Author Archives: Lorna Renton

Research study commissioned on the Community Learning and Development Workforce

Working with Scotland’s Communities: Community Learning and Development Workforce Study 2018-19

The CLD Standards Council for Scotland and Education Scotland have commissioned a new research study on the current size and make-up of the community learning and development workforce across all sectors.

In 2015, Education Scotland and partners carried out the Working with Scotland’s Communities survey. This was the first national study of the community learning and development (CLD) workforce in Scotland in over 5 years. Around 300 different organisations responded and the findings indicated that there were at least 7,400 CLD practitioners employed in a wide range of diverse roles across the public and voluntary sectors in Scotland; and more than 40,000 people volunteering in CLD-related roles at that time. Education Scotland made a commitment to continue to update information on the CLD workforce on a regular basis.

CLD Standards Council and Education Scotland have now jointly commissioned independent research and consultancy company, Rocket Science, to carry out a new Working with Scotland’s Communities study to find out:

  • Who is working and volunteering in CLD-related roles in 2018
  • Where are they; what do they do; and what challenges do they face
  • What is the demand for practitioners with CLD skills and are there enough practitioners to meet that demand

The intended outcome of the study is to provide up to date workforce data that will help to inform CLD policy and planning at a local authority, regional and national level.

Rocket Science will be engaging with the CLD sector over the coming weeks to scope the project and seek advice from key stakeholders. They will then conduct field research using online surveys and interviews to gather information from:

  • CLD practitioners
  • CLD employers
  • Organisations that work in partnership with CLD providers

We want as a wide a range of practitioners and organisations to participate – and we know that you don’t have to have ‘CLD’ in your job title or in the name of your organisation to be doing
great CLD work – so please spread the attached flyer about this study across your organisations and networks and look out for more details over the coming weeks.

Download: CLD Workforce Study Leaflet

SCDC Statement of Support for the CLD Standards Council on the Education (Scotland) Bill

The  Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) has issued a statement of support for the CLD Standards Council regarding the current Education Governance Review.

SCDC is a highly regarded organisation that plays a leading role in promoting community development in Scotland.

This timely piece is informative and clearly outlines the importance of the CLD Standards Council and CLD professionals in improving outcomes for communities and learners.

View the SCDC Statement of support

IACD World Community Development Conference 2018

The World Community Development Conference 2018, is being held in Ireland on 24-27 July 2018.

Information here: and to register go to

The Standards Council has been collaborating with the organisers of the conference, the International Association for Community Development (IACD) on their project “towards international standards for community development”-

The Standards will be launched at the conference.

And…next year’s World Community Development Conference will be held in Dundee, with the City Council as host: .

CLD Standards Council members to the fore in planning for the 2019 event!

A new Volunteering in CLD theme added to i-develop

The new theme covers support for organisations and practitioners who deploy volunteers and advice for the volunteers themselves.

View on i-develop: Volunteering in CLD

We know from “working with Scotland’s Communities – CLD Workforce Survey 2015” that at least 40,000 CLD volunteers across Scotland are helping adult learners get back into work, supporting newcomers to our country to learn English, building the confidence of community members to make a difference in their neighbourhoods, changing the lives of young people through youth work activities and much more.

By developing this theme, we aim to help support volunteers to be confident CLD practitioners, making sure they have the opportunities we all need to develop our skills and practice.

We also hope it will encourage CLD volunteers to become members by raising awareness of what CLDSC already offers volunteers and exploring how this can be developed and improved.

The advice on deploying volunteers includes sections on –

  • Volunteer policies;
  • recruitment, selection and induction;
  • supporting volunteers in practice;
  • Professional Learning
  • Valuing and celebrating the impact of CLD volunteers.

You can join a specific discussion forum for volunteering matters and we would welcome contributions and comments.

This new theme is being supported and developed by Maggie Paterson who is volunteering with the CLD Standards Council.

Conference workshops announced

Conference – 29 March 2018

Location: Dundee
Venue : Westpark Conference Centre –
Time: Registration from 9am, Conference programme 9:30 till 4pm

Conference theme:

Our conference this year is focussing on Professional Learning with the key aim being for members to participate in interactive workshops covering a spectrum of CLD activity. The day will be all about learning from each other, sharing good practice and trying out something new!

