Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Next week, 9th – 15th May is Mental Health Awareness Week 2022.

The Education Scotland CLD team will be showcasing practice involving CLD focusing on raising awareness of mental health throughout this week. We will be highlighting useful resources and sharing practice examples from across Scotland via Twitter.  Make sure to follow us on Twitter  @edscotcld

The theme of years Mental Health Awareness Week is Loneliness – we know that the CLD sector has a huge impact on supporting people who may experience loneliness and social isolation within their communities. As a team, we will be encouraging spending time outdoors and making connections with others to support our own wellbeing.

Find out more about why loneliness was chosen as this year’s theme here: Why Loneliness is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 | Mental Health Foundation

Follow us on Twitter  @edscotcld

National Numeracy Day 2022- Are you a Numbers Champion?

National Numeracy Day will take place on 18th May 2022.  Education Scotland and the Scottish Government will again participate as lead supporters of the #NationalNumeracyDay campaign in the hope of encouraging all adults in Scotland to become more confident in using numbers in every day life.

This year National Numeracy will celebrate numbers by hosting a mainly virtual festival, packed full of practical advice from celebrities and experts, inspirational stories from real-life learners and a host of free online events and resources.  The festival will focus on three key themes; supporting children’s numeracy, managing your money and numeracy for work.  “The impact of the economic [Covid-19] crisis has been disproportionately felt by those with low numeracy skills”  (Counting on the Recovery, 2021). It is particularly important at the moment, as households continue to face financial challenges, that we highlight the importance of being number confident and knowing how and where to get help to improve maths skills.

If you sign up to be a National Numeracy Day Champion you will receive free, fun materials and resources to use and share, and join over 2,800 other Champions helping the nation to feel good about numbers.  All participants will have access to an online number skills checker called ‘The Challenge’ that will help signpost to resources to improve number skills.

To be a champion you could run an online event, you could circulate resources to learners/parents or you could just simply promote the campaign via social media to your partners and stakeholders.

Sign up to be a Champion by clicking the link below:

To find out more visit National Numeracy Day

The Numeracy Challenge is a fun interactive tool to find out how confident you are using numbers, and it flags up how easy it is to get support and learn if you want to. Take the Numeracy Challenge, and encourage your staff/colleagues and learners too.

Since 2018, Scotland has had record numbers of community organisations, adult learning providers, schools and businesses signing up to be numeracy champions:

  • 6,054 people took action on the National Numeracy Challenge from Scotland, which is around 11% of the total Challenge actions
  • The average Challenge score in Scotland was 12.5, slightly higher than the average UK score of 12
  • The average confidence score in Scotland was also higher than the UK average (7 compared to 6.7)
  • 13% of all official Champions organisations supporting NNDay were from Scotland

RNLI – Water Safety, Message and Resource Training

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is offering free Water Safety Message and Resource Training workshops in February and March. The workshops will cover the following:

  • Introduction and background: What we do and how it works.
  • The Scottish Context of Water Safety
  • Key Messages: What is the core RNLI messaging for young people? What does RNLI Water Safety offer to the public?
  • Focus 1: Third/Fourth Level Resource: ‘Challenge Passport’
  • Focus 2: Senior Phase: Overview of the senior phase resource, ‘Tales from the Edge’.
  • Summary and Questions

The workshops are taking place on Teams on the following dates:

  • February: 7th and 14th (1 – 2.30pm)
  • March: 7th and 14th. (1- 2.30pm)

You can book your place through the following  Eventbrite link and the Microsoft Teams meeting link can be found below:

Join on your computer or mobile app – Click here to join the meeting

For further information contact Laura Erskine, Water Safety Education Manager Scotland by email at:

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea

CLD Projects recognised in the Learning for Sustainability Awards

It’s a few months now since the eyes of the world were on Glasgow for COP26. The hubbub of hosting the global climate conference may be over but the challenge to stay engaged with the issues around climate justice and sustainable futures remains clear for all of us. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to build these issues into your CLD practice, then please have a look at these new films on Education Scotland’s YouTube channel.

In November (before the onset of Omicron variant) we were able to visit some of the CLD projects recognised in the National Learning for Sustainability (LfS) Awards and make some short films (5-10 mins). It was a privilege for us to meet some of the young people and adults involved in the projects as well as the dedicated and inspirational practitioners who were supporting the work.

