The School's Leadership

The Principal's Leadership Team

  • Melvyn Roffe

    Mr Melvyn Roffe


    Melvyn Roffe has been Principal of George Watson’s College since August 2014, having previously been an English teacher, a Deputy Head in Wales and served as head of two state boarding schools in England.

    He is responsible to the Governing Council for the effective, efficient and safe operation of our school, for the educational standards and for the relationship that our school has with the local community, Watsonians around the world, and other schools and educational organisations. He is also responsible for the strategic direction of the School to ensure that it can grasp opportunities and face future challenges and with confidence.

    Melvyn has developed our school’s international links and forged partnerships with state school colleagues and the third sector. He is particularly proud of The Swire Chinese Language Centre which has secured some £1m funding over five years to enable Watson’s teachers to provide Mandarin Chinese lessons to over 1500 pupils in council run schools in Edinburgh. He has also implemented a buildings plan of a new £7m development of our school’s Preschool and Junior School.

    Melvyn has undertaken a variety of voluntary roles. He has been a Parliamentary Candidate, Election Observer and Town Mayor and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of the College of Optometrists.

  • James Mills

    Mr James Mills


    James has been Bursar of Watson's since 2003 and his main responsibilities are Finance and Compliance. He is also Clerk to the Governors, providing support to the Governing Council and its Committees. In addition, he reports to the Merchant Company Education Board, the charity which owns and operates our school, on financial matters and risk.

    He is a Chartered Accountant with a long track record of financial management in financial services and the service sector. The challenges of managing the finances of a large and ambitious school run on a wafer thin surplus and of funding major capital projects are more than enough to keep him busy.

    James ensures our school complies with a wide range of laws and regulations, from charity law and accounting regulations to health and safety, employment law, data protection and building regulations.  

  • Su Breadner

    Mrs Su Breadner

    Chief Operating Officer

    Su provides leadership to a diverse group of our school's support staff  including Human Resources and Payroll, IT, Facilities Management (including Catering, Cleaning, Grounds, Janitorial and Trades Services), Administration and Reception, Nursing Services and Data Management. She is also responsible for the generation of income through the Galleon Club, Myreside Pavilion and facilities hire.

    Su is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has had a 30 year career within and around the HR profession, working in a variety of sectors including transport, banking, food manufacturing and further education. During her career she has also acquired IT development and advanced project management skills.

  • Gordon Boyd

    Mr Gordon Boyd

    Head of Senior School

    Gordon Boyd has been Head of Senior School since 2016. He leads all of the work of the Senior School, its pupils and staff. He is responsible for enabling all secondary age pupils to make the most of their time at Watson's and - with his Deputy Headteachers and Principal Teachers - for leading our  talented team of teachers, technicians, librarians, classroom assistants and other education professionals. 

    Gordon is an experienced teacher and leader, previously Headteacher in two large comprehensive schools, a Senior Adviser and Chief Officer in a Local Authority. After many years working in England and abroad, Gordon's move to Watson's was also his homecoming to Edinburgh.

  • George Salmond

    Mr George Salmond

    Head of Junior School

    George started at George Watson’s College as a class teacher in 1995 and has been the Head of the Junior School since 2016. The core focus of his role is the wellbeing of pupils and their learning and teaching. He is always looking to enhance this focus in innovative ways with a wide range of enrichment activities.

    Before a career in teaching, George played cricket for Scotland, participating at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the 1999 World Cup. He then became a football referee in the Scottish professional leagues for nine seasons. 

    These experiences allowed him to travel the world and create special memories. George maintains that any opportunities our school can create for our pupils to 'follow their dreams' are very welcome and should be encouraged.

  • Karen Goodman

    Mrs Karen Goodman

    Director of Development

    Karen joined Watson’s in September 2018, having gained over 30 years experience in alumni, development, marketing and international recruitment in the Scottish higher education sector. Her key areas of responsibility at our school are fundraising and engaging former pupils and the wider Watsonian community in life on campus, as well as managing and supporting the Admissions, Communications and Outreach teams. 

    The main focus for the Development Office is the delivery of the No Limits fundraising campaign, which has a target to raise £25million by 2030 for foundation places, capital and community outreach projects; and to increase participation and engagement with the Watsonian Community.

The Junior School Leadership Team

The Senior School Leadership Team