Publication - Advice and guidance

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

Published: 31 Jul 2020
Last updated: 3 Nov 2020 - see all updates

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.

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

Using this guidance

In this section: 

This guidance directs to the suite of publications offering advice and guidance available on the Scottish Government website and should be used in conjunction with other relevant guidance and advice. Links to further guidance and advice can be found throughout and towards the end of this guidance. Together, the guidance documents will help to inform safer working practice for the CLD sector.

In recognising the diversity of CLD practice taking place in a variety of environments, this guidance should be used as a platform for each employer or organisation to meet the needs of CLD staff, volunteers and learners.

Guidance should be applied at a local level whilst recognising protection levels, sometimes called tiers, set for each local authority area. The Scottish Government have developed a postcode checker to help people to identify which tier is relevant to local providers of CLD activity.

Each CLD service provider is responsible for translating this guidance and applying the specific actions required in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19. Organisations will need to risk assess activities and consider the impact of restarting services in relation to the type of activity taking place; any mitigations that can be implemented; and, the behaviours of participants taking part. This will include how well the expectations and protocols can be understood and adhered to by learners.

Building on planning during the various phases of the Scottish Government’s route map, a blended approach will remain in place for a number of Community Learning and Development services. This will see a combination of remote and face-to-face delivery that reflects public health guidance. The precise blend of remote and face-to-face learning will depend on the protection level a local authority area is operating under as set out in the Strategic Framework published on 23 October 2020.

For Community Learning and Development activities, the approach should be broadly in-line with other educational settings, depending on the age range of learners. 

Youth Work

Youth work takes many forms and is delivered in a wide variety of learning environments.

The table below relates to all environments where youth work takes place and outlines the maximum number of people who are permitted to participate in youth work under each level of the strategic framework which should be followed from 2 November 2020.

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Indoor Maximum Numbers (includes all people)

Outdoor Maximum Numbers (includes all people)

Baseline

30

30

Level 1

30

30

Level 2

30

30

Level 3

30

30

Level 4

20

20

Learning which is delivered as part of the school day/curriculum with school aged children, and young people, should be delivered in line with schools guidance and in agreement with schools and local authorities.  

Adult Learning

It is recognised that adult learning takes many forms and operates in a variety of learning environments.

For the purposes of reducing transmission rates amongst adults, community based adult learning activities should be carried out in-line with guidance developed for college settingsThis means using blended learning approaches where possible to minimise face to face contact while considering the vulnerability of learners and the appropriateness/ individual ability to engage with digital learning. The amount of face to face learning that is appropriate decreases as the level increases.

 

Recommended Learning method

Baseline

Blended Learning

Level 1

Blended Learning

Level 2

Blended Learning

Level 3

Delivering face to face learning and assessments should only take place where it cannot be delivered online and is essential to gaining a qualification or providing essential support to the most vulnerable learners.

Level 4

Delivering face to face learning and assessments should only take place where it cannot be delivered online and is essential to gaining a qualification or providing essential support to the most vulnerable learners.

Community Development and Community Engagement

Many CLD practitioners are involved in Community Development and Community Engagement activities. Organisations should consider how these activities continue within the protection levels of the strategic framework.

A useful guide for community development work has been developed by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC).

Supporting Communities

It is also recognised that many CLD providers are leading efforts in supporting the most vulnerable people within Scotland’s communities.

Organisations, such as Volunteer Scotland and SCVO, have published information and guidance for volunteers. In addition, Volunteer Scotland run training webinars to support volunteers’ wellbeing (such as mental health) and you can listen to volunteering stories on their Radio V podcasts. Information to help people in local communities can also be found on the Ready Scotland website.

Helpful resources to support the wellbeing of volunteers and others are also available from Lifelines Scotland. Lifelines is a resource for volunteers and others, including managers, and explains what protects individuals in their work or volunteering role and how they can stay well, cope with stress and boost their resilience. It also has information on how to be a supportive colleague and where to access advice should individuals or their families need more help.

Managing the Risk

Recognising that there may be negative impacts to learners and others if access to education is limited, CLD providers should carefully consider the appropriate use of risk and equality impact assessments in deciding the scope and scale of face-to-face activity.

In planning provision, consideration should be given in the first instance to whether activity can take place outdoors to reduce the risk of transmission.

Additional risk assessment and enhanced protective measures where face to face learning is essential should be carried out when an area moves to a higher protective level.

All organisations and groups operating CLD services are asked to pay very close attention to any evidence suggesting the potential for circumstances where there is a risk of transmission within groups or practice environments. In the event that any such evidence is identified, they should consult immediately with local public health teams on any requirement to pause face to face activity. They should also ensure that appropriate contingency measures for remote learning are in place for any required period of time.

Further advice on developing risk assessments and implementing adequate mitigations can be found further on in this guidance.

National organisations such as the CLD Standards Council, YouthLink Scotland, Learning Link Scotland and Youth Scotland also provide advice and support for national or community based organisations.        

Advice on operating services can be also be sought from environmental health or public health teams within local authority areas.


Contact

If you would like to provide feedback or have any questions related to this guidance please email Elisha.Fisher@gov.scot

 
First published: 31 Jul 2020 Last updated: 3 Nov 2020 -