top of page

Your Speakers

Andy Cole - College of North West London

Andy has been leading the College of North West London since January 2014, and has overseen a turn-round in its performance, re-establishing it as the leading specialist provider of education and training for construction and engineering in the capital.


Andy joined the college from City of Westminster College, where he was Vice Principal, and has previously worked with a number of further education colleges and national Sector Skills Councils. Andy has also been involved in national curriculum developments including Apprenticeships and other vocational skills qualifications. Andy is currently the Association of Colleges WorldSkills champion for London and sits on advisory and collaboration boards for City & Guilds and Pearson.


Before entering the educational world, Andy was for many years a practising artist and exhibition organiser, working in London and New York.

Andy Cole
Bob Rose - Alexandra College

Bob is the current head of Alexandra College and has extensive experience in the SEND field through his work at various educational institutions and charities over the last few years. Together with his strong educational background as an educator and manager, Bob also has over a decade in supporting young people from diverse and challenging backgrounds.

Bob Ross
Carol Lees - Hawkins\Brown

Carol is a Partner of Hawkins\Brown Architects and has significant experience working across the education sector. Her recent experience has been to lead the Hawkins\Brown team for the redevelopment of six primary schools for the London Borough of Southwark. Her work on UTC Cambridge and Eltham Hill Secondary School has also provided valuable knowledge of different education models.


Carol is passionate about the impact good design can have in an educational environment. She is championing Hawkins\Brown’s current #greatschools initiative in partnership with the Architects Journal and has participated as a panel member in debates about school design in the current climate.

Carol Lees
Caroline Buckingham - HLM Architects

Caroline is an owner and Board Director of HLM and heads up education in the UK and Internationally. She provides high level consultation as well as personal input throughout projects. Caroline is Vice President of the RIBA Practice & Profession, a RIBA Role Model and a member of the UK think tank Policy Exchange. Her crucial role in leading teams through productive and enjoyable consultation resulted in HLM being given a Special Award in the Sunday Times, Small Best Companies List for ‘Best for Engaging with Schools & Colleges.

Caroline Buckingham

Chris Smart is a Director at Building Services Consultancy Silcock Dawson & Partners.


Chris has been actively involved in the Education sector for many years working in a design role on a cross section of Education projects including Primary, Secondary and University schemes.


Chris undertook several Schools in the Building Schools for the Future programme, and is currently involved in a number of Primary and Secondary Schools in the Priority Schools Build programme for the Education Funding Authority developing design solutions to achieve the design criteria set out within the EFA Facilities Output Specification.

Chris Smart - Silcock Dawson
Chris Smart

Claire is an architect and Partner at Haverstock. Over 15 years she has led numerous successful projects across different sectors but mainly in Education, from nurseries to Sixth Form Colleges in both main stream and special educational needs.

She led Parliament Hill Secondary School project which won a RIBA Award, Civic Trust Commendation and Camden Design Award Commendation. She is currently involved in various innovative projects involving education and residential provision. Claire has a solid experience in working with local authorities, client teams and particularly in stakeholder consultation.

Claire lectures, tutors and examines at Westminster University and on the RIBA Northwest Professional Practice Course.

Claire Barton - Haverstock
Claire Burton

Claire is a Chartered Building Surveyor with over 25 years’ experience in construction, working client side, in a consultant role and now for a main contractor.  She has a particular expertise in the education sector and has worked on all forms of procurement and frameworks over the last 10 years.


As a Bid Manager at Galliford Try, Claire is leading bids on both the EFA Contractors and Regional Frameworks throughout London and the South East and is responsible for all aspects of the bid.  Having previously worked in an Architect’s practice, Claire’s approach is to work collaboratively with the design team and other consultants to gain the best results for the project.

Claire Jackson - Galliford Try​
Claire Jackson
David Morley - David Morley Architects

David Morley is an honorary scholar of King’s College Cambridge, graduating with first class honours. He joined Foster Associates in 1977 where he worked on the successful competition entry for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters in Hong Kong. David set up David Morley Architects in 1987. Education features significantly in the practice’s portfolio with notable buildings completed for many of the UK’s top schools and universities.


