Author Archives: Lorna Renton

CLDSC Member Bulletin – 14 July 2021

Virtual Meet Up – Practice Placements Thursday 29 July 1-2:30pm

Provision of practice placements for CLD students is an expectation within the CLD Plans guidance. Come along to our Virtual Meet-up to find out more about the benefits for your organisation and CLD students as well as what support CLDSC can offer. Register for the Meet up on Eventbrite.

Career Pathways Member survey

Thanks to everyone who took time to complete the Career Pathways member survey last month. We’re currently analysing the results and will provide full feedback soon.
Meantime, here are a few key stats from the findings so far:

  • 122 CLD practitioners completed the survey
  • 85% stated the joined CLD Standards Council because they identify as a CLD practitioner; 83% joined because it supports the recognition of CLD as a profession.
  • 77% or respondents have faced barriers in undertaking study to further their CLD career.
  • 74% are interested in undertaking accredited CLD professional learning in future.

What kind of World do we want to live in?

Tayside and Fife CLD Professional Learning Alliance organised a 2 day virtual conference in April 2021. The aim of the conference was to refresh, revitalise and refocus the CLD workforce after a very challenging year during the Covid crisis. The output from the conference was captured and is available to view on i-develop.

Scottish Government’s Volunteering Support Fund

The £3.3 million Fund is now open for applications and will be delivered on Scottish Government’s behalf by Impact Funding Partners over the next 3 years. Organisations can apply for up to £30,000 to March 2024.
The fund is geared towards organisations in Scotland with an annual income of under £250,000. It will enable Scotland’s small to medium sized third sector organisations to recruit additional volunteers who will contribute towards delivering a new volunteering project, or extending/expanding an existing one, and improve how volunteers are supported in their role.

The fund will support organisations to deliver on four key outcomes:

  • Increase diversity in the third sector’s volunteer pool, to particularly include people who experience disadvantage or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering
  • Improve governance, leadership and financial knowledge of organisations through the recruitment of skilled volunteers to enhance the third sector’s capacity
  • Improve organisational capacity to provide opportunities for skills and personal development through volunteering
  • Enhance services delivered by organisations to better meet the needs of the communities they serve

A full overview of the fund plus information on how to apply can be found on Impact Funding Partners website.

Scottish Learning Festival 21-23 September 2021 – online

SLF is an entirely virtual event this year and the website is now live: SLF 2021 – Scottish Learning Festival There will be a range of live and recorded sessions; an exhibition area and networking opportunities. The conference programme is being developed and the website will be updated. You can also sign up for the regular e-bulletin ‘The Delegate’ for all the latest information and news about SLF 2021.

CLD Summer Programmes

It’s mid-July and CLD summer activities and programmes are well underway with adult learners, young people and community groups. Please link us in to your work by tweeting – tag us on @cldstandards and use the hashtag #BecauseOfCLD. We love seeing the amazing practice being undertaken in communities across Scotland and want to share it widely.

Time for You – mental health and wellbeing support

In between all the summer provision, don’t forget to take time out for you. If you want to access free mental health and wellbeing support, SAMH is providing the Time for You service for frontline workers in Scotland. There are three levels of support to choose from, ranging from online self-help to one-to-one therapy. You can find more information on the SAMH website.

CLDSC Member Bulletin – 7 July 2021

Draft Adult Learning Strategy Scotland

Thanks to Members who were able to attend last week’s Members’ Meet Up to discuss the Draft Adult Learning Strategy Scotland. The key themes discussed included:

  • Expanding and Extending Adult Learning,
  • Connecting the Adult Learning Journey
  • Communication
  • Access and Inclusion
  • Workforce Development

The CLDSC consultation response has now been sent to Scottish Government and we look forward to the next stages in strategy development. Response is available on the CLDSC website.

