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Our staff

Find out more about the Children in Scotland staff team, their areas of expertise, and get in touch.

Jackie Brock

Chief Executive

Jackie leads Children in Scotland, with particular responsibility for supporting all our staff in their work to improve children’s lives. She is accountable to our Board of Directors and membership for the successful implementation of our strategic plan.

Jackie has worked in London and Scotland in local government and the third sector. Prior to joining Children in Scotland she worked in the Scottish Government.

Jackie is chair of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Scotland Advisory Committee, a member of the Scottish Council for Development & Industry’s Policy Committee and a non-executive member of the board of Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

0131 313 2322


Erin Butler

Learning and Events Coordinator

Erin helps to make our training courses and conferences happen by booking venues, liaising with speakers and processing bookings and enquiries. She also coordinates all of the enquiries and bookings for our training and meeting room space.

Prior to joining Children in Scotland at the beginning of 2017, Erin spent four years at the British Red Cross where she coordinated the recruitment and training process for new volunteers in the Edinburgh area.

0131 313 8827

Jacqueline Cassidy

Head Of External Affairs

Jacqueline is a member of our Leadership Team. Her role involves developing partnerships and projects with a wide range of external stakeholders.

She also supports our fundraising and business development activity. She is currently particularly focused on participation and engagement, education, inclusion and professional development. Jacqueline was previously Head of Communication and Events.

She has experience across third, public and private sector including as a Director of a young people’s charity, and Head of External Affairs at the Social Market Foundation think tank.

She has held numerous board positions and is currently on the board of St Andrews Students’ Association.

0131 313 8821


Sally Cavers

Manager of Enquire and CHANGE: Childcare and Nurture Glasgow East

Sally is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and manages the Enquire Additional Support for Learning service and CHANGE project.

She is also supporting ongoing improvement within the organisation by leading development in programme management.

Sally joined Children in Scotland in 2006. She has almost 20 years’ experience of working in the children’s sector with a focus on improving support and services for children with additional support needs.

She represents Scotland as National Co-ordinator on the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, sits on the Advisory Group Additional Support for Learning and Disabled Children and Young People’s Advisory Group and the NDCS Country Advisory Committee.

0131 313 8802
07471 068 318


Alison Clancy - Parenting Across Scotland

Alison Clancy

Project Officer

Parenting Across Scotland

Julie Dickson

Book Keeper

Julie assists Valerie Harty, Head of Finance and Central Services, in operating and maintaining Children in Scotland’s accounting and financial reporting systems and leading the staff team in complying with our financial procedures.

Her day-to-day duties include effective operation of sales and purchase ledgers, credit control, customer liaison and our banking systems. Julie also supports the wider administrative function through front office, reception and customer care duties. She has worked at Children in Scotland for 15 years.

0131 313 8818

Grant Douglas

IT Officer – Enquire

Grant develops and maintains Enquire's websites and suite of databases as well as providing IT support to the Enquire team.

Grant has previously worked in various organisations seeking to achieve equality for disabled people in housing, voting, education and health.

In addition to his Children in Scotland role, he is CEO of S'up Products Ltd. The company sells the S'up spoon – the spoon for shaky hands – that Grant created as a result of personal need.

0131 313 8801

Jennifer Drummond

Communications Officer – Magazine Lead

Jennifer is a member of the Communications Team and editor of our bi-monthly Children in Scotland Magazine. She leads on all aspects of the magazine, from planning and commissioning to editing and layout.

Jennifer also provides communication support for the organisation, including producing web content, press and media activity and design work.

Jennifer has a degree in Public Relations and Management. She started her career working in PR for an independent firm specialising in food and drink and lifestyle clients. She then worked for a political communications company where she led on children, family and social issues.

0131 313 8823


Helpline Officers Enquire

The Enquire service’s Helpline Officers listen and respond to questions and concerns from parents, carers, professionals, children and young people about additional support for learning.

The team members come from various backgrounds, including teaching, policy, support work and other advice lines.

The team undergoes an extensive induction and continuous training programme to develop their knowledge and keep up to date with developments in the law relating to additional support for learning.

0345 123 2303

Catherine Garner

Learning and Events Officer

Catherine works in the Learning and Events team, developing a programme of events and learning opportunities, with a particular focus on Early Years, Raising Attainment, Child Protection and events for Children in Scotland members.

Catherine joined Children in Scotland in August 2016. This followed three years working in higher education, as Widening Access Project Officer with the Open University and then Employer Liaison Officer with Edinburgh Napier University.

