SCA Education Coaching Programme 2019

SCA Education Coaching Programme 2019

SCA are once again delighted to offer Scottish archive services free coaching to develop education and outreach resources.

Focussed support for your education and outreach work

After a highly successful 2018 programme, the SCA is again offering the opportunity for Scottish archives to receive professional coaching and support from its Education Development Officer, Douglas Roberts. Archive services are invited to apply for up to three days of professional and focussed support to assist with developing their education and outreach work.


Over the past seven years the SCA’s Education Development Officer Douglas Roberts has supported the development of education and outreach work in the archives sector in Scotland. This has been achieved through a programme of practical skills and information workshops, pilot projects, theatre performances, education materials development, one-to-one support and online resource provision.

In 2018 SCA invited applications from archive services for its new Education Coaching programme. Five services around Scotland each received three days of focussed input and support to develop and refine education and outreach work.

“The coaching programme was an excellent experience and definitely met my expectations. Douglas Roberts is very knowledgeable and approachable and offered a great amount of support and expertise.”

“In the space of three days we were able to create a comprehensive education module based around one of our collections, with a structure that can be adapted to other collections as well. Prior to this programme we had no educational offer in place.”

What’s on offer?

SCA will fund up to three days of professional input from its Education Development Officer to help develop and deliver your education and outreach work. This may be creating a specific education activity based on a collection, developing a schools or community project (or delivering an aspect of it), learning new skills, devising creative activities, or another project that will enhance your education and outreach work.

SCA will support promotion of the resulting projects and activities through its various communication channels.

“Douglas also gave me some useful ideas for exhibitions which would be simple to do but engaging for a wider audience, to help raise the profile of the archive collections.”

Who can apply?

Archivists responsible for an archive based in Scotland can apply to the programme. This includes public, private and community-based archives.

Previous applicants to the programme, whether successful or not, are also welcome to apply.

What kinds of things can you help with?

We can help you develop your education and outreach work with schools, special interest groups and/or community groups. Douglas’s background is in teaching and in theatre and drama, and he has worked with the archives and heritage sector for ten years. He has created primary and secondary schools teaching materials based on archive records, taught training workshops and courses, worked with community groups and projects, devised theatre and drama resources, and worked closely with digital sound, image, film and animation.

“We had access to an experienced teacher who has previously structured workshops and is knowledgeable in drama techniques for both primary and secondary children, to assist in adapting our material and giving advice.”

“We learned how to create a four-unit educational module using a very modest and manageable number of items from our collections. The structure of the module is such that we will be able to apply it to other topics and collections and slowly build a full offer of topic-based modules for schools.”

“It was very useful to learn about specific drama techniques that can be used in these activities, such as the mantle of the expert, still images and role plays. It was great to have an actual demonstration of these techniques rather than just reading about them, as it gave me more confidence to try them myself.”

When is this available?

The Coaching Programme will be available between June and December 2019

How do I qualify to take part?

We ask that you have a clear idea of how you would use the support we offer, and that you have up to three days available to work with Douglas, as well as the resources to further develop and deliver the project.

You may already have a project in mind or underway where you would like input in a specific area, or you may have a collection you’d like to develop for outreach, or maybe you’re looking for a way to expand your education and outreach work and are unsure where to start.

Successful applications will be realistic in scale and clearly demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve their outcomes. You will be asked to commit to producing a short case study describing and evaluating your project or activity.

“We created a number of learning units, such as What are Archives?, and The Value of Archives, as well as units that were specific to this location and our collections, such as tours of the building and explorations of our records about the town’s public baths and the textile industry. I now have more confidence to take all of this information forward and introduce school groups to our archives.”

What if I’m interested but don’t have a specific project in mind?

Whether you’re starting from scratch or building on existing work we can help you find where and how to start creating and growing an education and outreach programme.

“I am a new professional in my first full-time archive job and first experience of managing an archive service. I was looking to start an education programme from scratch. I had no previous experience of introducing children to archives and wanted to gain some practical advice and examples of techniques to use. The most beneficial aspect of the coaching was gaining a greater understanding of how to shape educational activities to fit the Curriculum for Excellence.”

We even have some suggestions for projects that may inspire you, and which we can help you develop. For example:

Tales From The Vault

Identify a set of exciting stories from your collection to use as inspiration for creative workshops by school or community groups. Create a range of one-off activities for these groups that express these stories through media such as imaginative writing, graphic arts, digital animation, audio recording and radio, film, theatrical scripts and performance, craft works.

Themes might include ‘hidden treasure’, ‘unearthing secrets’, ‘travelling through time’, ‘fascinating characters’ and ‘enduring mysteries’.

Archive Artworks

Devise a set of graphic arts-based activities using archive records as inspiration. Focussed on the aesthetics of records such as texture, handwriting, seals, illumination, folding, graphics, colours, sounds, these activities would use drawing, painting, photography, digital manipulation and other approaches to express users’ aesthetic and emotional experience of the records.

The projects would be undertaken by your archive in collaboration with a school, community groups, an education professional and/or a suitable artist.

Archives On Stage

Identify a collection that lends itself to stage performance. Poorhouse records, Asylum records and School logbooks can all be interesting sources for theatrical scripts.

Organise and facilitate collaborations between your archives service and a school or local community groups focussed on the writing, production and performance of community theatre pieces based on archive records. These might involve theatrical live readings, radio play recordings or full stage performances.

How do I apply?

To apply for SCA’s 2019 Education Coaching Programme please complete this application form by 24 May 2019 (Word version available here, please return to We will notify you of our decision within 10 days of the closing date