Dr Deborah Holt

Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement / Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing and mental health promotion


  • I have been working at Moray House School of Education since 2010 with specialism in health and wellbeing and mental health promotion
  • I have been a programme director and subject lead on ITE programmes as well as most recently being the School Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement
  • I lead, develop and teach in Health and wellbeing, positive mental health promotion, positive behaviour, resilience and grief across several primary ITE programmes
  • I am committed to enhancing the student experience for all students and particularly for our Widening Participation students. I am the School Widening Participation Champion which involves working with colleagues to enhance the experience for WP students as well as to work with partners and external agencies engaging with WP pupils in schools.
  • Prior to coming to UoE, I was a Headteacher, with a focus on the pastoral role, and  early years teacher and specialist MFL teacher for 4-12 year olds.


Doctorate in Education: The Primary School Teacher's responsibility to Promote Positive Mental Health


BA Hons Language and Linguistics

Responsibilities & affiliations


Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement for the School of Education

Health and Wellbeing lead on MA and PGDE Primary

Strand Leader for Professional Experience and Practice on MA Primary programmes

Exam Board Convenor

School Widening Participation Champion


Institute of Education Teaching and Leadership

Part of the RTEN research cluster

Undergraduate teaching

I lead the 4th Year Option in Promoting wellbeing in the primary school: theory into practice

I lead the HWB strand of the MA Primary Education  suite and MA Primary Gaelic programmes

I lead the teaching for Professional Experience and Practice in years 1,2 and 4 of the MA Primary suite and MA Primary Gaelic programmes

I assist on the 4th year option Additional Support for Learning

I teach on the HWB strand and  relevant parts of Professional Studies and Practicum on the PGDE Primary

Supervisor for MA Primary Student 4th year honours dissertations


Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary


  • positive mental health promotion in education
  • the wellbeing of pupils and the teacher's role in promoting this
  • emotional and mental wellbeing in schools
  • social and emotional wellbeing support at transition between primary and secondary school
  • the pastoral role of tutors in supporting students in initial teacher education

Current research interests

positive mental health promotion in schools support for social and emotional wellbeing at transition from Primary to Secondary school how we support the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of ITE students Support for social and emotional wellbeing at transition between Primary and Secondary schools metacognition; learning conversations and developing learner confidence and autonomy as a way to promote positive mental health

Past research interests

Promoting metacognition through child peer learning conversations and the development of metacognitive language

Knowledge exchange

Promoting metacognition in the primary classroom-  We deliver CPL for teachers and whole school teams

Positive mental Health Promotion in primary school


Project activity

Social, emotional and mental wellbeing during P7-S1 transition: a pilot study


  • Metacognition in the Primary Classroom with Peter Tarrant, January 2016