Education Scotland praises Stirling leadership of community learning and development

Education Scotland inspectors have praised the leadership and direction of Stirling Council’s planning for community learning and development (CLD).

Picture shows some young people from Stirling’s secondary schools who took part in a summer residential at Auchengillan 2023, one of the projects organised by the council’s Youth Participation Team, who support and deliver CLD for young people in the area.
Picture shows some young people from Stirling’s secondary schools who took part in a summer residential at Auchengillan Outdoor Centre, a project organised by the council’s Youth Participation Team.

CLD is a key part of the Scottish education sector and includes the likes of youth work, community-based adult learning and family learning. Programmes and activities across Stirling take place in community centres, schools and other education settings.

Work that has arisen from the current CLD plan includes the well-established Mental Health and Wellbeing Project. This offers targeted support to young people across communities in order to remove barriers to learning and boosting confidence and resilience.

Thrive to Maximise is another project borne out of the CLD plan, aimed at supporting parents in Stirling to develop and enhance their skills, obtain qualifications and progress into further education or employment.

The inspection report highlighted the strong leadership at the Council and the positive progress being made in local communities, with a wide range of opportunities to support participants to develop new skills and thrive.

Children and Young People Convener, Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “This report from Education Scotland is a ringing endorsement of the positive work being done across Stirling to support learning and development in our communities.

“Council staff and our partners are making a real difference by ensuring there are opportunities for people throughout Stirling to improve their life chances through education, training and developing new skills.”

Inspections are being carried out across all 32 Scottish local authorities in 2023-24, to gauge and review progress against Scottish Government expectations of CLD plans. Stirling Council was visited first in September with its CLD plan for 2021-24 evaluated.

Stirling Council and its partners’ current priorities for community learning and development are to promote opportunities for employment and training for people of all ages, support mental health and wellbeing and promote digital inclusion.

Other positive progress noted in the Education Scotland report included:

  • The focus in the CLD plan on reducing inequalities is making a positive difference to local communities.
  • Work on digital inclusion in rural areas and supporting older people to engage with new technology is helping to build confidence among learners and communities.
  • Local employability partners work effectively to support learners to move between learning opportunities that best support their needs.
  • Almost all of those engaged in modern apprenticeships have secured employment within Stirling Council or have been supported into another positive destination.

The report can be viewed by downloading the agenda papers for the latest meeting of the children and young people committee which are available on the council website.