Opening college from 8 March
College will reopen from Monday 8 March for many of our students following the government’s lockdown exit plan announcement.
We have made our campuses as safe as possible and if you are a student you will be contacted by your tutors with plans for your course and your particular return date.
We understand that you may have concerns about returning to college, but the safety measures we’ve had in place have proved a real success at controlling the spread of Covid-19. We want to reassure you that we will be teaching in a Covid-19 safe environment and will continue to implement extensive measures to ensure student and staff safety. The safety of students and staff is at the forefront of our plans for reopening.
Our campuses have had successful safety measures in place and these tests are now an additional safety measure. Testing is really important because Covid-19 cases can show no symptoms, allowing it to spread without the host realising.
We have been successfully testing students who have been attending college during lockdown. Students have been responding positively to the testing process and are working effectively with us to maintain a Covid-19 safe environment.
We’ve created a helpful video to show how testing is done at college.
Further education students can take three tests on campus every three to five days. After this, tests will be taken at home twice per week. This process may be different if you are an apprentice, higher education or adult learner, so please speak with your tutor to confirm your approach to testing.
For any students who are self-isolating or shielding, remote education will continue. We will share more information as soon as we can, but if you are a student and have any questions, please speak with your tutor.
How to take a test
Taking a test is quick and easy. Watch this video from Public Health England to see how it’s done. You can also read the guides below.
How to take your tests (with a helper)
How to do a rapid Covid-19 self-test
Please take a look at our FAQs, which may answer some of your queries. Make sure to speak with your tutor if you have any further questions.
Safety measures on campus
Returning to college is important for the quality of our students’ learning and wellbeing. We will continue to take safety measures seriously to keep our students and staff safe.
- testing for staff and students (as described above)
- the continuation of 2m social distancing measures
- wearing face coverings in all areas
- the ‘bubble’ grouping system
- increased hand sanitiser stations on campus.
The Department for Education has confirmed that this year’s GCSE and A level results will be decided by teachers, using a combination of mock exams, coursework and essays to determine grades.
In terms of vocational and technical exams, teachers’ grades will be used to replace written vocational exams, in the same way as GCSEs and A levels. Where there are practical, hands-on skills to be tested, such as for a professional qualification, some of these exams will continue in a Covid-safe way.
The full details of how all of this will work for vocational and technical qualifications, such as BTECs, isn’t quite clear yet, but we’re monitoring this closely.
Results days are set to be earlier in August, with A levels being announced on 10 August and GCSEs on 12 August.
It’s vital that you’re engaged with your learning at college. Please raise any concerns you have with your teacher. We will ensure that a clear and fair system that considers a range of evidence is in place for your grades.