His work has been recognised with over 50 awards and has been widely published and exhibited. David has lectured at many universities and conferences and acts as an awards and competition assessor for the Royal Institute of British Architects.

David Morley

Simon has over 20 years post graduate experience as a building services engineer in the construction industry. Degree qualified in Building Services Engineering, Simon qualified as a Chartered Engineer in 2003.


Believing logical thinking and effective communication to be most important to project success, Simon endeavours to provide a personable and proactive level of service. As a qualified Low Carbon Consultant, Simon is particularly interested in the design of low environmental impact buildings and their interaction with occupants.


Simon has significant experience specifically in education sector and leads many of our prestigious projects including the University of Sussex £50m Life Sciences Building, numeours projects at Imperial College London as well as primary school schemes in multiple London Boroughs.

Simon Ebbatson - Elementa
Simon Ebbatson
Fraser Wells - Durkan
Fraser Wells

Fraser heads up both Durkan Estates and Durkan Partnerships. Durkan Estates delivers the company’s speculative private residential development and Durkan Partnerships harnesses the respective skill sets of both Durkan Estates and Durkan Ltd, the construction arm of the business to provide a completely holistic and transparent solution for projects with Public Sector partners.


He has worked in residential development for over 25 years having previously run both publically quoted and private companies as well as having his own consultancy.  One of his strengths is creating the right commercial solution, understanding the different drivers and cultures between the various stakeholders within a partnership, and then working closely with all parties to ensure a successful project delivery.

Ian has been a partner at FaulknerBrowns since 1992, working primarily in two sectors – sport & leisure and education & community.  He has been responsible for over thirty swimming pools and dry sports projects in both the public and private sectors, and several through public/private partnerships.  Most recently, this has involved a new sports centre for Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, London.


In the last five years, FaulknerBrowns have delivered ten school projects under Ian’s direction, including UTC and academies, with a combined value of over £125 million.  Ian has also successfully led design teams for master planning and library projects.   The quality of Ian’s work has been acknowledged through numerous awards including RIBA, Civic Trust and IAKS.

Ian Wilson - FaulknerBrowns
Ian Wilson
James Darbyshire - Stace

James joined Stace in 1989 as a trainee and has progressed to Partner. During this time James has worked in most industry sectors and adds value with strategic advice as part of multi-disciplinary pre-contract teams.


James is an active member of Stace’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme and supports social and sustainable initiatives in the built environment. He also helped establish Stace’s ‘Trusted Business Partner’ philosophy.


James works predominately with Independent schools and private and corporate developers and is based in our London and Cambridge offices.

James Darbyshire
  • Highly regarded Chartered Surveyor with a 25 year track record as a consultant and in-house investment director.

  • Passion for good quality architecture and design

  • Overall responsibility at Durkan for the asset management of mixed commercial and residential portfolios located throughout the UK.

  • Working with the Durkan Development Team to deliver Zest Living, a bespoke private rented residential portfolio for long term management.

  • Responsibilities include delivering Finance Agreements with public and private sector lenders, Development Agreements with Local Authorities and bulk Sale Agreements with Housing Associations and overseas investors.

Jonathan Dean - Durkan
Jonathan Dean

Kathy is a qualified mechanical engineer and has worked in construction as a client, consultant and contractor for the past 25 years. She started out as Capital Projects Engineer at a sugar mill in North Queensland Australia and in her most recent roles worked for a UK engineering consultant and a UK national multi billion pound turnover main contracting company writing and managing tenders.


In 2014 she was voted in as the chairperson for the London Constructing Excellence Club.


She is currently working with MBS assisting to grow the company strategically and sustainably.

Kathy Bagster - MBS
Kathy Bagster

Keith is a Chartered Civil Engineer with experience in all aspects of the procurement, design, delivery and commissioning of building and civil engineering projects, gained through a career working for contractors, project managers and client bodies. Keith is a Project Manager experienced in, and passionately supportive of, the integrated team approach to working, which was developed over 12 years with BAA. During the last ten years with Hampshire County Council, Keith has led on regional procurement and joint working initiatives. These arrangements have delivered around £500m building projects each year since 2006 for over 60 public authorities in the SE, and have delivered over £100m in efficiency savings. Keith is Chair of the National Association of Construction Frameworks, a new Public Sector collaboration sponsored by the LGA.

