The voice of specialist further education

COVID-19: Resources

Supporting students’ learning

Last updated: 27 April 12.00pm

***Latest updates***

27 April: collection of learning examples from specialist colleges added – see 1.2 below

17 April: Best practice guide on video conferencing – see 1.2 below

9 April: Additional resources added.

4 April: Details of support from ETF – see 1.2 below

3 April: Top Tips on using technology safely – see 1.2 below

We are collating resources and guidance to help you carry on supporting your students’ learning during this period. Contact Ruth Perry if you have material that you would like to share.



1.1 Explaining COVID-19 to learners with SEND

Many students will be feeling very anxious about the coronavirus. Some may benefit from understanding a little more about it.

Public Health England have produced an easy read guide about the virus and looking after your feelings and body.

Learning Disability England have a range of resources, and Learning Disability Wales also has resources to help explain the virus to adults with a learning disability. You may also find the Mencap Easy Read Guide particularly useful.

Books Beyond Words are offering free wordless books on Beating the Virus, When someone dies from coronavirus, and Good Days and Bad Days During Lockdown which may help explain what is going on.

The National Autistic Society have compiled resources and explainers for people with autism; the Council for Disabled Children has put together similar advice for young people with learning diabilities / ASD.

Coleg Elidyr have produced a hand washing prompt, a social story about washing hands, and some easy read coronavirus information to be used with young people with learning disabilities.

1.2 Supporting remote learning

Colleges have been creative and flexible with their solutions for learning at home. You can now download some examples with our new document: What are specialist colleges doing to support home learning

Natspec has completed a Home Learning project, with contributions from across our membership, focussing on quality and effective practice. The website provides guidance, advice and resources for those who are now working remotely with young people with SEND.

The Natspec TechAbility service has collated resources and links relating to on-line learning for different cohorts of learners, as well as generic technology advice for Natspec members who require it. The links below provide further support.

A guide to technology for remote working: Rohan Slaughter from Jisc has written this guide to help specialist colleges navigate the technologies necessary for effective remote working. Remote working technical guide for specialist colleges.

A best practice guide to video conferencing for staff and learners

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is running a series of free, online webinars to support colleagues across the Further Education (FE) and Training sector who are working from home to support students

Generic e-safety: The Karten Network has published videos on the 5 “e-safe-Ts” developed by a group of East Midlands specialist colleges

Zoom: An article from ArsTechnica giving a simple, accessible summary for people working in education on using Zoom safely and avoiding potential abuse of the Zoom system. This YouTube video also gives a beginners guide to Zoom.

Jisc are providing a range of resources to assist members at this challenging time:


1.3 Supporting students’ mental health

Mental health links (specific to Coronavirus)

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