Media release: GTCS elects new convener


COUNCIL members of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) have elected Aberdeen headteacher, David Innes, as their new convener.

The election took place at a meeting of the Council at the GTCS headquarters at Clerwood House, Edinburgh on Wednesday 25 April 2018.

David Innes has over 35 years’ experience of working in Scottish education, most recently as headteacher of Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen City.

As Convener, Mr Innes will chair Council meetings, provide leadership of the Council and carry out a range of ceremonial, ambassadorial and other delegated duties on behalf of GTCS. On being appointed to the position, he said:

“It is an honour to have the opportunity to serve our profession, our young people and their communities in the role of Convener of GTCS.”

“As a teacher going through my career, I perhaps did not have as much awareness of the scope of the work of GTCS as I should have. With the arrival of the new standards a few years ago I took an increasing interest in GTCS and decided to stand for election to the 2016–2018 Council.

“I was delighted to be elected to serve on that Council and the last two years have been the most intensive professional development of my career. I have had the privilege to see the breadth and quality of the work undertaken by GTCS on behalf of our 75,000 registrants and for the benefit of children and communities across Scotland.

“Our GTCS has rightly received international acclaim for its work in the areas of registration, regulation and professional learning. We cannot, however, rest on our laurels and the 2018–2020 Council will be providing governance and oversight to a very ambitious programme of activities GTCS is undertaking.

“Myself and my colleagues on the new Council are all fully committed to ensuring that GTCS continues to build on its international reputation and retains high levels of confidence from the profession and wider community we serve.”

At the same meeting a number of other members were elected to the following positions:

• Vice convener of Council: Edith Swinley, Elected member (Primary/ Nursery) – principal teacher, Fife Council
• Education Committee convener: Craig Carson, Elected member (Primary/ Nursery) – West Primary School, Renfrewshire Council
• Finance and General Purposes Committee convener: Ian Jackson, Appointed Lay member – director for Scotland, General Dental Council
• Professional Regulatory Assurance Committee convener: Audrey Cowie Appointed Lay member – non-executive director, Health Professional

Notes to editors:

David Innes Biography

A former pupil of Ferryhill Primary and Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen, David Innes went on to gain a BSc in Geography from the University of Aberdeen. He completed teacher training at the then Northern College of Education before taking up his first teaching appointment in Alford Academy in rural Aberdeenshire.

He was involved in the development of Standard Grade Social and Vocational skills and after a secondment to support schools introduce the course he moved to a teaching post in Mackie Academy in Stonehaven. In 1990 he returned to Alford Academy as Principal Teacher of Geography before moving into the post of Assistant Headteacher in 1994. In 1999 he moved on to Westhill Academy in Aberdeenshire, a post which he held for 13 years. During this time he was seconded to Aberdeenshire Council to lead work on the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence and Determined to Succeed. In this role, he spent a lot of time in Primary and Special Schools as well as developing links with Further Education colleges in North East Scotland. In 2012 he moved to the role of acting headteacher at the Fraserburgh Academy before being appointed headteacher at Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen City in January 2013.

During this time he has also been involved in supporting the introduction of the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award. As well as supporting and assessing schools working towards the award he has also taken the award forward in Harlaw Academy. The school gained its Silver (level 1) award in February 2017 and was the first Secondary school in the UK to be successfully assessed against the new Gold (level 2) standards of the award. In June 2013 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by UNICEF UK.

David gained a degree of Master of Education (with distinction) from the University of Aberdeen in July 1991 and was part of the first cohort to gain the Standard for Headship qualification in 2000.

David was elected to serve on the GTCS Council in 2016 for a four-year term. During that time he served on the Education Committee. He has also served on GTCS panels for: the Flexible Route to Headship (FRH), Professional Recognition Awards and new routes into Initial Teacher Education. He convened the Governance Review Short-Life Working Group to coordinate a GTCS response to the Empowering Schools Consultation and is presently part of the group looking at the revision of Professional Standards. He was elected Convener of Council on 25 April 2018.

David is keen to help Scotland’s 75,000 registrants engage with the work of GTCS in ways which support professionals to improve outcomes for learners across Scotland.

He said: “GTCS is held in high regard by all involved in Scottish education and its work has gained international recognition. The 2018–2020 Council will provide independent governance, oversight and support to the work of GTCS ensuring it builds on its international reputation, is innovative, ambitious and proactive in its approach, and retains the highest levels of confidence from the profession and wider community we serve.”

He wishes to express his appreciation to the many people who have supported and inspired him through his career. He also wants to thank Aberdeen City Council for providing support to Harlaw Academy to allow his increased involvement with GTCS .

For more information please contact Evelyn Wilkins on 0131 314 6077 or

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GTCS contact details…

Contact: Evelyn Wilkins
Phone: 0131 3146077