Press Releases 2014-2015

Prominent Educationalist Awarded Honorary Doctorate


Prof Graham DonaldsonOne of the UK’s prominent educationalists, Professor Graham Donaldson CB, has received an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Literature) from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea (14/07/15).

Professor Graham Donaldson taught in secondary schools in Scotland before working for the national curriculum body in Scotland as a curriculum evaluator. He joined Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) in 1983 and, as head of the organisation, he guided it through major structural reform as it became an executive agency of the Scottish Government. He also radically reformed the approach to inspection, combining clear accountability with self-evaluation and capacity building. In addition to being the chief professional advisor to Ministers on education policy, he personally took a leading role in a number of major reform programmes, including Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence.

Following his retirement from HMIE he was asked by the government to undertake a personal review of teacher education in Scotland. His report 'Teaching Scotland's Future’, published in 2011, made 50 recommendations which have all been accepted by the government and a major implementation programme is now under way. The report has also aroused considerable interest internationally.

Professor Donaldson has worked as an international expert for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), participating in reviews of education in Australia, Portugal and Sweden. The report on Sweden was published in May 2015 and has received global interest.

Most recently, he has undertaken a review of the national curriculum in Wales and his radical report ‘Successful Futures' was published in February 2015. The report has been positively received and the Welsh Government is currently considering how it can best be implemented.
Professor Donaldson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Education Committee and a Director of the Goodison Group in Scotland. He has established a high profile internationally, lecturing extensively, advising governments and NGOs, and leading the Standing International Conference of national and regional Inspectorates of education (SICI), the international inspectorate organisation, as President.

He is currently working part-time at Glasgow University as a Professor in the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change. He was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen as a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2009.

Upon receiving his Honorary Doctorate, Professor Donaldson said: “I would like to say a very, very sincere thank you to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. I am humbled to receive this Honorary Doctorate, particularly as I know the ambition that this University has to play a full part in what I believe is a very exciting time for education in Wales.

“I have been struck, in the time that I have been in Wales, how ready people across the teaching profession are to do something quite special in education. This University is an integral part of taking that forward.”

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