East Lothian Council

Prestonpans Head Teacher Sheila Laing awarded SCEL Fellowship

Published Monday 26th June 17

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Sheila Laing, Head Teacher at Prestonpans Infant School, has been awarded a fellowship by the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL).

SCEL Fellows are an active community of champions for leadership and teaching in Scotland. Fellowship is recognition at the highest level for experienced leaders in education whose expertise is recognised within and beyond the teaching profession. Fellows play a key role in the enhanced development of their own schools and the wider Scottish system for the direct benefit of our children and young people.

Fellows share their expertise in a variety of ways, and represent SCEL at a range of national events. They contribute responses to national consultations, input to strategic plans, work with regional network leaders, offer peer and establishment support, and provide an expert voice on key issues.

The Fellowship programme is delivered over 11 months and requires attendance at numerous events and sessions, investigating a key area of education policy and submitting a written report of their learning that is published on the SCEL website. Sheila’s area of investigation related to the system leadership of a multi-agency partnership to employ a Family Worker in the Preston, Seton Gosford Area Partnership in order to increase parental engagement in children’s learning, and thereby improving children’s development and attainment. The partnership – which comprised Support From The Start, local Head Teachers, Pennypit Community Development Trust and the PSG Area Partnership – jointly appointed Natalie Moir as the Family Worker to support families with young children in this area.

In January 2017 Sheila was seconded to the University of Edinburgh as a Senior Teaching Fellow in Leadership and Learning where she is currently teaching the Into Headship Course to Depute Head Teachers from the Lothians, Borders and Fife. There are currently five Depute Head Teachers from East Lothian who are undertaking studies for the qualification which awards the Standard for Headship, that will soon become a statutory qualification for new Head Teachers.

Sheila Laing said:

“I am delighted to become a SCEL Fellow. I am indebted to my East Lothian colleagues, particularly to Head Teachers in my cluster area, Support from the Start and to the Area Partnership, for all their support. The greatest joy for me is that the Family Worker is now in place and engaging parents and carers in their children's learning.”

Fiona Robertson, Head of Education at East Lothian Council, said:

“I want to congratulate Sheila on her fantastic achievement. Becoming a SCEL fellow involves a great deal of work and commitment. This award is great news, not just for Sheila, but for all of her colleagues and pupils at the school and wider area of East Lothian who will benefit from her leadership and expertise.”

Sheila was awarded the SCEL Fellowship along with eight other Head Teachers, alongside over 100 successful Into Headship graduates, at a ceremony at The Queens’ Hall in Edinburgh on 17 June.

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