About Community Learning and Development
Community learning and development (CLD) practice covers a broad range of practice including youth work, community based adult learning, family learning and community development.
CLD empowers people of all ages to work individually or collectively to make positive changes in their lives, and in their communities, through learning, personal development and active citizenship.
The CLD Workforce in Scotland
The CLD workforce in Scotland is diverse and includes practitioners in the public and third sectors who share common values and competences.
National CLD Policy
CLD work in Scotland is guided by the Strategic Guidance for Community Planning partnerships: Community learning and development (2012) document and underpinned in legislation through The Requirements for Community Learning and Development (Scotland) Regulations 2013. A Revised CLD Guidance Note (December 2020) is now available.
The focus of community learning and development in Scotland is:
- improved life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship
- stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities.
The national strategy for youth work in Scotland is currently being updated and is due to be launched towards the end of 2022. Information from the most recent national youth work strategy (2014-19) can be found here:. National Youth Work Strategy | YouthLink Scotland
Adult Learning in Scotland, a Statement of Ambition 2014 sets out the Scottish Government’s belief in the key role that effective adult learning plays at the core of a Scottish knowledge-based society.
Adult Literacies in Scotland 2020 (ALIS 2020) aims to promote equal access to and participation in literacies learning for all adults.
Other key documents for adult literacies:
- PDF file: Scotland's Adult Literacies Curriculum Framework Guidelines: learning, teaching and assessment (1.28 MB)
- PDF file: A professional development framework for Scotland's adult literacies workforce (911 KB)
Welcoming Our Learners: Scotland's ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Strategy 2015-2020 sets out the importance and context of ESOL learning in Scotland while the Mid Strategy Review, published in June 2018, gives a summary of activity to date.
Community learning and development builds the capacity of communities to do things for themselves and have their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services. It therefore contributes to the Scottish Government’s ambitions for community empowerment and participation.
CLD also makes a significant contribution to the Families and Communities organiser of the Scottish Attainment Challenge.
‘Prior learning and research evidence shows us that schools and education services alone will not reduce the poverty-related attainment gap. The mission of the Scottish Attainment Challenge is one that must be supported by ‘collective agency.’
‘Consideration should be given to how the local authority can work with wider local services, such as Community Learning and Development, Social Work or Family Services, and with community or third sector partners to support the health and wellbeing, attainment and outcomes of children and young people impacted by poverty. The three organisers of learning and teaching; leadership; and, families and communities should shape local approaches.’
Quality and Improvement in CLD
Education Scotland’s How Good Is Our Community Learning and Development? Framework (2021) sets out the standards used by HM Inspectors to evaluate and report on quality and improvement in CLD in Scotland. The framework is designed to be of use for every practitioner and manager working within the CLD sector in Scotland, as well as those who use CLD methodologies in their work.
- CLD Standards Council for Scotland - sets out the competences and ethics for community learning and development practice
- Youthlink Scotland - the national agency for youth work
- Standing Literacy Commission Report - includes overall progress within literacies up to 2015
- National Standards for Community Engagement - good-practice principles designed to support and inform the process of community engagement, and improve what happens as a result.
Wider policy context
'CfE Briefing 10: The role of community learning and development (CLD) and partnership working' explores the important contribution that CLD is making to CfE outcomes for learners through partnership working in educational establishments and communities.
Other policy links include:
- Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
- Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)
- Developing Scotland's Young Workforce
- Time to Shine - Scotland's Youth Arts Strategy for ages 0-25
- Giving children and young people a sporting chance - Scotland's sport strategy for children and young people
- Early Years Collaborative
- Opportunities For All - Post-16 transitions - Policy and Practice Framework
- Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act
- Skills for Scotland: A Lifelong Skills Strategy
Organisations supporting adult learning
- Colleges Scotland - supports, represents and promotes the Scottish college sector
- College Development Network - supports the sector to deliver best practice, share innovations and develop colleges and their staff
- Dyslexia Scotland - volunteer-led charity that encourages and enables people with dyslexia, regardless of their age and abilities, to reach their potential
- ePlatorm for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) - online platform for adult learning in Europe
- Lead Scotland - a voluntary organisation widening access to learning for disabled young people, adults and carers across Scotland
- Learning Link Scotland - the national intermediary organisation for voluntary organisations that deliver adult learning
- Scotland's Learning Partnership - a national partnership of adult learners and providers in Scotland
- Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) - Scotland's national qualifications framework
- Scottish Qualifications Authority - executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, responsible for accrediting educational awards
- Workers' Educational Association - a national, democratic, voluntary sector provider of community-based and workplace-based adult learning