Education Scotland Fellowship


‘Teaching Scotland’s Future’ recognised the importance of educational leadership and recommended that more development opportunities should be provided for experienced Head Teachers, from the middle years of Headship onwards (recommendation 48). The report also foresaw the potential for experienced, high-performing Head teachers to contribute to system-level leadership of education in Scotland (recommendation 49). This is also reflected in the GTCS Standards for Leadership and Management which recognise the contribution of Head Teachers and other educational leaders to leadership for improvement at system level. This includes the ability to offer significant support to peers and other educational establishments or make significant contributions to policy development across cluster, local authority or national educational systems (GTCS, Standards for Leadership and Management, p4). Education Scotland’s Fellowship programme aims to realise this vision and these ambitions.

The Education Scotland Fellowship programme provides participants with opportunities to extend their professional learning and widen their leadership experience while taking forward an aspect of policy development that enables them to engage with policy formation and implementation at local, national and international levels.

 Target Audience

Head Teachers and Heads of early learning and childcare centres who would normally have a minimum of five years successful experience and a proven track record of strategic leadership in and beyond the school/establishment setting.


The duration of the programme will be eleven months. In addition to a scheduled programme, participants will also work with the programme organisers, coaches and academic advisers to design individualised learning experiences.

An indicative programme is outlined below:

  • First event – 24-hour inaugural event
  • Six network events
  • Six individual sessions with a coach and an academic adviser
  • Presentations/workshops at Scottish Learning Festival in September and other events throughout the year
  • Final event – 24-hour concluding event

The first event in the programme will be an opportunity for participants to engage with key policy makers, strategic leaders and academic researchers. During this event participants will be able to discuss key ideas, policy initiatives and latest research on longer-term educational developments. The focus will be futures orientated. This helps shape the area of development that participants will take forward which should link to local authority and national priorities. The format for this event is a participative session with invited speakers, scheduled time for discussion and planning with programme organisers and an initial introduction to coaches and academic advisers.

A central feature of the Fellowship programme is the investigation of a key area of education policy by each of the participants: the focus is futures oriented. Through the six weekly network and individual coaching and academic sessions, participants will be able to plan, construct and evaluate their own learning programme related to the identified theme. Participants also receive guidance on the potential for accreditation related to the programme and articulation with SCQF Level 11.

Education Scotland will work in partnership with the participant and local authority to ensure that the area of enquiry is developed and sustained at both local and national levels.

An important part of the programme is the dissemination of the learning. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to Education Scotland sessions at the Scottish Learning Festival in September and other events throughout the year. Participants will also be asked to submit a written report of their learning which will then be published on the Education Scotland website. The final element of the programme is where participants have a professional discussion with a panel consisting of the Education Scotland CEO, a Director of Education and a Fellowship Reference group member. The subsequent award of Fellowship should evidence engagement with and transformation through the different elements of the Fellowship programme. The final submission and the professional discussion will be complementary aspects of this process.

Participants who have successfully completed the Fellowship programme will be awarded the Fellowship of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership.


The costs of the programme will be part funded by Education Scotland, with an additional cost per participant of £1000. There is an option for participants to pay this in one installment, three monthly installments or six month instalments.

Education Scotland contacts

Your Guide to Career Long Professional Learning for Education in East Lothian