A PODCAST launched to help children with learning disabilities deal with the effects of lockdown has received grant funding to continue.

The Multi Schools Council, based at Market Field School in Elmstead, launched the Multi-Schools Lowdown in April.

Focusing on SEND education in Essex and youngsters’ mental health, its first series has received been dowloaded more than 2,000 times.

The second series kicks off on Saturday, after which 20 episodes will be released over 20 days.

Funding has now been secured for more, with hopes it could become a permanent project for the council in the future.

Market Field teacher Kierran Pearce is director of the Multi Schools Council.

He said: “To set up a podcast costs a bit as you have to pay for the equipment and the editing software.

“We were approached by Active Essex who we have worked with closely in the past.

“They said Sport England had released some funding looking at equality and disability focused projects.

“We put in a bid and we have been successful, securing just under £2,000.”

He added: “It is fantastic for us as it means we can extend it right through until October.”

Mr Pearce started the project as a way of keeping in touch with students while schools were closed, but it has really taken off in popularity, receiving attention from listeners in Europe and also the US.

Mr Pearce said: “Parents have sent us some really supportive comments saying it has been very informative about SEND education in Essex.

“We have also had comments from school staff who said they’ve learned a lot from it.

“Once we have got through series two, we are going to go straight on to making series three.

“I am always open to new ideas and potentially carrying it on when we’re back at school.”

He added: “I think it would be really interesting to have a podcast where we could talk to young people about returning to school and the effects the crisis had on their mental health.”

The Multi-Schools Lowdown is available on Spotify and Apple iTunes.

To find out more visit facebook.com/multischools.