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Covid-19 – Information for current students and parents

Latest Communication

Our previous communications can be viewed at the bottom of this webpage.

Re-introduction of confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for positive lateral flow device (LFD) tests at assisted testing sites

From 31 March, NHS Test and Trace is reintroducing confirmatory PCR testing for positive LFD tests conducted at all assisted testing sites, including schools and colleges. This means that all staff, pupils and students who get a positive LFD test, whether at home or supervised at their school or college, should get a confirmatory PCR. The PCR test should be booked immediately either online or by calling 119 and should be undertaken within 2 days.

Staff, students and pupils who had a positive LFD test result, and their close contacts and other members of their household, should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance and while awaiting the PCR result. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the LFD test and the staff member, pupil or student can return to school or college, and their close contacts can end their self-isolation.

Covid Testing Documents

Remote Learning Statement

As a college we have been using Google Education Suite as part of our teaching, learning and assessment strategy for several years. As a result we were well placed to switch to remote learning in March 2020 when schools and colleges were told to close by the government.

Our students were able to continue to learn and make progress through live lessons on line via Google Meet and through our use of Google Classroom.

Since September we have instigated a mixed delivery approach, combining face to face with teaching with online learning. We recognise that students benefit from face to face contact and participating fully in college life on campus. We have balanced this with minimising the risk and spread of COVID and reducing the impact and disruption to learning from multiple or prolonged periods of self-isolation. We have seen relatively low numbers of cases and as a result the continuity of learning has been maintained.

We pride ourselves in offering a high-quality student experience on campus and online. Should students need to self-isolate or indeed where there are local or national restrictions that require students to remain at home, we want to be clear about what you can expect.

Our remote education offer
All our further education students (14-16, 16-19, Adults and Apprentices) use Google Education suite as their online learning platform. All courses have dedicated Google Classrooms. These are online spaces where resources and materials are shared, students can interact with each other, where staff can support and communicate with students and student work can be uploaded and marked by teachers and assessors.

Our expectations of students
We have the same high expectations of students when they learn remotely as we do when they are on college campus. Our guidance document for student can be accessed here. Ready to come to college – A guide for students

Arrangements for students that require specialist resources
Prior to national lockdown restrictions we prioritised time on campus to be used for practical classes in specialist facilities. For those students studying technical and vocational courses we timetabled creatively to ensure you were able to access the required facilities over the entirety of your course to enable you to complete your studies and develop the practical skills you need to get to your next step. Currently, the majority of students are not able to attend campus for face to face learning. Once these restrictions are lifted it will be critical that we manage the return to campus effectively and ensure students on technical courses requiring specialist resources are prioritised.  We hope to increase on campus time in the spring and summer term.

Students without an IT device or connectivity issues
We have invested heavily in IT devices for students to enable remote learning. All students who are already entitled to bursary support are able to get a free Chromebook. We have also implement a loan scheme for students as well as lease scheme for those who want to purchase a device and pay in instalments.

We have issued students with dongles to enable connection to the internet and have facilitated drop in sessions to college to enable students to connect to the Wi-Fi outside of timetabled sessions.

No student should suffer or have their learning impeded as a result of not having an IT device. If any student has an IT related issue that means they cannot learn or attend their online classes please inform your teacher who will escalate this with Student Services and the Wellbeing team.

Support for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
We recognise that SEND students have been impacted as a result of COVID-19 and we continue to work hard to ensure we support our SEND students and ensure they are able to make progress. Our specialist staff continue to review students’ progress against Education and Health Care Plans outcomes and work with local authority colleagues to maximise progress.  Students that are eligible for 1:1 support receive this when on campus and when learning online through our specialist additional support staff.

Support for our vulnerable students
We have continued to support our financially vulnerable students by funding free college meal payments over the summer period. More recently, we have worked with local authorities to access the government winter grant fund to ensure these students are financially supported over the Christmas period.  In addition, we have issued food parcels and additional bursary support for those in need.

Our specialist tutorial staff and student services teams continue to maintain regular contact with these students via google meets, google classrooms and telephone calls.

Finally…
It has been a challenging time for everyone. We have worked hard to regularly communicate to students and parents and these communications can be found on this webpage.

Should any student or parent have any worries or concerns relating to their course or would like any additional support please get in touch and contact:

Other Communications to Students and Parents

Letters to parents/students
- Letter to students and parents - 02nd March
- Inspire Education Group Testing Guide
- Inspire Education Group Testing Privacy Statement
Letter to students and parents - 23rd February
Letter to students and parents - 20th January
Letter to students and parents - 7th January
Letter to students and parents - 5th January
Letter to students and parents - 31st December
Letter to students and parents - 11th December
Letter to students and parents - 10th November
Letter to students and parents - 23rd October
Letter to students and parents - 2nd October
Letter to students and parents - 24th September
Letter to students and parents - 14th September
Letter to students - 1st September
Letter to parents - 1st September

Documents and Useful Links