Pat Hall

29th March 2013 at 00:00
An educator who inspired pupils and colleagues alike has died, aged 66

When Pat Hall, who died recently aged 66, was appointed senior quality improvement manager in Edinburgh education department in 2006, it was a recognition of an exceptional set of professional and personal qualities.

She began her career as a primary teacher in Prestonpans in East Lothian, where her ability to build relationships and achieve real success, particularly with those children who were facing challenges, was quickly recognised by her headteacher and colleagues. From this earliest stage of her career, Pat displayed a willingness to go beyond her formal role and offer rich learning experiences outside the classroom.

In 1993, she returned to Moray House to complete a PG Diploma in Primary Education and was awarded the course prize for the quality of her work. Some 10 years later she returned to Moray House as a tutor and lecturer on the innovative Returning to Teaching course, where she made many new friends and left a lasting impact on many teachers.

As a teacher, and then assistant headteacher at Longniddry Primary, she supported, coached and mentored a number of younger, less experienced colleagues. She also developed an extensive knowledge of the primary curriculum which led to her appointment as a primary adviser with City of Edinburgh Council in 1996. This was a time of significant curricular reform and Pat's great skill was that she built her capacity and credibility to deliver even difficult messages in a way that left the recipient feeling positive and respected.

Over the years, the post developed into that of quality improvement officer and Pat led a dedicated team with responsibility for supporting and challenging the state and independent nurseries in Edinburgh, covering more than 200 establishments. She also moved for the first time into working in the secondary sector. She relished this new challenge and became a valued contributor to leadership teams in support of school improvement.

Her commitment to education continued after her retirement in 2008 through her passionate involvement as a director with Fischy Music and through her service with the Scotland Reads scheme. She played a full part in the life of her local community through her work as an elder in her local church and through her role as craft and produce convener of the Haddington show.

Her greatest legacy, however, lies with the many young people she inspired to become teachers and with all the teachers she helped, supported and developed.

She is survived by her husband Bill, her sons Andrew and Tom, her daughter-in-law Beth and granddaughter Evie.

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