Last Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2022

CLD response during Covid-19 Lockdown – North Lanarkshire Council CLD Adult Learning

What is this?

An example of practice demonstrating North Lanarkshire’s Community, Learning and Development (CLD) Adult Learning Team response during lockdown.

Who is this for?

Staff with managerial responsibility for Community, Learning and Development (CLD) and further education; CLD practitioners and practitioners who support adult learners, or learners using online platforms.

An example of practice demonstrating North Lanarkshire’s Community, Learning and Development (CLD) Adult Learning Team response during lockdown. They transformed their service, recognising that many adults had no digital devices or internet access. This allowed them to continue to support and offer learning opportunities for the vulnerable and isolated adults in their service. They kept learners engaged, connected and accessing learning materials either digitally, or via learning packs that were delivered supporting access to learning for those in poverty, suffering from digital exclusion and poverty related issues.

How to use this exemplar

Improvement questions

  • How do I identify the needs of adults in the current circumstances?
  • How am I helping adults to continue to engage in learning and wider opportunities?
  • What support and information can I signpost adults to?
  • How might the support and provision for adults need to be adapted or done differently during Covid-19?
  • How can I raise awareness of the needs of adults during this time and ensure that their needs and voices are heard in recovery planning?
  • How am I measuring the impact of new approaches and services and evolving these to suit the needs of adults?

Explore this exemplar

Across North Lanarkshire Council, the CLD Adult Learning Team has continued delivering their CLD service throughout the COVID lockdown period. Initially the CLD staff kept the lines of communication open and established the best way to keep in touch with all learners considering the range of devices being used and the level of learners’ digital involvement. The CLD Communities and Adult Learning Team looked to ensure that fundamental needs were covered such as information on what was going on, access to food and prescriptions and support for those in isolation.

The speed of response by CLD staff was most impressive and all learners had established contact very early on. The flexible approach took into consideration the position of each individual learner. e.g. WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages, Zoom - all mediums were utilised depending on what learners were best able to engage with reflecting the social practice approach. There also had to be consideration of learners that did not access social media or were not online in anyway. Some learners were contacted by phone and door step drops of learning packs and resources if required. The focus was prioritised around learning and health and well-being.


  • Learning Packs - Additional learning needs (ALN) and English for speakers of other language (ESOL)
    (Measuring, puzzle books, writing activities, Summer Reading Program)
    (ESOL- photo dictionaries, SQA materials, Worksheets)
  • Pivot Garden - Updates posted on progress of newly completed garden and seedlings. Learners were able to access the garden individually and do some upkeep and gardening. Seedlings ‘adopted’ by Community Worker and when established delivered to learners for individual planting.
  • Wednesday Walk - Digital Health Walk – regular timetabled walking activity with theme, promoted via text and social media. Encourages learners to be more physically active and raises awareness of their mental wellbeing. Participants take photos on a positive theme – recent topics have included trees and bees and encouraging mindfulness. Participants then share their photos on social media, increasing their sense of connection. Nature themed topics have been extended with links to materials and activities from Cumbernauld Living Landscapes to encourage further learning.
  • Facebook pages for groups - Motherwell has 3 private Facebook groups set up: Gaelic Culture, Northern Lights Discovery and the COLTS Discovery Group. The learners are able to be in contact with one another and share photographs of their current activities and trips from last term. The Gaelic Culture Group have now set up Facebook Room within their private group; every Tuesday from 1-3pm they meet up for a video chat, practise their language skills together and do a short quiz. One group member who had been housebound over the last term has enjoyed being able to re-join her group online. The Discovery learners have all kept on track with their activities during lockdown and one learner has just achieved her Silver Award. Wishaw Family History Group have a private Facebook Groups which allows the learners to keep in touch and share photographs of their current family tress and any progress made on their work. The group ‘meet’ weekly for a Facebook video chat: this allows them to socialise with one another, check in with the Support Worker for welfare purposes and share any new findings. Not only has the Facebook group decreased social isolation it has also allowed for learners to learn new IT Skills and explore avenues on social media platforms that they didn’t know existed!
  • ESOL Online - Aimed at ESOL learners and resettlement refugees. Delivered by Community workers, Support workers and Social Work. Ongoing WhatsApp groups where work is posted and a group for information sharing on Covid developments in Arabic and English. Weekly video calls and lessons for each learner. Difficulties were /are mainly which platform to use and longer term the need for a VLE set up for learners to submit work and track progress. Staff need for training in the use of digital online learning platforms and managing of social media.