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Strategic Guidance for Community Planning Partnerships: Community Learning and Development

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4. Implementation and Support

'Communities have high expectations of public services and have a key role to play in helping to shape and coproduce better outcomes within their communities. If community planning partnerships are to unlock that potential, their foundations must be built on a strong understanding of their communities, and provide genuine opportunities to consult, engage and involve them. CPPs must be able to engage closely with the needs and aspirations of their communities, within the context of local and national democratic control…' 3

4.1 The foundation of CLD delivery is an assessment - in partnership with learners and communities - of needs, strengths and opportunities. This clearly aligns with the Government's response to the Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services, which sets out the approach to public sector reform as built on four pillars:

  • a decisive shift towards prevention
  • greater integration of public services at local level
  • enhanced workforce development and effective leadership
  • a sharp focus on improving performance through greater transparency, innovation and use of digital technology.

Prevention

4.2 A focus on prevention is a long standing feature of CLD practice. CLD practitioners prioritise preventative measures, work to reduce inequality and target the underlying causes of inter-generational deprivation and low aspiration.

4.3 Working with communities to realise and build on their own strengths or assets is at the core of the CLD delivery model. We want everyone involved in delivering CLD to emphasise this primary role. Activities must be designed with individuals and communities as active partners, in ways that focus on reducing the longer term need for input by public services - including CLD.

4.4 Public service planners and decision-makers will want to prevent problems from emerging and increase the opportunities for individuals, families and communities to shape their own lives. To this end they should make full use of CLD's ability to:

  • build an in-depth understanding of people's needs, strengths and aspirations through sustained dialogue;
  • identify issues and solutions at an early stage;
  • identify barriers to participation and strategies for overcoming these;
  • mobilise and support direct participation in planning and service design; and
  • enable community organisations to develop their infrastructure.

Effective partnerships: services and communities

4.5 The growing diversity of CLD provision coupled with the increase in partnership working to deliver a wide variety of programmes, services and initiatives means CLD activities and approaches now have a role in many partnerships.

4.6 Partnership working is already embedded in how CLD is delivered, but, as part of our drive for reformed public services, we need it to be deepened further, widened and more closely focused on outcomes.

  • First, we want providers to go further in involving learners and communities as active partners in planning and delivering CLD, and to strengthen their focus on helping communities to influence, shape and co-produce services more generally.
  • Second, we want to see partnerships that plan and deliver CLD include the full range of relevant partners. This means each local authority should have a clearly defined framework for planning and delivering CLD, through partnership, as a key element of its reformed public services.
  • Third, partnership working to deliver CLD outcomes should provide the basis for delivering key priorities such as:
  • securing agreements to ensure effective links between learning in the community and college-based learning;
  • joined-up working to deliver better outcomes for children and young people through Curriculum for Excellence, including family learning;
  • more clearly focused and integrated support for communities to build their own capacity;
  • engaging fully in delivering shared outcomes with national and local Third Sector organisations, including culture and sport;
  • developing stronger links with Community Justice Authorities and community safety partnerships;
  • further development of CLD's role in local employability partnership work.

Finally, we want CLD practitioners and managers to build on the role they already play in helping other public service providers to engage effectively with service users and communities. The delivery of the three Change Funds, for Older People, Offenders and Early Years, should provide opportunities to use CLD expertise, making best use of existing resources.

Workforce development and effective leadership

4.7 At national level, CLD policy and related legislation are being developed in response to changing needs. We ask that workforce development keeps pace with these and supports their implementation.

4.8 The national CLD CPD Strategy and the i-develop framework provide the focus for developing a learning culture across the sector. The CLD Competences provide a common framework for practice, underpinned by a code of ethics.

4.9 Education Scotland, in partnership with the CLD Standards Council, will work with others to support CLD providers to build partnerships that continue to develop the CLD workforce. We welcome the joining-up of CPD partnerships across local authority and professional boundaries, for example the joint CPD programmes in the North Alliance and Glasgow Life.

4.10 We want to see an integrated approach to all stages of professional learning. A core of highly skilled practitioners will remain essential to achieving the impact we expect from CLD, and we recognise the need to consider further the future of pre-service training in that context.

4.11 Clearly, effective leadership is crucial to CLD delivering its role and impact. Further work to develop the skills, understanding and confidence for leadership at all levels within the CLD workforce should be a key focus for CPD.

Improving performance, innovation and sharing good practice

4.12 Effective self-evaluation by groups, services and partnerships is essential to improving performance and delivering better outcomes for learners and communities. Education Scotland will provide public accountability through inspection, challenge and support to local authorities and partnerships. In addition, CPPs should ensure that CLD providers are part of the planning and reporting process supporting Single Outcome Agreements, paying particular attention to local indicators.

4.13 In this context, CLD providers have developed a range of management information systems to support performance management and improvement. The information and evidence these produce is strong in relation to individual projects - but need more development in relation to wider programmes and outcomes at partnership level.

4.14 Valuable work has been done to quantify the impact of CLD and to identify savings it can help deliver for other areas of public investment. We will work with partners to build on this and develop the best unified, flexible framework possible for self-evaluation, performance management and measurement of impact, to meet local needs and improve understanding at national level.

4.15 We will work with partners to support CLD providers in driving forward the modernisation of their own services, using self-evaluation as a tool for continuous improvement.