Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the community learning and development sector

Guidance to help local authorities, third sector organisations and partners working in Scotland’s schools, colleges and communities to provide community learning and development (CLD) services safely.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the community learning and development sector
CLD response during COVID-19

CLD response during COVID-19

In setting out this guidance we recognises the unique skillset of CLD, which has proved invaluable in providing Scotland’s communities with much needed support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, the CLD sector adapted their services to provide essential lifelines and support through face to face interaction, digital engagement or through telephone contact to young people, adults, families and communities.

Surveys carried out by the CLD sector throughout the crisis informs us that the CLD sector have demonstrated they are well positioned to identify, engage and support, learners and communities most in need. In responding to the pandemic, this data tells us that CLD practitioners have applied their knowledge, skills and experience across all aspects of community engagement and learning.

CLD staff and volunteers have been resilient, agile and quick to respond to young people, learners and community. During the COVID-19 pandemic CLD staff moved to delivering services to allow people to stay safe at home where possible.

Key to this role has been CLD practitioners’ access and knowledge of local community networks and the ability to form trusted relationships with those who are vulnerable.

In planning for a full return to active civil society whilst drawing from the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis” (Scottish Government  21st May 2020) and the Strategic Framework updated in February 2021, service providers from the CLD sector across public and third sectors have developed new and flexible ways to deliver services with, by and for vulnerable and marginalised learners and communities in changeable circumstances.


If you would like to provide feedback or have any questions related to this guidance please email

First published: 31 Jul 2020 Last updated: 16 Apr 2021 -