Urgent clarification on DfE guidance about vulnerable learners (31.03.20)

Published: 31 Mar 2020

Urgent clarification on DfE guidance about vulnerable learners (31.03.20)


Over the weekend the Department for Education published a number of guidance documents with reference to student safeguarding and wellbeing. The response given to questions about whether vulnerable students, particularly those with a social worker, had to still go into an educational setting during the closure period has raised concerns among colleges. Many asked whether they had to reopen to support these students to attend day-to-day. We worked with DfE to seek urgent clarification. Today, they have communicated revised guidance and will publish the full clarification in due course. In the meantime, please see below the amendment to the official guidance:

We expect colleges (including those that have closed) to know where their vulnerable learners are and to have a named member of staff to liaise with social workers.  We do not expect colleges that have closed to reopen and given the very small numbers of learners attending at each institution we cannot require colleges to remain open over Easter.

We will continue to work closely with officials to ensure that communications and guidance are clear for colleges. If you have any further queries or concerns about vulnerable students or anything else please email covid19@aoc.co.uk.