Conference Workshops :

There will be 3 workshop sessions across the course of the day, with 14 or 15 different workshops in each session for confernce delegates to select from.  Some workshops are offered in multiple sessions.

Details of workshops on offer are available to download below or on our conference pages on i-develop.

Download: Conference Workshop details

You can select your choices using the link sent on your conference delegate confirmation email. Please make your selection by the 21st March.

Places are limited so don’t delay, book today !

Registering to attend the conference:

Registration closed on Friday 23 March.

Scottish Parliament Inquiry into poverty and attainment – CLD views needed!

The Education and Skills Committee of the Scottish Parliament is holding an inquiry into Attainment and achievement of school aged children experiencing poverty.

The scope of the enquiry extends beyond what happens in schools: “We want to hear from those with practical experience who can tell us from personal experience what needs to change. If you are a parent/guardian/carer, a young person, a teacher or other school staff or someone who works with young people and/or families who experience poverty, the Committee wants to hear from you”.

This is a great opportunity to widen the debate about education reform and show why all aspects of CLD have vital parts to play in raising achievement – make sure you get your comments to the Committee by 22 March.

The Standards Council will be responding and would welcome your input – let us know your views email:

Find out more on the Scottish Parliament website:

CLD Standards Council submits response to Empowering Schools consultation

30 January 2018

This response sets out the views of the CLD Standards Council Scotland in respect of the Scottish Government’s document “Empowering Schools: A Consultation on the Provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill”. It has been produced as a result of extensive professional discussions with approximately 500 CLD practitioners across Scotland.

Download: Consultation response January 2018

Further information and analysis of our consultation process can be found on our Governance Review page.

Christmas message from Marion Allison

All I want for Christmas is … CLD

December equals Christmas songs, right? Well that’s generally the idea, although many shops and radio stations start playing festive tunes in November.  Over recent weeks, songs of Christmas past ask us to think about what we have done over the last year. As team CLD Standards Council reflect on 2017 we are amazed at the achievements and progression of our organisation.

This year, the profile of the CLD Standards Council has been transformed, led by a growing membership and its active engagement in our work. From the Annual Conference, the publication of the “Influencing Change: CLD in Scotland” book, the refreshed code of ethics and improved marketing, communication and business planning it has  been a busy year. Funded by the CLD Standards Council, members new and old attended a range of professional learning events organised by the CLD regional networks, with people engaging with our new website and professional discussions on i-develop and Twitter.  Importantly, the CLD practice placement guidelines were endorsed by CLD employers, universities and colleges and are now being used to support our students and placement providers. Our reach has also continued to grow internationally.  We were delighted to host visitors from Japan, Portugal and partner with YouthLink Scotland to welcome academics from a number of European universities who wanted to learn about CLD: youth work professional training routes.

Increasing member participation prompted the need to revise the CLD Standard Council’s governance arrangements, which led by the Executive Committee, has been continuing for the past two years. However, this work has been substantially redirected to take account of proposals in the Education Governance Review for the CLD Standards Council to become part of a new Education Workforce Council.  The CLD Standards Council has  engaged positively with the opportunities offered by the Review. Over the last few months we have undertaken substantial engagement with stakeholders, Civil Servants and government ministers to ensure that our Members views are upfront and central. In this respect, the general mood amongst Members appears to be one of cautious optimism.  Your views and involvement continue to be vital so remember to participate in the Empowering Schools consultation review.  A CLD perspective of the key questions is available on our website to support Members in gathering their responses.

So for 2018 I’m looking forward to a visible and enhanced role for CLD. Progressing the work and ideas from 2017 such as the National Improvement Framework, Regional Improvement Collaboratives, Community Empowerment and local CLD plans call upon the CLD sector to play a leading role.  It also re-emphasises the need to develop a skilled, respected CLD workforce with CLD ethics being central to negotiating the route ahead.

So, on behalf of Ashley and the team I would like to thank you all for your continued support and contributions to the game-changing profession that is CLD. Your commitment and approach to working with and for the young people and communities of Scotland to improve and change lives is what truly shines a light on possibilities and aspirations.  Here’s to a healthy, happy and fruitful 2018!

Christmas fun

Our CLD Standards Council Christmas night out involved going to a pantomime (oh, no it didn’t!) and as well as the dodgy jokes, innuendos and songs, we loved the community spirit behind the traditional audience song so much, we wanted to share it with you.

Merry Christmas !