Learning for Sustainability (LfS) is a theme across learning in Scotland which aims to enable learners, educators and communities to build more socially-just, sustainable and equitable futures. It weaves together global citizenship, sustainable development education and outdoor learning to create transformative learning experiences. Community learning and development has a vital role to play in supporting individuals and groups of all ages to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to respond to sustainability issues.

The winning projects in the CLD category were:

The Intergenerational Forget Me Not Gardening Group   Learning for Sustainability Awards 2021. Forget Me Not Intergenerational Gardening group – YouTube
Glasgow Science Centre’s CLD Programme Learning for Sustainability Awards 2021: Glasgow Science Centre (Nov 2021) – YouTube

Three other projects were highly commended in the CLD category:

The Forget Me Not Gardening Group brings together families and older residents from a day centre to take part in gardening activities at the Kildrum Family Learning Centre in Cumbernauld. During the pandemic the group has grown its own vegetables and undertaken online cookery sessions. The relationships formed have provided great opportunities for intergenerational learning to develop in a fun and friendly environment.

Glasgow Science Centre’s exciting CLD programme continues to go from strength to strength, engaging individuals and community groups in a range of workshops and learning activities around sustainability and climate action. The Science Centre was of course heavily involved in COP26, hosting the conference’s public realm – known as the Green Zone .

We weren’t able to make it out to film with Dyslexia Scotland but their commendation was richly deserved. It recognised their work with children, young people, adults, professionals and communities, to create a more inclusive Scotland where people with dyslexia are able to reach their potential in life, learning and work. Learning for sustainability is embedded through their volunteer development, empowerment and drive to create equity and inclusion. They deliver parent masterclasses and adult learning, literacies and networks, youth work and Young Ambassadors as well as offering support and training for CLD practitioners, employers and the wider education sector.

The Youth Climate Ambassadors are an inspirational group of young people from across North Lanarkshire who share an interest in climate change and environmental issues. The groups’ first project was to produce a short film ‘‘Dear World Leaders’ as part of Keep Scotland Beautiful’ s Youth Climate Film Project. Since then they have been collaborating and learning together both online and face-to-face (as restrictions have allowed) to participate in interactive learning and discussion activities on climate related topics, from food to fashion, children’s rights, the UN sustainable development goals, weather systems, global impacts, CO2 emissions and much more. The group are supported by youth workers from the Council’s CLD Team and you can see some of their activities here.

The Minecraft project at St Philomena’s Primary School was a joint initiative with St Paul’s Youth Forum which engaged a team of pupils in developing proposals to improve their local community in the East End of Glasgow. Using a faithful realisation of the school and the local area within Minecraft, they were able to collaborate in a realistic virtual setting to design their ideas for their local community. Pupils have developed their skills for learning, life and work in the real world and in a virtual setting. The project has contributed to “Flourishing Molendinar”, a large-scale community project to create healthier and greener neighbourhoods in the area, supported by Sustrans Scotland.

Digital CLD Programme Investment

Announcement from Jamie Hepburn MSP on the new Scottish Government funded Digital CLD Programme being rolled out over the next few months


When Scottish Government has been engaging with Community Learning & Development (CLD) stakeholders, the issue of digital upskilling for CLD practitioners has been a consistent topic on everyone’s mind. Indeed, Working with Scotland’s Communities 2018, a workforce analysis of CLD in Scotland, reported that digital skills were one of the most common development needs of the workforce and are the skills that employers most often struggle to find when recruiting staff.

Even though this was a topic at the forefront of our minds before the pandemic, stakeholders have told us that COVID-19 has only exacerbated the need for digital upskilling. The message has been clear: CLD practitioners need investment to help them build their digital capabilities in order to better support CLD learners.

With the need for skills development in mind, I was only too pleased that – earlier this year – the Scottish Government committed £500,000 to support the development of CLD practitioners. This funding sought to develop digital skills and capacity among CLD practitioners, ultimately ensuring that better CLD provision is delivered to those who need it most.

Three great projects have been awarded over £400.000 so far and I wanted to take this opportunity to share information on those projects with you.


The Open University in Scotland

The Open University in Scotland (OU) has been funded to develop a workforce offer for the CLD sector. With more than 50 years’ experience of widening access, the OU understands the adult learner journey and the barriers people face in accessing higher education, and are committed to the vision that ‘Adult learning in Scotland will develop better skilled, educated, confident and empowered people contributing to connected and inclusive communities.’

