First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, met representatives from the learning sector to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.

The meeting consisted of a representative from, Colleges, Early Years, high schools, primary schools and CLD. Colleagues shared their experiences of working in challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19. Key messages shared were the commitment of education colleagues to supporting learners and students, genuine interest in wellbeing, support and improving the learning experiences whilst constrained due to Covid-19 restrictions. Even though the group worked across very different areas they all agreed that among the challenges there has been a lot to celebrate in the last 12 months in relation to the dedication and commitment of staff.

The CLD representative Jennifer Nicol from East Renfrewshire was asked to share her experiences of facilitating adult learning opportunities in advance of the meeting and she highlighted areas such as prioritising wellbeing, access to resources and information requirements. Jennifer highlighted that many learners face multiple barriers including low levels of language and literacy, digital exclusion and isolation. Learning and support was adapted to be inclusive dependent on learners’ skills, equipment and confidence. Connecting Scotland was highlighted as playing a key role with staff accessing training as Digital Champions whilst offering tremendous support to learners through the provision of equipment, connectivity and learning.

Positive relationships with the community have been strengthened with learning continuing to be offered, including partnerships with local Colleges which have allowed qualifications to be completed during lockdown. CLD staff have been creative, resourceful, enthusiastic and dedicated to maintaining links with the community whilst learning has been a lifeline for so many people during this difficult time.

The First Minister extended her thanks to all CLD services across Scotland and the hope is that more opportunities will take place for education sectors to come together to share experiences and network in the future.

Photo from FM’s Twitter feed.

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