Focus on Adult Learning in CLD

This month marks 100 years of Adult Learning. Across our communication channels we have been busy highlighting the campaign and the work that Community Learning and Development (CLD) covers in adult learning.

The thing that surprises most people about CLD is the variety of roles and diversity of learning that is covered. People who work in CLD often have a variety of disciplines to cover and ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide these. The CLD Standards Council is the professional body for people who work or volunteer in CLD.

Adult literacy & Numeracy in Scotland follows a social practice model. It looks at the skills, knowledge and understanding that a learner has to build on and relates learning to a context within personal, family, working or community life. Provision is offered in a learner centred way and can use real life resources such as bills, letters, newspapers or other household resources to support learning to have a real life context.

ESOL is English for Speakers of other languages and community based ESOL is delivered by CLD teams across Scotland. Scotland has supported the Syrian Resettlement Scheme in recent years which also links to ESOL provision and wider CLD activity in communities although this can look different in different local authorities. ESOL learners can come from any country in the world and groups can be made up of a variety of languages and cultures.

Community based adult learning in Community Learning and Development (CLD) can cover a wide variety of learning opportunities that are intended to be informal, relaxed, friendly opportunities that aim to break down barriers for learners who are hardest to reach. These can be adults with multiple barriers such as mental health, physical health, learning difficulties, alcohol and drug addictions, long term unemployment and social isolation among others.

Adult learning in CLD covers a variety of areas such as confidence building, health issues, bereavement, life changes (such as divorce or redundancy) focussing on areas of high deprivation where poverty impacts on households and families.

CLD is a value-based practice and CLD professionals have committed themselves to the values of self-determination, inclusion, empowerment, working collaboratively and the promotion of adult learning as a lifelong activity. Programmes and activities are developed in dialogue with communities and participants, working particularly with those excluded from participation in the decisions and processes that shape their lives.

The focus of CLD in all areas of adult learning are improved life chances for people of all ages, through learning, personal development and active citizenship with stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities.

The Education Scotland CLD Team works to support the CLD sector in delivering high quality learning opportunities relevant to the communities that are in need. The Education Scotland CLD Team supports professional learning across different areas of adult learning in CLD and supports the creation of new policies and strategies. The team is keen to share and promote interesting practice that is of interest delivered by CLD workers who work tirelessly to improve the communities and individuals they work with. Get in touch if there is a piece of work you would like us to share! Contact Laura.McIntosh@educationscotland.gov.scot for more information.

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