CLD Standards Council Members Conference 2018

Registration now open

Conference – 29 March 2018

Location: Dundee
Venue : Westpark Conference Centre
Time: 9:30 till 4pm

Conference theme:

Our conference this year is focussing on Professional Learning with the key aim being for members to participate in interactive workshops covering a spectrum of CLD activity.  The day will be all about learning from each other, sharing good practice and trying out something new!

Register to attend:

Registration closed on Friday 23 March.

Get involved in a workshop :

Members were invited to showcase a piece of work they are involved in by facilitating a workshop.  Thank you to everyone who submitted a workshop proposal.

Details of workshops on offer are available to download below or on our conference pages on i-develop.

Download: Conference Workshop details

Practitioner spotlight: Dollywood Foundation UK Regional Director

The first practitioner to be highlighted in the new #becauseofCLD practitioner spotlight is Kirsteen Watson, Regional Director of Dollywood Foundation UK which helps communities, across the UK, replicate Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL); a monthly book gifting programme for children aged 0-5.

Kirsteen Watson Regional Director of Dollywood Foundation UK

What’s your current role?

Regional Director for the Dollywood Foundation UK

Where did you begin your #becauseofCLD journey?

I volunteered at my local Youth Club; Tyrie Youth Club/Aberdeenshire (1992-94) so it’s always been there (in my heart) but my journey didn’t really begin until The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award employed me as an Admin/Communications Officer (2001).  It was there that I truly caught the ‘youth work’ bug.  I got tired of sitting behind a desk administering/writing about the youth work and wanted to get more involved in delivery.  That’s when I applied for a job as a Trainee Development Worker, with Youthlink Scotland, via their Route 98 programme.  They supported me to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Education (Distance Learning) at the University of Dundee while I helped YouthBank UK expand across Scotland.

What are the key CLD values and principles that have been your anchor in your various posts?

  • Self-determination; my belief is that an individual cannot be truly happy until they realise their own potential.  Once they do, their own capacity for self-determination brings about all sorts of change in their life and ultimately control.  I always try to place individuals and communities that I work with at the centre of my work, listen to their views and adapt my practice to suit.
  • Empowerment; I try to make sure that individuals and groups involved in projects are valued stakeholders whose voices are listened to and acted upon through individual and/or collaborative action.  I work hard to be inclusive and involve the wider community as much as I can.

If you had to pick one of the Ethics, which would it be and why?

Self-care; this hasn’t always been at the top of my list on my mission to change the world and make a difference to people’s lives.  I’ve often put others needs before my own in the past.  However, through developing my own self-awareness I’ve learned to be kinder to myself.  This has involved taking responsibility for my own health and well-being and being clear on when I need help or advice.

How do you make time for professional development and who supports you in this?

I’m committed to lifelong learning so I’m always looking for inspiration.  It can be busy when I’m running full steam ahead at work, however, I usually make time to find inspiration from something as little as a motivational quote, on twitter for example, during a coffee break or while I’m travelling between meetings.  These often lead me to lengthier articles which I read travelling home on the train, especially if it’s a long journey.  I also like to listen to podcasts while I’m travelling or Ted Talks and have downloaded the app, so that I can save my favourite talks and listen to them again later.  When I’m working from home, I often read in the morning over breakfast and during lunch; I read for pleasure and professional development in my own time.

As I’ve become more self-aware and more caring towards myself, I’ve sought out professional development learning opportunities at work and personally.  I am a reflective learner and try to use my knowledge and understanding to better serve the people and communities that I work with.  I am not precious about my work and share learning with colleagues, other practitioners and stakeholders.

Describe CLD in one word.


What’s the best thing that’s happened this month?

I’ve attended some fabulous meetings with many fantastic people/agencies this last month, so this is a hard one!  Given that this is about CLD work in Scotland, then I’d have to say it’s been meeting with folks at Scottish Book Trust (SBT) to look at how we can grow the partnership that we’ve had with them for 7 years; working on the Scotland Looked After Children Programme which gifts DPIL books to all of Scotland’s under 5s children who are in care with help from every local authority across Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government.  I’ve also introduced SBT to Beanstalk; our national partner in England to look at potential collaboration in Scotland. This is on the back of a People’s Postcode Lottery funded early years programme ‘Story Starters’ that we’re delivering together across England from Sept. this year.

If you would like to be in the spotlight – get in touch !