Increasing Access to Community and Adult Education

The Adult Learning Statement of Ambition states that every adult in Scotland has the right to access learning to meet their educational needs. 

The 2015-2016 Programme for Government reaffirmed this commitment to adult education and training, and the National Strategic Forum for Adult Learning is currently implementing a plan of action. Furthermore, the new framework between the CLD Standards Council and Education Scotland published in April 2016, marks a renewed commitment to CLD, outlining how it intends to meet the changing nature of the sector and to continue being fit for purpose.  

If community and adult education in Scotland is to achieve world-leading status, more needs to be done to increase access, develop programmes and quality training and support.


Join us at Holyrood’s event on 24th January 2017 to examine the latest policy developments and key issues surrounding community and adult education. We will share good practice and brief delegates on the key role that community and adult education will play in delivering inclusive education and skills development opportunities across Scotland. 

Key Issues to be Addressed

  • Increased understanding of where community and adult education sits within the wider education policy agenda
  • The connections between education (‘learning’) and training (‘employability’)
  • The role of the third sector in delivering community learning and development schemes
  • Increased inclusion of those with learning disabilities and mental health issues


09:00      Registration and refreshments

09:30      Welcome and introduction from the chair

  • Jim McHarg, Board Member of Scotland's Learning Partnership and Community Engagement Manager, North Ayrshire Council

Session 1: A policy overview of community learning and development in Scotland

09:35  ​    Growing the Learning Culture

  • Marion Allison, Director of CLD, Standards Council for Scotland 

09:55     Adult education in the context of CLD: current issues

  • Dr Jim Crowther, Senior Lecturer in Community Education, University of Edinburgh

10:15     Linking skills, training and careers

  • Derek Hawthorne, Programme Manager, Skills Development Scotland 

10:35     Questions and discussion

11:00    Refreshments and networking

Session 2: Adult Education and skills: Preparing people for the workplace 

  • Adult education and careers advice; identifying the required skills
  • Producing adult education, developing quality training and support
  • Working in partnership with employers; finding opportunities and matching people
  • Widening access to community learning for disabled people

11:20     Exploring and expanding resources for those pursuing CLD

  • ​​Loretta Mordi, Collections and Engagement Manager, Museums and Galleries Scotland & Elaine Addington, Curator, Open Museum

11:40     Widening access to community learning for disabled people

  • Emma Whitelock, Chief Executive, Lead Scotland

12:00     Evaluating the roles of the public and voluntary sectors

  • Jackie Howie, Lead Officer, Learning Link Scotland

12:20    Questions/Discussion

12:40    Lunch and networking

Session 3: Good Practice in Community Education 

13:30    Prison Education in Scotland: Myths and Methods

  • James King, Head of Offender Learning, Scottish Prison Service 

13:50    Providing education to all of the community; engaging hard to reach people

  • Rami Ousta, Chief Executive Officer, BEMIS Scotland 

14:10    Community learning for healthier, happier lives

  • Jason Schroeder, Executive Officer, Scottish Men's Sheds Association (SMSA)

14:30    Questions and discussion

15:00    Close of Event

*subject to change

Venue and Costs:

Delegate Rates:

•    Discounted rate: £149 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
•    Reduced rate: £199 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional
     associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual  income over £1m)
•    Full rate: £299 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please contact Clare Sturla, by email or phone 0131 285 1690.

24 January 2017
Scottish Arbitration Centre
125 Princes Street
United Kingdom



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