Deadline Extended to Friday 13 November 2020.

This is the final deadline for submissions!

Connected Learning, Stronger Communities

At the heart of the Scotland’s Learning Estate Strategy is an ethos of working holistically and collaboratively to deliver the best possible outcomes for all learners and communities in Scotland. This year’s conference will explore the theme of ‘Connected Learning, Stronger Communities’. The experience addressing the Covid-19 crisis highlight the importance of both local community action and investing in the long term ambition of a connected learning estate to support stronger communities. The conference is a celebration of what has been achieved, what is being done and what can be achieved working together.


The Scottish Government works in partnership with local authorities, public services businesses, third sector partners and communities for the people of Scotland, and recent publications indicate the breadth of initiatives supporting this joined up approach.

National Performance Framework

aligning all public services for making Scotland a more sustainable country. Creating a fairer, wealthier, happier nation (May 2018)

Learning Together

best practice, and demonstrate your expertise that will help, and provide inspiration to education professionals for their upcoming/current projects

Place Principle

A collaborative, “place based” approach with a shared purpose to support a clear way forward for all services, assets and investments which will maximise the impact of their combined resources. (Nov 2018)

A Connected Scotland

strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections (Dec 2018)

Out to Play

connecting children to the outdoor natural environment (March 2019)

Advisory Group on Economic Recovery

in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Conference Contributions

Building on the success of previous Education Buildings Scotland events, we are inviting proposals for presentations, workshops and exhibition material which will investigate, illustrate, demonstrate or celebrate the theme of ‘Connected Learning, Stronger Communities’. These could relate to any part of the learning estate from early learning and childcare through primary, secondary and ASN schools, or into colleges, universities, CLD and beyond into other work or community spaces. Proposals could be based on initiatives within Scotland or further afield. They may relate to completed projects, newbuilds, refurbishments or temporary buildings, concepts in development, or potentially academic and technical research. Proposals may have a building component but could also be related to activities and practices which support the theme. Proposals are welcome from anyone including children and young people, educators, building operators, design consultants, contractors, academics or the wider community. Challenge and vision are welcomed, as is sharing of lessons learned and experience of good practice.

We particularly welcome a balance of reflections and learning from the Covid-19 experience, building resilience at community level through creative approaches to the learning estate, and future thinking around the Learning Estate Strategy ambitions.

The conference will be structured around five parallel streams, which pick up on the key themes of the Learning Estate Strategy: [i] suitable, the extent to which spaces support the intended learning and community experiences and outcomes [ii] sustainable estate, the extent to which the estate as a whole is shaped and better integrates to be efficient, effective and adaptable [iii] low carbon, the extent to which the estate and user behaviours are organised to meet the ambitions of Low Carbon Scotland set out in the Programme for Government [iv] digital, the extent to which learning experiences and geographies are supported by digital practice, infrastructure and spaces [v] inclusive growth, the extent to which the estate and the outcomes form an integrated set of learning and community experiences to support inclusive growth, stronger communities and great places.

Strategic synergies

  • International connections and lessons learned
  • Collaborative initiatives within and between councils
  • Multi service delivery models
  • Place based strategies

Community connections

  • All age learning/intergenerational
  • Community resilience
  • Learning towns and campuses
  • World of work learner connections

Curriculum collaboration

  • Curriculum area and peer collaboration
  • Visible learning
  • Indoor/outdoor connections
  • Learning from buildings and learning through sustainability
  • Digital and Technological learning opportunities

Environmental impact on learners

  • Inclusive and accessible design
  • Healthy learning environments: temperature, light, acoustics, smells, surfaces
  • Communications, graphics, wayfinding
  • Functionality and user experience

Technical teamwork

  • Whole life cost culture connecting design and construction with ongoing maintenance, energy use and low carbon emissions
  • BIM approach to link design, construction and operational digital information.
  • Construction innovations in materials, techniques, processes. Skills, training, careers.
  • Quality Chain to create and maintain end to end links to deliver quality buildings.