Learning Link Scotland is governed by a board of directors recruited from the field of adult learning and voted in annually at our annual general meeting.
Simon Ashpool, Chair
Simon joined the board in January 2017 and became Chair in February 2018. Simon has a MA in English Literature from the University in Glasgow and is a qualified teacher, gaining specialisms in Literacy and ESOL.
His career began as a Graduate Trainee at The University of Glasgow Library, before embarking on a career in teaching. Simon taught English in China for two years and he moved back to the UK to join Newcastle College as an ESOL Instructor, before being promoted to ESOL Instructor Coordinator.
Since 2018 Simon has been Learning, Development and Innovation Lead at Community Justice Scotland. Prior to that he had been Learning Manager at Crisis, formerly at the charity’s Newcastle centre and currently at its Edinburgh service. Simon set up the charity’s learning service in Edinburgh and is responsible for its development and expansion. His role involves leading on all aspects of the service’s educational delivery. Simon is also on the Board of Governors for West Lothian College and co chairs Education Scotland’s ESOL Widening Access and Participation Group. Personal interests include travel, swimming and reading.
Wendy Burton, Vice Chair
Wendy is the Director of Scottish Union Learning, a Scottish Government project hosted by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC). Wendy worked in Higher Education and the NHS prior to joining the STUC in 2003, initially as Adult Literacy Co-ordinator. In 2008 she became a Development Officer, with a specific remit for Everyday Skills, and took up her current post in 2015. Wendy has a BA (Hons) in Politics from Glasgow Caledonian University, and a Master of Education (MEd) from The Open University. In her free time, Wendy enjoys reading and photography, and sings in a soul choir. She has also been a volunteer adult learning tutor for over 20 years.
Piotr Zielinski, Treasurer
Piotr’s passion for working with computers began in 1986, when the Internet was still in its infancy and when he was introduced to an Apple IIc. His first computer-related job was in software engineering and architecture in 1998, during which he facilitated a company-wide systems transition ahead of expected complications caused by the year 2000 bug.
His work while in the US includes financial application development for the US Department of Transportation and building an election results analysis system for USA Today’s 2012 Presidential Election live internet feed. Following his move to Edinburgh, Scotland, his roles have expanded to leading the development departments for several startups, including Money Dashboard and Lettingweb as well as to building and managing IT teams while maintaining passion for hands-on software development and education.
In his spare time, Piotr enjoys volunteering. He’s been a volunteer firefighter, a mentor for students from CodeClan, and he participates in the Independent Custody Visitor scheme.
Sarah Cox, Director
Sarah joined the Board in 2017. She has 11 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector In Glasgow and over 17 years’ experience working in Adult Learning in teaching and management roles. She came to Glasgow in 2006 and is now Strategic Manager for Glasgow ESOL Forum. Her role includes overseeing the development of all Employability and Work related ESOL delivery for the organisation, including all SQA qualifications She also has shared responsibility for strategic direction of the organisation as a whole. Prior to coming to Glasgow Sarah studied in Germany and taught in Japan. She holds CELTA, DELTA and TQFE qualifications. Her personal interests include travel and languages.
Jean Nelson, Director
Jean Nelson started her career in Adult Learning after repatriating from the Middle East. She joined Dumfries & Galloway’s Adult Basic Education Service as a volunteer tutor. She was not entirely sure of this move as her previous experience had always been with young children. Something must have hit a chord as she developed a passion for the work. She then became a Community Learning Assistant and has worked hard to gain many and numerous qualifications, including a Community Learning and Development Degree. She has attended many conferences and training opportunities to enhance her practice.
Jean recently joined the Board of Learning Link Scotland and NATECLA Scotland. The early passion has not dimmed. Jean is deeply committed to her family, is an Events First Aider with the British Red Cross and enjoys reading and gardening in her spare time.
Kathleen Richardson, Director
Kathleen became a director of Learning Link Scotland in May 2017 and has worked for WEA Scotland for the past fourteen years in various roles, latterly as Education Development Manager – West Central and South West Scotland. She is passionate about adult learning and the contribution it makes to social justice.
She is responsible for all of the WEA’s provision in West Central and South West of Scotland including membership support, ESOL, Adult Literacies and Employability Services in workplaces and in communities. Partnership working and contributing to strategic and planning groups are an important part of her role. She brings many years of experience of managing person–centered, quality services and educational activity
Kathleen has a Social Science degree and in her spare time she reads and participates in various forms of fitness including yoga.
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