Members of the Specific Learning Difficulties Network along with colleagues from Education Scotland, Dyslexia Scotland and the CLD Standards Council have recently developed a free online learning opportunity to increase awareness of dyslexia in CLD practice. This module will launch in July 2018 on the Open University website. The module will be available to anyone within a CLD role wishing to undertake professional learning around the issue of dyslexia and will incorporate links to current practice based on practitioners experience, teaching strategies and resources. For further information please contact Lindsay MacDonald.
National charity Children in Scotland and national agency for youth work YouthLink Scotland are developing an exciting new participation project, First Minister’s Question Time (FMQT), which will launch later this year. It aims to empower children and young people, particularly those too young to have a vote or whose voices are seldom heard, to express their views, opinions and needs directly to Scotland’s leaders.
As part of planning for the first FMQT event, Children in Scotland and YouthLink Scotland will be contacting schools in June and asking young people to submit questions. An education resource linked to the project is also being developed which will be shared with schools.
If you are interested in hearing more about the project and would like to be sent further information, please email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘FMQT project’ in the subject line.
CLD Standards Council
The CLD Standards Council held a successful conference with over 180 members participating actively in a wide variety of workshops with a professional learning focus across a wide spectrum of CLD practice. For more information about their work, visit their website: http://cldstandardscouncil.org.uk/
CLD and STEM
Education Scotland met with colleagues from the Science Centres and Festivals to discuss STEM actions in relation to CLD. We are currently undertaking an audit of science centre and CLD STEM engagement. This information will give a baseline of current activity. Further discussions will take place with CLD, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and Science Centres and Festivals to identify priorities and begin to produce STEM Community Plans.
Newbattle Abbey Adult Learning Conference
The fifth Adult Learning Conference took place in Newbattle Abbey College on the 24th April and delegates came from local authorities, colleges, National Organisations, Higher Education and the Third Sector. Shirley- Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science delivered the Keynote Address and announced grant support from Education Scotland for the Adult Achievement Awards. Joan MacKay, Assistant Director, Education Scotland, invited the audience to help shape the CLD offer in the light of Education Scotland’s new National and Regional responsibilities. Adult Guidance was the theme of the
conference, introduced by Marian Docherty, Principal of Newbattle Abbey College and there were two powerful testimonies from adult learners about their learner journeys and the importance of adult guidance in shaping their futures. Conference delegates agreed recommendations for actions to develop Adult Guidance in Scotland. This Action Plan will be sent to Ms Somerville and the National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning will implement the recommendations once approved by the Minister.
National Youth Work Strategy
The National Youth Work Strategy Group met on 2 May at Youthlink. Key themes arising were how to build on the legacy work of the YOYP and ensure that the new Strategy was reflective of young people’s aspirations and how to make use of evidence from the GUS research to help inform the new Strategy and build a strong evidence base for the future.
Languages in FE and ESOL Practitioner Professional Learning Network
The second meeting of the steering group for the Languages in FE and ESOL Practitioner Professional Learning Network took place at the end of April. This network is being supported by a partnership between the College Development Network, Education Scotland and Scotland’s Centre for Languages.
The Languages and ESOL network supports the learning and teaching of all languages and cultures. Its purpose is to be a national voice for languages and ESOL within FE and the wider community, and to provide a platform for sharing and developing practice in its widest sense. For more information about the work of the steering group, please contact Mandy Watts.
National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning in Scotland Learner Voice Working Group
The National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning is chaired by Education Scotland. The new Learner Voice Pack contains information on the work of this strategic group and case studies from Glasgow Women’s Library, Scottish Book Trust, Stirling Council, Crisis Skylight Edinburgh, Scottish Borders CLD, East Renfrewshire Council, Age Scotland, Airdrie Adult Learners’ Forum and West Dunbartonshire Learners’ Voice. It is accessible now from the CPD Forum page of i-develop. It will be formally launched at Learning Link Scotland on the 15th May.
New research study commissioned on the Community Learning and Development Workforce
Education Scotland and the CLD Standards Council for Scotland have commissioned a new research study on the current size and make-up of the community learning and development workforce across all sectors and made a commitment to continue to update information on the CLD workforce on a regular basis.
The research will be carried out by Rocket Science and is intended to find out more about:
- Who is working and volunteering in CLD-related roles in 2018
- Where are they; what do they do; and what challenges do they face
- What is the demand for practitioners with CLD skills and are there enough practitioners to meet that demand
We want as a wide a range of practitioners and organisations to participate – and we know that you don’t have to have ‘CLD’ in your job title or in the name of your organisation to be doing great CLD work – so please look out for more details over the coming weeks.
