CLDSC Member Bulletin – 08 December 2021

CLD Standards Council Scotland Members Conference
2nd and 3rd December 2021

Thank you to everyone who came along to our conference last week. We hope you found it useful and got a chance to ‘connect’ with colleagues. The aim of the conference was for members to understand and reflect on the implications of the Scottish Government’s 4 Harms Framework for the CLD Sector in COVID recovery

The pandemic is a health crisis, a social crisis and an economic crisis that is causing harm on an unprecedented scale. The Scottish Government’s approach has been to suppress the virus to a very low level (the first harm) while seeking to minimise the three broader harms. The four harms analysis is a key part of the Scottish Government’s Framework for Decision Making. 

Over 140 members registered to attend and accessed a professional learning opportunity to learn, share and discuss:

  • health and wellbeing, including CLD connections and motivation
  • CLD practice, including responses, planning and evaluation

The four harms were discussed in the context of the CLD sector and our challenges and required support.

1 – COVID-19 Health – direct        
2 – COVID-19 Health – indirect    
3 – Society        
4 – Economy

Check out our i-develop Conference page for conference information, recordings and inputs.  Please note you will need to use your member login to i-develop to access this.  If you have lost your login, please contact us at

Thursday 2nd December 2021

Our Chair, Mr Alan Sherry OBEopened the Conference, gratefully acknowledging the resilience, innovation and determination of CLD practitioners over the past year. He gave a brief overview of the work of CLDSC, thanking the membership, Committee members and the staff team for their contributions.

He outlined the objectives of this year’s conference as noted above and acknowledged that whilst many do not wish to go back to the old normal, he noted that there is no clear plan or vision of what the new normal includes. Alan noted that one aim of this year’s conference was to include members in the process of shaping and defining that new world.  

Mr Jamie Hepburn M.S.P, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education, Youth Employment and Training (portfolio responsibilities include CLD) recognised the vital role CLD plays, particularly in relation to COVID recovery and child poverty and education reform.  He assured CLDSC members that the support provided to some of the most vulnerable members and learners in communities has not gone unnoticed and was pleased to confirm the investment of £500,000 in digital learning to support CLD practitioners increase digital skills and knowledge.

Mr Hepburn reiterated the commitments made in the Programme for Government, such as the national adult learning and youth work strategies and the review of CLD regulations.  He affirmed his commitment to building a legacy and making an impact for CLD over the life time of the current parliamentary session.  

You can view Mr Hepburn’s input on i-develop

Our keynote speaker was Professor Linda Bauld O.B.E who gave an informative and insightful presentation outlining the current picture of the pandemic in Scotland and discussing the 4 Harms approach taken by Scottish Government in responding to the pandemic. Key points for CLD learners in relation to the impact of the wider harms include:

  • inconsistent access to facilities
  • varied application of COVID-19 advice and guidance
  • reduction in learner confidence and motivation regarding digital learning and returning to face to face in community settings
  • the needs of young people, learners and community groups with protected characteristics including poverty
  • young people being subjected to negative media messages regarding COVID-19

The Advanced Learning and Science COVID-19 Recovery Group (including colleges, universities and CLD) is considering an evidence paper on the impact of the wider harms. This will focus on harm to learners but also take into account the impact of the pandemic, and measures taken to address it, on staff. A key objective is to identify learning that could lead to recommendations for action, particularly for 2022.

You can access Professor Bauld’s slides and view the presentation on i-develop.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent connecting with colleagues in groups where Harm 1 – COVID Health (direct) and Harm 4 – Economy, were discussed. Contributions were collated onto Padlets. You can view the Padlets and you are invited to make any further contributions by Wednesday 15 December 2021.

Day 1 Twitter Highlights #CLDSCConf2021

“Thank you @AlanSherry1@marionacldsc and the fab @cldstandards team for a thought provoking day one #CLDSCConf2021 connecting with peers & stimulating inputs from @jamiehepburn and @LindaBauld.”

“Listening to Prof @LindaBauld at the @cldstandards conference talking about the relationship between structural inequalities and COVID-19 here in Scotland.”

“Enjoyed the break sessions @cldstandards conference this afternoon. Dedicated CLD practitioners discussing key issues facing the communities they serve and how to support colleagues during the pandemic.”

Friday 3rd December 2021

We picked up where we left off and after an overview of the previous day’s inputs, moved straight into groups to discuss Harm 2 – COVID Health (indirect) and Harm 3 – Society.  Have a look at the Padlets and remember to add anything to the discussions by Wednesday 15 December 2021.

The main focus of this session was health and wellbeing of CLD practitioners and we were guided through thinking about this by Dr Karen Edge (Reader, University College London). Karen helped us reflect on how we deal with life’s ‘Plot Twists’ and shared a range of observations, reflections, resources and tools. Karen reminded us that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and that pausing to reset is essential. She also helped us to understand our own definitions of rest and care. Karen’s final challenge to us was to think about how we can help ourselves to flourish in 2022.

The slides and resources Karen shared will be on i-develop soon.

Day 2 Twitter Highlight #CLDSCConf2021

Great way to end a week at CLD Standards Council Conference. Good discussion on recovery and connections.

“I never realised a virtual conference could be so uplifting and engaging. Many thanks to @cldstandards for facilitating such a great conference.”

Conference Evaluation
The conference was well received by delegates who shared their initial thoughts on the day on the Menti wordcloud below: 

If you attended the conference and haven’t already done so, could you please take 10 minutes to complete the conference evaluation.


We are delighted to announce the dates for CLD Standards Council Conference 2022! Save the dates and book your diaries on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd December 2022. All being well, we are excited to tell you that #CLDSCConf2022 will be held in person in the John McIntyre Centre, Edinburgh. We will see the return of the CLDSC Christmas Lecture on the evening of Thursday 1st December 2022, followed by a full day conference on Friday 2nd December 2022. Watch this space for programme and booking details. Look forward to seeing you!