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Central Bedfordshire



Central Bedfordshire Council is a local authority based in the heart of Bedfordshire. They have over 3,000 members of staff and work to support the development of both internal and external staff workforces across the children and adults care sector. They also work on behalf of neighbouring local authorities to provide safeguarding training.

The aim

Central Bedfordshire recognised that there was a lack of understanding of the different levels of SEND across the four local authorities and their partner health agencies in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes and Luton – as well as with parents who had children or young people with SEND and did not fully understand what support was available to them across the BLMK (Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes) footprint.


Therefore, they needed a training solution that was suitable for all – whether an employee or a parent – and which provided a consistent level of understanding for everyone, whatever their needs. Overall, they hoped it would result in improvements in the quality of the SEND assessments; satisfaction from the children and parents regarding the support in place, and a coordinated and improved approach that was consistent and well understood.

Puzzle pieces that don't fit together

The challenges

  • Reaching their huge pool of learners ranging from school and nursery staff to health staff, volunteers and parents
  • Achieving and agreeing on a method of training that meets the needs of everyone

Puzzle pieces that fit together

How we helped

  • Provided essential support throughout the entire project
  • Created, designed and built four engaging e-learning modules
  • Produced eye-catching bespoke graphical design that incorporated all the councils’ colours
  • Ensured the modules were fully accessible and met the needs of all learners
  • Designed and created informative, yet engaging, animated videos
  • Wrote content which was immediately relevant and recognisable to the learners

The solution

  • An introductory module to help assess their needs
  • 3 SEND-themed e-learning modules
  • Animated videos
  • Downloadable content

The results

97% of the learners said the e-learning enhanced their knowledge or skills
95% of the learners would recommend this e-learning to their colleague
94% of the learners said the training met its objectives ‘mostly’ or ‘completely’
93% found the e-learning engaging and interactive
91% of the learners rated the overall experience of the online learning as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’

What they had to say

‘Whilst we have utilised other providers across the organisation in the past, we have struggled to achieve a provider who can match the breadth of learning available through Virtual College and to the quality and standard we have grown to love from Virtual College’s products.’ Debbie Crawford, Head of Learning Central, Central Bedfordshire Council
‘The training was a good reminder of the needs of SEND students and the different support agencies that are available to help them.’ Learner
‘I find the case study provided was a useful aspect of the training. It enabled me to understand and increase my knowledge of the importance of person-centred approach.’ Learner
‘The course helped to refresh my memory on the laws around SEND and who to contact, or put parent in contact with, if there were any concerns.’ Learner
‘[This is] a new role that I am taking on. Had limited knowledge previously but feel now I can confidently say what services are available to take to other staff.’ Learner

Read the full story

Download the full Central Bedfordshire case study to hear more about how they used digital training to improve the understanding of different levels of Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) across their local authorities, and in turn improve satisfaction across children and parents. If you have a similar challenge why not book a 15 minute consultation with one of our team to see how we can help?
Carer with disabled child
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