Community learning and development (CLD): independent review


Community Learning and Development (CLD) is a professional practice within education with delivery stretching across all stages of lifelong learning.

The purpose of CLD is to provide early intervention and prevention to those experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, inequality of opportunity within the education and skills system.

This independent review began in December 2023 and was commissioned by the Minister for Higher and Further Education; and Veterans.

It will offer independent advice and recommendations on the delivery of CLD services in the context of a reformed education and skills system. It will align to the ambition set out by the Skills Delivery Landscape Independent Review.

Scope of review

The review aims to reach the most marginalised people in Scotland who face barriers to learning and work.

In doing this, the review will:

  • consider the skills and career pathways of the CLD sector workforce and hear the views of staff and volunteers who may be directly impacted by any recommended changes to the delivery of CLD
  • take account of available evidence related to the provision of CLD services, the impact of these services on learners and international perspectives, where appropriate
  • consider how data across the CLD sector is gathered, measured and used to ensure the best possible outcomes for learners
  • make connections across the wider policy landscape and Scottish Government priorities whilst considering close alignment of CLD with the Purpose and principles of post-16 education (published June 2023)

This will involve:

  • face to face consultations and evidence gathering with key stakeholders, learners, potential learners and partners across the CLD sector
  • an online consultation (which was open until 3 March 2024 and is now being analysed)
  • an analysis of published evidence


The review will report in June 2024.  The report will be published here.


Independent reviewer: Kate Still

Kate has over 30 years experience in delivery of education, apprenticeships, skills, employability, community enterprise and regeneration. Kate has a passionate desire to make a difference coupled with the drive to achieve impact on issues of poverty, equality and diversity and social justice.

Kate started her career as a teacher and then as a youth trainer after completing an MA (Hons) in Politics at Glasgow University. She is currently a UK Board member of the National Lottery Community Fund and Chair of the Scotland Funding Committee.

Kate was previously Director for Scotland for the Prince’s Trust and has held director roles with Rathbone and Wise Group. She was a board member of ERSA for many years, a former chair of Employment Support Scotland and she remains a fellow of the Institute of Employability.




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