The OU’s project will work with partners to develop an online portal with free, online learning resources for the CLD workforce and it will offer CLD practitioners at least 200 funded places on Open University micro-credentials (short courses) through its FutureLearn platform. To help roll out learning workshops to local authorities and third sector providers all over Scotland, they are creating a network of Regional Champions to roll out learning workshops to every region of Scotland. These champions will also facilitate learning clubs for practitioners undertaking workshops,  courses and other learning opportunities.

With a social mission is to make education accessible to all, and a commitment to partnership working to enhance the offer, Scottish Government believes that partnering with the OU is a good opportunity to offer a range of development opportunities to the CLD workforce.


CLD Standards Council

The Community Learning and Development Standards Council (CLDSC) is supporting the development of a CLD digital framework for the sector. As the professional body for CLD – including adult learning, community development and youth work – they are supporting the development as part of their responsibility to support the professional learning of its members and to quality assure CLD related learning programmes.  Funding from Scottish Government will allow the CLDSC to appoint a new member of staff to support the creation of a coherent space for CLD digital support.

The CLDSC will work closely with CLD sector leaders to develop new and relevant digital competences in line with the professional CLD competences, ethics and values.


Digital Schools Award

A new Digital Award programme for CLD is now under development through an education-industry collaboration led by tech companies working closely with various partners, including national CLD partner organisations and learners themselves.  The Digital CLD Award will be shaped by these partners to highlight the ways digital technologies are stimulating innovation and improving learning opportunities.  As a national Award, it will promote and build capacity in effective uses of digital technologies by organisations.

The Award will recognise the many planned and ongoing improvements that organisations are making in developing the skills of their staff to improve the ways they can reach and support learners through digital technologies. It will have a key focus on sharing practice and strengthening skills in using digital technologies across the CLD sector. That will include through the important promotion of strong cyber resilience and internet safety practices, and digital wellbeing.

The CLD Award will also highlight how well these increasing uses of digital approaches are impacting on the experiences and skills of learners themselves.  Together, CLD practitioners and learners are helping to build the digitally literate and inclusive young people, adults and communities of the future.  This national Digital CLD Award, backed by the education-industry partnership, will play a significant role in acknowledging and celebrating these important digital achievements of our CLD workforce and learners.


The remaining funding

I hope you’ll agree that the projects funded to-date will help begin to advance the digital skills of CLD practitioners all over Scotland, and I hope you’ll engage with them when given the opportunity. I’m delighted that Scottish Government is supporting this work and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have.

Officials in the CLD policy team at Scottish Government are currently working on plans to invest the further c.£100,000 remaining in the investment and are scoping projects that will help get digital devices direct into the hands of CLD practitioners all over Scotland.


Jamie Hepburn MSP

Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training

Share, Sustain, Shape ! Online learning sessions for CLD practitioners

The Share, Sustain, Shape! programme is now live on iDevelop
Share, Sustain, Shape – programme and registration

Share, Sustain, Shape! is a fantastic new programme of free, online, CLD practitioner-led learning sessions taking place throughout November and early December. Each session is open to everyone working in any area of community learning and development. The programme is being organised by the regional CLD professional learning networks across the country. Practitioners from anywhere in Scotland are invited to take part.

There are 17 different learning events planned – so far! Topics include:
• Family learning and terminology
• Participatory budgeting and engagement
• Practitioner health and wellbeing
• Evaluative writing
• Digital engagement practice
• Supporting New Scots
• Youth Work and creative methods in evaluation
• Using the Citizen Literacies App.
• Partnership working
• CLD ethics

Sessions are already starting to fill up so please check out the programme and sign up soon!

New! ‘Leading CLD’ professional learning programme

Leadership programme for CLD

As part of the Education Scotland Professional Learning and Leadership (PLL) offer we have been developing a Leadership in CLD programme for CLD leaders who play a pivotal role in establishing collaborative approaches to support recovery and renewal. Evidence suggests there is a need for systematic leadership support for CLD managers in Scotland, in line with the wider offer available to the education system.

Supported by PLL specialists, the CLD Standards Council, and Education Scotland CLD, the new offer will be modelled on previously successful programmes made available for Headteachers. Participants will engage in professional learning and reflect on their current CLD role. Programme design is based on the experience participants bring, the knowledge of experts/academics; and, collaborative activities to develop new knowledge.

The programme will be of most interest to senior local authority managers responsible for CLD services, who have identified CLD leadership as an area for professional development. (This includes managers with no, or little previous experience of CLD; and those interested in developing their leadership capital and professional network). In line with previous programme development approaches, we have been developing the content of the programme alongside senior CLD managers and colleagues from the Higher and Further Education sectors.

