National Community Learning and Development (CLD) Policy
CLD programmes and activities make positive contributions to a range of national and local policy outcomes in areas including education, lifelong learning, community empowerment, employability and skills, and health and wellbeing.
CLD work in Scotland is guided by the Strategic Guidance for Community Planning partnerships: Community learning and development(2012). The Strategic Guidance sets out the outcomes for CLD as being:
- Improved life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship.
- Stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities.
The Requirements for Community Learning and Development (Scotland) Regulations 2013 place statutory duties on local authorities to work with partners and communities to co-produce and secure the delivery of CLD in their area and publish a 3-yearly CLD Plan.
The Scottish Government has produced guidance which set out their expectations of local authorities and their partners when meeting statutory duties in CLD planning for the period 2021-24. This guidance builds on previous guidance published in 2014 and 2017 to help with the creation and ongoing development of CLD plans. The Scottish Government and Education Scotland have also produced a summary of their responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on CLD planning, 2021-24. There is an expectation that CLD plans 2021-24 will continue to be informed by this guidance.
The Community Learning and Development Planning 2021 – 2024 page provides links to the current CLD plans for every local authority area in Scotland, covering the period September 2021 to 2024.
Key National CLD Strategies and Policies
The Scottish Government’s National Adult Learning Strategy 2022-27
This strategy sets out shared priorities to improve life chances for adult learners across Scotland. It outlines how CLD partners will work together to ensure that there are accessible opportunities for adults across Scotland to learn throughout their lives. The strategy is based on the principles that learning is lifelong, life-wide and learner-centred.
The Scottish Government’s National Youth Work Strategy
The Scottish Government’s new national strategy for youth work is currently being developed, and will build on previous strategies.
The Scottish Government’s ambitions for community empowerment and participation
Community 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.
Quality 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.
Wider policy context
CLD and Curriculum for Excellence
'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.
The Scottish Attainment Challenge
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.’
Find out more about how effective youth work and school partnerships support the aims of the Attainment Challenge from this SAC-funded national programme, based in YouthLink Scotland.