Keith Heard - Hampshire County Council
Keith Heard

Ken was principal of Pudsey Grangefield, a secondary school for 11 to 18 year olds, for eighteen years before retiring in the summer of 2014 to become an education consultant.


At Pudsey Grangefield, Ken worked closely with FaulknerBrowns on a new transformational school which challenged established orthodoxies, placing increased emphasis on independent and collaborative learning.

Designed to facilitate a wide range of teaching models, recognition included the national BSF Awards accolade for ‘most versatile learning environment’.


Ken also drew together influences from global educational experts and systems to build and implement an innovative iSchool learning experience, encouraging independent learning and team-working akin to a business workplace.


Through his Big Learning Company education consultancy, Ken has been Education Lead on successful UTC programmes at Leeds, Crewe and Scarborough, and currently is working for the Baker Dearing Trust supporting UTCs throughout the northern region.

Ken Cornforth - Baker Dearing Trust
Ken Cornforth

Mark is the Capital Programme Director at Milton Keynes Council, where he is the corporate lead for property and capital development.


He has been involved in the school building sector since 1993 and has advised the DfE, RIBA and British Council for School Environments on policy development and has written and spoken about school design in the UK and internationally.


Passionate about good design, Mark leads one of the biggest school building programmes in the country in Milton Keynes and has overseen the delivery of more than 50 new schools or major expansions, with a further 10,000 school places in progress for 2018. The award winning programme is recognised nationally as an exemplar of cost effective design, quality briefing, effective stakeholder engagement and delivery.

Mark Dolling - Milton Keynes Council
Mark Dolling
Matt Tarling - Stride Treglown

Matt is Director of Stride Treglown’s dedicated education team and sector leader for Higher Education in England. During the last ten years Matt has worked very closely with a number of different HE institutions on a wide variety of buildings, and has extensive experience of leading school, university and student residential projects.


He has led teams for a wide range of academic facilities where he has developed a particular expertise in managing complex groups of stakeholders, delivering high quality and cost effective design solutions.”

Matt Tarling

In over 20 years with the practice, Mike has been responsible for major award-winning schools projects such as Haute Vallée in Jersey - a new, low-energy secondary school with extensive community sports facilities and venue for The International Island Games. In the last few years he has concentrated on delivering a variety of large education and student accommodation projects including four new Academies in West Sussex, ‘Building Schools for the Future’ projects at Bradford and Westminster, the Barking Schools PFI project and substantial student residences in London, Southampton and Portsmouth.


Mike’s project delivery and technical expertise is widely recognised both within the practice and amongst our construction and developer clients. For this reason he leads our in-house Technical Review Group across both London and Winchester design studios that scrutinises technical compliance of all projects.


Mike is also the director in charge of Continuing Professional Development and Health & Safety. He lectures to construction professionals on procurement at LMU and has done TV work on the subject of education design.

Mike Skilton - Architecture PLB
Mike Skilton

Patrick, as a Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, has worked in a variety of fields, including housing, education, museum and commercial buildings. His involvement with designing for older people dates from 1997, and he now runs a design workshop at PTE with Carl Vann, working on specialist projects from cohousing to dementia care. Patrick’s role as Head of Third Age Housing has included leading the consultant team on the HAPPI report.

Patrick Devlin - Pollard Thomas Edwards
Patrick Devlin
Paul Richardson - FaulknerBrowns

Paul joined the practice in 2005, becoming a Director in 2008 and a Partner in 2013. He has been involved in a wide variety of projects in the education, commercial and retail sectors from inception to completion of schemes, and currently leads FaulknerBrowns’ schools team.


He has consolidated this experience on several PFI and BSF schools programmes and was the key team leader on our successful bids for the Leeds, Tameside and Telford & Wrekin BSF projects.  Paul has demonstrated particular skills in managing multiple stakeholders, promoting educationally-led design and achieving innovative and cost effective solutions.