Child Poverty Action Group has some good practice examples of working with partners in the community including local organisations to help towards reducing the cost of a school day see link below
This year Social Bite are bringing together 9,000 people in Princes Street Gardens, on the 9th of December, for the world’s largest ever Sleep-Out to try and end homelessness in Scotland for good. Participants will be joined by some of the world’s biggest artists to sleep in the cold for one night.
We have invited some amazing musicians to “busk” stripped back acoustics sets including Liam Gallagher, Deacon Blue, Amy Macdonald and Frightened Rabbit. We also have Rob Brydon hosting the event, Sir Bob Geldof sleeping out and John Cleese has agreed to come and read a bedtime story!
The website is: https://www.sleepinthepark.co.uk/
You can see a little video about the event here:
Please note: This allocation is for young people 16 and over and they must be accompanied by an adult.
Opportunity for Your School
Ordinarily, in order to participate in the event people have to pay an initial donation of £50 and commit to raise at least £50 more. However, we have had a wealthy individual donate £50,000 to fund the participation of 1,000 School kids (aged 16 and over).
Therefore I am writing to see if you would like to take an allocation of free tickets for children over 16 at your school. The group would need to commit to raising a minimum of £50 or more per person in order to take part, but would not have to pay any initial £50 registration fee as this has been entirely funded. They would also have to be accompanied to the event by a teacher(s).
We are giving the school ticket allocations out on a first come first served basis and we expect the demand to be high and the 1,000 available to be taken quickly. Therefore could you let me know if you would like an allocation of tickets? If so please let me know the number of tickets you would like for your school?
Josh Littlejohn MBE
t: 0131 220 8206
The 4th edition of Amazing Things – the guide to youth awards in Scotland has been launched by the Awards Network to coincide with the 2017 Scottish Learning Festival. Featuring 26 youth award providers and more than double the number of youth awards than the previous edition, it is packed with information that will help young people, educators and employers to learn more about youth awards and how they contribute to young people’s learning, life and work skills development.
Commenting on Amazing Things, Graeme Logan, Chief Inspector of Education, encourages ‘everyone who works with young people – in schools, youth work settings, further education or in the workplace to make best use of this excellent resource’.
In his Foreword to Amazing Things, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, highlights the important contribution that youth awards make to raising attainment and to developing key skills valued by employers. Hugh Aitken CBE, CBI Scotland Director, echoes these remarks, commending youth awards for helping young people develop a ‘can do attitude – exactly what we (employers) want to see in the workforce’.
A keynote contribution from Jim Thewliss, General Secretary of School Leaders Scotland, notes how youth awards have developed ‘from curriculum enhancements to fundamental building blocks’.
And from young people themselves:
Graeme – “Gaining my award is an amazing achievement. I have learned so many new skills, met so many new friends and this has boosted my confidence”
Stephanie – “From self-management to making the most of new opportunities (my award) has given me the chance to grow as a person”
Amazing Things features 48 award programmes, many providing multiple levels of progression and almost half delivering formal qualifications. Find out about key award elements, age ranges, distinctive features, skills and competences and links to other awards.
Copies of Amazing Things 4 can be ordered by contacting email@example.com or downloaded from the Awards Network website.
The following four good practice exemplars have been published on the National Improvement Hub to highlight initiatives that help learners requiring additional support to develop skills and find employment.
Exemplar 1: Enable Scotland’s ‘Stepping Up’ programme
This innovative employability programme offers comprehensive support for young people aged 14 to 19 who have learning disabilities which takes participants from an initial investigation of the world of work, through a process of discovery and planning for their future, to engagement with employers in real workplace settings. Find out more here.
Exemplar 2: ‘Thinking Digitally’ – a new resource
This credit rate module by Lead Scotland allows candidates to develop relevant digital skills and build confidence operating in online environments. More on this here.
Exemplar 3: ‘TOPs’ – training opportunities for young parents
This programme run by Rathbone Training, a UK-wide voluntary youth sector organisation which supports young people aged 16 to 24 who have disengaged from society, aims to help young parents in their personal development. More here.
Exemplar 4: ‘Community Action and Leadership Award
This is a course created by the charity Lead Scotland so that more people can learn how to influence change and make a difference within their communities. More information here.
