Community learning and development plans: guidance - 2021 to 2024

Guidance document setting out our expectations for education authorities and their partners when meeting duties in community learning and development (CLD) planning for 2021 to 2024 as per The Requirements for Community Learning and Development (Scotland) Regulations 2013.

Annex D: The CLD Workforce

In 2018-19 Education Scotland and the CLD Standards Council conducted the most recent survey of the CLD workforce. The Working With Scotland’s Communities 2018 study estimated that there were up to 21,000 paid practitioners using CLD approaches across the public and third sectors. The study also found that:

  • CLD practitioners in Scotland are a highly committed and skilled workforce;
  • There is likely to be a CLD skills gap in upcoming years due to an ageing workforce;
  • More work is required to ensure that the CLD workforce reflects the diversity of the communities that it work with;
  • There were staff development needs that employers were concerned they may not be able to address;
  • Many in the workforce felt that there was an increasing gap between the resource available for CLD services and growing needs in communities.

Strategic leaders in the CLD sector who took part in the Scottish Government’s “Collaborating For Improvement” event in January 2020 were asked what needed to be done at local, regional and national levels to strengthen the capacity of the CLD workforce.

  • Greater stability in the CLD workforce at a local level is required in many areas;
  • It is important to shift the thinking at directorate and senior level to recognise the impact CLD can make across a range of priorities – regardless of who is delivering CLD services;
  • There is still a need to raise the profile of local CLD partnerships;
  • Educators need to respect each other’s professionalism and work to achieve shared outcomes for learners, families and communities;
  • Meaningful collaboration is required at all levels of practice and leadership.
  • The empowerment agenda in education should include CLD practitioners.

The education authority should ensure that CLD workforce planning is an integral part of the CLD plan and that the plan identifies the actions to be taken to support and develop the CLD workforce; in doing so, it should:

  • Consider how the issues identified in the Working With Scotland’s Communities 2018 study, and the recommendations made at the Collaboration For Improvement event, apply in its specific context;
  • Identify specific actions required to demonstrate commitment to the CLD workforce, and to support this through strong partnerships with the range of providers delivering outcomes for young people, adults, families and communities across the local authority area;
  • Provide practice placements for CLD students;
  • Recruit qualified CLD practitioners, at the appropriate level across all areas of Adult Learning, Community Development, Family Learning and Youth Work;
  • Support the CLD workforce in its area, across all sectors, to benefit from engaging with the CLD Standards Council through registered membership.



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