Paul is currently design team leader for a unique leisure and learning campus in Scarborough for 3,000 students, including the Scarborough University Technical College and Coventry University Scarborough Campus, as well as education design leader for the Beacon Of Light, a major events, sports and educational development for the charitable foundation of Sunderland Football Club.

Paul Richardson

Paula has worked in the housing and care environment for over 25 years specialising in housing management, service development, generating new business, development, commissioning, public sector policy change, business growth strategy and partnership solutions. Starting her career in residential care with Anchor before numerous roles at all levels with Sanctuary, Hanover and Housing 21then leading North Yorkshire County councils delivery and transformation of “Our Future Lives” policy to replace residential care with Extra care through regeneration, before joining Keepmoat in 2009.


She specialises in place shaping, master planning and creating solutions via public private sector partnerships. She has led the Yorkshire & Humber Housing Learning & Improvement Network since it started in 2004 and now supports the lead by chairing the Leadership set.


Paula is currently responsible for leading the Keepmoat’s Group strategy relating Retirement solutions through core business activity and influencing future business growth in new retirement products. She Facilitates partnerships with specialist housing with care providers and local authorities to deliver retirement solutions.

Paula Broadbent - Keepmoat
Paula Broadbent
Peter Blunt
Peter Blunt - Innovare Systems

As Managing Director, Pete is responsible for the overall leadership and management of Innovaré


Pete is hands on in project and operational support; focusing on how to bring value engineering opportunities for clients, as well as product development and process improvement.

Balancing strategic and operational priorities has allowed him to realise holistic benefits from change and improvements.


Originally from an automotive background (including Lotus Engineering and Jaguar Land Rover), Pete has worked in offsite construction for a number of years.

Initially through consultancy work, Pete has brought his experience of lean methodology and transparent processes to develop various construction products and services.


Pete was originally brought into Innovaré Systems to setup the manufacturing arm of the business, however quickly progressed to running the full delivery from pre-contract to final account; encompassing design, technical, production, commercial and installation.

Pete was made Managing Director of Innovaré Systems in October 2011.

Richard Daniels

Richard has worked in the Department for Education and the Education Funding Agency since 1987. He is a Chartered Engineer and Member of Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers.


He is responsible for producing Environmental Guidelines for the Design of Schools.

Richard Daniels - Education Funding Agency
Rob Sprunt - Sprunt

Robert Sprunt is the Executive Chairman of Sprunt, architects and urban designers who specialize in urban regeneration.


Before founding Sprunt in 1988, Robert was Director of Development for the London Borough of Brent where he was responsible for the Authority's architectural, planning, engineering, valuation and economic development services.


Since founding Sprunt, Robert has delivered some of the most high profile and complex urban regeneration projects in London as well as combining Education and Health as part of community regeneration. 

Rob Sprunt
Sara Waller - Cornerstone

Sara Waller is a Director at Cornerstone, where she is leading work to progress the redevelopment of school land to deliver public value.


Prior to joining Cornerstone, Sara was Head of Regeneration South for the London Borough of Southwark, where she was responsible for the successful restructuring and reinvigoration of the Aylesbury Regeneration Programme (28.5ha, 4,500 new homes, 7,500 existing residents), following withdrawal of government funding and collapse of delivery confidence.


She was also the Southwark Project Director for Building Schools for the Future, which was identified as national best practice and delivered exemplary value for money. The programme involved an ambitious reorganisation of the secondary school estate, identifying and bringing new sites into education use, optimising the use of existing sites and releasing others, to ensure an overall programme which facilitated improved service outcomes, while also being affordable and deliverable.


Before joining Southwark, Sara led the Project Preparation Committee at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). She was responsible for brokering partnerships between donor agencies, international financial institutions and individual countries to deliver municipal infrastructure projects. Sara trained as a civil, structural and environmental engineer, and acted as an advisor to the World Bank and other major international clients. Sara started her career at Arup.

