Neil McLennan received the Great Shogun Award in 2019 at Broomhall House.
Neil has held a number of key roles in supporting change and improvement in education. After a teaching career in the central belt he was seconded to Learning & Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) as a National Development Officer. After two successful secondments implementing national policy he moved to the North East as Quality Improvement Officer (Education, Culture and Sport) for Aberdeen City Council where he also undertook a period as Acting Service Manager (Schools & Curriculum). He continues to be a Reading Champion for Aberdeen City Council and is also a Burgess of Guild of the City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen.
In 2011 The Herald described Neil as, “a charismatic visionary in Scottish education.” In 2018 Dame Sue Bruce DBE described Neil as “a pioneering figure in Scottish education.”
Neil has led a number of national education organisations and professional membership bodies. He is a former President of both the Scottish Association of Teachers of History (SATH) and the Enterprise Practitioners’ Association (EPA). Neil was a co-chair and the General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland and remains a Trustee of the Royal Society of Scotland Foundation. Neil was the chair of the RSE YAS Curriculum for Excellence Working Group and the Excellence in Education Groups. These groups engaged in issues as diverse as inter-disciplinary learning, numeracy, skill development, aspirations and the recruitment and retention of teachers.
Neil regularly leads school leader and teacher in‐service training course and residential courses on a broad range of themes such as pedagogy, education change and improvement. He also delivers on active learning, citizenship, history and social studies education. He is an established author with textbooks being used in Scottish Schools across the country and his other articles and publications used by leaders in education and beyond. He is a regular contributor to TESS and other national media outlets. He has had a skills column in the Courier Newspaper, still writes a history column in History Scotland magazine and also appears on radio and broadcast media shows on education, skills and current affairs related matters.
Neil was awarded Professional Recognition for Enterprise in Education by the General Teaching Council Scotland and also was the recipient of a Royal Society of Edinburgh Medal for “for his outstanding contribution to civic society, creativity and social enterprise, education and the social sciences.” He has also completed the Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES) Senior Leadership Development Programme as well as ILM accreditation for Leadership in Social Enterprise.
Neil also sits on a number of panels and working groups including previously being involved in Ministerial Working Groups. He is a lay advisor to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He is also a Board Director for Connect (the Scottish Parent Teacher Council). Neil was a Board Director for the Scottish College for Educational Leadership before it was subsumed into EducationScotland.
Neil supports leaders in education and beyond in his role as Senior Lecturer and Director of Leadership Programmes at the University of Aberdeen School of Education.
Neil retains an interest in history and history education where he still researches and writes. His main focus areas are The First World War, First World War poet Wilfred Owen and Scottish History. His research work into the Great War was described by STV journalists as “great detective work.” The Evening Express noted him as “one of the top authorities on the First World War.”