Practice placements for CLD Students

Are you involved in developing the 3 year plans for your CLD Partnership and wondering about how you will meet the expectation to provide practice placements for CLD students? Come along to our Virtual Meet-up on Thursday 29 July from 1-2:30 pm to find out more about the benefits for your organisation as well as for the students and how to go about it. If you are interested in becoming a placement supervisor and supporting your organisation to take a placement then this is for you too. Register for the Meet-up on Eventbrite.

World Educational Research Association (WERA)

Our Director, Dr Marion Allison is delighted to be presenting at this year’s WERA conference as part of the Closing the Gap: Communities and Schools in Partnership symposium. Professor Margery McMahon (University of Glasgow) will present Communities and their schools – reconceptualising school leadership with Alison Mitchell (Rosshall Academy / University of Glasgow) then sharing her experience of Networking with Community Learning and Development: a school’s perspective. Dr. Louise Sheridan (University of Glasgow) and Marion will conclude by illustrating The role of CLD Standards in Transformative Education – Within and Outside School Walls. Papers and presentation will be available shortly.

CLD Standards Council: Equalities Reference Group

The CLDSC Equalities Reference Group (ERG) was established by Members to create, improve and implement equalities and inclusion practices and processes that enhance the our professional values and principles. Furthermore, the group will also consider longer term matters for equalities and inclusion in relation to CLD professional practice in Scotland, including but not limited to professional learning, identity, recruitment, mobilisation and sustainability. To get involved and have your say please feel free to comment on our Miro board.

Connecting Scotland, closing the digital divide

Connecting Scotland has launched a third round of applications. The programme provides a device, data, training and support to digitally excluded, low income households. This new round aims to support individuals seeking employment or developing skills for employment opportunities.
To date the Connecting Scotland programme has supported over 36,000 households, including:

  • 17,289 families with children
  • 8,061 isolating and high vulnerability group
  • 4,120 young care leavers
  • 4,899 older and disabled people
  • 1,695 other vulnerabilities

SQA – SVQ Consultation

SQA Accreditation is carrying out a piece of evidence-based research into Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). These were first introduced in 1990 and the design rules have not changed much since then. They are looking to see whether the brand needs to be refreshed to ensure that the qualifications remain fit for purpose.
They would like to hear the employers’ views of SVQs. So, if you are an employer and based in Scotland then please contact the Information and Research Manager at

Online learning opportunities

From the SCQF –

My Skills, My Future Online Workshop Tues 24 August 2021, 10:00am – 15:00pm
An interactive online workshop (split over a morning and afternoon session) for those wishing to use the ‘My Skills, My Future’ suite of resources to support individuals in identifying the skills they have gained from other experiences outwith formal qualifications.
Register for the My Skills, My Future workshop

Would You Credit It? Online Workshop Thur 02 Sept 2021, 10:00am – 16:00pm
This workshop (split over a morning and afternoon session) will introduce participants in some detail to the SCQF and the criteria which will determine whether a learning programme is suitable for Credit Rating.
Register for the Would you credit it workshop

Introduction to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Online Workshop Tues 14 September 2021, 10:00am – 12:30pm
An online taster session for learners and practitioners looking for a basic introduction to RPL processes and practice. This will provide an ideal overview for those with no prior knowledge of RPL.
Register for the Introduction to RPL workshop

From SAMH – Time for You

SAMH is providing a new, free service which frontline workers can access right now!
The Time for You service offers instant access to free mental health and wellbeing support for frontline workers in Scotland. There are three levels of support to choose from, ranging from online self-help to one-to-one therapy. You can find more information on the SAMH Time for You webpage.

From Salvesen Mindroom Centre

Train the Trainer – Introduction to supporting neurodivergent children and young people Thursday 22 July 10:00am – 2:00pm
Find out how you can begin to support neurodivergent children and young people, and how to share your knowledge with others.
Join the virtual workshop to raise understanding of, and improve support for, neurodivergent children and young people who may experience learning difficulties and their families.
Learn how the short films about Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, DCD, and Tourette Syndrome can be used to expand your own knowledge and understanding of neurodiversity in a way that you can share. This course includes all training materials, follow up support and resources.
Cost: £40.00 Contact:
Booking the Train the trainer session on Eventbrite

CLDSC Member Bulletin – 14 April 2021

Wellbeing Sessions with Dr Karen Edge

The initial well-being, COVID-19 and leadership session was very well received.