Prior to this, she spent five years working in Paris, including a three-year stint at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). During this time, she was involved in the organisation of a number of high-level events, including the UN’s inter-agency meetings on the safety of journalists.

Catherine returned to higher education in 2015 to complete an MSc in Marketing with Events Management.

0131 313 8826

Lynn Gilmour

Communications Officer – Digital Lead

Lynn is part of Children in Scotland’s Communications Team, with particular responsibility for the organisation’s digital and social media output. She also leads on communications for specific projects.

She is actively involved with our Participation and Engagement work and work on LGBT+ equality.

Lynn joined Children in Scotland in November 2004. She has 20 years’ experience working in journalism, PR, events management, schools outreach work and charity fundraising.

She is a qualified journalist and has worked in a range of roles, including reporter and editor, for local and national newspapers and magazines.

She also volunteers for a Scottish sexual health charity.

0131 313 8830

Clair Halliday - The National Parent Forum of Scotland

Clair Halliday


The National Parent Forum of Scotland

Valerie Harty

Head of Finance and Central Services

Valerie is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team. She is responsible for Central Services’ functions and driving the sustainability of Children in Scotland through robust and proactive financial management.

Valerie joined Children in Scotland in October 2015. She previously worked for Coram Children’s Legal Centre, originally as their accountant and subsequently as their Head of Finance and Operations.

Valerie completed her training contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers, becoming a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland in 2010.

0131 313 8851

Tracy Hope

Business Development Officer

Tracy focuses on developing new relationships and securing a sustainable future for the organisation. She is also the key contact for our members.

Tracy has significant experience in membership support and development through her previous experience at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, where she was Assistant Development Manager. Before joining Children in Scotland she was Head of Marketing and Membership at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.

0131 313 8829

Elaine Kerridge

Policy Manager, Participation & Engagement

Elaine leads on our direct engagement and participation work with children, young people and families. This is often through our project work.

Elaine joined Children in Scotland in September 2016 and brings a wealth of experience in young people’s health and wellbeing, rights and participation.

Elaine was a secondary school teacher for more than 18 years. Most recently she was Principal Teacher of Pupil Support at Linlithgow Academy. She also enjoyed a secondment with Education Scotland where she was responsible for developing national guidelines relating to Health And Wellbeing for practitioners.

Elaine is a board member of Fast Forward, Edinburgh, and West Lothian Drugs and Alcohol Service, Livingston.

0131 313 8840


Cathie MacDonald

HR & Office Manager

Cathie leads on the organisation’s Human Resources functions and has a key focus on organisation and people development. She is a member of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and part of the Child Protection Review Group.

Cathie joined Children in Scotland in October 2000 and is our longest-standing member of staff.

She spends much of her home life participating in outdoor activities and is keen that children and young people have the opportunity to gain similar experiences.

0131 313 8813

Joan Mackenzie - The National Parent Forum of Scotland

Joan Mackenzie

Administration& Information Assistant

The National Parent Forum of Scotland

Marion Macleod

Policy Manager

Marion manages and leads projects that promote best practice in child rights and child wellbeing. This can involve carrying out qualitative research, writing reports, blogs and articles, organising events and influencing policy.

Also part of her remit is developing new project ideas, managing policy team staff, responding to consultations on policy and legislative issues, representing Children in Scotland in numerous external settings, in Scotland, the UK and Europe, and giving presentations at events on issues relating to children, in Scotland and in other countries.

Marion has a degree in Modern History from the University of Glasgow, and postgraduate qualifications in Social Work and Social Services Management from the University of Edinburgh. She is a qualified and highly experienced social worker, and worked in local government as a practitioner, planner and manager before joining Children in Scotland in 2008.

Marion is a member of Eurochild’s National Partner Network and the Care Inspectorate’s Early Years Advisory Group.

0131 313 8838

Simon Massey

Head of Engagement & Learning

Simon is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and manages the Communications Team, Learning & Events Team and the Membership Service.

He is also part of the Child Protection Review Group and has a keen interest in equality and diversity, particularly LGBT+ issues.

Simon joined Children in Scotland in September 2015. He has 30 years' experience working in the children’s sector in various roles including volunteer, frontline practitioner, manager and consultant.

Simon is a qualified social worker and has undertaken extensive child protection and post-abuse therapeutic social work as well as work in residential childcare settings. He is also a qualified practice teacher with experience of the social work education field and local authority workforce development.

0131 313 8822
07469 149 135


Sarah McDermott

Policy and Research Officer

Sarah’s role involves undertaking research, producing evidence-based briefings and consultation responses, and developing and supporting project work.

