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Shepherding Talent at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh

Shepherding Talent is a pioneering programme in which teaching professionals identified as having leadership potential, are challenged to explore their vocation to lead.

For all teaching professionals working in Catholic schools, this programme is delivered in the context of Catholic school education.

Through presentations and seminars across two Saturday sessions, the mission of the Catholic educator will be elucidated alongside a consideration of personal disposition and values, inviting a critically reflective response to leadership.  This interplay and its impact in an ever-changing educational environment make up the content of our programme.

For those interested in postgraduate qualification, this programme provides a gateway to the MA in Catholic School Leadership: Principles and Practice programme, delivered by St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Dates and times

This course will run between 9.30am-4pm on:

  • Saturday 26th February 2022 and 30th April 2022


The full cost of this course is £275. St Mary’s alumni will receive a 20% discount.

Course format

Each session will be in person at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh. Learners will have the opportunity to interact directly with the group and the tutors. 

Please note: depending on COVID restrictions the course may be delivered on site at some time in the future, in line with government guidelines.

Course content

The Catholicity of Leadership

Exploration of the distinctive nature of the Christian leader and the integrity of academic standards and Catholic distinctiveness.

Evaluating a Catholic School

Exploration of the specific frameworks and policies in place for Catholic Schools in Scotland, their current application and future developments.

Aspiring Catholic Leadership for the 21st Century – Servant and Christ-Centred Leadership

Exploration of the changing demographic experienced by Catholic schools both in terms of staff and students. Definition of Mission Integrity and the centrality of servant leadership discussed alongside contemporary challenges.

Professional Paradigm

Focus on Values, Skills and Knowledge in the context of the DfE Teaching Standards. Exploration of the mutually enriching relationship between Catholic distinctiveness and the teaching standards.

Revisiting the nature of Catholic Identity and the Professional Paradigm

Reflection on the implication of the statement: “there is no distinction between having a vocation and being a professional”.  Discussion on the belief that all teachers, irrespective of religious affiliation, can commit to the principles of Catholic identity, due to the inclusive and holistic perspective of this identity that is underpinned by a profound belief in the dignity of every person, made in the image and likeness of God.


Associate Professor John Lydon KC*HS SFHEA

Associate Professor John Lydon holds degrees from the Universities of Durham, Liverpool and Surrey. His doctorate focused on teaching as a vocation in a contemporary context. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is the Director of the MA in Catholic School Leadership Programme and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education, St Mary’s University London.

caroline-healyDr Caroline Healy FHEA

Dr Caroline Healy holds degrees from the Universities of Wales, Massachusetts and Brunel, London. She is currently a senior university lecturer for the MA in Catholic School Leadership and Doctor of Education (EdD) Programmes and PhD doctoral supervisor at St Mary’s University, London and also Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Students will receive a certificate of attendance for the Shepherding Talent course from St Mary's University. 

Book your place now

Please note: If you need to pay for this course via an invoice, please email

Find out more

For further information about the Shepherding Talent programme or if you are interested in providing training for several staff members, your school or MAT, please contact