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Mhairi Harrington OBE

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Mhairi Harrington has worked for over 40 years in Education with her experience spanning Primary Education, Youth and Community Work, Adult Education and most significantly Further and Higher Education.

Throughout that time she had held a variety of posts which have encompassed learning and teaching, curriculum design and quality, programme and project management, commercial development and marketing and all aspects of middle and senior management. Mhairi was also an Associate Assessor with HMIE for a period of seven years.

As Principal and Chief Executive of West Lothian College from 2008 – 2018 she had responsibility for Strategic Leadership and Governance for all areas and functions of the college.

Mhairi has served on a significant number of national, regional and local boards, committees and forums.  On behalf of the Scottish Government Mhairi is currently Chairing the Adult Learning Strategic Forum Scotland which is responsible for the review of community based Adult Learning.

She is also a Senior Fellow for the College Development Network and is a local board member for Family and Community Development West Lothian.

In 2015, Mhairi was awarded TES FE UK leader of the year in recognition of her collaborative leadership and partnership working. In 2016, she was awarded an OBE for Services to Education and in 2018 was honoured to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Glasgow Herald Higher Education Awards Event.

Her re-appointment runs from 3 October 2021 to 2 October 2025.

Register of interests

1. Remunerated directorships.


2. Remunerated employment, office, profession or other activity.


3. Clients connected with the further and/or higher education sector or other aspects of the Council’s business.


4. Significant gifts or hospitality arising from Board or Committee membership. (To be reported as soon as reasonably practical).


5. Significant shareholdings in a public company where the value is more than 1% of the total issued share value of the company.


6. Significant shareholdings in a private company which might give rise to a conflict of interest or trust.


7. Public activity in support of a political party within the previous five years.


8. Miscellaneous, for example, unremunerated posts, honorary positions and other connections which might give rise to a conflict of interest or trust.

Senior Fellow, College Development Network.

FE Judge, Queens (now Kings) Award Prizes.

9. Relevant and known interests of spouse, partner and close family.


SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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