Dr Deborah Holt

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


  • 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 the School
  • 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 various programmes

Exam Board Convenor

School Widening Participation Champion


Institute of Education Teaching and Leadership

UoE Thrive Network

Part of the PCRE Research cluster

Scotland’s Community of Access and Participation Practitioners 

Undergraduate teaching

various Health and Wellbeing electives and core course content across a range of programmes

safeguarding in Teacher Education



Postgraduate teaching

MSc Inclusive Education dissertation supervision

MSc Research methods 1 and 2 tutor

input on mental health promotion/health and wellbeing as required/invited

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I welcome applications for qualitative research relating to wellbeing in education 

I supervise students in projects associated with mental health promotion in  education including educator wellbeing, and projects relating to social and emotional inclusion of New Scots ( refugee) children and other qualitative studies related to health and wellbeing

Current PhD students supervised

Jill Steel- Reading to Dogs- year 3

Beth Davies- the childminder's experience during Covid - year 3

April Steffeck - how student teachers are prepared to deal with teacher directed abuse - year 2

Anna Jesseman- teacher wellbeing- year 1

Morgan Ludington- experiences and narratives of menstruation Year 2

Research summary


  • positive mental health promotion in education
  • the educator's role in promoting student/pupil  positive mental health
  • teacher and educator wellbeing
  • social and emotional wellbeing support at transition between primary and secondary school
  • social, emotional and academic integration of refugee children in primary school

Current research interests

Positive mental health promotion in education contexts; Teacher wellbeing; Support for social and emotional wellbeing at transition from Primary to Secondary school; Social, emotional and academic integration of refugee children; Sex education; Support for social and emotional wellbeing at transition between Primary and Secondary schools; How ITE prepares student teachers for Health and Wellbeing as the responsibility of all in Secondary schools

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

How to tutor widening access learners


Affiliated research centres

Project activity

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

the partnership with Place 2 Be

Working with ReAct to promote New Scot inclusion

How we prepare student teachers to meet their responsibility to health and wellbeing within Curriculum for Excellence


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