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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. I joined the University in 2005 after twenty-eight years in the classroom, the last seven of which as Depute Head Teacher at Vale of Leven Academy in West Dunbartonshire. I have held the role of Post Graduate Research Coordinator and have been Course Leader for the MEd and five educational leadership-related courses. Working collaboratively with Professor John MacBeath, I was responsible for the development of the MEd/MSc in Educational Leadership and successfully led Into Headship for eight years. I have held External Examining posts at Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Cumbria and the University of Bangor.

My key research interests are inclusion (in particular, social, emotional and behavioural needs), the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, leadership for social justice and educational transitions. My most recent research has focussed on the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged, and on the broader school community (the latter funded by a small grant from BELMAS), and on the poverty-related attainment gap. In December 2022, I published a research monograph for Routledge - 'Building Community to Create Equitable, Inclusive and Compassionate Schools through Relational Approaches'. From 2020-2022, I was a member of the International Bridge 47 network focussing on the achievement of UNICEF’s sustainable development goals and I participate within the International Network of Transitions Researchers (TCELT). I was formerly an executive member of the Scottish Educational Research Council (SERA) and founded and, until 2022, was Co-Convenor of the SERA Leadership for Scottish Education Network. I have undertaken several commissioned pieces of work, including working with the 3rd sector. I served on the selection panel for the Academy of Social Sciences’ publication ‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences no. 12: Education,’ and acted as an expert advisor to the NFER on a research project focussing on policy across the four nations of the UK. My expertise has been recognised through acting as an expert witness to the Scottish Parliament, most recently in June 2023 on the topic of violence in schools.

In 2018-2019, I successfully co-led a Scottish Universities Insight Institute Seminar series - ‘Poverty, Attainment and Wellbeing: Making a Difference to the Lives of Children and Young People,’ publishing a set of research briefs for stakeholder groups and recommendations for policy and practice which were shared at a meeting hosted by the Scottish Parliament. This led to a wide range of external engagement activities, such as participation within the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group for Children and Young People (2020-onging) and Public Health Scotland’s Special Interest Group, exploring topics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences and the impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. I have carried out consultancy work in a range of local authorities, most recently leading a project focussing on practitioner enquiry in South Lanarkshire.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Teaching for Understanding within the Affective Field, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008


  • Social Justice
  • Inclusion
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Needs
  • Leadership
  • Transitions
  • Marginalisation
  • Children's wellbeing
  • Education


Dive into the research topics where Joan Mowat is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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