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 Education and Skills 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.

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.

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.

Jayne Hamilton. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Jayne is a Biology teacher with over 15 years’ experience in both the State and Private sectors.

She was part of the original team that delivered Advanced Highers through Glasgow Caledonian University’s Advanced Higher Hub and now splits her time between delivering vocational science subjects and Biology at Bannockburn High School and acting as the STEM Development Officer for Stirling Council.

Jayne has also led DYW and LfS initiatives at Bannockburn High and was awarded the ENTHUSE Award for Excellence in STEM Teaching: Secondary at the Enthuse Celebration Awards 2020.

Richard Holme. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Richard is a lecturer in education at the University of Dundee and teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. His areas of specialism include primary education, STEM subjects and curriculum innovation. He is also Academic Lead for the MEd programmes. Richard’s main area of research interest is teacher professional learning and development specifically focussing on grassroots professional development. He completed his doctoral research thesis on the topic of grassroots or teacher-led professional development and learning and he has published research in this area.

Richard’s more recent professional background is in school-based education and mainly the primary sector. Prior to working as a class teacher he worked supporting children with ASD and communication support needs within mainstream secondary education. His first degree was a BSc in Food Science and Nutrition and started his professional life in food manufacturing and supply chain management, with multinational companies including Unilever and PepsiCo. He also managed a large European Union funded project supporting workforce development in the food manufacturing sector. Outside of work he is interested in issues relating to the environment and sustainability, acting as a trustee for Tayside Reusers charity. For relaxation he enjoys various sports and outdoor pursuits, including open-water swimming.

Nicky Inglis. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Nicky is the Director of Faculty for Engineering, Science, Technology and Built Environment at Fife College and has worked in the tertiary education sector for over 30 years.

In his current role Nicky sets and oversees the strategic direction of the faculty and the design and delivery of a modern, innovative, and fit for purpose curriculum that meets the needs of the regional and wider economy. Nicky is an advocate of the student being at the centre of the learning and that learner and stakeholder experience and feedback is paramount in developing future, engaging, relevant and innovative curriculum. Nicky plays a leading role in promoting STEM and is a strong architect of, and advocate for, the College’s extensive Schools/College STEM programme.

Nicky also plays a key role in working with local employers and currently takes on a leading role in a joint venture with local employers, Higher Educational Institutes and Fife Council to create a new Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Campus and Digital Skills Academy in Rosyth.

Outside work Nicky enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is a keen golfer and hillwalker and enjoys spending time outdoors when the weather allows.

Érin McGowan. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Érin is an Education Support Officer within Aberdeen City Council. She has a remit within the Building Capacity team and has responsibility for professional learning. Prior to her current role, Érin was a Numeracy and Mathematics Education Support Officer for Dundee, where she was a member of the national Numeracy Hub Champion network and the Scottish Financial Education Forum.

She started her teaching career with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as a primary teacher, before moving to Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City to continue teaching.

She has a passion for STEM learning; her experiences of STEM learning and teaching in the classroom have corroborated her belief that STEM education is paramount to children and their future.

Érin is a registered Young Stem Leader Tutor Assessor for all levels for Aberdeen City Council.

Jon Reid. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

After graduating from the University of Stirling, Jon secured his first teaching post at Stranraer Academy in Dumfries & Galloway.

He has worked in several local authorities including Scottish Borders and the City of Edinburgh, where he was Head Teacher of Drummond Community High School (the most culturally diverse secondary school in the City) for three years. He returned to Larbert High School, now the largest non-denominational school in Scotland, as Rector in January 2010 where he was previously a Depute Rector. Jon is currently Vice President of School Leaders Scotland.

From good genetic stock (born in Aberdeen and a Biologist by trade!) he’s committed to ensuring that all youngsters and staff experience the true meaning of excellent learning and teaching, and is passionate that someone’s background or postcode shouldn’t stand in the way of them exceeding their potential – both in and out of the classroom.

Jon has a long standing association with SSERC, in his career as a Science teacher and now as a Leader in school. He is a passionate advocate for promoting the STEM agenda, and works in close partnership with Forth Valley College and DYW Forth Valley to increase the number of pathways available for young people to move into STEM related destinations. In 2015, his school won the inaugural STEM Award at the Scottish Education Awards; in 2017 they clinched the TES Award for the UK STEM Team of the Year and also the ENTHUSE Award for Secondary STEM School of the Year as the Regional Winner for Scotland in 2018.

Alistair Wylie. Member of the SSERC Board of Directors

Alistair has worked in Scottish education for over 25 years and is currently Head of Service at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) with responsibility for Technology, Engineering, Construction and Creative subjects covering both the school and vocational areas. In addition, he has responsibility for significant regulated qualifications activity across the rest of the UK market and internationally. Although originally destined for a career in accountancy, he turned his attention to education and completed his postgraduate teacher training in Business Studies and Economics at Jordanhill before starting his teaching career in secondary schools. He progressed to teaching in further and higher education for 10 years before joining SQA in 2004 as a National Manager.

Over the course of 20 years, he has written and published more than 15 educational textbooks for Hodder. He is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde and the University of Stirling and has an on-going passion for all things related to education, qualifications and assessment. Recently, he has found a new and inquisitive interest in credential evaluation since first becoming involved with The Association of International Credential Evaluation Professionals (TAICEP) in 2018 when he presented at its conference in Philadelphia. He is currently Chair of the Organisational Advancement Committee and an active member of the conference planning committee, bringing the international conference to Glasgow in 2022.

Outside of work, Alistair enjoys keeping fit by cycling and takes an active interest in the educational progress of his nieces and nephews.