National Child Protection Leadership Group


The Child Protection Systems Review – Protecting Scotland's Children and Young People: It is Still Everyone's Job – recommended that a National Leadership Group be established to support, strengthen and improve, from a national perspective, activity on child protection across Scotland.

The role of the group is to identify collaborative solutions in order to deliver more effective, consistent protection and support for children and families and to reduce duplication of effort. The Group also provides scrutiny and advice to Scottish Government on proposed policy changes.

In particular, the Group:

  • advises on national child protection policy and have oversight of implementation of the actions in the Child Protection Improvement Programme;
  • reviews arrangements for child protection across planning and service delivery processes including Integration Joint Boards and in relation to the duties set out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
  • considers the findings of Significant Case Reviews and advise on national recommendations;
  • advises on the content and structure of Chief Officers' leadership events and consider themes and issues raised;
  • makes appropriate links to emerging child protection issues and other relevant pieces of work;
  • has due cognisance of developing policy issues which will impact on child protection;
  • supports Chief Officers to strengthen delivery of their responsibilities, as set out in the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland (2014), and to identify areas where further work is required; and
  • works with Child Protection Committees Scotland to support local areas to deliver robust continuous improvement programmes.


  • Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People (Chair)
  • Claire Burns, Co-Director, CELCIS and Institute for Inspiring Children's Futures
  • Joanna Macdonald, Deputy Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Ruth Sills, Child Protection Programme CELCIS
  • Alison Gordon, Chief Social Work Officer, North Lanarkshire and Social Work Scotland representative
  • Neil Hunter, Principal Reporter/Chief Executive, SCRA
  • Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour
  • Angela Scott, Chief Executive, Aberdeen City Council. Strategic Lead for Children and Education, including Child Protection, SOLACE
  • Professor Amanda Croft, Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government
  • Kay Tisdall, Professor of Childhood, Edinburgh University
  • Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive, Education Scotland
  • Lindsay MacDougall, Acting Head of Child Protection, Scottish Government
  • Alan Small, National Chair, Child Protection Committees Scotland
  • Peter MacLeod, Chief Executive, Care Inspectorate Scotland
  • Lesley Sheppard, Deputy Director Care, Protection and Justic, Scottish Government
  • DCS Samantha McCluskey, Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland
  • Michael Wood, Professor of Education, University of Dundee and General Secretary, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) 
  • Eddie Folan, Chief Officer Children and Young People COSLA
  • Dr Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government
  • Hazel Borland, Executive Nurse Director for NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • Mags McGuire, Executive Nurse Director for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Elliot Jackson, National Convenor of the Children’s Panel and Chief Executive of Children’s Hearings Scotland
  • Moira Price, Head of Victims and Witnesses Policy, COPFS
  • Bill Scott-Watson, Interim Deputy Director for Strategy, GIRFEC and the Promise Division, Scottish Government
  • Mairi Macpherson, Deputy Director, Improving Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Government
  • Cathie Cowan, Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley
  • Jackie Brock, Chief Operating Officer, The Promise Scotland