Learning for Sustainability Awards 2021

Learning for Sustainability Awards – Nominations are now open! 

In November 2021, the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit will be arriving in Scotland. This will be one of the biggest events of its kind ever to be hosted in our country with 200 world leaders in attendance. There is hope that the event will result in a truly historic agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate emergency.

The COP26 Summit provides us with a unique opportunity to recognise and celebrate innovation in the Scottish education system and our commitment to Learning for Sustainability (LfS). Within Scotland’s curriculum, LfS is recognised as an entitlement for all learners and a recent international PISA study showed that our learners are world-leading global citizens.

In partnership with the Daily Record, Education Scotland is delighted to launch the Learning for Sustainability Awards. The Scottish Government has identified People as a key theme for the COP26 Summit and has declared that it wants it to be the most inclusive COP summit ever to be held. This includes a strong focus on young people and on engaging disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.

The Learning for Sustainability Awards support these ambitions and will help to recognise the amazing achievements of Scotland’s people and the settings, schools and communities that have demonstrated passion and commitment to building a socially-just, equitable and sustainable world.

  • LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY YOUTH AWARD – Recognising the achievements of young people aged 3-26 years
  • LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY PRACTITIONER AWARD – Recognising the achievements of early learning and childcare practitioners and school teachers
  • LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP AWARD – Recognising the achievements of head teachers, heads of centre, managers, authority staff and promoted staff in school and setting leadership teams
  • LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY LEARNING COMMUNITY AWARD – Recognising the achievements of early learning and childcare settings and schools
  • LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATIONAL SUPPORTER AWARD – Recognising the achievements of individuals who provide invaluable support for learning.
  • LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNITY LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AWARD – Recognising the achievements of community learning and development providers.

To find out more about the award categories and how to nominate, visit the LfS award website: http://www.learningforsustainabilityawards.co.uk/


Maths Week Scotland returns 27 September – 3 October 2021!

Maths Week Scotland aims to build confidence and excitement around maths. It is a great opportunity to showcase and develop the year-round work of CLD groups and practitioners.

This year, the theme is Our World. As well as a focus on maths, the wider world and climate emergency, it is also a chance to understand and embrace the maths in our immediate surroundings and day-to-day life.

Our World theme

The climate emergency has become a topic of conversation for many, and in November global leaders will attend COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow.

Maths and mathematicians are playing an important role in understanding patterns of change on a global scale. At COP26 discussions will be had by leaders and citizens on the basis of data and science. Having the confidence to understand and interrogate the data and statistics enables people to take part in these discussions with confidence.

The climate emergency and Our World theme ties into wider topics including exploring and protecting the natural world around us. With a maintained focus of outdoor there are plenty of ways of integrating mathematical skills into these. Plan routes around the local area using different transportation, take walks at different times of day and recording difference, carry out nature surveys in different locations and search for patterns.

Finally, we look forward to Maths Week Scotland continuing to give people the opportunity to explore the maths in their own world. Whether that is maths used in the home or at work this is a chance to uncover the maths we use and rely on everyday.

What to expect

As with everything last year Maths Week Scotland 2020 moved online and outdoors. Maths Week Scotland 2021 will see more online events open to all but also, as restrictions ease, the chance to meet in person.

Keep your eyes peeled for

  • CPD Sessions
  • Ideas and Inspiration
  • Local events

Organisations across Scotland will be taking part in Maths Week Scotland 2021, including for local museums and science centres.

Maths Week Scotland Website

We have a new section of the website for community groups! Head to https://www.mathsweek.scot/communities for ideas and inspiration for groups and relevant CPD.


The Maths Week Scotland Small Grants Fund will be available again in August 2021. This funding will be available to community groups for purchasing resources, running activities, hosting events or CPD.

Keep an eye on Maths Week Scotland website (www.mathsweek.scot) or Twitter (@MathsWeekScot) for more details and dates.

Get In Touch

If you would like to join the mailing list for Maths Week Scotland please email info@mathsweek.scot. We are always keen to hear your suggestions for resources and activities which would work for your groups and communities.

