I am delighted to welcome you to the first Update since taking up the post of CDN Chief Executive. It is a great honour to lead this organisation and I very much look forward to working with colleges, vocational organisations and many other partners in the weeks and months ahead. I've spent my first days at CDN getting to know our talented and experienced staff. They support an incredible range of professional networks and training, sector events and conferences, online and offline.

I come to CDN after five great years with the Carnegie UK Trust, as Head of Projects and Development. At Carnegie, I worked closely with colleges on a wide variety of initiatives, from enhancing digital skills to promoting youth entrepreneurship. My work, in Scotland and across the UK and beyond, has been about achieving social and economic impact - for learners, workers, communities - through strong collaborations and partnerships. I look forward to working with you as we improve the service CDN offers in the year ahead.  

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss our work in more detail: jim.metcalfe@cdn.ac.uk   

Jim Metcalfe, Chief Executive, College Development Network (CDN)

Feeding a growing sector
CDN's Food and Drink Subject Mentor, Kate Mathieson, addressed a recent parliamentary reception held by the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF). Our strong partnership with SFDF sees us working with industry to connect its growing work opportunities offered to young learners in colleges. Our partnership work has encouraged colleges to offer more industry specific pathways into work or onto higher education.

The recently launched Food and Drink Skills Investment Plan will drive more opportunities, and we are pleased to continue contributing to this growing area of economic activity for Scotland.
Find out more about our work with the food and drink sector.  
Gender Action Plan guidance  
The Gender Action Plan, published by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), is a vital part of how SFC plans to support colleges to become more accessible and diverse. SFC will ask colleges to develop their own Gender Action Plans (GAPS). This will be done annually and the first round of GAPS are expected by July 2017. CDN Advisor Suzanne Marshall, who specialises in equality and diversity, has been working closely with colleges and the SFC on developing the Gender Action Plan, and has produced a framework guidance document. Launched at a recent STEM Equality Forum meeting, it sets out the key messages from the SFC's Gender Action Plan publication, identifies the action required by colleges and makes recommendations on how colleges can meet their commitments.
Download the Gender Action Plan Framework Guidance.

Design a game for staff development
On Thursday 9 February we offer college staff an exciting chance to road test a new game, aimed at enhancing teaching and learning research skills. This event offers the opportunity to work with the game's creator to try it out and discuss whether it would be a suitable professional development resource for colleges. There is space for only 12 delegates so hurry if you or someone you know would be interested in attending.
Sign up for this exciting event. 

CDN Governance Hub proves popular 
267 College Board Members have signed up to our Governance Hub since its launch last October - that's nearly 75% of all College Board Members across Scotland. The online Hub provides an interactive catalogue for all our governance training and related resources, including remuneration training plus a dedicated discussion and sharing section for Board Secretaries.
Find out more about how CDN supports college governance.

Student mental health resource  
One in three people are estimated to be affected by mental illness in any one year. Anecdotal evidence from college staff indicates a large rise in students presenting with mental health issues. In response to requests from colleges and their staff, Sandy MacLean, Advisor with particular expertise in student mental health, has led the development of an online Student Mental Health course, which aligns with the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges within the area of guidance and support.
View the new CDN Student Mental Health course.

Webinar to launch new Cultural Intelligence resource 
Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is the capability to learn and work effectively in culturally diverse contexts, whether domestic or international cultural diversity. Schools, colleges and universities are incorporating CQ into staff development and student learning because it encourages a local and global mindset, necessary for the world of work today. This webinar will launch CDN's new resource on Cultural Intelligence.
Sign up for the webinar.

Weekly round-up of college news   
Every Friday CDN issues an online round-up of what's been happening across the college sector. It's free and very quick and easy to sign up. Do please let us know if there is anything that you would like us to add to the round-up, too.
Take a look at the latest version and subscribe.



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