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Coronavirus College Closures

UPDATED LETTER 22 MAY 2020

Dear Student, Apprentice, Parent, Carer,

I would like to thank all students and apprentices who have continued to commit themselves wholeheartedly to their studies since College closure on 20 March. You have been a great encouragement to your teachers, assessors and support staff. Thank you. Please carry on with your learning until the end of term; this will help you to be ready for employment or progression with your studies, whether with us or another institution. If you are planning to return in September – and we very much hope you are – please don’t forget to apply and secure your place with us.

My thanks also go to all our students’ parents and carers, particularly of our younger students and apprentices – for all the help and support you have given to your young people, despite all the challenges you will have been facing.

This letter is designed to provide a general update on a range of issues, but focusing on our response to the latest government advice, particularly as provided regularly by the Department for Education. These are truly uncertain times. I would therefore encourage you to discuss any concerns or anxieties you may have with your (or your child’s) tutor or assessor in the first instance. We will do whatever we can to help.

North Shropshire College has been following government advice closely. These are our main priorities:

1) To continue to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider community.
2) To continue to educate and train our students, whether or not they physically attend College.
3) To continue to follow government advice.

From Monday 23 March 2020, although our students have not been able to attend College because of the COVID-19 outbreak, most have continued with home-based studies. I am delighted that the vast majority of students have engaged well with their learning, responding to the teaching and other support provided by the College. We are therefore expecting good results this academic year despite the significant challenges we have all faced.

Vulnerable Students

The College is opening to vulnerable students from Monday 1 June. We are contacting students, parents and carers individually to arrange for a return to College. Students are being encouraged to attend if they can and if there are no shielding concerns for the child or their household.

If you believe that you (or your child) are vulnerable and you are not contacted by the College, please ring the following number:  0800 440 2281

Further advice from the Department for Education, which includes the definition of vulnerable students, is provided here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Children of Critical Workers

The College is open to the children of critical workers. Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to look after their child at home, but attendance is strongly encouraged by the Department for Education.

If you are a critical worker and would like your child to attend College, please ring this number: 0800 440 2281.

Further information and definitions of critical sectors is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

Students on Year 1 of 2-year level 3 (advanced) courses who will return to College in September 2020

The Department for Education is advising colleges to offer some face-to-face contact for students aged 16 to 19 who are on the first year of level 3 (advanced) courses.

We will be contacting students in this category to arrange for them to attend College so they will be able to benefit from some face-to-face contact with their teachers.

If you or your child (who is in this category) do not hear from us by Friday 5 June, please ring this number: 0800 440 2281.

Apprentices

The level of engagement of our apprentices with their assessors during this period has, in most cases, been outstanding. This is very pleasing.

The College is continuing to support apprentices to progress with their on and off-the-job learning. We will, as soon as possible, recommence visits to apprentices at their workplace and, where appropriate, face-to-face off-the-job education and training.

Assessment for Qualifications

The College offers a huge range of qualifications which are awarded by many different awarding bodies (such as Pearson, City & Guilds). During this exceptional year many students’ results will be determined by their teachers, based on the students’ progress. These results will then be moderated. For some students on more practical-based courses, some College attendance may be required for final practical assessments.

If you have any concerns about how you are going to achieve your qualification this year, please contact your personal tutor in the first instance.

Health and Safety

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students and apprentices is always our first priority. As and when students and apprentices return to College, whether this term or next academic year, there will be stringent requirements in place to ensure the health and safety of all College users, for example, regarding social distancing and hygiene.

And, finally, If you (or your child) are completing your studies this year and moving on to employment or further studies elsewhere, I wish you every success and happiness in your endeavours.

I will continue to provide updates as and when we are provided with further information by the government.

Thank you for your patience, support and understanding during these very challenging times.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Peake

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

 


Date: 22/05/2020