Connecting young people with careers, jobs, skills and apprenticeship opportunities, Skills Scotland is aimed at students aged S4 and above.
In each region schools, colleges, youth and community groups are
invited to attend with free entry for students and teachers with
access to a travel bursary fund. All events are also open to parents
and carers with a dedicated evening opening session in Glasgow.
Skills Scotland offers an immediate way for industry to influence and
educate the next generation of talent, supporting recommendations
from the Wood report and offering solutions to issues such as youth
unemployment and the growing industry skills gaps.
Across the series over 170 educational establishments will meet with
in excess of 120 exhibitors to learn about recruitment, learning and
training opportunities. Each show is a one stop shop for young
people to discover what’s next and meet with a variety of exhibitors
face to face including regional and national employers, colleges and
universities plus training providers and other career or sector specific organisations.
Access the events flyer here: SScot17ExhibitorBrochureDIGITAL
by Dr Bill Maxwell, HM Chief Inspector of Education
The publication of our report on Quality and improvement in Scottish education (QuISE), ranging back over the period 2012 to 2016, has been a great opportunity to take a step back from more immediate short-term concerns and take a ‘bigger picture’ view of what has been achieved over a period of major reform which has touched every area of Scottish education.
Having launched the report, I would now encourage each education setting to read their dedicated chapter and consider it in their self-evaluation.
Of course there is already good evidence around that, as result of the professionalism and expertise of staff and of course the efforts of learners themselves, outcomes have improved over that stretch of time. National Qualification outcomes have steadily improved and the proportion of young people entering a positive destination post-school now sits at a record high. Although there is still a long way to go, we have also seen evidence of progress in beginning to close the attainment gap between pupils from the most and the least disadvantaged backgrounds.
Equally, of course, not all in the statistical garden in rosy. We have also seen some unwelcome indications that we should be concerned about the pace of progress in literacy and numeracy through the broad general education, for example, and we saw a disappointing set of PISA results for 2015.
The QuISE report, offers a distinctly different, but complementary, perspective from that which you can get by simply looking at the statistics. It provides an analysis based on first-hand observation and evaluation of the quality what is actually happening in playrooms, classrooms, lecture rooms and other educational settings throughout the country. It summarises observation and evaluation undertaken by expert professionals, HM inspectors and indeed many other associates and lay members from education sectors across the country who join our inspection teams contributing a valuable additional perspective.
Our analysis of what has emerged from that more qualitative evidence base over the last four years has led us to conclude that there are some very positive and growing strengths in the provision and practice within Scottish education. These are strengths that align directly with the ambitions of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and other related reforms.
We are seeing improvement in the quality of learning experiences, with the result that young people are increasingly well motivated, engaged and actively involved in their learning. We are seeing schools and other education settings becoming more inclusive, we are seeing a broader range of achievements being promoted and recognised, and we are seeing the impact of strong leadership, with a clear and sustained focus on raising the quality of the day-to-day learning and teaching that learners experience.
The report also sets out a set of five priority areas. This is where we believe targeted improvements in practice and provision would reap dividends in enabling us to make further progress towards meeting our collective national ambition of achieving excellence with equity for all Scottish learners. They include: exploiting more fully the flexibility of CfE; improving assessment and personal support; enhancing partnerships; strengthening approaches to self-evaluation and improvement; and growing a culture of collaborative enquiry. In all cases these go with the flow of current reforms and national strategies and in each case there are already examples of excellent practice in the system.
Taking a longer view of what has been achieved over the last few years, and thinking about where we go next, has also had quite a personal dimension for me, as I retire from the role of Chief Executive of Education Scotland this Summer. As I prepare to move on, I am convinced that the Scottish education system is well placed to make substantial progress across each of these key areas.
If I were to pick out a linking theme it would be about collective commitment across all partners in the education system to work together, to help each other, and indeed to constructively challenge each other, in ways which provide richer, more coherent, more personalised learning pathways capable of matching the needs of all our learners. Confident collaboration for improvement rather than competitive isolation should be the Scottish way, reflecting our deep national commitment to a strong education as a common public good.
Taking account of the themes in this report, and with the National Improvement Framework providing a new level of clarity and focus from national to local level, I am confident that we can rise to the challenge that the OECD left us with following their 2015 review: to make sure we achieve the potential of a progressive programme of national educational reform, by taking bold and specific action to fully realise its benefits. I hope the QuISE report helps inform discussion and debate in education settings of all types, across the whole country, about where that specific action is needed and how boldness can be ensured as it is pursued.