Teachers are School Leaders are incredible beings! We are very proud of your achievements and congratulate Lynsey and Maree on completing the Programme this year and look forward to continuing to support you both through your ongoing leadership journey.

Warmest congratulations on receiving your award. very well-deserved. As the last year has confirmed, leadership is hugely significant. It’s really gratifying to know that leadership of schools going into the future is in such good hands. Keep learning, look after yourselves and each other, and enjoy the journey ahead of you.

Ian Parkin, QIO, Aberdeenshire Council.

Huge congratulations to Clare Angus and Laura Cowper on their successful completion of the Into Headship qualification. So much of this year has been focussed on the alternative delivery of learning and ensuring the wellbeing for our children and young people. Through this unprecedented time you have managed to stay focused on your own professional learning. Good luck with your future career and future learning opportunities. Time now to prioritise your wellbeing and selfcare. Well done and warmest wishes from all in Angus Education and Lifelong Learning Directorate.

Jim Hammond - Service Leader, Education and Lifelong Learning

Warmest congratulations Laura and Clare. To achieve your Into Headship Award in any year is an amazing achievement but to gain it during a global pandemic is absolutely note-worthy. Well done and good luck as you progress in your career we are very lucky to have such hard working and dedicated leaders working with all our Angus bairns.

Leila Martin – Head Teacher, Angus Virtual School

During a year like no other, where school and ELC staff have faced challenges not only unprecedented but also unimaginable only 15 months ago, this cohort of Into Headship candidates have shown courage, resilience and tenacity to ensure that they reach their goal of achieving their qualification.

In demonstrating these qualities, they have shown their growing capacity to lead during times of change – a pre-requisite for the role of School Leader.

As such, on behalf of myself and the Leadership team within Argyll and Bute, I would like to congratulate all members of this cohort for their hard work and dedication towards supporting the children and young people of Argyll & Bute.

Congratulations on your achievement and enjoy your celebrations, when the time comes!

Many Thanks,

Tina Sartain (Acting) Education Manager, Helensburgh & Lomond

Many Congratulations to Mr Gordon Barnes. Your hard work, commitment and drive have most certainly paid off. A very well earned achievement that you should be very proud of. Our young people, families, communities and colleagues continue to benefit from your values driven leadership and service. Thank you and well done from Clackmannanshire Council!

Adrienne Aitken
Improving Outcomes Team Leader
Clackmannanshire Council

The Director and team at Education, Skills and Children’s Services congratulate you, Amy, on your achievement of the Standard for Headship through your compleiton of the Into Headship programme. Your commitment to the role and to your professional learning in undertaking this work has been exemplary and we wish you well for your future in school leadership and look forward to supporting you in taking the next steps in your professional career.

Meal do naidheachd, Amy. Tapadh leibh airson do dhealas agus tha sinn a’ coimhead air adhart ri bhith ag obair còmhla riut san àm ri teachd.

Education & Children’s Services, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Dumfries & Galloway Council would like to send their warmest congratulations to all the participants who have completed the In Headship and Into Headship programmes this session. Professional learning of this nature requires considerable dedication, particularly during a worldwide pandemic, and a significant commitment to new learning. Our schools are richer through the increased leadership capacity that the participants gain through this learning. Although you are not able to enjoy the day in person, we hope that you take time to reflect and be proud of your achievements particularly during these challenging times.

Congratulations to Lorna, Annamarie and James (and to Liam and Clare in their 'pastures new') and thanks for your great commitment to learning and to the young people and families whose lives you influence greatly. It's never easy to juggle the pressures of school leadership and personal lives at the best of times, and I know how difficult it can be to add in study and formalised learning to that mix. Not to mention a certain world event! Your achievement is no modest one. Here's to a bright future in your leadership journey in our fine city all of you.

Andy Macgregor, Education Officer, on behalf of Audrey May, Chief Education Officer and her Leadership Team in the DCC Children and Families Service.

Congratulations to Jacqueline Shaw and Lee McPhail who have successfully completed the Into Headship Programme. In a year that has challenged everyone your dedication to your school communities and your own professional learning has been outstanding.

Your leadership is very much valued in East Ayrshire, wishing you all the best in your careers.

Helen Cassidy, Education Manager Leadership.

Our Chief Education Officer Jacqueline MacDonald sends this note of congratulations to the successful candidates from Cohort 5 in East Dunbartonshire

'We would congratulate all of those who have gained the Into Headship Award. Leadership of our senior managers has never been more important as schools work through these challenging times supporting staff, children and their families, well done.

Congratulations to Debbie Mercer on successful completion of the Into Headship programme. Your desire and passion for education shines through in all you do to ensure that children and families in East Lothian have the best possible outcome. I am looking forward to working with you in the next chapter of your leadership journey.

In East Renfrewshire, we are very proud that our two Into Headship candidates, Fiona Johnston and Claire Noble, have achieved the Standard for Headship. Despite the particular challenges of the last year, both have worked tirelessly to participate fully in all aspects of the programme in order to gain the maximum benefit. We wish them every success throughout the rest of their careers, and we would also like to thank their coaches and other staff who have supported them on this journey over the last year.

On behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, may I extend our warmest congratulations to all of you. What you have achieved is simply extraordinary and we are fiercely proud of your success. Since the beginning of your Into Headship journey, we have experienced enormous shift and change in our professional lives – working differently, using an entirely new vocabulary (“You’re on mute”, “Is that a legacy hand?”, “unprecedented times”), living differently. The skills you have had to develop and the resilience with which you have had to approach your learning only serve to increase my confidence that our future school leaders will be strong, committed and engaged – exactly as we need them to be.

Connection and reconnection are themes we are very much centred on at present. Always remember the shared experiences you have had with your Cohort 5 colleagues and continue to build upon them. I speak from experience when I say that I still use my Cohort connections on a regular basis! Dr Brene Brown, author of “Dare to Lead” and research professor, once wrote that “brave leaders who live their values are never silent about hard things” and goes on to give her definition of integrity as “Choosing courage over comfort. Choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy. And practising your values.” You have lived this – be proud of all you have accomplished.

And so, please accept the City of Edinburgh’s warmest congratulations on this happy occasion and know we join with you as you celebrate your awards today.

Well done and congratulations to our Falkirk colleagues within cohort 5 of Into Headship on your successful completion of the programme. In a year which has been marked with so much complexity and challenge, you should be immensely proud of your achievements. We know that the strategic changes you have led, and adapted in response to an ever-changing landscape, will continue to impact positively on the children and young people within your school communities. Your engagement with leadership theories and practice, supported by university partners and peers, will undoubtedly support your future development as a school leader… Congratulations to our Fab Falkirk Folk

Congratulations to all of the Fife Into Headship Cohort 5 participants, on your incredible achievement in gaining the Standard for Headship. At a time of uncertainty and unprecedented crisis you showed real integrity, resilience and perseverance in leadership which showed your unwavering commitment to making a difference for all of our children and young people. I am grateful that you gave me the privilege to support you through your journey and I look forward to continuing to support you in your future endeavours. As a local authority we are incredibly proud of you and hope that you are all equally as proud of yourselves on this fantastic achievement. Best wishes, Lesley Henderson

We are very proud of the achievements of Bridget and Meg as they receive their Into Headship certificates. Both are highly respected professionals, who are fully committed to a collegiate and empowering approach to leadership. They are valuable members of our leadership network and we know they will be increasingly influential as we work to lead change for improved outcomes for children and young people in Highland. Their learning with Education Scotland colleagues has been extremely important in this regard.

Congratulations to Alison and Martin on successful completion of the Into Headship programme. This is a key aspect of our leadership pathways and we know that increasingly staff are finding it an invaluable support for the next step on their leadership journey. We wish all those teachers celebrating today the best of luck for the future and trust that that once they secure a head teacher post, the programme and all other leadership experiences stand them in good stead.

Moray Council Congratulations

I would like to congratulate all participants, and in particular those from North Ayrshire Council, who have worked tremendously hard to achieve the Into Headship qualification. This last year has presented huge challenges for everyone, and always, colleagues in Education have risen to that challenge. To achieve this qualification while overcoming the trials facing us each and every day is an amazing achievement. This shows immense dedication and commitment to young people. Huge congratulations and very best wishes for the future.

Alan MacDougall
Senior Manager (Education)
North Ayrshire Council

We would like to extend our congratulations to North Lanarkshire colleagues who successfully completed the In Headship and Into Headship qualifications.

Donna Blyth’s achievement completing her Standard for Headship is extra special here in Orkney, given her position teaching in Stronsay Junior High School. Her dedication and attention to supporting the school during her studies is indeed a celebration of success and commitment. On behalf of Orkney Islands Council, we congratulate and thank her for achieving this significant milestone in professional development.

Dr Hall, Headteacher of Westray Junior High School has achieved yet another key milestone in his professional learning journey by achieving his In Headship award. Simon is a dedicated professional, always seeking to further his professionalism in the local and wider educational community. Simon’s knowledge and awareness of remote communities and dedication to sharing and enhancing learners appreciation of their own environment and culture has always been to the fore. Having previously engaged in promoted Scottish language at a national level, he now embarking on a programme supporting digital learning and again bringing learning communities together on a common theme. On behalf of the Orkney island Council we congratulate Simon on his dedication and personal success in achieving his In Headship Award.

Warmest congratulations to all our PKC colleagues within Cohort 5 of Into Headship! Your dedication and commitment to your own professional development is outstanding and will ensure you continue to offer the best service to our schools and ultimately provide the best learning opportunities for all the young people you work with. Your professionalism throughout your career, and this course, is an inspiration to others. I hope you enjoy your ceremony, your day and a successful career moving forward.

Bernadette Martin-Scott

Being a head teacher is a challenging and fulfilling role and I am delighted to be able to congratulate all five of our successful Into Headship graduates from Cohort 5. In Renfrewshire we are committed to ensuring that our aspiring headteachers are supported to develop and build the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding required of senior leaders in our schools. You have all worked incredibly hard and shown huge commitment under the current restrictions. I look forward to continuing to support you in your ongoing leadership journey and wish you every success on your next step. Well done Elaine, Carolanne, Kevin, Marie Claire and Gordon!

