Governing Council

The Governing Council works with the School's management team to develop the high quality all-round education associated with George Watson's College.

The Governing Council is assisted by three committees:

The Governors are actively involved in the life of the School, attending performances, shadowing staff and pupils, and taking part in some of the many extra-curricular and outdoor activities that take place throughout the school year.

Roddy Maclennan

Mr Roddy Maclennan,

Chair of Governing Council 

Roddy Maclennan has been co-opted by the Governing Council to serve for a second time, having been a Governor between 2009 and 2014 when he was a member of the Property and the Health and Safety Committees.
A Watsonian, Roddy is a banking and finance partner with the Scottish law firm MacRoberts specialising in structured and property finance and is frequently involved in the formation, monitoring and review of policy and strategy. Roddy appreciates the benefits that an all round excellent education can provide and his legal and commercial knowledge and experience will assist GWC to fulfil its objectives and aspirations.
Formerly he was an external examiner at the University of Edinburgh, a Court member and trustee of Edinburgh Napier University and a rugby referee.

Grant Macrae

Mr Grant Macrae

Chair of Finance Committee

Grant Macrae was co-opted onto the Governing Council by the Governing Council of George Watson's College. He has been an Assistant on the Master's Court of the Merchant Company and a member of its Education Board, and has served as a Governor and member of the Finance Committee of both the Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools and George Watson's College previously. A Chartered Accountant, he has experience of being a trustee of several charities. He takes over as Chair of the Finance Committee and would like to use his experience to help ensure the school's short, medium and long term goals are achieved.

Liz Smith

Miss Elizabeth Smith

Chair of Education Committee

Liz considers it an enormous privilege to serve as a Governor at Watson's. She hopes to combine her experiences as a former pupil and former member of staff of the School with her current educational responsibilities as an MSP in order to support Watson's in delivering its proud tradition of excellence both inside and outside the classroom. Liz is Chairman of the Education Committee.

Jim Walker

Mr Jim Walker

Chair of Property Committee

Jim Walker's association with George Watson's started in the 1950s as a pupil, and continued as a parent into the 1980s and 1990s when his three children attended.He has been a member of the Merchant Company since 1972 and has served on the Court and several committees. Jim has held senior board positions in the contruction industry for over 30 years, which will assist him in directing the Property Committee to deliver the new build and estate maintenance requirements of the School.

Kenneth Boyd

Mr Kenneth Boyd

Ken is currently Chairman of a company dedicated to the provision of affordable housing throughout the UK, using modern methods of modular construction, fully funded and not requiring Government or Housing Association Grant. Educated at the High School of Dundee, Ken has had a long career in the construction industry, and was a Chartered Member of both the Institute of Building and Management. He worked for some large national companies on a variety of projects in the UK, and in Saudi Arabia. He sold his Development and House Building company in 2008, and acted as a property consultant until 2010. Since then has been engaging with local authorities and other agencies to try and address the chronic shortage of good quality affordable housing, available for rent in the UK. Ken’s two grandchildren currently attend Watson’s. Previously a Governor at St Margaret’s School in Edinburgh, he hopes to bring his enthusiasm and experience to the School, and has joined the Property Committee of the Governing Council.

Caroline Halliday

Mrs Caroline Halliday

Caroline Halliday was co-opted by the Governing Council of George Watson’s College. As a parent and member of the Education Committee, Caroline  is keen to ensure that choosing Watson’s is a positive experience for all, aiming to help pupils become confident and balanced individuals who enjoy  learning and achieve their potential. As a graduate in chemical engineering and environmental management, Caroline has held management roles with  BP, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and The National Trust for Scotland. Caroline is a business angel and Non-Executive Director and is a trustee and advisor for a number of educational and children's charities.

