Interim Purpose and Principles for Post-School Education, Research and Skills

CLDSC Consultation Response March 2023

The CLD Standards Council prepared this response to the Scottish Government consultation on the Interim purpose and principles for Post-School education, Research and Skills.  The response was based on feedback from our practitioner members gathered through online focus groups.


In Scotland, just as in much of the world, education is valued as a fundamental human right and public good, bringing benefits to society and individuals. Post-school education, skills and research is at the centre of Scotland’s economy and society – ensuring personal success, health and satisfaction, and contributing to economic and social outcomes as well as delivering global benefits.
The Scottish Government developed an interim purpose and principles for post-school education, research and skills on the basis of feedback from previous research, reports and engagement. Through this consultation, they were seeking views on the interim purpose and principles in order to publish a final set of purpose and principles that reflect what they value, as well as offer a clear position on where the collective future focus needs to be “Across our society this work will challenge perceptions and cultural expectations of what the ecosystem can deliver. It creates an opportunity to discuss policy reforms that ensure that we preserve what we value whilst reducing expenditure, reducing failure demand and improving outcomes”.

Gathering member views

The CLD Standards Council Scotland worked with its CLD practitioner members across Scotland to gather views and responses to the consultation paper. We held four online focus groups covering CLD perspectives from practitioners in Higher and Further Education, in Local Authority, in Voluntary and Charitable organisations and from CLD Students. A member of Scottish Governments Purpose and Principles team attended and supported each focus group, and was able to gather data first hand from all the participants. We participated in this consultation as the CLD Standards Council wanted to raise and promote the lifelong and life wide learning approach of CLD, as well as the empowerment and inclusion principles surrounding community based learning including Adult, ESOL, Family Learning, Communities and Youth Work. We also took the opportunity to highlight the role and agility of Community Learning and Development practitioners and those organisations who support and offer learning opportunities to Scotland’s learners and communities all year.