The volunteering experience’s of the CLD team at Education Scotland

As part of Volunteers Week 2021 some of the members of the team have told us about their volunteering experience and how it has helped them on their CLD journey. Some of our colleagues from the CLD Standards Council joined in too!

Dehra Macdonald, CLD Officer, South West 

“Like many of my CLD colleagues, my introduction to the sector was through volunteering. I began my volunteering journey with Lead Scotland. Initially it involved working one to one with Adult Learners, for just one hour per week. I’m still amazed at how much you can achieve with just one hour per week. Small volunteering inputs have big impacts! LEAD Scotland have a fantastic volunteer support and development programme. A local PDA ITALL (now PDA SALL) course was one of the many development opportunities they provided. From here, I quickly developed a passion for Adult Literacies which led to further training, qualifications and a radical career change. My colleagues in ES will never believe my background is in Global Technology! Volunteering can be life changing for all involved, I can’t recommend it enough!”

Susan Epsworth, CLD Officer, Tayside

“Like many of my CLD colleagues I got into the profession through volunteering. Through a personal connection I started volunteering with a local Headway group when I was 18. Headway is a national organisation that supports individuals and families affected by brain injury. This led me to become a tutor with a local adult learning group for adults with aphasia in Dundee. I’ve also volunteered with a Dundee charity supporting children with disabilities and their families, and more recently been involved in a programme mentoring young people. I couldn’t believe when I found out I could study CLD and actually do it as a career! Volunteering really can be life changing, it won’t always lead to a change in career but I can guarantee it will be fun, satisfying and you won’t regret it!”

Julie Beckett, CLD Officer, Forth Valley & West Lothian

“I started my post with Education Scotland in October 2020 following ten years of working in CLD, school based roles. Not that I knew it at the time but my CLD career started with volunteering at a local youth club when I was around 15 years old. I then went on to complete my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, which involved a number of volunteering opportunities including working in Oxfam and having a regular show on my local Hospital radio station. Personally I have gained so much from volunteering and I would recommend it to everyone!”

Laura Starkey, CLD Officer, North

“My introduction to the CLD sector was through volunteering. I began my volunteering journey with Glasgow City Council doing the pilot ITALL course (yes, that long ago!) then volunteering with learners in Govanhill. I loved supporting the learners to improve their reading and writing and it motivated me to leave my job in financial services and get a full time adult literacies post in North Lanarkshire. It has led to an amazing career covering all aspects of adult learning, such as community based, ESOL, literacies and family learning. I have volunteered for my children’s school raising approx £20k for playground improvements and also volunteered for Cub Scouts for 18 months taking 18 boys to a cub camp with 300 other cubs! Then I turned to Girlguiding as a Guide Leader in my local area which I’ve done for 3 years (zooming through lockdowns!). I love promoting the outdoors, female voices, STEM and Health/Wellbeing for the young people involved. I love volunteering – even on the wet nights! It gives you such a buzz, improves your confidence, wellbeing and involvement in the community – Get involved – it is life changing!”

Maggie Paterson, CLDSC

My name is Maggie Paterson and volunteering has
always been part of my life whether picking up litter,
cooking food for destitute asylum seekers or being a
COP 26 Volunteer Ambassador. When working in CLD in Inverclyde, I was so impressed by the impact of the CLD Volunteers there that when I retired I volunteered with the CLD Standards Council to help
develop support and guidance for CLD volunteers and the
organisations that deploy them.

Kirsty Gemmell, CLDSC

My name is Kirsty Gemmell and I’m a proud volunteer!
I’ve volunteered in one way or another most of my life beginning
as a teenager when I helped out at the local Riding for the Disabled
group. Currently, I have a few volunteering roles, including Trustee
at Lead Scotland and support group coordinator for people living
with a terminal neurological disease. Four years ago, I returned to my home-town; the town of my childhood and the town of my past. It felt like a bit of a backwards step—did I really want to live here again? During the last year, I volunteered locally as part of a Coronavirus Community Support Group and joined the committee of the community action group. I’ve reconnected with my community. It’s no longer my past, it’s my future. Through the power of volunteers our communities become inviting, inclusive and inspiring; now that’s a place I want to live!