Alan Hartley

Mr Alan Hartley

Alan Hartley has been Chair of the Governing Council since 2009 and is also a Trustee of the George Watson's Family Foundation. Alan served as a Governor of the School from 1999 to 2003, but resigned when he was approached to become Master of the Merchant Company. He is a chartered accountant and was a tax partner with KPMG for many years. He now holds a number of non-executive directorships and trustee positions and is delighted to return as Chair of Governors once more. Alan was a Foundationer at Watson's and realises the importance of the Family Foundation. His financial background also means he will focus on maintaining the financial strength of the School and best practice governance.

Stephen Hillier

Prof Stephen Hillier OBE

Steve Hillier joined the Governing Council after 30 years as a senior academic at the University of Edinburgh. He brings extensive experience of teaching, research and public service from within the higher education sector, latterly as Vice-Principal International. His various professional leadership roles and previous connections with George Watson's College (both daughters are Watsonians) suit him well to support the School's evolving educational ambitions.

Matthew MacIver

Prof Matthew MacIver CBE

Matthew MacIver has extensive experience of Scottish Education: including two Headships - Fortrose Academy in Highland Region and The Royal High School in Edinburgh; Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council; and Chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute. A passionate Gaelic speaker, he has been appointed as the UK independent member on the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Comex). He brings his knowledge and experience to the benefit of George Watson's College, a school with which he has strong ties.

Iain More

Mr Iain More

Iain More was co-opted by the Governing Council of George Watson’s College. He has worked in higher education, politics and fundraising in the UK, the US and France. After being Director of Development at the University of Edinburgh and INSEAD, in 1989 he founded Iain More Associates, a leading European fundraising consultancy. He is a former Trustee of the University of Oregon Foundation and continues to be active with the University, helping to establish an exchange programme with the University of Edinburgh. He is also involved with a number of other projects including the establishment of the Observatory for Sport in Scotland (OSS). Iain is interested in the work of the George Watson's College Family Foundation and advising the Development Office, as well as contributing to the governance of the School in its widest sense.

Morag Radcliffe

Mrs Morag Radcliffe

Morag Radcliffe is a corporate lawyer, with particular interest and experience in assisting charities and their trustees on constitutions and governance. She is an Assistant on the Court of the Edinburgh Merchant Company, and was nominated by the Merchant Company to the Governing Council. Morag is a member of the Property Committee and for that will draw on her many years’ experience in advising organisations on the funding and contractual arrangements involved in property projects and developments.


Kevin Reid

Mr Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid is a law graduate, who also qualified as a Chartered Accountant and an Insolvency Practitioner.  His early working life with a major accountancy firm was spent mainly on formal insolvency or restructuring projects, latterly in the establishment of Financial Sector restructuring authorities in the Far East. Currently Managing Director of Cruden Investments Limited, the holding company of a group involved in property construction and development, and a director of Cruden Foundation Limited, a registered charity supporting smaller community-based charities in Scotland, in addition to the funding of medical research and the arts.

Duncan Thomson

Mr Duncan Thomson

Duncan Thomson was co-opted to the Governing Council, initially by the Merchant Company Education Board following his appointment as an Assistant to the Masters Court at the Edinburgh Merchant Company and more recently by the Governing Council of George Watson’s College. He is a member of the finance committee and a Trustee of the George Watson’s Family Foundation. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in investment management to the Council along with significant experience in working with independent boards, risk management, governance and oversight.
Duncan says it is an enormous privilege to be a governor and looks forward to utilising his skills and experience to ensure that the very high expectations of all stakeholders are met now and in the future.

Craig Watson

Mr Craig Watson

Craig Watson is a Chartered Surveyor and Director with a full service property consultancy firm, JLL, based in Edinburgh. Educated at George Watson’s College, he has 18 years experience in the property market throughout the East of Scotland and currently specialises in all aspects of agency and development advice to clients for the office sector. He was nominated to the Governing Council by the Merchant Company of Edinburgh where he is currently an Assistant on the Master’s Court and Chairman of the Property Committee. As a father to three young children, he fully understands the importance of a well-rounded education and hopes to bring his enthusiasm and property experience to the Governing Council and The Property Committee to help support the School’s vision for the future.

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