Alan Nimmo. Chair of the SSERC Board of Directors

Alan started his working life as a Civil Servant with the Scottish Office where he held several positions. Having dealt with Ministerial Transport, a secondment to the Scottish Police College & the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority he then moved on to the Department for Work & Pensions where he became the Branch Secretary for the Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS).

A keen runner and Karate enthusiast Alan likes to keep fit when time allows.

Alan was first elected to Falkirk Council in 2007 to represent the Lower Braes (Ward 8) and has held various positions over the years. He is currently Depute Leader of the Labour Group and a member of the Executive.

Clare Adamson MSP. Vice-Chair of the SSERC Board of Directors

Clare was raised in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire and is from a steelworking family. In 2016 Clare was elected as the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw, having been a Central Scotland List MSP since 2011. Clare also served on North Lanarkshire Council as the elected member for Wishaw Ward from 2007 to 2012.

Clare is currently Convenor of the Social Security Committee in the Scottish Parliament, having previously served as Convenor of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. She has also served as a member of numerous other Parliamentary committees.

Clare is Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Science and Technology. Before entering politics, Clare had a 15-year career in IT. Clare has a degree in Computer Information Systems and is a member of BCS. She is active within the Parliament an in her capacity as an MSP in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers for young people.

Clare is also Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Accident Prevention & Safety Awareness. Clare is passionate about safety and accident prevention, and has been active in the field since her days as a councillor, working to promote safety awareness and innovative ways to prevent accidents.

Greg Dempster. Vice-Chair of the SSERC Board of Directors

Greg has been the General Secretary of the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS) since 2004. AHDS is a professional association representing more than 1850 school leaders from Scotland’s primary, nursery and ASN schools.

Representing this large group of school leaders, Greg has a keen interest in helping SSERC to ensure that its ever-growing offering to support STEM learning in the sectors covered by AHDS is as strong as it can be.

Greg is also on the board of the European School Heads Association and is a member of the GTCS Appointments Committee.

Pauline Allison. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Pauline has been in Scottish Education for 26 years, starting out her career as a Maths Teacher at Abronhill High School as a Supply Teacher. She gained her first permanent post at Clydebank High School before moving on to Blantyre High as APT Maths, followed by Dalziel High as PT Maths then DHT. Pauline has been HT at Deans Community High School since 2015.

In the wider educational community, Pauline has been an active member of SLS since taking on her first senior leadership role. She was delighted to combine her continuing interest in STEM education with her involvement in SLS by joining the SSERC board as the SLS representative

Martin Brennan. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Martin taught History and Modern Studies in various schools in Greenock, Gourock, Paisley and then again in Greenock. His teaching career spanned some 38 years from 1970 until 2008. During his career he was seconded as a Munn and Dunning Development Officer, then as a tutor for Higher Still.

Martin has extensive experience as a marker for SQA and he was a member of the SQA History Assessment Panel. Since retiring he has become immersed in local politics and he is currently Labour Councillor and Provost of Inverclyde.

Kathleen Leslie. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Kathleen Leslie is a Conservative Councillor representing the Fife ward of Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy.

David Maxwell. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

David Maxwell is an Education Officer within Dumfries & Galloway Council. He has a remit within the quality improvement team, working with a number of schools & clusters, and has responsibility for STEM.

David has worked in Scottish Education for 20 years. Prior to taking up his current post he was Partner Head Teacher of two Early Learning & Childcare Settings and Primary Schools in South Rhins, the most southerly schools in Scotland. Over this time he built partnerships between the two schools and local communities. Previous to this David worked in several primary schools across Dumfries & Galloway.

David has a keen interest in the curriculum and in high quality learning and teaching. He believes in the child at the centre approach, ensuring that the teaching experiences evolve to meet the needs of the child. His educational philosophy ensures that life skills are taught in tandem with core skills of numeracy and literacy. In his schools his youngsters are encouraged to take a lead in their educational experience ensuring that they are fully involved in decision making in the running of their school. David also believes in developing the important partnership with parents, community and local employers. He brings these together in a holistic school approach which provides great benefits for the child and family.

Kate MacDonald. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Kate has worked in Scottish Education for over 30 years and has recently taken up the position of Education Quality Improvement Officer in South Ayrshire Council.

