Blue Sky thinking… is it really just another hackneyed phrase? I would argue not.
For the CLD Standards Council, Blue Sky thinking has been a fact of life in recent months. As the sun shines stronger, inspiring fabulous views of Glasgow from the 9th Floor of The Optima Building, spring bright blue skies have marked some key developments. Through a winter of change, the Team, Council Chairs and Members have sought to secure, strengthen and grow the base of our Standards Council.
Natasha Zachary-Docherty has returned from Maternity Leave with a spring in her step and has bounced over to a new post within the Communications Team of Education Scotland, where we wish her lots of luck. We are delighted to welcome our new member of staff, Lorna Renton, who, with a wealth of experience will be working to further develop our web presence and support i-develop.
We are thrilled to announce that we now have more than 1300 members and it will be Lorna’s job to maintain and support the Professional Register. With our new and refined registration process now being operated via i-develop, our growing numbers mean that the CLD Standards Council’s membership is similar in size to the Scottish Institute of Directors – the professional body for Chief Executives. Onwards and upwards for us!
Importantly, April 2016 marked a new stage in the relationship between Education Scotland and the CLD Standards Council. Signed by Dr Bill Maxwell, Chief Executive of Education Scotland and Ashley Pringle, Chair of the CLD Standards Council, the new Framework Agreement sets out the strategic goals, roles and responsibilities of both organisations whilst accounting for operational requirements. Already one positive off-shoot is an agreement with HMI. Pre-inspection work will now include data gathering in relation to the number of professionally registered CLD Standards Council members included in an organisation’s complement of staff and volunteers. For both parties, this significant development signals for the first time ever, the inclusion of the CLD Standards Council alongside other professional bodies operating within education and community work sectors. One other budding development is a ground-breaking partnership agreement with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). This draft agreement will recognise and reaffirm the role of CLD Standards Council Registered Professionals, GTCS Registered Teachers and the unique but complementary work of both professional associations and help us to grow and tend relevant professional networks and learning opportunities.
Council members have been toiling in our new meeting venue, The Prince’s Trust Wolfson Centre in Glasgow. Having agreed our organisational purpose, mission, vision and refined strategic objectives, the Committees are working hard to plant Council plans, strategies and governance procedures that will mature over the next three years. Recent work with the University of the West of Scotland, which pending sign off from the Approvals Committee, will professionally validate their BA/BA(HONS) and PGCE in Community Education, and further to a refresh, the subject benchmark statements for Social Work and Youth and Community Work are now open for consultation. Additionally, the CLD Standards Council will now be represented on the Quality Committee of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.
Other things to look out for over the coming months include plans for a new Standards Council constitution, programmes of work and yes – another new member of staff! Interviews will be held at the end of May for the new Members’ Services post. The successful candidate will have the pleasure of getting to know our Membership in detail to secure services that will meet and enhance our professional practice needs.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone involved for helping to drive the Standards Council forward over the last few months. I am truly heartened by the co-operative nature, wisdom, passion, and sheer hard work of our Members and partners. Sadly the Glasgow evening sunshine, is now is not so warm, but the skies are still clear, hinting at clement days ahead.