Nicola Sykes, CLD Senior Education Officer, South West

Hi, my name is Nicola Sykes, and I’m a Senior Education Officer with Education Scotland. I count myself fortunate for the volunteering   opportunities I’ve experienced over the years. One of my earliest memories was as a student—when I volunteered with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to digitise over 20 river basin       education packs!  I’ve also enjoyed volunteering as a Trustee with a number of local charities including a Community Garden, Housing Aid Centre, and Community Childcare provider.  As a parent I’ve volunteered my face painting skills at my daughters school fundraising events—with tigers a firm favourite!  I also gained new skills as a Community Sports Leader, and with my husband ran Friday evening sessions for young people at the local MUGA.  There are so many positive benefits to be gained from volunteering, so if you haven’t yet had the opportunity, I would encourage you to give it a go.



Volunteers’ Week Scotland 1st – 7th June 2021

Volunteers’ Week Scotland 2021

 This year Volunteers’ Week Scotland is being held on the 1st – 7th June. We would like to take this opportunity to say a very big THANK YOU! to all the CLD Volunteers out there.

“During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all corners of the UK have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to people and their communities – just as they do every year.

Volunteers are always active at the heart of every UK community. They are behind many of the services we all rely on. Some have been volunteering online from home, others in person with a local charity or organisation. Their crucial efforts have not stopped, despite the uncertain times we find ourselves in, and will continue as an important part of the nation’s recovery.

That is why on this 37th annual Volunteers’ Week it’s time to say, ‘Thank You Volunteers!’ We want to recognise all of those who have continued delivering vital work as volunteers over the past 12 months but also all those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the pandemic.”  (Volunteers’ Week Scotland)

How can YOU become involved in our CLD Volunteers’ Week Campaign?

In this age of social media, and through publications such as ‘What Scotland Learned’ we have been given a small peek into the world of CLD Volunteering, and want to share the impact far and wide. One of the ways we will be doing this is to work in partnership with the CLD Standards Council, and the wider CLD sector to create a #CLDVolunteers2021 Virtual Wave across Scotland. To help us achieve this we ask that you include the #CLDVolunteers2021 to any social media posts during Volunteers’ Week Scotland.

We have also created a Volunteer Virtual Wave Padlet to track the reach of #CLDVolunteers2021. We would encourage you all to also go into the Padlet and track the location of your social media posts and any other Volunteer Thank You events. We’ve included instructions on how to do this in the attached brief ‘How To’ Guide.  Padlet ‘How To’ Guide.docx

If you do not have access to Padlet, then please either tag our team into your social media post, or email Dehra.Macdonald@educationscotland.gov.scot with details of the event and we will ensure it’s placed on the map on your behalf.

Whichever option you chose please try to include the following #s




If you are including photos in your Twitter posts remember you can tag in our Education Scotland CLD Team and the CLD Standards Council without using up any of your characters by tagging them in the photos @edscotCLD and @cldstandards. The attached brief ‘How To’ Guide will explain how to do this. Twitter ‘How To’ Guide.docx

We will be posting a daily ‘Meet the Team’ post sharing the Volunteering experiences of some of our Education Scotland CLD colleagues.

The CLD Standards Council are also keen to highlight some of the fabulous work CLD Volunteers they’ve done.  If you know a volunteer you’d like them to showcase with a CLD Volunteer Practitioner Spotlight feature on their website, please email contact@cldstandardscouncil.org.uk

There are many different ways you can become involved in Volunteers’ Week Scotland 2021. https://volunteersweek.scot have lots of ideas, and free resources on their website. We can’t wait to celebrate all the work your volunteers do as Team CLD!

National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners

National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners

Education Scotland, Learning Link Scotland, Youthlink Scotland and Glasgow Science Centre are working in partnership to establish a National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners.

The first meeting will take place on 1st June at 10am until 11.30 and will focus on highlighting available resources, breakout rooms to meet others, network and share resources on STEM and Climate Change.

