Personal Information

  • Member for: Almond Valley
  • Party: Scottish National Party
  • Date of Birth: 15 July 1970

Welcome to the Scottish Parliament website. It's an honour and privilege to represent the Almond Valley Constituency, particularly as I was born, raised and educated in West Lothian. I became MSP for this constituency following the election on 5 May 2011, having previously represented the Livingston constituency between 2007-11.

The Almond Valley constituency covers Addiewell, Bellsquarry, Bents, Breich, East Calder, Fauldhouse, Kirknewton, Livingston, Loganlea, Longridge, Mid Calder, Polbeth, Pumpherston, Seafield, Stoneyburn, Uphall, West Calder and  Wilkieston.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any assistance. I will do my best to help in any way I can.

Prior to my election in May 2007 I worked as a social worker / mental health officer and was a local councillor in Livingston. I am now a mother of one son and I am enjoying immensely the challenges of motherhood and politics.

Personal Interests:
Jogging - fun runs, including marathons.

Religious Affiliation:


    1982-86: West Calder High School

    1986-87: Bo'ness Academy

    1988-91: University of Glasgow

    1995-96: West Lothian College

    1996-98: University of Stirling

    Career History:

    1988: Bank of Scotland

    1991-1992: President of Glasgow University Student's Representative Council

    1992-1993: NWS Bank

    1993-1996: Ark Housing Association

    1998-1999: Social Worker - Clackmannanshire Council (Prison Based)

    1999-2001: Social Worker - Perth and Kinross Council (Prison Based)

    2001-2007: Social Worker - The State Hospital (Mental Health Officer)

    1997-2007: Elected Member of West Lothian Council

    2007 - 2011: MSP for Livingston

    2007-10: Convener, Scottish Commission for Public Audit

    2007-10: Parliamentary Liaison Officer to Kenny MacAskill as Cabinet Secretary for Justice

    2010-11: Scottish National Party Depute Whip

    2010-11: Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning

    2011: Minister for Children and Young People

    2011-14: Minister for Youth Employment

    2014 - present: Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning


Further information

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