Education Scotland praise Community Learning and Development in Midlothian

Saturday May 4th 2024


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

An inspection report by Education Scotland was published this week following a progress visit on how well the authority and partners were leading and progressing the CLD plan, which took place during March 2024.

During the visit, Education Scotland spoke with learners and community representatives, CLD leaders in the public and third sectors, managers, staff, and volunteers, and other key stakeholders to determine Midlothian Council’s and partner’s effectiveness and areas for improvement.

In their report, Education Scotland stated: “the leadership of CLD at all levels is confident and effective. There is a clear shared vision and ambition for improving the lives of individuals and communities.”

In particular the report emphasised that “the council and partners are making positive progress towards achieving almost all of the high-level targets within the CLD Plan.”

With regards to CLD for young people, areas of positive progress highlighted in the report included the following:

– The majority of participation and achievements of learners returning to pre-pandemic levels.

– A consistently high number of young people achieving a positive post school destination.

– Significantly reduced levels of youth anti-social behaviour, following the delivery of a multi-agency programme of diversionary youth work activity.

– Committed and well-supported volunteers are helping to improve lives and communities.

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Midlothian’s CLD provision for adult learners also received praise in the report, with the following areas highlighted:

– Conversation café volunteers are helping adults learning English and become part of their community.

– All of the adults participating in the No One Left Behind employability programme are developing skills, gaining qualifications and progressing to further learning, volunteering or employment.

– Adults attending the online mental health and wellbeing course are developing strategies to help them tackle stress and anxiety and learning how to support other members of their family too.

The local authority and partners are very effective at removing barriers to participation. For example, they deliver many programmes and activities free of charge, cover travel expenses and provide equipment. Adjustments to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provision is helping to remove barriers to participation, including for young people with additional support needs.

Councillor Ellen Scott, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in the CLD services and our partners on receiving such a positive progress report from Education Scotland.

“This report is testament to the hard work that is undertaken every day to improve the lives of our residents and to ensure that Midlothian is a great, green place to grow as well as ensuring that CLD opportunities build skills for learning life and work.”

Fiona Robertson, Executive Director Children, Young People and Partnerships, said: “I am pleased that Education Scotland has recognised the CLLE team and our partners for the positive difference they are making to the lives of young people, adults, families and communities across Midlothian.

“While we are delighted to be recognised for the positive impact of our CLD work, we are also committed to continuous improvement of our services too and we will act upon the areas for development, which are set out in the report.”

Education Scotland’s report can be read in full HERE.

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