Sarah joined Children in Scotland in October 2015. Before returning to the policy team, Sarah worked on the CHANGE project, focusing on childcare in the East End of Glasgow. Prior to joining us she worked on a carers’ rights project at the Health and Social Care Alliance.

Sarah graduated with an Honours degree in Law with the French language, and is currently a serving Children’s Panel Member. She has a particular interest in human rights and access to justice.

0131 313 8833


Laura McKale

Administrative Co-ordinator

Laura’s varied role includes coordinating Children in Scotland’s recruitment process, maintaining HR records, providing assistance and information to our growing membership base, and administering its records on our database.

This is in addition to the core administrative and reception functions of an extremely busy office.

Laura started volunteering with Children in Scotland in 2012 and worked briefly in Policy and Events before settling full-time with Central Services. She has a degree in English Literature, and coordinates Children in Scotland’s staff book group.

0131 313 2322

Karin Mckenny

Learning and Events Manager

Karin is responsible for our Learning and Events programme, ensuring that our events are relevant and inspiring, and contribute to strengthening the knowledge of the children’s sector workforce.

Karin joined Children in Scotland in March 2014 from NHS National Services Scotland, where she was responsible for staff learning and development, including the management of their network of learning centres.

As a long-suffering girls’ sports coach, Karin has a particular interest in gender equality and children’s health and activity.

0131 313 8825


Jane Miller

Policy and Participation Officer

Jane plays a key role in the delivery of the organisation’s participation and engagement work with children, young people and their families. She also helps to support our Children and Young People’s Advisory Group (CYPAG).

Jane joined Children in Scotland in September 2015 as an Assistant Policy Officer. She previously worked for Skills Development Scotland in its Government Liaison Team.

She graduated with an Honours degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of Glasgow. She is interested in youth representation and was a member of the Oxfam Youth Board and board member for her university’s Amnesty International Society. Jane has also previously been involved in helping to run Brownies and Rainbows groups.

0131 313 8836


Sandra Mitchell

Manager, Resolve: ASL mediation service

Sandra is the Mediation Manager of Scotland’s leading Additional Support Needs mediation service, RESOLVE: ASL, based in Children in Scotland.

Sandra leads on the development, delivery and management of Resolve, and is a member of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team. She is committed to developing collaborative and supportive relationships to ensure Resolve as a national service brings about positive change for practitioners, families and young people across Scotland.

Sandra is also an experienced mediation supervisor, national course verifier and supports, trains and supervises other mediators. She has produced a range of national ASN resources and co-produced publications such as Communications Matters with the universities of Edinburgh and Manchester.

Sandra qualified as a mediator more than 17 years ago and over the course of her career has mediated hundreds of cases with positive outcomes in family, education, intergenerational and workplace mediations across Scotland. She is a registered mediator with the Scottish Mediation Network and has Certificates in Family Mediation, ASN Mediation and Education Law, Consulting Children in Mediation, and Workplace Mediation.

0131 313 8844

Anthony O’Malley

Project Officer, CHANGE

Anthony joined Children in Scotland in July 2017 as part of the CHANGE: Childcare and Nurture Glasgow East project.

Anthony’s background is in frontline childcare, primarily out-of-school care in Glasgow East.

Working in a voluntary sector organisation, he spent 16 years covering all job roles, from support worker to deputy service manager. He has a degree in Childhood Practice from the University of Glasgow.

Anthony also has experience in workforce development and delivering training to staff in regulated childcare services.


Alison Payne

Administrative Co-ordinator, RESOLVE: ASL

On a part-time basis Alison supports Resolve: ASL’s manager Sandra Mitchell with the delivery and management of the mediation service, organising and co-ordinating mediations and carrying out administration.

Alison joined Children in Scotland in May 2017. She has many years’ experience of project management and administration and has worked in the third sector for more than seven years in variety of roles, as both employee and volunteer.

0131 313 8843

Emma Rogan

Senior Policy Officer (Participation & Engagement)

Emma works within the Policy, Projects and Participation Team and has a focus on participation and engagement work with children and young people. This includes working with the Children in Scotland advisory group, Changing Our World and as the lead on the Children’s Views Service component of My Rights, My Say.

Emma joined Children in Scotland in September 2017 and brought with her a range of practice experience from the statutory and voluntary sectors. Before moving to Edinburgh, Emma trained and worked as a children and families social worker in London. She has also worked as a teaching assistant, a project worker with young carers and as part of a children’s rights team. Children’s rights have always been a key focus in all of her work.

