Angela lives in West Lothian with her husband and young son. She grew up in Addiewell and West Calder, and attended local schools, completing her education at West Lothian College, Stirling and Glasgow Universities. Before being elected to the Scottish Parliament she served as a councillor for the Carmondean Ward in Livingston, and also worked as a social worker and mental health officer; working in the State Hospital at Carstairs, three Scottish prisons and for Ark Housing Association in Dedridge.
Angela's political life began when she became President of the Students' Representative Council at Glasgow University. In Parliament she has served on the Petitions Committee, the Justice Committee, the Standards & Procedures and Public Appointments Committee and has chaired the Scottish Commission for Public Audit. In 2010, Angela's outstanding contribution to parliament was recognised when she was appointed Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning in the Scottish Government.
Commenting on her background of wide and varied activities in and beyond politics, Angela says:
"My life experience - growing up in West Lothian, working as a social worker, serving in West Lothian Council and serving in the Scottish Parliament, as a backbencher and as a Minister, equips me well to deliver the high standard of representation on real life issues that the people of West Lothian deserve."
In her spare time Angela likes to keep fit and has taken part in various marathons and middle distance runs for good causes. She has not so much time for running marathons these days but manages to keep fit running after her young son, Cyrus. In quieter moments she enjoys walking, reading and encouraging Cyrus in his 'creative' activities.