That was a great session. Loving the relevant, practical development opportunities. Thank you for putting them on.

Quote from participant

The following three sessions are available for all CLDSC Members, aiming to encourage you to pause, reflect and plan the next steps in your personal and professional CLD journey.

Pause and Reflect Thurs 22nd April 2021 4pm – 6pm Book Pause and Reflect session
Care and Wellbeing Thurs 13th May 2021 4pm – 6pm Book Care and Wellbeing session
Next Steps Thurs 20th May 2021 4pm – 6pm Book Next Steps session

Virtual Member Meet Up

The next members’ meet-up will be at 13.00 on Tuesday 27th April. This meet-up will allow us to spend some time thinking about some of the key aspects of reflective practice, particularly around evidencing the impact of our work through the use of case studies. You can sign up for the Meet-up on Eventbrite.

Project funding for work with refugees – save the date of information session, Tuesday 4th May, 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

The New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project is a new programme supported by the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. £2.8 million is available for new projects spreading documented good practices and supporting innovation related to the New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy.

A number of the funding topics have a clear CLD focus, for example: “Projects improving access to and availability of appropriate language and literacies learning and practice which build refugees’ social connections”; and “Projects to enable the creation, development and participation of refugee-led community organisations”.

There are three levels of funding: small grant – up to £5,000; medium grant – £5,001 – £25,000; large grant – £25,001 – £115,000.

A wide range of organisations can apply, including Community Groups, Local Authorities, Public Bodies, and Social Enterprises. We are arranging an information session with Jewels Lang, Communities Manager at the Scottish Refugee Council, for CLDSC members on Tuesday 4th May, 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. – save the date and look out for booking details next week.

Jewels says: “This project presents an amazing opportunity to consolidate best practice and introduce innovative services across the full range of the New Scots Integration Strategy. The potential is there to make a real step change in refugee integration services to the benefit of refugees across Scotland.”

The closing date for applications is 22nd May; for more information and details of how to apply, see the Scottish Government website.

Children’s Human Rights, and CLD – Webinar Video

Following the vote by MSPs to make children’s human rights (as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) law in Scotland, the Children’s Parliament hosted a webinar about Children’s Human Rights and CLD. The aim of this event was to bring together experts in children’s human rights and CLD to consider, at this opportune moment, how we can draw connections between these two important fields of theory and practice.
Our own Dr Marion Allison was part of the panel discussion and you can watch the recording of the webinar on the Children’s parliament website.

You might also like to attend the Children in Scotland webinar on The Teenage Brain: implications for behaviour and learning – Thursday 22 April, 10.30am-12pm. This webinar will focus on the adolescent brain/how it develops. Key learning will include: – The impact of stress chemicals on behaviour and learning.
You can find more details and book your place on the Children in Scotland site. (Note there is a charge of £37.66 for this session).

Education Scotland CLD webinar: Family Learning inspection report, key messages and challenges

Taking place on 7 May 2021 from 2pm – 3pm, this webinar will explore the key messages from the national review of Family Learning that took place in early 2020. It will focus on the strengths and areas for development identified during the review and will explore lessons for practice post-Covid 19. There will be an input from HMIE and practitioners involved in the delivery of Family Learning. There will also be an opportunity for discussion.

Book your place on the webinar on Eventbrite.

HM Inspector of Education vacancies

Education Scotland are currently seeking applications for two HM Inspector of Education posts with a background in:
• Tertiary education (including colleges and work-based learning)
• Community Learning and Development (CLD).