Sara Weller
Shane Cryer - Saint-Gobain Ecophon

Shane Cryer manages the education sector in the UK and Ireland for Swedish acoustic experts, Ecophon. After a career in the construction industry, having studied building and property surveying, he now concentrates on building acoustics. Working closely with organisations such as The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) and the RIBA, Shane has been promoting the new BB93: Acoustic Design of Schools standard via CPD seminars, conferences and articles in the trade press. Shane also manages several acoustic research projects around the UK.

Shane Cryer
Dr Sharon Wright - Creative Wit

Sharon has worked on school capital projects since 2002, acting as an Education Adviser to both clients and contractors.  She has particular expertise in brief development, design review and evaluation, and has worked on all forms of procurement across primary, secondary and special schools.  She has written and spoken about educational design in the UK and internationally and is co-editor and author of the recent book ‘Future Schools : Innovative Design for Existing and New Buildings’. 


She started her career in the civil service working on education and employment policy and was a Fellow in Organisational Development at OPM before becoming Managing Director of School Works, a not for profit company which promoted good school design through user involvement.


Sharon is a Doctor in Education from King’s College London and a Trustee of a new Free School in West London.

Dr Sharon Wright
Simon Parham - Osborne

Simon is director at Osborne Construction responsible for all preconstruction activities, including business development, key account management and bidding. He joined Osborne in early 2014, having previously worked for 33 years for an international contractor. He started his management career working on the iconic Lloyd’s building in London, subsequently working as project manager on a range of high profile hotel and commercial schemes. He was part of a core team establishing a successful London fitout business, and was latterly director responsible for the Central London construction unit employing 150 management staff.


Simon lives in South London. Outside work he enjoys travel, quizzes, restaurants, watching and reading about cricket, and playing golf.

Simon Parham
Steve Howe - University of Arts

Steve is a property professional with nearly 40 years experience in establishing estates strategy, delivering major capital projects and operating estates. Prior to entering the Higher Education sector he worked in project managing the design and construction of major commercial projects across London.


As Director of Estates at The University of the Arts London he is currently responsible for running and developing an estate spread over 15 academic sites that serves 18,500 students including catering, retail and accommodation operations. Steve recently completed 8 years as Director of Estates Projects at Imperial College London where he successfully delivered £0.75bn of world class scientific teaching and research facilities.

Steve Howe
Susan Anderton - thebrandmarquee

Susan is an experienced marketer with over 25 years in a range of sectors including Construction. Over the past 15 years Susan has worked with main contractors, architects, engineers and project managers to improve their win work capability as well as raising the profile of their brands.  For 5 years Susan was a main board director of Sprunt architects.


She has coached, trained and mentored professionals in construction at all levels to develop their personal presentation skills, tender interview techniques and their approach to networking.


Susan is managing director of TheBrandMarquee, a brand and communications agency working with organisations and individuals to bring out the strengths of a business, its people and the brand as a whole.


Susan works as a consulting director (head of corporate development) to building services engineers PinnacleESP. She is also a non-executive director for LVC an innovative digital design company based in Hampshire.

Susan Anderton
Suzanne Boon - Starfish CST

Suzanne is a Canadian who came to the University of St. Andrews (MA Economics and International Relations) for her studies in 1992.  She studied at the University of Hong Kong (1997-98) as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.  And then, she worked as a Commercial Property Solicitor in London (2000-2008).


Suzanne has set up The Carer Support Team.  Her youngest child, Annie, was admitted frequently to Watford General's Starfish Children's Ward and she saw a pressing need for the services of the Team.  With support from her daughter’s consultant (Dr Amanda Equi) and the Matron for Children’s Services (Becky Platt), she obtained start up funding from the Hertfordshire Community Foundation and she carefully recruited volunteers.


Suzanne is passionate about the NHS and engaging the community with their local hospital.  The Team embodies community support for the Ward and its staff – the volunteers commit their time while other individuals and businesses in the community commit their finances to support the Team.  MBS Contracting Services’ sponsorship of the Team will make a real difference to carers, patients and staff on the Starfish Children’s Ward. 


Suzanne Boon
bottom of page