Iain White – Creative Leadership
If you are looking for someone to provide training, consultancy or to speak to a staff group or a conference in an entertaining and inspirational way, look no further than Iain White!
Hugely experienced as a senior leader, with a proven record in staff motivation, Iain has many strings to his bow and can tailor his contribution to meet your needs. He can advise on leadership strategies to deliver the changes you require in your organisation; he can facilitate bespoke continuing professional development activities.
A secondary school Headteacher for 25 years, I was Head at Govan High in Glasgow for 20 years and then Principal of Newlands Junior College (NJC) for 5 years. My leadership style has been moulded by observation of leaders in action and extensive study within and beyond the world of education. I have travelled and researched widely in search of inspiration and ideas, having visited schools in Australia, the USA, South Africa, the Irish Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, England and throughout Scotland. I am passionate in my belief that everything that our schools do must be in the interests of the young people.
During my 20 years in Govan High – a local authority school with a catchment amongst the most socio-economically challenged in Scotland – the curriculum and approach were transformed to focus on the needs and aspirations of all students and not just the small minority aiming for Higher Education. The skills-based vocational approach brought national recognition to the school as did its focus on getting positive destinations for leavers through the many new partnerships with businesses and training providers.
Most recently, I led NJC – an independent school that was unique in Scotland. It successfully focused on re-engaging students who had disengaged from local authority schools. The approach featured significant personalisation and choice for the students built on developing the positive relationships that allowed them to re-engage with learning. The purpose was to get the students work ready. The development of skills for life, learning and work permeated everything that was done. Partnerships were important to get work experience opportunities, vocational training and positive destinations for the students.On successful completion of 2 years at NJC at age 16, students graduated to a job or a place in further education. Over the 5 years, all graduates had a positive destination.
I have contributed extensively to national and local conferences and seminars and pride myself in never being afraid to tell it “as it is”. My topics have ranged from developing a positive school culture to the benefits of international experiences for students; from employability to dangerous ideas; from creative leadership to empowerment for schools at the local level; from enhancing aspirations and raising achievement to total quality; from motivation to skills development.
As well as being a sought-after speaker, I have written extensively for educational magazines and newsletters on a variety of strategic and operational themes. I contributed a chapter to Scottish Education (Fifth Edition) a detailed, informed and critical account of contemporary education in Scotland. It was published by Edinburgh University Press and is intended as the definitive textbook for students training to be teachers in Scotland and have recently contributed to the Times Educational Supplement Scotland on how education leaders could learn from the business world and continuing professional development.
A Greenockian now living in Gourock, I love spending time with my wife and family. I am an enthusiastic golfer and Past Captain of the Greenock Golf Club. I have skied in Europe, North America – and Scotland! I play the bagpipes and like to travel and read. I am an accomplished after dinner speaker and enjoy watching football, eating out and generally having fun. A Robert Burns enthusiast, I am President of The Greenock Burns Club (The Mother Club) which is the oldest Burns Club in the world, having been founded in 1801.
My favourite book is Herman Wouk’s ‘Caine Mutiny’ with all the leadership lessons it contains and songs that are touchstones for me are ‘My Way’, ‘Keeping the Dream alive’ and ‘Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think’