Full application details are on the Work for Scotland website

The main purpose of the HM Inspector of Education role is to bring about improvement in standards and quality in education through external evaluative activities, identifying and disseminating highly-effective practice and building capacity to support continuous improvement. HM Inspectors of Education undertake a programme of scrutiny, including inspections across all education sectors. Please note: This role requires a significant amount of travel and staying and working away from home as Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education are required to undertake scrutiny and inspection activity across all areas of Scotland.

Local Place Plans

The Scottish Government is developing detailed proposals for Local Place Plans (LPPs), introduced by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 and intended to “offer the opportunity for a community led, but collaborative, approach to creating great local places”.
The Government is currently consulting on proposals for regulations which will cover the LPPs content, preparation, submission and registration; and on a draft ‘How to’ Guide (PDF) for community organisations (which the CLDSC has contributed to).
The deadline for responses on the proposed regulations is 25 June, with engagement activities taking place after 6 May. Development of the How to is continuing; comments on to, preferably also by 25 June.

Guidance for CLD students and programme providers for academic year 2020/21

Please see the following advice from the CLD Standards Council Scotland (CLDSC) in response to the disruption to delivery of CLDSC approved programmes caused by the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. Due to these exceptional and rapidly changing circumstances, this guidance is intended to manage and minimise disruption to CLD students attending Scottish Further Education Institutions (FEIs) and Higher Education institutions (HEIs) whilst seeking to ensure that the quality of CLD learning programmes is not compromised.

This is the guidance updated as of March 2021

CLDSC Member Bulletin – 10 February 2021

COVID-19 Further and Higher Education Ministerial Task Force: CLD Students

Our Director, Dr Marion Allison will be representing the CLD Standards Council on the recently established Ministerial Task Force.  This group was established by Mr Richard Lochhead, the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science to address the immediate challenges in this academic year and then consider longer term consequences for students completing their qualifications on business and the economy, for example, completing their qualifications, practice placements and the future pipeline of suitably qualified CLD practitioners.

Members’ Virtual Meet-up, 26 February

The next Virtual meet-up is on February 26th, 1 – 2 p.m. We’ll be talking about climate change, the Scottish Government’s draft strategy for public engagement on this, and what the role of CLD is, can and should be. Under the strategic objective of “Enabling Participation in Policy Design” the strategy’s aim is that “People actively participate in shaping fair and inclusive policies that encourage adaptation to and mitigation of climate change”. Is this part of what you currently do? Do you think you should be more involved? Do you need support for this?

Register to attend the meet-up on Eventbrite and come along to share experiences and ideas about CLD practice and climate change.

Youth Work Research Reports

Further to the Impact of Universal Youth Work national study report published in 2018, a series of studies have been conducted aiming to add to the evidence base.  You can find out more on the YouthLink website.   The latest study focused on the impact of LGBT Youth Scotland’s digital youth work on young people during lockdown.  Read the LGBT Youth Scotland report (PDF).

Collaborative Research Inquiry Opportunity

A partnership between the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth & Community Work (TAGPALYCW) the Open University, University of Glasgow and the University of Hull is launching an inquiry running from now until June 2022. 

The aims of the project are twofold:

  1. Firstly, it will examine and capture the experiences of lecturers teaching on youth and community work programmes during the current pandemic, the issues and challenges that COVID is presenting, and how they are creatively addressing these challenges. 
  2. Secondly, the research will look forward to the future post-pandemic (whenever that might be). In a context of great uncertainty, it will explore what the future might look like for youth and community work and youth and community work programmes? Ask whether the pandemic will lead to longer term change in learning and teaching methodologies – including opportunities for learning through collaboration? And, investigate how students can be prepared for working with young people and communities; and for navigating practice in the society that emerges post-COVID? 

If you are interested in participating, there is more information on the TAGPALYCW website and you can email: to express your interest by Friday 19th February. All participants will then be contacted with a full participant briefing pack, submission instructions and invitations to the enquiry sessions.

