In Spring of 2021, the Northern Alliance Community Learning and Development (CLD) Workstream and Education Scotland engaged in a positive and productive collaboration around practitioner research. CLD practitioners from across the region participated in a short-term, desktop-based research programme exploring the quality of online and blended learning. This was particularly relevant given the adaptation of practice during the pandemic. The programme was tailored to fit with the CLD professional competencies and to reflect the priority work in the Regional Collaborative.

Eight of the participants completed short research reports which have been shared with colleagues and teams and are now available on the national platform hosted by the CLD Standards Council in Scotland –  i-develop  

Graphic highlights benefits of process.

Following on from this programme, an invitation was extended to deliver a presentation to the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) annual international online conference in October.

The presentation – titled Unlocking the inner researcher: the community based practitioner – was delivered by Alona Murray (HM Inspector with Education Scotland) Sue Briggs (CLD Workstream Lead, Northern Alliance) and one of the practitioner researchers, Kate James (Aberdeenshire Council CLD Team). Kate elaborated on the benefits to her in taking part and the importance in peer practice sharing. We were also able to highlight the fact that the model has now been picked up elsewhere in Scotland.

There was considerable interest in the co-production, co-delivery design of this research programme and the research reports have been accessed by conference delegates. 24 countries were represented at the overall conference with a wide range of collaborations in research highlighted and shared.    

Research papers all extremely relevant to the Northern Alliance CLD workstream and beyond.


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