New report shows the positive impact on communities through Community Learning and Development (CLD)

A new report shows positive steps being taken to empower people individually and collectively to make positive changes through Community Learning and Development (CLD).

The majority of local authorities across Scotland are successfully delivering targeted CLD provision that strongly contributes to addressing poverty and disadvantage for individuals and groups in local communities. That’s the key finding from Education Scotland’s Improving life chances and empowering communities report.

The report summarises the main findings from HM Inspectors of Education following inspections in all 32 local authorities between September 2016 to June 2019, of Community Learning and Development (CLD) provision.

They found evidence that:

  • CLD is contributing strongly to local communities in almost all local authorities
  • targeted CLD provision is improving basic skills, reducing social isolation and improving wellbeing for those overcoming social and economic disadvantage.
  • CLD is increasingly valued by senior leaders, schools and other education providers, with strong strategic leadership of CLD driving improvement across the majority of local authorities.
  • Volunteering is also providing important opportunities for people to progress their learning.

Gayle Gorman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, said: “Education Scotland is committed to working closely and collaboratively with all involved in improving Scotland’s education system. We are clear that our vision of excellence and equity cannot be achieved by one part of the system alone and that partners must continue to work together to achieve this goal.
“It is heartening to see that this report highlights that targeted CLD provision is helping to reduce social isolation and improving wellbeing for those overcoming social and economic difficulties.

“I am encouraged by the strengths of CLD outlined in this report and the examples of outstanding practice which is making a difference for learners and communities. It is also clear that there is further work to do, such as strengthening CLD partnerships in terms of self-evaluation for improvement and using data and other information to measure and improve performance.”

Janie McManus, Strategic Director Scrutiny, said: “Another strength of CLD is the commitment of staff and volunteers across a wide range of partners to improving outcomes for individuals and communities. I am pleased to be sharing the key messages from this report with partners from across Scotland at a national event, ‘Collaborating for Improvement’, in Glasgow today. By working together, we can strengthen further the positive impact of CLD on people’s lives.”

The report is intended to help local authorities, local and national CLD providers, policy makers and CLD partners reflect on their practice and to engage in professional dialogue to order to bring about further improvements to CLD provision.