We will be seeking practitioners’ views on the value of a STEM Network for CLD and consulting on our proposed aims and objectives, as follows:

  • Open to all CLD, cross sector and all organisations (ie. Local Authority, Voluntary sector, Colleges)
  • Focus in 2021 on climate change linking to COP26
  • Key focus on supporting confidence of CLD Practitioners in STEM
  • Increasing understanding that STEM related learning opportunities are everywhere
  • Increase knowledge and resources in all areas of STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
  • Effectively sharing resources and improving CLD practitioners knowledge of available resources
  • Peer support role and networking opportunities with STEM focus

Sign up here:

National STEM Network for CLD Practitioners (office.com)


Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (10th – 16th May) saw the Education Scotland CLD team celebrate the impact that CLD has on raising awareness of mental health for learners, families and communities.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

As the theme of Mental Health Awareness week was Nature, the Education Scotland CLD team participated in a team walking steps challenge and shared photos of local nature throughout the week.

Over the course of the working week, four members of our team walked over 205,000 steps, enjoyed the time outdoors in all weathers and took some wonderful photos some of which will be at the bottom of this post.

Encouraging others to spend time outdoors and think about mental health, we released a podcast with CLD Talks.

Mental Health Awareness Week with Julie Beckett – CLD Talks (podcast) | Listen Notes

Education Scotland Mental Health Wakelet has been created to share practical, free resources for practitioners, parents, carers & young people:

Mental health & wellbeing : supports for practitioners, parents, carers & young people – Wakelet

Education Scotland are funding a series of mental health webinars for all school staff across Scotland. Sign up info and previous webinar recordings can be found here:

Education Scotland Webinars (place2be.org.uk)

Supporting Children’s Numeracy for National Numeracy Day on 19th May

National Numeracy Day is fast approaching (19th May!) and this week we are highlighting information and resources for supporting parents and carers with children’s numeracy.

Numeracy and Mathematics Glossaries

This glossary has been developed for parents and carers of children and young people in the broad general education in Scottish schools. It provides clear definitions of some of the most commonly used terms in numeracy and mathematics.


Videos to Support Parents with Numeracy and Mathematics Methods and Approaches

The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) worked in partnership with Count On Us and Education Scotland to create eight ‘Learning Together’ videos.

The videos outline a range of methods and approaches including early numeracy foundations, addition and subtraction, and fractions, decimals and percentages.


The Family Maths Toolkit

The Family Maths Toolkit is full of ideas to help parents, families and children aged 13 and under enjoy everyday maths activities together.  The site also offers resources to help educators support family engagement with children’s maths learning.


I am a Mathematician

We use maths every day, at work, leisure and at home. Parents and carers can play a vital role in reinforcing the importance of maths to their children, promoting a positive attitude towards it and making it a fun activity to do together as a family.  This resource will help parents to support their children’s learning with fun activities to do at home.



Scotland’s Virtual Kiltwalk

Since 2016, Kiltwalk Heroes and the Hunter Foundation have raised almost £20 million for over 2000 Scottish charities. Previously, Kiltwalks were mass participation walking events that raise much-needed funds for Scottish charities and projects. Events were held Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh in Dundee with participants registering for a 6/8 mile ‘wee wander’, 13 mile ‘big stroll’ or 26 mile ‘mighty stride’. Kiltwalkers can raise funds for any charity of their choice and thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation, all funds raised will be topped up by 50%.

This year, participants were asked to take part in their own virtual event over the weekend of 23-25 April. They were invited to walk, run, swim, cycle and even boogie their way to raising funds for their chosen charity.

Education Scotland’s CLD Team (and guests) saw the Kiltwalk as an opportunity to not only raise funds for Who Cares? Scotland, it was an invaluable opportunity to engage with colleagues, and feel connected away from screens. On Saturday 24th April, they climbed hills, visited local landmarks, and managed to walk along the banks of The River Clyde and River Tay. They collectively walked over 100,00 kilometres raising money, with Mary Ann’s four legged heroes clocking up over 38,000 steps each!

