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Simon is a Learning Development and Innovation Lead, tasked with driving learning through innovation. Simon focuses on the design and delivery of world-class training and professional development in collaboration with justice sector partners and the wider Scottish workforce. He has a particular interest in homelessness, communication and third sector engagement in community justice processes.
Simon is a qualified lecturer with specialisms in both adult literacies and ESOL. His teaching career began with teaching English in China for two years, before moving back to the UK to join Newcastle College as ESOL Instructor Coordinator. In this role he was responsible for coordinating language learning and support for asylum seekers and refugees.
Working with asylum seekers and refugees developed his passion for working with homeless people and he joined Crisis as its first Learning Manager in its Newcastle service. In this role, Simon was responsible for overseeing an innovative, creative and balanced curriculum that addressed the needs of vulnerable and marginalised adults in the city. He was also responsible for staff learning and development and mentoring trainee teachers.
In 2008, Simon set up Crisis Scotland’s education service from scratch. This entailed extensive stakeholder engagement and partnership working that resulted in a wide range of accredited and non-accredited outreach delivery across Edinburgh. Leading on all aspects of the charity’s education service involved being responsible for implementing and developing quality frameworks and standards across the service. As a member of Crisis Scotland’s management team, Simon was responsible for initiating and overseeing a wide range of initiatives designed to prevent and end homelessness in areas such as housing, health and wellbeing, employability, service user involvement and financial inclusion. Simon was also part of Crisis’ Scotland Strategy group, developing local and national strategy to reduce and end homelessness.
Simon co-chaired Education Scotland’s ESOL Widening Access and Participation Group and is on the Board of Governors for West Lothian College. He is Chair of Learning Link Scotland, helping to ensure that Third Sector adult learning organisations work together to create a successful, dynamic and forward thinking Scotland.