Conference Advisory Group

The conference programme is being put together by an advisory group, made up of senior educational professionals. Its job is to ensure the conference addresses both the strategic issues and day-to-day challenges facing education built environment professionals.

Ann Allen

Director of Estates and Commercial Services

University of Glasgow and Chair of Architecture & Design Scotland

Ann joined the University five years ago and is the Director of Estates and Commercial Services. She is a property specialist, who before joining the University led a small Asset Management team at John Lewis. She previously held property roles within HBOS, Sears and Segro. The current role includes responsibility for the £1b redevelopment of the Gilmorehill campus as well as delivering facilities and commercial services in a way that focuses on students and staff. Ann is a trustee of Ethical Property Trust as well as being a member of the Leadership Board for Construction Scotland and a trustee of National Museum of Scotland.

Gemma Boggs

Education Delivery Director

Scottish Futures Trust

Gemma joined SFT in 2009 at its inception. As Education Delivery Director, she and her team have led the delivery of the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme working in close partnership with Scotland’s local authorities. More recently Gemma has been supporting the development of Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Plans and has been working with Scottish Government to support the development of a Learning Estate Investment Plan. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Gemma ventured further into the world of education following a 3 year period at one of Europe’s leading public-private partnership companies where she principally focused on education projects. As a mum to little Charlie, Gemma places a huge importance of the value of education for all learners, young and not so young!

Gary Bushnell

Chief Executive

hub East Central Scotland

Gary is Chief Executive of hub East Central Scotland, a Public Private Partnership set up in 2012, providing Strategic, Development, Design & Construct and Operational support to its shareholders. Gary leads a small team of professionals, advising and supporting clients in developing and delivering quality outcomes to their specific needs. With a high focus on delivering value across all aspects of their developments, together with creating local employment opportunities and wider community benefits, from a diverse portfolio of projects in the past 6 years, hub East Central are continually innovating to improve outcomes.

Craig Clement

Head of Resources & Performance

Aberdeenshire Council

Craig has a wide range of experience in relation to the management of resources and performance in Education & Children’s Services. He is also Co-Chair of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) Resources Network. He has a great deal of experience in leading the development of a Learning Estate Strategy in Local Authorities, and working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders.  A key feature of this work has been to consider innovative design solutions to maximise use of buildings which promote new ways of working to better meet the needs of pupils and communities, not least in a period of rapid change in how services are provided.

Alison Cumming

Deputy Director, Early Learning and Childcare Programme

Scottish Government

Alison Cumming is Deputy Director for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in the Scottish Government, and is working with partners to deliver the expansion to 1140 hours funded ELC from August 2020 and to ensure that high quality experiences for children are at the heart of the expansion.  Alison joined the ELC Team in November 2016 as Programme Director.  Alison is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant who has held a range of finance roles in Scottish Government, including Head of Tax Policy, having completed her professional training in the public sector assurance team at KPMG.  Alison served as Chair of CIPFA Scotland 2017-18.   

Andy Dailly

Head of School Building

Scottish Government

Andy has worked for the Scottish Government for over 20 years having joined straight from high school in May 1999.  Andy has been the Head of School Building for over 6 years after previously working as a policy professional in the Government’s human resources, fisheries and environment departments. A former professional football player, Andy still enjoys playing and watching the sport, however his real passion centres around his two young sons Andrew jnr and Finlay.  Andy has lived and worked in Edinburgh his whole life.

Alex Donaldson


Scott Brownrigg

Director of the Edinburgh office. Alex brings over twenty years’ knowledge and experience in the design and delivery of high profile schemes in the Scottish, UK and overseas markets. He is responsible for establishing the new office and growing the practice’s presence within the region. His strategic involvement in management, design and advisory activities extends throughout Scott Brownrigg's regions working with clients, investors and consultants over a range of public and commercial initiatives in a broad range of sectors.

