UPDATED LETTER 24 JUNE 2020
I hope that you are coping well with the challenges that we have all been facing due to the Covid-19 epidemic, and will achieve good results this academic year.
This letter is for all students who are going to return to College in September, and those who are preparing to start their College studies, many of whom will be school leavers.
Herefordshire & Ludlow College has a great deal to offer to young people and adults who want to study in order to progress to university or pursue the career of their dreams. We offer a huge range of courses at several locations (full and part-time courses and apprenticeships) and at different academic levels: from Foundation Learning through to Higher Education (university level). This means that you can start your studies at the level and pace that suits your needs and progress as far as you desire.
I am sure you will agree with me that this has been a very unusual time. We had to close the College to most students on 23 March and have only recently been able to open again for a limited number of students. The vast majority of students have, however, with the support of their teachers and other staff, persisted with their studies and will succeed this year.
I want to reassure you that in September we will be ready for you to start or continue your studies with us. We are taking precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students and staff by, for example, facilitating social distancing, regular hand washing, and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment. We will also do everything we can to give you as much learning time, with your teachers and student peers, at College as possible – and continue to comply with government guidance, especially advice from the Department of Education.
Should you have any queries or concerns about next academic year and are returning to College in September, please contact your teachers. If you are coming to College for the first time and require any guidance, please ring this number: 0800 440 2281
I hope that you will have a good summer and look forward to welcoming you to College in September.
Principal & Chief Executive
Herefordshire, Ludlow & North Shropshire College
During these times it is so important to keep your mind and body active and healthy. We will be bringing you plenty of tips, advice and exercise videos to keep you busy at home.
Take a look at Mind's tips for mental health & well-being during isolation ➡️ https://bit.ly/3boEiPs
We have also put together some tips for managing your well-being while being at home, which can be viewed here ➡️ https://sway.office.com/WLP8c99eW9SHHHQU?ref=email
Q1: When will the College re-open?
A: At the time of writing, we are awaiting Government guidance on when the College can re-open and therefore, we cannot give a definitive date.
Throughout the whole Covid-19 virus outbreak we have complied with the Government guidance completely and we will continue to do so. When we have a confirmed re-opening date, then we will inform all students, parents and carers of this date along with any other relevant information.
We will be continuing to support all students via online teaching methods.
Q2: What will happen with A-Level and GCSE exams?
A: AS, A-Level and GCSEs.
Ofqual, the exams regulator, has published further information regarding how A-Level and GCSE grades will be awarded to students this summer. They have also published a letter to students to explain what will happen and to try and answer any questions. Please read the letter carefully here.
Ofqual aims to ensure that the awarding of grades is fair to students and that the process supports their progression to university or into employment or an apprenticeship. The College will now be asked to provide the grade in each subject we believe that the student would have achieved if teaching, learning, and exams had happened as planned. We will also be asked to provide a rank order for all students with the same grade.
To determine grades for each subject we have been asked to consider a range of things like classwork and homework; results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework students might have done; and general progress during the course(s).
Students do not need to complete additional work now and any assessments completed will need to be considered alongside the much greater evidence of progress over the course. Completing the course content for each subject is still important, however, because the knowledge or skills might be useful in the future at university or in a job. Ofqual and the exam boards will then use this information to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others.
This does mean that the final grade could be different from the one college submits. It is also why Ofqual has told us that the college cannot tell what grades we have submitted.
Please, therefore, do not ask teachers, tutors or any other member of staff as they will not be able to give any further details.
If students are not happy with the final grade there will be an opportunity to take the exam in the autumn term as soon as it is possible to do so. We are waiting for further information on BTEC assessment and we will advise further when we can.
In an announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020, UCAS has delayed the May deadline for undergraduate offers. Students affected by this change will be contacted directly by UCAS.
Q3: What will happen with BTEC, C&G and other qualifications?
A: If units have not been completed a calculated result will be given based on the most likely grade that students would have achieved. Where practical assessments are involved, the assessment may be delayed.
Q4: Who will be monitoring that teaching, learning and support are happening and to the required standard?
