With a deprived catchment area and poor league table position, Mr McAlinden worked on raising standards for all pupils, not simply focusing on Higher results. He was praised in a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education in 2008 for his impact on pupil attainment through raising the school’s ambitions and expectations.
Castlemilk received six ratings of “excellent” out of 17 areas in the report – the most recorded by any school in Glasgow and the second-highest rating ever recorded at the time.
The following year he was made a CBE for services to education. He is now part of a five-strong group set up to improve attainment in schools.