Gerry McMurtie Professional backgroundCurrent post: Senior Professional Advisor for the Rights Respecting School Award with UNICEF UK. I lead the award in Scotland, we have over 50% of schools in Scotland working on the award. The basis of the award is to ensure schools are promoting a children’s rights ethos across the curriculum, with pupil and staff relationships, and engaging with parents/carers and wider community. Previously: Worked as a Children’s Rights Officer for a Local Authority – specialised in promoting children’s rights and ensuring children’s rights featured in policy developments. I was also a member of the LA Fostering and Adoption Panel. Also worked as a Throughcare and Aftercare Development Officer in a LA. I worked with Looked After and Accommodated young people, particularly looking at transitions from school, into work, further education and moving into own accommodation. I also worked with Homelessness (including young people) and was disturbed to find the link between homeless, prison population and young people who had experienced care settings. Personal/professional interest in adoptionI adopted two boys (siblings) in 2011. At the time they were 4 and 7. It has been life changing and although it is the best thing we have ever done, it also comes with challenges. I could not imagine a more perfect match, and we have managed to create a very close family bond. We have a wonderful relationship with the boy’s sisters and their foster carers, and have become a big family who holidays together! I am particularly keen to promote adoption of siblings and older children. HobbiesIt’s all about the children now! We really enjoy our holidays and going on day trips together. We enjoy going for long walks, getting on our bikes and trying new restaurants. I also have a love of the cinema, one that has rubbed off on the boys ;-) When I have some time, which isn’t often – I love nothing more than reading a good book. Particularly interested in crime/thriller. I also love going to the theatre and watching a good band live.