She started her teaching career in North Ayrshire as a Chemistry/Biology teacher. She then moved into guidance before becoming a Depute head teacher at Prestwick Academy and finally Head teacher at Ayr Academy. Kate has always been committed to ensuring that all young people are supported and challenged to fulfil their true potential.

In her new role Kate supports staff in both the Primary and Secondary sector. Her remit also includes supporting student s and newly qualified teachers. She also plays a significant role in encouraging and supporting teachers of all levels to access appropriate leadership continuous professional learning.

Outside work Kate enjoys spending time with her family including her new granddaughter.

Susan McGill. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Susan McGill was elected as Councillor to Stirling Council in May 2017. Susan is a qualified as Registered Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor and have worked in the NHS in various roles for 38 years.

Building on her experience working with children and young people throughout her career, Susan now is Convener of Children and Young People Committee in Stirling Council. Susan is delighted to be nominated as Stirling Council representative to SSERC and feels passionate about provision of high quality education, in particular encouraging more girls to peruse an interest in STEM subjects.

Mhairi Shaw. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Mhairi Shaw has been the Director of Education since 2013. Mhairi leads the Education Department, all primary and secondary schools, early learning and childcare centres and Adult Learning. She also held the portfolio which included Sports, Arts and Libraries for the council before these services transferred to the East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust in July 2015. Mhairi remains the lead officer of the council to liaise, support and monitor the work of the Trust.

Qualifying with a Diploma of College Education in 1978, Mhairi taught in several primary schools in Lanark Division of Strathclyde Region before becoming a Head Teacher in 1993 at Lawmuir Primary in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire. Her last Head Teacher position was at Mearns Primary from 2001 to 2004.

Prior to her appointment to Director Mhairi was the Head of Education Services in East Renfrewshire for nine years from 2004. As Head of Education Services she held the functions relating to early learning and childcare, staffing, quality improvement, planning, inclusion and special education and led the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence in East Renfrewshire – wide ranging remits which prepared her well for her current post.

With the establishment of Regional Improvement Collaboratives, as part of the national review of the governance of education, Mhairi took on the role of leading the West Partnership in October 2017 The Partnership is the largest of the six Regions and includes 8 local authorities which make up the Glasgow City Region (East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City Council, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire).

Alan Taylor. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Alan Taylor has worked with Perth and Kinross Council since 1996, in a variety of senior roles within three of the service areas: Education and Children’s Services; Housing and Community Care; and Corporate and Democratic Services. Alan has been in the post of Head of Corporate IT and Revenues (Chief Digital Officer) since October 2015. Immediately preceding this he was the Head of Finance and Support within Housing and Community Care.

Prior to this, within Education & Children’s Services for over 15 years, he undertook a number of different roles over the years, with extensive experience leading and managing:

Finance and Devolved School Management;
Education Information Systems and Technology;
Health and Safety; and
Capital Investment in New Schools.

Alan maintains his involvement in education as a member of the SEEMiS Board, which he has been on since 2013.

Alan is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants; with qualifications in programme, risk, project and quality management. He also has a BA (Honours) in Business Studies and a Master of Business Administration degree.

Jim Wilson. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Prior to becoming a teacher, Jim held a wide variety of posts. He was a programmer for a multi-national computer company; a police officer for several years; computer-sales executive; national sales trainer and Dealer Principal of a car showroom to name a few!

Within education, Jim has worked in various schools across a wide range of areas. He was Principal Teacher of mathematics in Williamwood High School prior to becoming a Quality Improvement Officer in East Renfrewshire Council.

As Head of Education Services within Glasgow City Council for 11 years, Jim has had lead responsibility for a range of areas: the School Estate; ICT; Performance Management; Administration; Quality Improvement and the Leadership of nursery, primary and secondary school headteachers.

Jim is chair of the GATEWAY board, a member of ADES and a Professional Associate with Education Scotland.

David Dodds. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

David is currently in his second term as a councillor in West Lothian where he is chair of the education executive. As well as being on the SSERC board he serves on the board of SEEMiS and is a member of GTCS.

Prior to entering local government he worked in education and was principal teacher of learning support at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh. During his time there he worked as a part time tutor for the University of Edinburgh in their Post Graduate Dyslexia programme from 1995 until 2001. From 2004 till 2007 he was a part time researcher for the University of Stirling.

Most of his spare time is taken up with his family and particularly his five grandchildren. He is also a keen football supporter and follows his favourite team regularly.