The inaugural SCQF Week and March workshops announced

SCQF Week from 15-19 March needs your support! Join in by sharing your own achievements and the SCQF Level of your learning. 

SCQF are delighted to announce the very first SCQF Week taking place from 15 – 19 March 2021. The event intends to highlight the important part the SCQF plays in the learner journey. It will celebrate the achievements of individuals and showcase best practice in the use of the SCQF across a range of sectors, as well as raise awareness of the SCQFP’s latest projects and developments amongst partners and stakeholders. Find full details on the SCQF website

To help SCQF find and share any posts please tag @SCQFPartnership and use #RecognisingSkills and #RecogniseMySkills 

SCQF also have additional online workshop opportunities in March focusing on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).  For further details and how to Register for these please see this SCQF information page.

Shifting the Balance of Power

Research on “community power” during the pandemic, carried out by New Local for the Carnegie UK Trust, explores how councils and communities have worked together to do “extraordinary things during Covid-19”, how practices, cultures and attitudes changed – and how to keep hold of some of the advances for the future. The Shifting the Balance report presents real-life examples of where this approach has flourished, puts forward recommendations for councils, communities, and civil society groups to sustain partnership working and local decision-making, and encourages UK and devolved governments to make room for this to flourish.

News From Carnegie UK Trust February 2021 includes a wealth of other information relevant for CLD practitioners. 

Communications from Richard Lochhead on Erasmus

Richard Lochhead Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science has today issued 2 letters regarding the disappointing situation around the withdrawal from Erasmus.

One for Adult learning on the Withdrawal of Adult Education from Erasmus Replacement Scheme
Download: Letter to Adult Learning Partners(PDF)

And one for the Youth work on the UK Government’s Withdrawal from Erasmus and its Youth Work Element
Download: Letter to Youth Work Partners(PDF)

CLDSC Member Bulletin – 6 January 2021

Happy new year!

Happy New Year, everyone! 2021 may not have started as we would have wished, but our CLD family is filled with positivity, resilience and strength both for ourselves and the communities we work with. Let’s lean on each other when we need a boost and celebrate our successes to raise some smiles #BecauseOfCLD. We have a range of ways you can connect with your fellow CLD Standards Council Members:

Update to Scottish Government guidance for the community learning and development sector

Scottish Government have updated their guidance for the sector as of 5 January –
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the community learning and development sector

Changes have been made to the Overview and Using this Guidance sections to reflect latest position.

Warm Welcome to Barbara Nelson

The CLDSC team are delighted to announce that Barbara Nelson from Education Scotland’s Scrutiny Team will be working alongside us over the coming months. Barbara is currently appointed as an HMIe and has a background in the Further Education Sector. She is a long-time supporter of the CLD sector and will be working with the working groups and the Professional Learning and Approvals Committees. Please say hello to her at various events over the coming weeks.

Growing the young CLD workforce dissertation

Congratulations to Approvals Committee member Ceri Hunter on achieving her Masters in Education in Community Learning & Development. Ceri’s dissertation researches the rising concern in the decrease in the number of young people (those under the age of 35) entering the Community Learning and Development (CLD) undergraduate degree and the significant number of those who intend to leave or retire from the profession in the next five year. This work-based research project also sought to identify the influencing factors, which lead to a career in CLD and whether that knowledge would lead to an understanding of how to grow the young CLD workforce in Scotland. View Ceri’s dissertation on i-develop.

Digital Strategy for Scotland

The Scottish Government and COSLA are updating the Digital Strategy for Scotland originally developed in 2017, and published a draft for consultation.  View the CLD Standards Council’s response to the consultation.

Our response highlighted the opportunities for a digital strategy which supports lifelong learning and community development, and in particular, argued that the development of a common digital platform for the delivery of lifelong learning across all sectors and settings would have a major impact in improving inclusion in learning, digital upskilling and progression pathways. We emphasised that “leaving no-one behind” should be a guiding principle for the strategy.

