YPI Scotland

The Wood Foundation has appointed Lizbeth Paul as Excelerate Lead Coach to mentor school leaders embarking upon a programme of change.

Lizbeth will work alongside senior teams as they develop and implement their communities’ visions for change. She will lead upon network collaboration with Excelerate partner schools.

Drawing on her own experiences, and supported by peers within the Excelerate demonstration hub, she will be developing professional learning aimed at senior leaders.

Lizbeth joins The Wood Foundation from Kemnay Academy was Head Teacher from 2015. Kemnay Academy is an Excelerate pioneer school which embarked upon the investment in 2019.

This new position is part of The Wood Foundation’s sustainability and scalability strategy for the Excelerate investment which develops local leaders of learning who can cascade learning and promote collaboration across the education system.

Lizbeth said:

“This role has huge potential, and I am excited for all the opportunities that it brings. Professionally, I am looking forward to continuing to develop my learning and understanding as I undertake my role of Lead Coach. There is a huge amount of enthusiasm for the Excelerate work and The Wood Foundation team which has the key objective of delivering opportunities for all.  The work within Excelerate is evolving and adapting to address the changing demands of the 21st century learner. This is what makes it exciting and challenging in equal measure.”

Georgea Hughes, Programmes Director at The Wood Foundation, said:

“This is an incredibly important appointment in our Excelerate strategy, and we are delighted to welcome Lizbeth to our central team. She has walked the walk and understands what our school leaders are facing in their bid to drive system change that meets the existing needs and ambition of their communities and Scotland’s education policies. We want to invest in building talent within Scotland’s education system and this appointment is an important part of our sustainability and scalability strategy.”

Lizbeth’s appointment comes as the network officially welcomes four new schools, including the first in Angus. Arbroath, Forfar, Dyce, and Peterhead Academies now have access to a range of professional learning and network support focussing on their culture, collaboration, and pedagogical practices which they can opt into. Two new Business and Community Support Officers (BCSOs), Chloe Borwick and Sam Foley, have also joined the team at Mintlaw and Peterhead Academies.

As part of its sustainability and scalability strategy, of which Lizbeth’s appointment is part, there is a programme of train the trainer professional learning in project-based learning and oracy to widen access to educators across Scotland.

Lizbeth added:

“I have worked in education for almost 30 years, so I know about the challenges all teachers and educators experience in delivering high-quality learning and teaching. Leadership begins in the classroom and importantly I believe that change is built from developing and growing the skills and talents through the system.

“School leaders create the climate for the change and support the development of leadership for all. Excelerate supports school leaders to develop their strategic thinking to implement sustainable and impactful change in relation to the curriculum, teaching and learning, and wellbeing. “

The investment officially launched in autumn 2019 with four Aberdeenshire secondary schools. There are now 17 schools engaged, with ambition to welcome a further cohort.