Who Cares? Scotland believe that Care Experienced people have the potential to change the world. Who Cares? Scotland’s membership is a care experienced community creating belonging and achieving change in Scotland and the world, as part of a movement of Care Experienced people. They do this in a number of ways including:

  • Advocacy for Children and Young People
  • Providing support to Corporate Parents
  • Policy and Research
  • Helpline, counselling service, and life coaching.

The team’s Go fund Me Page will be open until the 3rd May, please support and donate whatever you can. Thank you everyone for your support, see you all next year!

CLD Planning Webinar Series – Registration now open

National partners are collaborating to offer a series of webinars focussed on tools and resources available to complement CLD planning processes.  

The webinars may be of interest to local authority officers, teams, and partners involved in producing CLD plans locally, and will commence in early May.

 Sessions will be hosted on Teams, and will be recorded. To register follow the links below.


CONSUL – Tuesday 4th May, 13:30 – 15:00

In Scotland CONSUL is being used by local authorities for digital participatory budgeting, community engagement and participation – allowing citizens to collaborate on plans and proposals and communicate in an open and transparent environment. The COSLA CONSUL team will offer an introduction to the platform, and offer insight to examples of implementation in a local authority context. Register here.

Place Standard – Thursday 6th May, 13:00 – 14:30

The recent Scottish Government guidance on Community Learning and Development Plans (2021-2024) identifies a range of resources and well-established online tools available to support engagement at a local level, including the Place Standard. In this webinar Place Standard implementation team will highlight key resources available, and showcase recent practice examples. Register here.


Embedding youth awards in CLD Planning 2021-24 – Monday May 10th, 14:00 – 15:30

An opportunity to engage with the Awards Network to consider how to support young people’s achievements through youth awards in their plans. The session will look at: the contributions of participation in youth awards to key priorities – e.g. in education, employability and community involvement; and will include an opportunity to discuss what ambitious outcomes and measures for youth awards might look like. Register here.


Simple digital tools for online participation and engagement –Wednesday 12th May, 09:30 – 11:00

In many places the pandemic has been a catalyst for online delivery of CLD services, resulting in increased digital capacity of practitioners, learners and communities. This session, led by Education Scotland will offer a walkthrough some digital tools to support online participation and engagement including Jam Board, and Microsoft Forms.  Register here.


Workforce Development – Tuesday 18th May, 15:00 – 16:30

This session, led by the CLD Standards Council, will focus on the requirements set out in the Workforce Development component of  CLD Plans Guidance Note (2021-24) with particular reference to: Providing practice placements for CLD students; Recruiting qualified CLD practitioners; and, Supporting the CLD workforce to benefit from engaging with the CLD Standards Council through registered membership.  Register here.


First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, met representatives from the learning sector to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.

The meeting consisted of a representative from, Colleges, Early Years, high schools, primary schools and CLD. Colleagues shared their experiences of working in challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19. Key messages shared were the commitment of education colleagues to supporting learners and students, genuine interest in wellbeing, support and improving the learning experiences whilst constrained due to Covid-19 restrictions. Even though the group worked across very different areas they all agreed that among the challenges there has been a lot to celebrate in the last 12 months in relation to the dedication and commitment of staff.

The CLD representative Jennifer Nicol from East Renfrewshire was asked to share her experiences of facilitating adult learning opportunities in advance of the meeting and she highlighted areas such as prioritising wellbeing, access to resources and information requirements. Jennifer highlighted that many learners face multiple barriers including low levels of language and literacy, digital exclusion and isolation. Learning and support was adapted to be inclusive dependent on learners’ skills, equipment and confidence. Connecting Scotland was highlighted as playing a key role with staff accessing training as Digital Champions whilst offering tremendous support to learners through the provision of equipment, connectivity and learning.

Positive relationships with the community have been strengthened with learning continuing to be offered, including partnerships with local Colleges which have allowed qualifications to be completed during lockdown. CLD staff have been creative, resourceful, enthusiastic and dedicated to maintaining links with the community whilst learning has been a lifeline for so many people during this difficult time.

The First Minister extended her thanks to all CLD services across Scotland and the hope is that more opportunities will take place for education sectors to come together to share experiences and network in the future.

Photo from FM’s Twitter feed.

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