Headteacher Recruitment and Retention Working Group


The purpose of the Headteacher Recruitment and Retention Working Group is to develop an action plan to help improve the recruitment and retention of headteachers in Scotland. 

The action plan will act as the driver to made sure the group achieves its goals. It will operate collaboratively and be innovative in its approach to its work. 

Group members commit to taking a collective approach. They will be responsible for ensuring that any activities the members’ individual organisations carry out on behalf of the Group are completed according to the action plan. 

The group will take a long term perspective on the following key issues: 

  • attractiveness and appeal of the headteacher role (including workload and sustaining headteachers in post)
  • career journey
  • data sharing
  • system resilience

As well as these, the Group will take into account supporting headteacher wellbeing, diversity in the teaching profession and the education workforce.  

The Group will work with sector practitioners so the outcomes of the plan are informed by best practice.  

The working group reports to the Strategic Board for Teacher Education. It is chaired by the Association of Directors of Education Scotland. 

The group meets every quarter. The first meeting of the Group was in January 2022. 

The Scottish Government provides secretariat support for the group.


  • Laurence Findlay (Chair), Association of Directors of Education Scotland
  • Sharon McLellan, Association of Heads and Deputes Scotland
  • Simon Cameron, COSLA
  • Lesley Whelan, Education Scotland
  • Lorraine McBride, Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Victoria Smith, General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Nik James, NASUWT
  • Jim Thewliss, School Leaders Scotland
  • Barbara Coupar, Scottish Catholic Education Service
  • Angela Felvus, Scottish Government
  • Stuart Robb, Scottish Government
  • Seamus Searson, Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association
  • Zoè Robertson, Scottish Council of Deans of Education 
  • Dougie Atkinson, Voice
  • John Devine, Breadalbane Academy
  • Sabrina McCready, Inverclyde Academy
  • Jen Crocket, Association of Directors of Education Scotland
  • Jon Reid, Larbert High School
  • Aleksandra Jonca, Scottish Government



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