Coronavirus update: Learning from home

In light of the Government’s measures, we are having to make difficult decisions about the risks presented to our students, staff and local community.

As a result, we have made the difficult decision to cease all face-to-face teaching and learning and move to remote working from Thursday 19 March 2020. We hope to reopen the college on Monday 20 April 2020, after the planned Easter break.

This means our college site will be closed to students from 4.00 pm on Wednesday 18 March 2020.

Whilst the government has not yet instructed all educational settings to close, we are aware that similar steps are being taken by other colleges and universities. We have tried to delay this decision as long as possible. However, we have many students travelling from surrounding areas and whilst young people are not identified as a high-risk group, they may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, placing others more vulnerable at risk. Additionally, we have many students and staff following the government’s guidelines, resulting in teaching and support staff shortages, which itself presents significant operational issues.

We will make regular updates via our website and social media pages.

This is an unprecedented situation for everybody and we hope to return to normality as soon as possible. We genuinely hope to continue normal college life after the Easter break. However, we have to be realistic and can say we cannot predict what will happen at present. Thank you for your continued support.

Information for Student Learning

We started to prepare for remote learning last week, as soon as it became apparent that this would be a possibility. You have access to your college emails and should use this to communicate with your teachers. Your teachers will provide you with work to complete over the next two weeks. If you were due to sit a mock exam next week, your papers will be sent to you in the post. Please ensure you follow the guidance given for completing this.

During the period of closure, you are expected to work during your timetabled lessons (unless you are too ill to do so). Teachers will monitor their emails, if they are well enough to do so, so please send any questions that you have. It is recommended that you check your emails at least once a day.

We appreciate that learning from home, supported remotely by your teachers, will be challenging for you. Just over two weeks of such learning will, however, enable you to hone your independent skills, which are essential for those going to university and are also valued by employers.

Your education, health and wellbeing are vitally important to us and we hope that you all stay safe and well in the days ahead. If you have any concerns about your safety and wellbeing during this period, our safeguarding team will still be available to you – please check the ‘Staying safe’ section of the college’s website for more information.

Other Information

Student bursaries: The college has put measures in place to ensure all students in receipt of the ‘vulnerable group bursary’ continue to receive payments. Students in receipt of a college meal card will receive a £15 per week payment to support them during any period of term-time closure.

Exams: Students and parents are quite rightly concerned about the impact of the virus on the forthcoming exams. There have been no announcements by the government about this, but we will monitor the situation closely and keep you fully informed of any developments. It is hoped that students will not be hindered by this pandemic in any way. Students, however, should continue to prepare as best they can.

Download this document here.