Adult learning policy in Scotland is led by the Scottish Government and administered and supported through Education Scotland’s Community Learning and Development (CLD) Team. Since 1975 local education authorities have had powers to provide further education for their areas as set out in the Education Scotland Act 1980. The system of continuing, post-school, non-tertiary education in Scotland includes three main types of provision that are available to adult learners:
There is overlap among these types of provision. The common defining feature of CLD programmes and activities is that that they are negotiated and developed with communities and participants, enabling individuals to re-engage in learning.
Training provision, underpinned by the Skills for Scotland strategy (Scottish Government, 2010), supports lifelong development and the use of skills. Government funded national training programmes are managed and delivered by Skills Development Scotland.
Further education has a wide remit, including the preparation of learners for qualifications, access to higher education and participation in any programme of learning, as well as assisting people whose first language is not English.