Martin Kirkwood

Deputy Director

Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education

Diarmaid Lawlor

Director of Place

Architecture and Design Scotland

Diarmaid is the Director of Place with Architecture and Design Scotland. An urbanist, with a multi disciplinary background, he has worked on projects involving the shaping and implementation of change for clients in Ireland, the UK and Europe, for the public, private and third sectors. He has almost 20 years’ experience of helping clients make well informed decisions about complex, connected urban policy and investment challenges. He is a designer, educator, communicator and collaborator who writes and speaks on creative approaches to making better places.

Stephen Long

Associate Director Education

Scottish Futures Trust

Stephen is an architect who has worked on 30+ school projects in Scotland and across the UK, with involvement at all stages from brief development, through construction, to post occupation evaluation. He has worked in architectural practice, for a national building contractor, and is now part of the SFT Education Team. He has a desire to help drive continual improvement through collaboration, and will facilitate the workshop on future learning environments.

Joanne MacDougall

Marketing & Communications Manager

Hub South East

A communications professional with more than 15 years’ experience in both the public and private sector, Joanne currently manages the marketing, PR and communications for Hub South East. Hub South East is a development partner delivering community infrastructure, including educational facilities, in partnership with public sector bodies in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scottish Borders. Hub South East is one of five Hubs across Scotland and from a communications perspective, Joanne is representing the Hubs collaboratively on the Advisory Board.

Colin MacLennan

Business Development Director

Morrison Construction

Morrison Construction is the trading name in Scotland of Galliford Try; we are one of the most active and successful players in the education sector and strive to remain at the forefront of innovation in school design and construction. UK education work is our biggest single sector with a portfolio now exceeding £1billion including Early Years, Primary, Secondary and higher education. A seasoned construction professional,  Colin brings over forty years’ experience including the delivery of several major secondary and higher education schemes to the design and development of all our Scottish projects. He also manages our Customer Satisfaction process to “close the loop” at the close of each commission; so that innovations and best practices are captured and carried forwards.

Laura Mason

Chief Education Officer

West Dunbartonshire Council

As Chief Education Officer, Laura is responsible for Education Services in West Dunbartonshire.  This includes Early Learning and Childcare, Primary and Secondary education as well as Additional Support Needs. Laura is the Chief Officer who advises the Council on educational matters including our statutory responsibilities as the Education Authority.  She works together with her teams to ensure that everyone in our community is valued and has the opportunity to learn for life and to achieve their full potential.  She also contributes, as a member of the Council leadership team, to the corporate direction of the Council. Laura has over 30 years of experience working in public services, having been a teacher, head teacher, service manager and a member of the Education Directorate in two Scottish Councils.  She is currently leading major projects in the Council aimed at raising educational attainment, improving opportunities for all learners, tackling the impacts of inequalities on children and young people, enhancing early years provision in all our communities and improving the quality of the school estate.  She also contributes to significant work with our local College and Health partners, and is involved in national policy development with Scottish Government.

Lesley McMillan

Interior Designer

Society of British & International Design - SBID, The City of Edinburgh Council

Interior Designer at the City of Edinburgh Council and Chair of the Education Design Advisory Council for the Society of British and International Design. Particularly passionate about designing inclusive and holistic educational spaces seeking to put effective design at the core of the learning process and show how evidence-based design decisions can transform the learning experience for everyone. Lesley is also on the advisory board of the Superpower Agency a charity aiming to create a learning space which builds self-esteem and encourages aspiration by improving literacy and is an ambassador for HundrED an organisation that seeks and shares inspiring global K-12 education innovations.

Jim Metcalfe

Chief Executive

College Development Network

Jim Metcalfe is Chief Executive of College Development Network, the innovation agency for the vocational skills sector. CDN focuses on growing skills, leadership and learner impact amongst vocational educators. Jim previously worked as Head of Development at Carnegie UK leading a range of enterprise, economic development and community capacity projects. He has also worked in public and voluntary sector campaigns and policy roles in the UK and internationally. He is a Director of the UK Energy Saving Trust, a Board member of SCQF Partnership, and a fellow of the RSA. In 2017, Jim was appointed to the Scottish Government’s Curriculum Advisory Board.