We would now like to welcome initial expressions of interest for the pilot phase of the programme. The pilot programme will run from the end of January to May 2022, and will include four x 1 day sessions.  Interested individuals are invited to contact to learn more, and/or to register interest through MS Form MS Form by close of business on Friday 19th November. Following initial registrations of interest there will be a second stage in the application process to formally apply for the 20 places available.

Webinars – How good is our community learning and development? (4th edition) (HGIOCLD4)

A new draft framework for the community learning and development (CLD) sector, How good is our community learning and development?’ (4th edition) (HGIOCLD) has been developed in consultation with the CLD sector. A Gaelic version of the framework is also available. This iteration of HGIOCLD reflects changes in CLD and the wider education sector landscape. It recognises the wide range of practitioners and organisations adopting CLD methodologies. The draft framework sets out the standards HM Inspectors will use to evaluate and report on quality and improvement in CLD. It will also support the sector to engage in self-evaluation for continuous improvement.

HM Inspectors are offering a number of webinars between November and December 2021. These webinars are aimed at those using CLD methodologies, including CLD practitioners, the third sector, public services and those with strategic responsibility for CLD. These webinars will be organised around specific regions in Scotland (Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC) areas) as detailed below. In addition, there will be two sessions targeted at national organisations. It is suggested that you should register for the area that you are attached to but if the dates do not suit you, you can register for any of the other sessions. Each webinar will last no longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes, which will include an opportunity for questions and feedback. Please register using this link –


Date Time Regional Improvement Collaborative (RIC)
Mon 1st Nov 10-11.15am South West
Mon 8th Nov 10-11.15am National Organisations
Fri 12th Nov 10-11.15am Tayside
Mon 15th Nov 10-11.15am North
Mon 15th Nov 4-5.15pm South East
Fri 19th Nov 2-3.15pm Forth Valley/West Lothian
Mon 22nd Nov 10-11.15am West
Mon 29th Nov 11.30-12.45 West
Fri 3rd Dec 2-3.15pm North
Mon 13th Dec 10-11.15am National Orgs


Learning for Sustainability and Community Learning and Development (CLD)


Emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that we face accelerated challenges to our society, environment and economy. There are increasing concerns about local and global inequalities,  how we generate energy, produce and consume food, travel, and manage waste. Learning for Sustainability, is a Scottish Government and international priority for every type of learning.

Learning for Sustainability is learning to live within the environmental limits of our planet and to build a just, equitable and peaceful society. It is essential for the well-being of all and is an international priority. (UNESCO, 2013)

CLD practice makes a significant contribution to Learning for Sustainability, and we are seeking nominations to recognise and celebrate this through the new Learning for Sustainability Awards. The deadline for nominations is 12th September 2021.

Find out more and nominate here:

How Good is Our School 4? (2015) explains that Learning for Sustainability (LfS) is an approach to life and learning which enables learners, educators, schools and their wider communities to build a socially-just, sustainable and equitable society. An effective whole school and community approach to LfS weaves together global citizenship, sustainable development education, outdoor learning and children’s rights to create coherent, rewarding and transformative learning experiences. CLD has significant experience in supporting learners and communities to engage in these areas.

Whilst it is crucial to acknowledge that part of Learning for Sustainability is about climate change and protecting the environment, it’s also about building communities we are happy to live in, ensuring our children grow up to be responsible citizens in a fair and equitable society and working to ensure the wellbeing of all.

Consistent with the principles of Community Learning and Development, Learning for Sustainability is involved with every level and type of learning and the provision of quality education for all. This encompasses a wide range of themes and approaches across all forms of education, demonstrated on the word cloud below:


Learning for Sustainability has a key role in building the values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and confidence that people need to live more sustainable lives and contribute to sustainability – locally, nationally and globally. This means learning through taking collective action on socially relevant social and environmental issues in ways that are inclusive, participative and build strong values and relationships within communities – offering clear links to the principles, ethics and values of community learning and development. As highlighted in the

Code of Ethics for Community Learning and Development (CLD) Clause 2: ‘Our work is not limited to facilitating change within individuals, but extends to their social context and environment. It recognises the impact of ecological and structural forces on people’.

Professional Learning opportunities and resources to support practice can be found at the following link:

A summary of learning for sustainability resources | Learning resources | National Improvement Hub (

Countdown to COP26 – Information and resources for the CLD Sector | Learning resources | National Improvement Hub (

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:


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