Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advanced Learning Recovery Group


This group is no longer active. It met for the first time, in line with the agreed terms of reference, on 28 May 2021 and held its final meeting on 4 October 2022.

A group to help develop guidance on the operation of colleges, universities and community learning and development (CLD) providers for academic year 2021/22.

The group will:

  • bring together decision makers and key influencers to ensure the delivery of the work set out in paragraphs 1 to 6 of the terms of reference

  • provide leadership and advice to ministers in developing their strategic approach, through considering advice from the Covid-19 Advisory Sub-Group on Universities and Colleges

  • work across organisational and structural boundaries to support the response and recovery efforts

  • be a forum for frank and open discussion about what is working, and what and where improvement is required

The group is expected to meet biweekly (for 60 to 90 minutes) in the first instance. It will be chaired by the Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training. Minutes of group meetings will be published on this page.


  • Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training (Chair)
  • Shona Struthers (Chief Executive, Colleges Scotland)
  • Liz Connolly (Principal, West College Scotland) / Audrey Cumberford (Principal, Edinburgh College) / Paul Little (Principal, City of Glasgow College) / Lydia Rohmer (Principal, West Highland College)
  • Alastair Sim (Director, Universities Scotland)
  • Sally Mapstone (Principal, University of St Andrews University) / Nigel Seaton (Principal, Abertay University) / Sir Gerry McCormac (Principal, University of Stirling) / Sir Paul Grice (Principal, Queen Margaret University)
  • Mary Senior (Scotland Official, UCU)
  • Alison MacLean (Regional Officer, Unite Scotland)
  • David Belsey (Assistant Secretary, EIS)
  • John Gallacher (Scottish Organiser (Further Education Lead), Unison)/Lorcan Mullen (Unison)
  • Matt Crilly (President, NUS Scotland)
  • Fiona Robertson (Chief Executive, Scottish Qualifications Authority)
  • Karen Watt (Chief Executive, Scottish Funding Council)
  • Lauren McNamara (Interim Chief Executive, Student Awards Agency Scotland)
  • Neville Prentice (Senior Director, Service Development and Delivery, Skills Development Scotland)
  • Alan Sherry (Chair, Community Learning and Development Standards Council)
  • Alastair Delaney (Director for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, QAA)
  • Katherine Peskett/Stephen Pathirana (Director of Advanced Learning & Science, Scottish Government)
  • Craig Robertson (Deputy Director – Covid Response & Recovery, Scottish Government)
  • Linda Pooley (Deputy Director of Colleges, Young Workforce and SFC Sponsorship Division, Scottish Government)
  • Roddy Macdonald (Deputy Director of Higher Education and Science Division, Scottish Government)
  • Will Quinn (Advanced Learning Covid Recovery Group Lead, Scottish Government – secretariat)


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