Dear students and families
I know you’ll be just as delighted as we are that we can finally begin to return to College over the coming weeks. It’s a very good moment and one we’ve all looked forward to throughout the long cold days of Winter.
We are currently in the process of finalising our detailed plans for this next step. We believe we have to manage two very important priorities: the absolute commitment to your educational success alongside the need to keep you safe and well through the return to onsite learning.
Our approach will be designed to do both of these things successfully.
We will be bringing groups of students back to College step-by-step, starting from 8th March. We will prioritise those groups who are missing out on their practical learning first and then widen out the groups of students coming back to College as we go through March until all students return to College over the next few weeks.
We have to do this in steps because we are expected to offer a lateral flow test all of our students and need to be able to do this in a planned and well-organised way.
Students will be contacted by their course teams and given a clear plan for their return to College. All students are currently engaged in on-line learning and this will continue leading up to the return to College. Any course specific adjustments will be identified to you by your course teams.
All students will be asked to take a lateral flow test for Coronavirus infection when they return to College and will be strongly encouraged to do this as it will help towards keeping our community safe. A lateral flow test will help us identify anyone in our community who may be infected but is asymptomatic. Further on site tests will be offered every 3 to 5 days until Easter, up to a maximum of 3 tests, after that we are expecting to move to home testing kits but will give you more information about this as we get it.
It is important to remember that a negative result from a lateral flow test may not mean you do not have COVID-19 therefore, when you return to College, we will expect you to keep yourself and others safe by wearing a 3 ply face-mask at all times when on-site, keeping your distance away from other people as much as you can and washing your hands regularly.
If you have any COVID symptoms, please do not attend College. You must self-isolate, take a PCR test via the NHS and let us know the outcome.
As you get ready to come back to College, please do all you can to stay involved in your learning, completing all of your work and doing your best to stay in touch with everything happening on your course. Please let your teachers know if you’re finding this difficult. It is very important that you continue to do as much work as you can to ensure you can achieve the best grade possible.
We now know that, for many courses, our teachers will be making judgements about students’ grades. This will be done in a highly controlled and moderated way and we will make sure there is a robust and fair process in place. We are perfectly placed for delivering this model of assessment as the majority of our study programme courses are routinely and successfully assessed in-year, with grades based on a wide range of evidence and subjected to a reliable moderation process.
For professional competency practical courses, the grade for the course may well be assessed as usual and we are putting students on these courses first as we return to College so they can complete everything they need to do in good time.
We are looking forward very much to seeing you again and helping to support you through to success at the end of your course later this year. Please take care and continue to stay safe all through the weeks ahead.
With all our best wishes and thanks for your patience and commitment,
Group Principal and CEO