SGA Conference

The next SGA Annual Conference is provisionally planned for Saturday 18th September 2021, at the Carnegie Conference Centre,  Dunfermline.

Cost is to be confirmed, but has previously been only £120 (£90 for SGA members.) 

To book your place online (you will receive an immediate confirmation email), click on the button above. Discounted price of £90 is available to SGA members (normal price £120). Please book online BEFORE arranging payment. Invoices will be sent to delegates from the beginning of the new term in August. (Online booking is the preferred method. Please only complete and send by email the PDF form at the bottom of the this page if you have difficulties with the online booking form).

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, to see the downloadable PDF versions of the 2019 Brochure and Programme of the day.

To JOIN the SGA, please CLICK HERE.

The SGA Annual Conference includes both a presentation element, along with a selection of workshops.

  • The event will run from approximately 9.30am – 3.30pm.
  • We recognise the difficulty that many of our delegates have in gaining funding for CPD events, and the difficulty of getting out of school during the week. Therefore, our costs remain the same as last year (£90 for SGA members and £120 for non-members). NB SGA membership is free – see our website.
  • Delegates will attend the two presentations, and will choose two from the selection of five workshops.
  • See below for the programme from our 2019 conference.

Presentation 1           Implementation and Delivery of the Review of Personal and Social Education

Stuart Downes, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Government

A Scottish Government civil servant, with over 20 years experience in various policy areas including Food Safety, Natural Resources, Local Government Finance, Long Term Health Conditions and Sea Fisheries, Stuart joined the Learning Directorate in 2016 and leads on the implementation and delivery of the PSE Review and inclusive education recommendations.

This presentation will cover how the recommendations of the Personal and Social Education review were identified, and how they will be implemented and delivered. It will be of keen interest to guidance teachers and school leaders.


Presentation 2           Wake up to the importance of sleep

Janet Lindsay, Development Manager, Sleep Scotland

Currently Development Manager with charity Sleep Scotland, Janet Lindsay trained as a Sleep Counsellor in 2012, focussing on helping teenagers to solve their sleep problems.  Janet trains teachers and other professionals on Sound Sleep, an education and support programme for schools, including a peer mentor model for senior pupils.

Delegates will learn why getting enough good quality sleep can be such a struggle for teenagers, and how sleep deprivation impacts upon wellbeing, academic performance and behaviour. We will look at the Sound Sleep education and support programme and how it encourages teenagers to make choices in their daily routines that will help them get a good night's sleep.


Workshop A               Who Wants to be a Guidance Teacher?

Terry Ashton, Honorary Tutor, University of Aberdeen

Terry has been working in Guidance for 50 years in England then Wales then Scotland, and has had a variety of roles including form tutor, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Guidance Teacher, School Counsellor, Lecturer in Guidance and Counselling and then Adviser in Guidance with Grampian Region and then Aberdeen City. Now retired, he runs online Guidance courses as part of the MEd programme at the University of Aberdeen.

In this workshop, he will facilitate reflections and discussion on the complex role of Guidance/Personal Support in schools, particularly for those who are thinking about becoming a Guidance teacher (or similar) or who have recently started in the role.  What can you expect?  What are the ups and downs?  What is your role?  What has he learned? How can you become really proficient?  What needs to change and what can you do about it?


Workshop B               Helping Young People stay safe around alcohol

                 Brian Gibson (Scotland Director) & Helena Conibear (CEO), The Alcohol Education Trust

Brian started his working life as a professional footballer, during which time he achieved his Diploma in Business Management; but after hanging up his boots he spent three years working with the Careers Service in Glasgow. Brian then joined Tomorrow’s People Trust, based in their Glasgow office. He managed all the Trust’s UK initiatives involving youth and young people’s services, in particular the innovative Working It Out programme, which he designed. Brian was also Chairman of a local school Board.

Following a long career specialising in alcohol, health and responsible drinking, Helena, with a group of like-minded specialists in alcohol, PSHE and education, founded the Alcohol Education Trust in 2009, establishing it as a charity in 2010.

Seeing a need for a practical alcohol education programme for young people in schools and informal settings across the UK, the Trust’s ethos is built around evidence based, interactive, feasible approaches that are adaptable to busy lives. Helena understands the importance of positive social norm based, engaging and interactive teaching methods that build resilience and reduce all risk taking among young people.

The Alcohol Education Trust is a national charity that supports schools, parents, carers, health educators and youth outreach teams to ensure that young people of all abilities learn to stay safe around alcohol. Developing and delivering holistic, life skill and evidence-based approaches that build resilience and reduce underage drinking and alcohol related harms.


Workshop C                    Nurture at Lochside Academy

Mary Molloy, Targeted Support Teacher & Irene Stove, PT Targeted Support

Mary teaches in the Nurture Room at the newly opened Lochside Academy in Aberdeen.  Prior to that, she taught at Kincorth Academy working as a Nurture Teacher, SFL Teacher and a Teacher of SEBN.

Irene is PT Targeted Support at Lochside, and also teaches in the Nurture Room.  Irene works with PTGs to decide on Targeted interventions that the school can offer for pupils who have been identified as needing more support.

The presentation will cover the setting up of the Nurture Room, the guiding principles of Nurture, the nature of the support that the Nurture Room provides, the needs of the pupils and how we support pupils back into mainstream secondary classes.

Workshop D                    Barnardo's Early Intervention Service

David Russell & Jacquie Morgan, Barnardo’s

David and Jacquie are practitioners working in the field of child sexual abuse, exploitation and harmful sexual behaviours.

This workshop will raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Child Sexual abuse (CSA) and Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) and how professionals can respond to protect and support children and young people.


Workshop E                     Mental Health Training for Guidance Teachers- A CBT informed approach

Dr Sean Harper, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sean Harper has been working in the NHS, for over 20 years, in mental health. His specialist area is CBT and severe and complex mental health. He has been Programme Director for PG Masters for 12 years, and has a strong interest in increasing access to psychological interventions and therapy for people of all ages, which underpins his clinical training and research activity. Over the last three years, Dr Harper has developed, delivered and evaluated a CBT informed training programme for Guidance Teachers in senior schools, which will provide the focus for this workshop.

This workshop will suit delegates who are interested in learning about CBT informed mental health training for Guidance and Pastoral Teachers. An overview of the content, delivery and evaluation of the training will be presented. Experiential and reflective exercises will be facilitated to provide a flavour of the training content, delivery and orientation.



SGA events are organised by members of the SGA Committee. Organised by teachers for teachers, we aim to provide a range of interesting and practical presentations, designed to refresh the hard working guidance and support staff in our schools.

Our events consistently achieve an extremely high level of positive feedback from our delegates. We also strive to keep costs as low as possible, as we appreciate the difficult financial climate.

Cancellation: In normal circumstances, booking fees cannot be refunded, nor invoices cancelled. However, replacement personnel are welcome. Nevertheless, if you find yourself unable to attend, please notify us in advance (at least one week before the event) so that others on a waiting list may be given your place. Should someone on the waiting list replace you, your fee will be refunded following the event.

If you don't like the idea of an early commute, on the Saturday morning, you can book an overnight stay. There is an on-site hotel in the grounds of Carnegie Conference Centre.


The Holiday Inn Express offers a range of facilities including:

  • 82 modern en-suite rooms with satellite TV
  • Free Guest parking
  • Free Wi-Fi internet access
  • Complimentary Hot Continental breakfast buffet
  • Comfortable licensed bar and lounge area with large-screen TV

Further details about the hotel can be found at or call 01383 748220. 

Click on the map below to find location and directions.