In unprecedented times, SCL found themselves in a position where their only choice was to ‘Innovate to educate’. They needed to accelerate their learning innovation strategy to ensure that their learners’ studies were unaffected by the current climate.

As many businesses in the UK faced challenges and venue closures as a result of social distancing, SCL were put in a position where their education centres were closing by the day. Moving quickly and working together, they rolled out their learning innovation plans six months earlier than originally planned; within just over a week everyone was up and running.

SCL is currently one of the largest directly funded private training providers in the UK who specialise in sports education. They are based nationwide, working in partnership with over 70 football, cricket and rugby clubs including Premiership Rugby, Leeds United, West Ham Foundation and Yorkshire Cricket to help over 2500 young people gain a Level 3 qualification in sport every year.

Using Microsoft Teams in order to ‘Innovate to educate’, SCL launched a platform for their teaching, collaborative working and engagement of students. So far this has been embraced by learners and teaching staff with open arms.

As part of the role out of the new virtual learning strategy all learners were issued bespoke timetables built around digital learning, with tutor sessions in the morning, followed by independent working in the afternoon and a catch up at the end of the day as a group.

Tutors have weekly digital 1-2-1s allowing learners regular contact time and access to regular support, learners can chat with the education team and any of their peers whenever they need to ensure they do not feel remote or isolated.

Every SCL Tutor has their own education channel on Microsoft Teams where they work collaboratively with their learner cohorts and can share teaching resources, video, run polls on lessons and run fun challenges to motivate learners whilst staying indoors. A key focus has also been ensuring that SCL’s learners and staff are aligning with government advice and ‘Staying home to stay safe’ which is why SCL has launched fun engagement activities that learners can do at home.

Julie Lappin, Head of Curriculum and Performance for the UK has seen her education and curriculum teams deliver positive results in the face of adversity.

“What was important to us is our learners’ wellbeing. By launching virtual learning combined with our learner wellbeing support strategy, we are making sure that learners are engaged and able to continue education whilst feeling happy and supported and most importantly, not isolated.

“We have seen improvement in attendance and engagement on programmes which is brilliant, with many venues are now seeing an average of 100% attendance.

“Many learners are choosing to stay online after the day has finished so they can receive extra tuition and engage further in their studies. They have truly embraced this new way of learning!”

The key factor which has been fundamental to SCL’s success is the staff at SCL who have gone above and beyond to make this happen.

Brad Rushton, Managing Director at SCL Education & Training is immensely proud of his teams at SCL.

“The teams at SCL continue to work around the clock to ensure that learner’s education and wellbeing is paramount at this time. Seeing the way that the teams at SCL reacted to the coronavirus challenge and used this as a catalyst for change to create positive outcomes for our learners has been incredible. They worked together tirelessly to make the changes needed to implement online learning in such a short time.”

“I want to thank everyone at SCL for their dedication to SCL and their learners at this difficult time, they have truly put the learner at the centre of everything they do. I feel I can truly say that all of our staff meet our values of Passionate, Inspirational, Excellence and Reliable and have showcased that we are stronger together.”

SCL has invested heavily in their infrastructure in the last year to ensure they have the right teams in place to make sure that quality of teaching is high and learners are truly put at the centre of everything they do.

A key part of switching to online teaching has been ensuring the quality of provision remains high and positively impacts the learners.

Kate Lou, Director of Quality at SCL has led the quality team to ensure standards are maintained.

“A key part of ensuring quality of teaching and learner engagement is thinking about how learners engage online and digest information when they are in a remote environment. We have revisited our delivery models and made them as interactive as possible through resources and teaching methodologies. We have developed new resources, including broadening our learners understanding digital communication methods.”

“All our lessons will continue to be quality assured by the Observation Team to ensure continued improvement and our Quality Improvement Trainers will continue to collaboratively coach tutors online to improve practice. “

“I want to say thank you to the tutors at SCL who support our learners every step of the way, we are in this together!”

SCL will now revisit their innovation plans and look to move more of their strategic initiatives forward so they can continue to strengthen their foundations and deliver educational excellence in the current ever-changing landscape.

Over the coming weeks, SCL will continue to share their findings with the online education community so we can all learn from good practice and new techniques they are adopting as part of their ‘Innovate to educate’ strategy.


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