Maureen Finn

Director of STEP


I originally studied Art & Design before training as a primary teacher.  I taught in schools throughout Strathclyde region before gaining a promoted position with the Educational Support Service (ESS) based at Glasgow Museums. 

I moved to London in 1995 and took up the position of Head of Education at Camden Arts Centre, where I worked in collaboration with the Institute of Education's Department of Art, Design and Museology on the 3-year funded  research project, ‘The impact of involvement with contemporary art on pupil attainment'. 

After returning to Scotland, I took up the post of Head of Education at the National Galleries of Scotland, where I initiated award-winning, inclusive programmes for a diversity of new audiences. 

Due to family committments, I set up my own consultancy and conducted research, undertook evaluations, managed digital projects and delivered training for education and cultural organisations throughout the UK, including the National Maritime Museum, London, The Arts Council of England, NESTA, Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Government. 

From 2009 to 2012 I worked as Development Officer for Expressive Arts and the Creative Learning. During this time I lead on the Scottish Government's Action Plan for Education, the Arts and Creativity. I also represented Art & Design on the National Exellence Group for the Expressive Arts.  I sat on the SQA planning group for the National Qualifications, commissioned support materials and managed the Art & Design component of the National Assessment Resource (NAR). I also produced the interdisciplinary learning resource, Marks on the Landscape. 

In 2012, I took up the position of Research Associate with STEP for e-Lates, the Government-funded learning resource for mobile communities before becoming Director of STEP in 2014.


I have an Honours Degree in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art, a PGCE in Primary Education from Jordanhill College, Glasgow and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). 

Responsibilities & affiliations

Member, National Society for Education in Art and Design, NSEAD, 2016

National Parental Engagement Steering Group, Scottish Government/Education Scotland, from 2015

National Scottish Traveller Education Review Group (STERG), Scottish Government, from 2013

National Advisory Group for Gypsy/Travellers, Scottish Government, 2014-2016

Board Member, Art in Healthcare, 2012-2015

Advisory Group, V&A Dundee, 2012-2013

Member, Expressive Arts Excellence Group, Scottish Government, 2012

Specialist Advisor, Creative Scotland/Scottish Arts Council, 2007-2011

Royal Commission for Ancient and Historical Monuments (RCAHMS) Education Advisory Group, 2004-2005

Board Member, Stills Gallery, 2000-2005

Undergraduate teaching

I contribute to several undergraduate courses focussing on: additional support policies and mobile children, inclusive practice for Roma and Gypsy/Traveller children, Art & Design education, and Creative Learning. 

Research summary

Mobility in education

Inclusive digital pedagogy

Creative learning

Visual research methods

Family literacy 

Current research interests

My doctoral research focusses on the shaping of technology and social relations in the primary classroom.

Past research interests

Museums and galleries education