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Boards and committees

​​​​​​All our Non-Executive Board members (NEBM) sit on the Advisory Board and some are also members of the Audit and Risk Committee.

The Advisory Board plays a crucial role in the strategic governance of Education Scotland. As a member of the Advisory Board, NEBMs offer leadership, direction and guidance to the organisation, supporting the Agency to deliver their​ corporate objectives and ensuring that it runs efficiently.

As part of the Audit and Risk Committee, NEBMs provide robust constructive challenge and scrutiny to support the Chief Executive in her role as Accountable Officer. This includes reviewing the effectiveness of internal control, risk management arrangements, financial information, and the integrity and independent audit of the Annual Report and Accounts.

​As at 1 July 2019​ our Non-Executive Board Members ​are:​

​John Fyffe (appointed November 2017​)

John Fyffe BSc, Dip Tech Ed, Dip Ed Tech, Dip Prof Studies is a lifelong learner having left school at 16 and served an apprenticeship as a toolmaker. Since then he has had a long and distinguished career in education having taught in five schools before his appointment as a secondary headteacher. He was a Corporate Director in Perth and Kinross for over 10 years where, as Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services, he successfully led sustainable service and corporate initiatives for the benefit of children and communities. John served as President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland between 2013 and 2015 and co-wrote its 20-20 vision strategy paper which has influenced current national policy. He has sat on numerous boards and working groups and recently was a member of Scotland’s Attainment Challenge Advisory Board, the DYW Advisory Board, Career Ready Scottish Board, Care Inspectorate High Level Working Group on the new Integrated Children's Services Inspection and Co-Chaired the National GIRFEC Implementation Group. Prior to his retirement in March 2018 he was Senior Depute Chief Executive with responsibility for Housing, Community Safety, Community Planning and Equalities.

David Gemmell (appointed 1 July 2019​)

David Gemmell BSc (Hons) is a Change Director with over 20 years experience working across public and private sector industries. His roles have spanned, business and technology change with some of the UKs best known corporations.

David spent some time teaching in Malawi prior to commencing his career in change delivery.

He has also been actively involved with the Boys Brigade movement in Scotland from boy to man including Captaining his local Company​.

Ray McCowan (appointed 1 July 2019)

Ray McCowan is the Director for WEA Scotland and a former Vice Principal of Edinburgh College where he had lead responsibility for curriculum, learning and teaching. He has strategic and organisational leadership experience as both an executive and non-executive director, is a qualified chartered director and a fellow of both the Institute of Directors and the Royal Society of the Ar​ts. He is passionate about education and the life changing impacts and differences it can make to individuals and families. As an Advisory Board member, he aims to support the Chief Executive to ensure that the governance arrangements empower and enable everyone at Education Scotland to play their part in the delivery of a world class education to learners.​

Aileen Ponton (appointed 1 July 2019​​)​

Aileen Ponton has worked in e​ducation for over 30 years, currently as CEO of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership. She was the first member of staff appointed to the organisation and had to put in place appropriate governance and reporting relationships. Prior to this she had three years working with the Sector Skills Development Agency and sixteen years with the SQA.

Aileen has experience of working across all education sectors and also has experience of Board and Senior Committees in Hong Kong, Macau and the Republic of Ireland. She hopes to use the mix of educational and governance experience to support the working of Education Scotland.​

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