Head of Schools, Gordon McKinlay

SCIS would like to offer our warmest congratulations to those colleagues who have achieved Into Headship and In Headship, with a special shout-out to our colleagues in the independent sector. It is widely acknowledged that you are in demanding roles, managing a myriad of competing demands on your time. Hence this award is a significant testament to your professionalism. We congratulate those of you who have already secured your first Headship and wish the others well as you embark on the next stage of your career.

- Margaret Lannon, Deputy Director: Education and Professional Learning

Evyor and Helen, many congratulations for achieving your Into Headship certificates. You have shown great leadership in your commitment to your personal development. Shetland’s children and young people are lucky to have such dedicated professionals supporting their learning. I very much regret that we cannot celebrate your success in person but it should not alter the pride you should feel in your achievement especially in such challenging circumstances. I wish you all the very best in your leadership journey - I am confident that you will have more to celebrate given what you have achieved this year!

Maggie Sandison, Chief Executive, Shetland Islands Council

Huge congratulations to Gaynor, Lynsey and Elaine. I am extremely proud of your achievement. You are a great example of the highest standards of professionalism, committing to the qualification on top of your extremely demanding job. Career long professional learning is easy to talk about, more demanding in real life. Congratulations once again and thank you for your commitment to the highest quality learning and teaching for all our children and young people.

Douglas Hutchison Depute Chief Executive, Director-People.

Warmest congratulations to all South Lanarkshire Into Headship participants. Well done on your achievement. We are so pleased to see you all accomplishing great things, now and in the future.

Linda Gardner

What an incredible achievement at any time, but particularly so in the middle of a global pandemic.

Congratulations to all of the successful candidates.

Very special congratulations though to Craig Downie, Laura Fowler, Richard Noakes, Patrick Robertson, Shirley Toole and Fiona Young.

A great cross section of Stirling brilliance!

Bryony Monaghan, Interim Head of Education

On behalf of West Dunbartonshire Council Education Services Department, we wish to congratulate Anne and Donna on completing Into Headship and wish them every success in the future. Well done in achieving this in such a challenging year.

Messages of congratulations from universities

Dear successful graduates

Very well done from all here at University of Aberdeen. It has been great working with you all. Great to see former leadership students return and others progress from this onto other courses. With learning at the forefront of our minds- onwards and best wishes for an enlightened future with thought leadership at the fore!

Best wishes from Neil and the team at University of Aberdeen

Congratulations from University of Edinburgh

Our very sincere congratulations to Into Headship Cohort 5 and In Headship Cohort 3 on your outstanding achievement in successfully completing the course during the most challenging of times.

We would like to say it has been a privilege and pleasure to work with the University of Stirling participants: your remarkable leadership, professionalism, resilience and energy in coping with these extraordinary circumstances had a notable impact on your professional learning.

Well done, continue reading, critiquing, learning and leading… We wish you continued success in your career, especially now as you continue to address the many unanticipated and complex challenges in shaping education for young people in Scotland in the coming weeks, months and years.

With very best wishes from the University of Stirling,

Valerie and Cate
Honorary Associate Professor Valerie Drew and Professor Cate Watson

PS We are very sorry that we were not able to meet in person at the University to watch you graduate and raise a glass to celebrate!

Congratulations from UHI

More congratulations

Congratulations to everyone receiving your Standard for Headship or celebrating your completion of In Headship today. The commitment and perseverance to your own learning along with the support you have given to the learning of your colleagues is evident in all the tweets, messages and supportive gestures you’ve shared now and throughout the programmes. Your achievements are particularly special this year and your celebrations all the more deserved. Enjoy every moment – you’ve truly earned it!

Jacqueline Morley GTC Scotland Senior Education Officer Career-long Professional Learning and Leadership

“Headteachers lead the whole school community in order to establish, sustain and enhance a positive ethos and culture of learning through which every learner, including colleagues, is able to learn effectively and achieve their potential” Standard for Headship 2021.

Congratulations on your achievements today in fully stepping into the role of lead learner and modelling leadership of and for learning in very real and authentic ways. I know that your professional learning has been both challenging and reward and that your learning will continue to impact on your leadership and those you work with and support. It will be central to you in creating and sustaining that culture of learning. To everyone receiving your Standard for Headship award or completing In Headship I raise a toast to you and wish you every success in your future career, congratulations, and happy celebrating!

Thoughts from a past Into Headship participant

Congratulations to all those who have successfully completed the Into Headship Programme. There is no doubt that it was the most invaluable CPD that I have done in my career and the skills that I learned have helped enormously over these challenging 12 months. It builds a resilience and an understanding of how to deal with problems that may have been more daunting in the past.

Mr Brian Nelson
Depute Headteacher
St Andrew's and St Bride's High School

A huge 'Well Done' and 'Congratulations' to you all. You have all worked incredibly hard to be here today and you should be extremely proud of what you have all achieved! I wish you all well as you continue your leadership journey.

Anne Rice
Deerpark Primary School