Chris Ross

Assistant Policy Officer

Chris’s role is to monitor policy developments, liaise with partners and elected members, support participation and engagement work, and contribute to wider policy work.

Chris joined Children in Scotland’s policy team in 2017. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Politics from Strathclyde University in 2014 and then completed an MSc in Health Inequalities and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, where he focused on the impact of welfare reform on health inequalities.

Chris has worked with adults with additional support needs and with children and young people in an after-school setting.

0131 313 8839

Svenja Schulz

Learning & Events Officer

Svenja joined Children in Scotland in August 2016. She is responsible for the successful planning, organisation and delivery of our training and conference programme.

Svenja brings international experience in events and cultural management to the organisation. In Germany, she led a team that provided educational events for children and families in socially deprived areas. At the Goethe Center in Atlanta, USA, she organised training courses and high-level events in collaboration with European Consulates, local businesses and schools.

Prior to joining Children in Scotland, Svenja worked with the Scottish Government as a Policy Adviser and Engagement Officer.

Away from work, Svenja volunteers as chairwoman of a small charity that supports local community projects for children and young people in her hometown.

0131 313 8831


Clare Simpson - Parenting Across Scotland

Clare Simpson


Parenting Across Scotland

Chris Small

Communications & Marketing Manager

Chris leads our Communications Team, covering digital, publications, media engagement and marketing.

Starting his career as a sub-editor at the Scotsman newspaper, Chris has more than 20 years’ experience in journalism, communications and marketing. He has worked previously as Communications Manager at the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland, reporter for TESS, publications officer at the University of Edinburgh, and web editor at the Scottish Parliament.

He has also worked extensively as a freelance writer, editor and consultant, and was editor of the culture magazine Product for 11 years.

Chris joined Children in Scotland in November 2014, having been Communications Officer with us from 2005-8.

0131 313 8824

Cat Thomson

Senior Development Officer – Enquire

Cat leads on developing accessible advice and information about Additional Support for Learning and promoting Enquire to parents, carers, professionals, children and young people.

Since joining Children in Scotland in 2004 Cat has worked on a range of projects about listening to and providing information to families, including the Esmee Fairbairn-funded project Opening Doors to Learning.

Previously Cat worked with the Drugs Misuse Information Strategy Team at Information Services Division Scotland and as a Performance Review Manager at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

0131 313 8803

Linsey Thyer

Learning & Events Coordinator

Linsey makes our events come to life. She books venues, liaises with speakers, processes bookings and deals with enquiries. She jointly led our successful study visit to Finland in March 2017. Linsey also manages exhibition space at all of our conferences.

Prior to joining Children in Scotland in October 2013, Linsey completed her Modern Apprenticeship at NHS Health Scotland in which she attained her SVQ Level 3 in Business Administration.

0131 313 8828

Amy Westendarp

Information and Development Officer for Children and Young People – Enquire

Amy is responsible for the youth brand It empowers young people to share their views and understand their rights to support so they can overcome barriers to education such as poverty, mental ill health, home life issues, disabilities or being from a minority community.

Amy is part of Enquire, and a member of Children in Scotland’s Youth Participation and Engagement Working Group. She has a keen interest in social justice issues in both a local and international context.

Her career has focused on developing communications and partnerships to raise awareness of social justice issues for marginalised communities. This has seen a particular focus on children, young people and women affected by poverty, barriers to education, racism, homelessness, health inequalities and gender discrimination. As well as working for diverse UK charities, she has volunteered for NGOs in India, Kenya, Mexico and Ecuador.

0131 313 8804


Jacqueline Wilson

Administrative Co-ordinator - Enquire

Jacqueline’s varied role includes day-to-day administrative support for the Enquire service; responsibility for the design and maintenance of Enquire information resources (online and print); service reporting and evaluation; and administrative support to the Enquire Advisory Group.

Jacqueline studied architecture for three years and has an HND in photography.

0131 313 8800

Amy Woodhouse

Head of Policy, Projects & Participation

Amy is part of Children in Scotland’s Leadership Team and heads the organisation’s policy work.

She has overall responsibility for the organisation’s participation and engagement activity with children and young people. She has shared responsibility for project development and oversees a portfolio of Children in Scotland projects.

Amy joined Children in Scotland in May 2015. She has a particular interest in children and young people’s mental health, stemming from 16 years working in the mental health sector for a variety of national third sector organisations.

Amy has extensive experience of managing qualitative research, evaluation and development projects at national and local levels. She is a keen supporter of child rights and evidence-informed policymaking and practice.

0131 313 8810