Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for continuity in learning

Published: 30 Jul 2020
Last updated: 25 Mar 2021 - see all updates

Guidance to help local authorities, early learning centres and schools continue to support children and young people's learning during the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for continuity in learning
Related guidance

Related guidance

General information


  • NHS Inform for general health information.
  • Education Scotland and the National Improvement Hub for information, guidance and resources to support practitioners, learners and parents and carers during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Scotland Learns provides ideas and suggestions of activities to help parents, carers and practitioners support learning at home


Support for practitioners

Children and young people

Parents and carers

Mental health and wellbeing

Additional Support for Learning

Scotland’s education system is designed to be an inclusive one for all children and young people in Scottish schools with or without additional support needs. Learners who were not previously recognised has requiring additional support prior to COVID-19 may require support and are entitled to have their needs identified and met.

Emergency COVID-19 legislation has extended some time frames for the Additional Support for Learning Act.

See also:

Inclusive education

Scottish education is based on an understanding that education is a human right and that all children and young people should be supported to reach their fullest potential. Free online professional learning is available to support practitioners to develop and reflect on inclusion.

Assessment and planning of individual needs

Support to overcome disadvantage

Education Scotland: ASN specific issues and signposting to supports

CELCIS: COVID 19 Coronavirus Information Point for Children’s Care and Protection  - Information, guidance and advice for practitioners supporting care experienced children and young people.

Learning and teaching

A key focus has been on enabling teachers to support learners to engage with remote learning and consideration needs to be given to how learners from the most disadvantaged communities continue to access the support they need.

Support for this is taking many forms, including use of online platforms and apps such as Glow, Google classrooms and DigiLearn, focusing on the immediate needs of learners, teachers and practitioners.

Digital inclusion - The extent to which teachers and practitioners have access to digital devices, or are digitally connected, will impact on their ability to connect with pupils. The Scottish Government's Connecting Scotland Programme is currently working with industry and other partners to identify and support digitally excluded households, whether that be through devices, connectivity or skills.

Accessibility of online learning and teaching resources. It is important that learning and teaching resources developed for distance learning are accessible for all learners so they can access their learning and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. For some learners who experience print disabilities e.g. dyslexia, visual impairments and physical difficulty in turning pages in a book they have a legal entitlement to accessible resources.

We know that there are many other learning resources and activities, including books, television, radio, and creative activities that will help with learning at home.

Home learning boxes - A number of local authorities have looked at ways of providing physical resources such as home learning boxes to support those parents and carers who may find it particularly challenging to support their child’s learning when at home.

Wakelets have been created by Education Scotland to identify additional external resources for each curricular area. These support practitioners in accessing appropriate materials for learners. 

General Teaching Council for Scotland: Guide for online good practice.

Guidance and resources to support digital youth work



Families and communities


Third sector

The third sector is particularly well placed to support improvements to health and wellbeing, to improve employability skills and school leaver destinations and in helping engage with young people and parents and carers who may require different approaches.  


School leadership and making of local decisions is a vital part of the recovery process and is central to our empowered schools system.

Professional learning support is available from Education Scotland’s Blether Programme. 

Local authorities are also offering their own packages of support for schools to help them support learners from disadvantaged background

Education Scotland Attainment Advisors are an important resource to draw upon in this process, able to provide advice on a local and regional basis. Attainment Advisors can be integral to facilitating good communication between head teachers, helping to share best practice and provide guidance on interventions.

Support for transition

For all children and young people

Young people with additional support needs

The Scottish Transitions Forum provides a framework to inform, structure and encourage the continual improvement of support for young people with additional needs. This has been developed for young people with ASN between the ages of 14 and 25 who are making the transition to young adult life, but can be applied to all young people at a range of transition points.  Guidance has been adapted to support transitions during COVID 19.

Education Scotland Additional Support Needs Wakelet signposts materials stored online to support all children and young people with a range of barriers to learning.  They also offer webinars to share practical resources and guidance to support the return to educational settings of autistic children and young people in the context of COVID 19.

Guidance and resources are available on the Autism Toolbox to support autistic learners’ return to school.

Secondary school to college, university or employment

For queries relating to college or university academic start dates, admissions etc. students should be directed to their specific institution who will be able to offer the correct support.

Please note that the legal provisions for additional support for learning do not extend to 25 years of age.  The legal framework applies until the young person is no longer on a school roll.

Student Information Scotland Portal

Information for students can be found at:

Scottish Funding Council


Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

SDS have enhanced their online content and resources available for all learners.  They offer a phone helpline for individual learners who have COVID related concerns on the My World of Work website.  This includes advice and support on a wide range of issues including support for individuals of all ages whose employment, learning, or career development has been impacted as a result of the pandemic.  These enhanced services are complemented by a new career education programme that young people can undertake at home. 

School Service Offer

SDS continue to collaborate with school and Local Authority partners to ensure that support for individuals is coordinated to achieve the best outcome for each learner.

Career Education Curriculum Programme

Continued development and delivery of resources, content and workshops to support pupils, their parents and teachers in accessing career education and developing career management skills.

For young people entering work, Modern Apprenticeships or an employability programme

Information  and support can be found at:

Communication with, and support for, parents and carers

Home learning

Keeping children and young people safe online

Get advice on online safety at the following websites:

To report inappropriate or harmful content online:

Additional support needs

Get ideas for learning at home as well as other resources at the following websites:

First published: 30 Jul 2020 Last updated: 25 Mar 2021 -