Scottish Government guidance for Community Centres

Published 21 December 2020

View the Guidance on the Scottish Government site 

This national guidance aims to support community centres to re-open safely during COVID-19 in line with Scotland’s Strategic Framework. It balances the important role which community centres play with the need to avoid further community transmission. The Strategic Framework sets out five levels of protection which have different restrictions in place to best tackle the virus and protect people.

The guidance is for those managing community centres, village halls, and other community facilities and is primarily about how to reopen buildings as safely as possible.

However, it will also be relevant to those hiring or using a community centre to understand how to deliver services as safely as possible.

The guidance is aimed at ensuring that when a decision is taken to open a community centre that it can do so as safely as possible – it is not an instruction to open. It does not provide guidance for the wide range of activities that take place within a community centre. You should refer to the sector specific guidance for details on particular activities.

CLDSC Member Bulletin – 9 December 2020

CLD Plans Guidance 2021-2024 now available

Scottish Government has now published the guidance setting out expectations for education authorities and their partners when meeting duties in CLD planning for 2021-24 as per The Requirements for CLD (Scotland) Regulations 2013. There is an expectation that Community Learning and Development (CLD) plans will be informed by this guidance. The guidance is intended to reinforce the valuable contribution that the CLD sector is making to supporting learners and communities during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. It also takes into account the challenges that the sector is facing as a result of the pandemic and the impact this will have on CLD planning. You can view and download the guidance from the Scottish Government website.

Virtual Meet Up 17 December 2020 5-6pm

So, you might be looking at that date and thinking “I’m sure the next Virtual Meet Up was meant to be on 11th December?!” You’re right! Can’t possibly think how it slipped our mind (could it have been that pesky #CLDSCConf2020?!) Anyway, we’ve rescheduled for a post work (hopefully) slot so please join us with a mince pie and a mulled wine to connect and reflect on our year. There might even be a Christmas Quiz! Register for the meet up on Eventbrite.

Conference Evaluation

Thanks to everyone who came along to our first ever virtual Conference last week! We hope you found it useful and got a chance to ‘connect’ with colleagues. If you haven’t already, could you please take 5 minutes to complete the conference evaluation.

Review of SVQs in Youth Work Stakeholder Survey

We have had a very positive response to our SVQ Review survey; thanks to all of you who have contributed. To date, over 140 people have taken the time to offer their views, but we’d still like to hear from more people with knowledge of the field and the SVQs in Youth Work. The survey has been extended to Friday11 December 2020 to ensure that anyone who would still like to contribute can do so.

The survey only takes a few minutes, but we’re still keen to talk with people familiar with the awards, who can help us to develop a comprehensive view of how the revised qualifications can support the development of youth workers and youth work practice. If this is you, don’t be shy in coming forward to take part in an interview.

You can find the survey, which includes a space for you to volunteer to participate in a short interview on SmartSurvey.

CLD Practitioner event: Our World Our Impact. Tuesday 15th December at 1-2pm

This is an event organised by Education Scotland & Glasgow Science Centre to share and explore new resources on climate change. Glasgow Science Centre would like CLD Practitioners to shape future plans for resources which support CLD practice in relation to the needs and interests of communities for learners. Following their very generous offer of free resources, please support this event by attending or allowing a member of your team to come along. Register on Eventbrite for the event. To be held on Microsoft Teams by Glasgow Science Centre.

Participatory Budgeting in Schools: New Resource

PB Scotland have published a new resource, Evidence and Ideas: PB in Schools — PB Scotland which shows how participatory budgeting can help schools to play a central role in developing the life-skills, citizenship and confidence of young people, and looks at key success factors.

It highlights themes of:

  • Deepening democracy and participation in schools;
  • Addressing inequalities;
  • Strengthening school culture and increasing wider community involvement in the school; and
  • Developing student’s life skills;

It also provides case studies and resources for each theme.