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.