A: Management continues to carry out routine checks on the quality of teaching and education resources provided.
If you have any concerns regarding the quality of support you are receiving, please contact your Curriculum Team Leader or Head of Campus.
Q5: How can students access online resources to continue their education?
A: Students will continue with their education via online platforms. Information on tasks and course content will be available online and students need to contact their tutors and teachers for further information. Further guidance on home learning for students can be found here.
We expect all students to continue their studies as this work may be used as part of the assessment process for the student’s final grades. If you are hoping to progress to the next level of qualification or are due to return in the second year of your programme it is important that you continue to engage with teachers and to complete the work that has been set. We firmly believe that education is about learning and not just teaching to pass a test and would encourage all our students to continue their studies to the best of their ability.
Q6: What if I currently receive additional learning support or specialist learning support to help me with my learning?
A: If you usually receive additional learning support and specialist learning support, the Learning Support Advisor will stay in touch with you and will outline how they can support you with the completion of any learning that you are required to access online.
Q7: What will happen with Apprenticeship assessments?
A: Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March, Apprentices should not carry on with their work in the company. The Apprentice should contact their Assessor for further details and plans for their ‘off the job’ element of their Apprenticeship.
Assessment and reviews will take place remotely over online platforms. This can be agreed on an individual basis between the employer, apprentices and assessor.
Q8: How will company closures affect Apprentices?
A: Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March, we assume that most Apprentices will work at home.
The Apprentice should contact their Assessor for further details and plans for their ‘off the job’ element of their Apprenticeship.
There are exceptions and some apprentices will still be expected to attend work depending on the job role and whether the employer is working in a key sector. Your employer will inform you if you are still to attend work.
Q9: What should a student do if they don’t have access to online platforms?
A: Students should inform their teacher who will arrange for work to be sent home for completion.
Q10: Will the library (LRC) be open?
A: The libraries (LRCs) at the campuses are closed effective from the end of Friday 20 March. During this time, it is expected that any books taken out will be exceeding their return dates, if you’re able to renew these online, you can do so, however, if you’re unable to, late fees will not be charged for the period of time that the College is closed for.
Q11: Can vocational or creative academic course work be done from home to allow qualifications in the summer?
A: Individual course leaders will determine the nature of online studying and course work to be submitted.
Q12: How will the College support students who would receive free meals?
A: The equivalent amount of money that would cover free college meals will be made as payments into bank accounts. Payments will be made fortnightly. If you are not receiving these payments please contact student services.
Q13: What will happen with Graduation in September 2020
A: We are currently working on the assumption that Graduation will take place, but we will continue to review this as more information is available. We will follow government advice.
Q14: I’ve applied to study with the College in September, will I still have a place?
A: Thank you for applying to study with us, please be assured your offer of a place for this September is secure. Following the guidance from Public Health England, we have decided to postpone all face to face interviews and conduct telephone interviews where we can. If you have an interview arranged with us we will be in touch with you shortly either by email, telephone or text message.
As the Government has announced there will be no exams and assessments will take place in schools or colleges this year. You will receive a grade for each of your qualifications. The normal entry requirements for courses will apply. We will support you during the College enrolment period to ensure we put you on the correct level of your chosen course.
Q15: I haven’t applied for a place for September yet, can I still apply?
A: Yes you can still apply for a place for a course starting in September, we’re continuously assessing the situation for both this academic year and the next and working on the assumptions that courses will be starting as planned. Please complete an Online Application Form for your chosen subject(s), and the admissions team or a course tutor will be in touch to conduct a telephone interview or to discuss your application.
If you’re unsure of which course you would like to do, you can discuss this with the admissions team on email@example.com – we will also be hosting virtual open events, the details of which are available here.
Q16: I don’t know what my GCSE grades will be yet, can I still apply?
A: Conditional offers are made based on expected GCSE grades, and this applies at any time, not just in the current situation. Once you receive your GCSE results, alternative options can be discussed such as entry at a different level for the course area you have applied for if you do not meet the grades outlined in your conditional offer.