ADES Association of Directors of
Education in Scotland

ADES is an independent professional network for leaders and managers in education and children's services. We inform and influence education policy in Scotland working in partnership with local and national government, regional improvement collaboratives, Education Scotland, COSLA and other relevant agencies.

In ADES we recognise the importance of professional learning for our education and children’s services leaders. To support this we offer a wide range of activities through our annual conference, network meetings, peer evaluation work, courses on leadership and systems leadership as well as other professional development opportunities for our members

Our website contains information about the work of the Association, who we are and our most recent publications. Information about our virtual staff college and the many conferences and professional development activities are regularly updated on our website.


Douglas Hutchison
Douglas Hutchison, President of ADES
Director of Education Glasgow

Douglas is currently Director in Glasgow having previously been Depute Chief Executive and Director – People at South Ayrshire Council and  Director of Education and Head of Education at South Ayrshire. Douglas has worked as HM Inspector with Education Scotland before which he was principal educational psychologist in South Ayrshire. Prior to working as an educational psychologist Douglas was a pupil support teacher after starting his teaching career as a secondary teacher of religious and moral education.


Sheena Devlin     

Sheena Devlin, Vice President
Executive Director, P&K Council

Sheena is Executive Director (Education and Children’s Services) in Perth and Kinross.


She has had a long and varied career in education working in a range of schools in different posts, including being headteacher in two schools in different areas of Scotland.

She has had the privilege of two national secondments – one as a full time Associate Assessor with HMIe and the other as a Professional Adviser to the Scottish Executive during the early development days of Curriculum for Excellence.

Since August 2007 she has worked first as Service Manager with Education and Children’s Services and then as Head of Education – Early Years and Primary. She took up her current post as Executive Director in October 2015.



 ADES Officers

As Leaders in education from across Scotland ADES, as an association, holds a wealth of experience and expertise. It is our commitment to make best use of that experience and expertise by sharing what we do more widely.

We are experiencing a very fast moving pace of change in education right now and as ADES we are determined to be part of the journey for change using our members to inform what happens.



General Secretary: Michael Wood
Email contact:

What is the Role of the ADES General Secretary?
The role of the General Secretary is to support the President, Vice-President and Executive in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Executive Committee.

In summary, the Secretary is responsible for:

  1. Ensuring meetings are effectively organised and that minutes are taken
  2. Maintaining effective records and administration (including the website)
  3. Upholding the legal requirements of governing documents, charity law, company law etc (where relevant).
  4. Dealing timeously with all communication and correspondence
  5. Responding timeously to all communication with ADES members
  6. Line Managing the Executive Officer and Professional Learning Officer
  7. Overseeing the running of the ADES networks
  8. Proactively working with ADES members to provide support and advice

It is important to note that although the Secretary ensures that these responsibilities are met, much of the work can be delegated to paid staff or ADES members.

Given these responsibilities, the General Secretary often acts as an information and reference point for the President and other committee members: clarifying past practice and decisions; confirming legal requirements; and retrieving relevant documentation. The General Secretary ensures that all responsibilities are met, but will have less involvement in actually carrying them out when these are delegated. Examples of this can be the management of networks, record keeping, minute taking at Executive Meetings, filing correspondence and communication of activities etc).

Main responsibilities of the General Secretary

1. Ensuring meetings are effectively organised and minuted
2. Maintaining effective records and administration
3. Upholding legal requirements
4. Communication and correspondence


Executive Officer (Lead): Peter McNaughton
Email Contact:

What is the role of the ADES Executive Officer (Lead)

The role of the ADES Executive Officer (Lead) is to:

  • advise Scottish Government on all aspects of the Scottish education system from a local government/ADES perspective
  • advise Scottish Government on key national priorities, including Curriculum for Excellence, Scottish Attainment Challenge, teacher and head teacher recruitment, education workforce planning etc
  • liaise with the ADES Executive, Directors’ Forum and ADES networks; and to
  • ensure effective collaboration and communication between Scottish Government and ADES


What does this look like in practice:

In practice, this will include:

  • communicating effectively with ADES President; Vice President; General Secretary and Executive Committee on all aspects of work with Scottish Government
  • liaising with COSLA and advise COSLA officers on matters relating to education and children’s services
  • liaising as required with other national agencies, including Education Scotland, SQA, Parent bodies and professional associations; and
  • promoting and developing ADES as an effective professional organisation and representing ADES professionally and effectively in a range of contexts


How is the role of Executive Officer funded?

The role of the Executive Officer is jointly funded by ADES and by the Scottish Government via a grant from Scottish Government to ADES. The post is dependent on the continuation of funding from Scottish Government

What time-commitment for this role?

The time allocated to the role is up to a maximum of 125 days per year


Professional Development Officer (Lead): Colin Grant

Email Contact:

What is the role of ADES Professional Development Officer (Lead)

In general the role of ADES officer is to support the President and Vice President through: representation of ADES as a positive contributor to the Education System; strategic development of the ADES offer and organisational arrangements; ensuring the implementation of the decisions and strategies taken by the ADES Executive, Directors’ Forum and Professional Networks; reporting directly to members using the relevant social media platforms on a regular basis; formal and informal support for colleagues


Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Strategic development of the professional learning agenda for ADES Members
  2. Development and oversight of a bespoke communication platform for ADES Members
  3. Development, scoping and  delivery of a range of relevant professional development opportunities for ADES members and partners
  4. Strategic support for RIC Leads on the development of Regional Improvement Collaborative framework with SG and ES
  5. Professional support to the Regional Improvement Collaboratives as required
  6. Liaison with The Staff College (in England) on the organisation and delivery of a range of programmes and events, including:
  • the ADES Annual Conference;
  • the ADES Summer School;
  • ADES Network meetings; and
  • other events as required


  1. As Director of the Staff College Scotland, to liaise with the General Secretary and Treasurer and report on finances
  2. Delivery of annual report to ADES AGM


How is the role of Professional Development Officer funded?
The role of the Executive Officer is funded by ADES and by the Regional Improvement Collaboratives.


What is the time-commitment for this role?
The time allocated to the role is up to a maximum of 125 days per year