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
  • an analysis of published evidence

Have your say by 3 March 2024

The independent reviewer, Kate Still, wants to hear from people who take part in CLD or might want to in the future. And also from those that work in this area.

Kate wants to hear your thoughts or experiences of community learning.

If you are a learner or someone who wants to learn, help the review by completing 12 questions in a survey. The easiest way to do this is to answer the questions online at Citizen Space

Kate also wants to hear from others with an interest in CLD.   

This includes CLD workers and volunteers, third sector organisations, local government decision-makers or budget-holders, or other service providers such as employability support, benefits or money advice, educator, mental health support worker or GP. You can help the review by completing the CLD practitioners/stakeholders survey on Citizen Space. It’s the easiest way to feedback. 

Remember to complete and return your response by 3 March 2024. 

If you cannot access the survey on Citizen Space we can provide you with a template to complete. Please email:  


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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