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Congratulations to our Trustee and Graduate Lindsey Watt who has been awarded the Robert Owen Awards for an Inspirational Educator

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney shone a light on our Trustee and Graduate Lindsey Watt by presenting her with the Robert Owen Award for Inspirational Educator. 

The award, only in its fifth year, is given to educationists from anywhere in the world, whose work has had a significant impact and has informed substantial education improvement activities in Scotland.

 In her acceptance speech, Lindsey recognised the huge impact that attending our Head Teachers’ Leadership Academy, almost 15 years ago, had on her life.  She said: “My experience at the Leadership Academy on Skye changed my life.  I was introduced to the concept of Values Based Leadership, which I took home and introduced into all aspects of my life - work, home, community and beyond.  Not only did my life change with these principles but so did the lives of the people around me.” 

She added: “Our job is to educate but it is also to instil a sense of pride and belief that hard work and dedication can conquer almost anything.  We have the power to develop and deliver inspirational learning and teaching.  We have to – we are changing the life chances of Scotland’s children every day.”

Marie Clare Tully our Chief Executive said  “We are delighted for Lindsey. This award couldn't have gone to a more inspirational educator.  Her attendance at our Head Teachers’ Leadership Academy had a hugely positive impact on her life and changed that of Columba 1400’s too.  Lindsey is one of our Trustees and her commitment and support of the work we do has helped enrich the lives of so many educators, children and young people across Scotland.  This doesn’t surprise the Columba 1400 team at all, as she is a guiding light and example to all of us.”

Lindsey concluded her speech by using the famous quote which Nelson Mandela used at his inauguration as President of South Africa in 1994: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.  I ask each and every one of you to let your light shine for Scotland’s children and give others permission to do the same.” 

Founder and President of Columba 1400, Norman Drummond said “Whether as a brilliant Head Teacher or as a much appreciated Trustee of Columba 1400, Lindsey Watt has always sought to let her own considerable light shine which has led to so many others doing the same. The Robert Owen Award for an Inspirational Educator is richly deserved and comes as no surprise to everyone at Columba 1400 and to the increasing number of our Head Teachers’ Leadership Academy Graduates”


If you are a Head Teacher or a Depute Head Teacher who would like to participate in a Columba 1400 Head Teachers’ Leadership Academy, please do get in touch This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We are currently delivering our HTLAs which have been made possible thanks to the investment of The Scottish Government and The Hunter Foundation.

SLF17 Robert Owen Award