Almost 100k interventions with National Learning Network students since the beginning of Lockdown

Support, inclusive training and communications are a vital for National Learning Network students during a time when the impact of Covid-19 could potentially lead to educational disadvantage.

At National Learning Network, our Instructors, Resource Teachers, Rehabilitation Officers and Psychologists have been reaching out through multiple channels. We have been delivering online classes, supporting students on a one-to-one basis with personal plans and providing psychological support since we closed our doors on March 13th in line with the Government directive around controlling the spread of Covid19.

Every day hundreds of our students have been accessing our learning portals as part of their remote learning experience.  Our multi-disciplinary team of centre managers, instructors, rehabilitation officers, programme development officers, psychologists and resource teachers has been utilising video conferencing to continue to deliver coursework and training and provide one-to-one support, while also using phone calls, text, email and post.

At National Learning Network, we know that one size doesn’t fit all and multiple modes of communication and engagement are required to meet the individual needs and preferences of students. Our team has made more than 10,000 interventions with students every week since we began on this journey of a new way of working. In March alone, this included 3000 phone calls and 3000 texts, more than 5,000 emails, almost 100 zoom sessions and 1500 postal packages.

As educators and disability inclusion practitioners we have been forced by circumstances to move more of our training to e-learning and digital technology and there is a concern that the digital divide in connectivity could exacerbate challenges faced by our student cohort. Some students are reporting a lack of accessible technology in the home to support learning and limited data packages on phones which is serving as a barrier. On a positive note, many other students are using coping techniques and strategies learned with NLN to manage anxiety, transition and change during this period of uncertainty.

Interim CEO of Rehab Group, Barry McGinn said: “Our teams have been going above and beyond since this global pandemic hit to support our students to continue their studies and training while also offering them psychological and other supports which sets NLN apart as a training provider. We are working hard to mitigate the risk of this new way of teaching and learning from adversely affecting our student’s educational journeys and learning experience.

Rest assured that although our doors are currently closed we are very much open for business and are happy to discuss learning opportunities and supports available with people who would like to get back to work, go to further education, apply to college, begin learning as a mature student or find a way to an apprenticeship. Email us