Thank you and good luck . . .

A number of our good friends and colleagues have reached the end of their Education Scotland / CPD Team contracts this week, and I am very sorry to see them go. Each has made a unique and important contribution to the team over a combined total of more than twelve years and each will be sadly missed.

So farewell and thank you to Susan Lafferty who has worked quietly and efficiently to make our online communities so popular and effective. In particular Susan was the engine behind CPDStepin – and I know many colleagues have benefited from her excellent personal skills and her meticulous attention to detail. She built a strong skill set in the area of online facilitation – a very rare attribute and we shall miss her enormously. I hope she finds the job she deserves very soon.

We must also say good bye to our friend and colleague Catriona Oates. Although she has been with us for less than two years, the impact she has made is significant. Catriona has a clear vision and a rare understanding of the power of technology and social networking to transform teacher professional learning. In this context, she has achieved and delivered so much while with the team. She has designed, built and facilitated a number of successful GLOW communities, and has been tireless in seeking and sharing interesting CPD links. She has also provided strategic leadership, with her colleague and friend Bob Cook, of the team’s work on Professional Review and Development – so please do check out the excellent PRD Toolkit and the PRD Health Check which offer good and sensible strategies for improving PRD at school level. This CPD Team blog is now much more user friendly thanks to Catriona. Please do keep up with Catriona’s career on her own blog, Cat’s eyes.

The leadership strand of the CPD team will miss the positive, professional and collegial support of Kat Healy whose contract also came to an end at the end of February. Kat brought high quality organisational skills to the Flexible Route to Headship programme from its inception, and many of those who have participated in FRH will know her as your first point of contact. Kat epitomises all that is good in project support. She solved problems, maintained focus and showed flexibility and creativity in all her responsibilities. Kat of course is also a very talented singer/songwriter and we are all looking forward to the launch of her first album later this year. We are delighted that she has been head-hunted for the Children’s Panel, and will start work with this organisation on Monday.
You can keep up with Kat’s music on her website:

Finally I am very sad that we must also wave goodbye to Jim Keegans who has has reached the end of his contract. For five years Jim has been the driving force behind the development of the Flexible Route to Headship and as such has made a significant contribution not only to the work of the team, but also to Scottish education more widely. When Jim first took up this responsibility FRH was little more than an aspiration, and he has worked tirelessly, building partnership with a great number of colleagues from a wide range of stakeholders, to make it into the thriving, lively programme it is today. This significant achievement is not the only legacy that Jim leaves as he moves into the next stage of his career. He has led and contributed to so many aspects of the CPD team’s work, from our headteacher CPD programme, the development of Learning Rounds, the development of the online Educational Leadership Development Framework, and so on. Throughout this he has been a super person to work with, always calm, always cheerful and always more likely to seek a solution before a confrontation. He will be missed for so many reasons.

We’ll miss you all

Margaret Alcorn

National CPD Coordinator