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dale cartwright Deputy Head Learning & Teaching and Chemistry Teacher 

I studied Chemistry at The University of Edinburgh, completing both an undergraduate degree and a PhD. My PhD was focused on chemical synthesis of colour couplers used to produce magenta in photographic film for Kodak. Two years after I completed the PhD, Kodak stopped making photographic film: I maintain this was nothing to do with the quality of my research! I then went on to carry out research on pharmaceutical applications of DNA strands in industry for five years prior to moving into teaching.

I arrived at Merchiston in August 2006, undertaking my first teaching role. I had much to learn at that point, and I found Merchiston to be a welcoming and supportive environment in which to develop. I still find this to be the case and I firmly believe that it is this which enables our students to perform so well in so many different spheres.

In education, I have several areas of interest: skills development, assessment methodology, and use of data to improve learning and teaching. These have arisen from my experiences in different roles at Merchiston, and I relish the challenge of utilising these to make a positive difference for our students.


Away from school, football and family have always been my two passions. However, due to niggling injuries, my participation in football has dropped away somewhat, to be replaced by powerlifting. I’m not sure if this has helped my mobility much, but I find it strangely relaxing to shift metal around for no real purpose. My kids are also keeping me busy: as they get older their activities have become more intensive, and I really love watching them develop their interests and grow in confidence.

Inspring Moments

I am fortunate in that my “inspiring moment” is repeated on a reasonably regular basis. I am continually inspired by staff and students who go out of their way to make a positive difference for others, even in a seemingly small way. These little things are easy to disregard as not noteworthy but, for me, it is this which makes the Merchiston environment so special.

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