College update - Friday 05 February 2021

Dear students, parents, carers and guardians,

Ofqual consultation

Last month we wrote to our students to invite them to take part in the national consultations about how qualifications will be assessed and graded for this academic year. The deadline for feedback has now passed and we are awaiting an update from Ofqual (the exams and qualifications regulator) to confirm when we will know the outcome. It is likely to be a while longer before we know exactly how our students will be assessed and graded.

We continue to deliver live online sessions and set work to be completed independently. Where students have had difficulties accessing the technology required to continue their studies remotely, we have loaned out equipment and made specialist software available. Should your young person have any issues, please encourage them to speak to their teacher in the first instance.

We continue to provide all of our usual support services remotely. Details of how to get in touch with these services can be found via our website and on the Student Landing Page.

Students - Please continue to attend your lessons and complete set work on time. This is more important than ever to ensure you are not unnecessarily disadvantaged once we know how assessment will take place.

Plans for returning to on-site teaching and testing our students

In a recent announcement, the Government confirmed that we will be unable to return to on-site teaching and learning until 08 March at the very earliest. Although this date may change and we do not know whether it will be a phased return, we are beginning to make arrangements now to ensure that this return is as safe as possible.

We have set up on-site COVID-19 testing facilities ready for when our students are allowed to return to our campuses. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic so testing, using the new, quicker tests known as ‘lateral flow devices’, helps to reduce the spread in college settings where infected individuals have no symptoms. 

Under current government guidance, we are expecting to offer a free test to our staff and students before they attend our college sites. This is voluntary but we would encourage your young person to take part.

Consent is required - either from the young person themselves or a designated parent/carer/guardian for students under 16 or unable to provide informed consent.

To help us with our planning to ensure we are able to schedule tests for anyone who wishes to be tested before they attend college, we are asking for consent to be provided now. We have written to students with further information.

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Next week we’re celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with a series of virtual Q&A sessions. These are a great opportunity to speak to course tutors, learn more about the range of apprenticeships we offer and find out how an apprenticeship could help launch your career.

Virtual Q&A sessions run from 9-11 February and include talks on construction, motor vehicle, health and social care, IT, business administration and early years education. Find out more and book here.

Student progression and careers

Date for your diary: National Careers Week 2021 | 1-6 March 2021

National Careers Week (NCW) is a celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education.

Here at GB MET we are planning and preparing careers resources and support for our students and parents/carers throughout this week. More information coming soon.

We have also been continuing to support our students with their applications to university ahead of last Friday's UCAS deadline. Students can still access support with any late applications, interviews and portfolios, student finance queries, and preparation for university. Please contact wp@gbmc.ac.uk for more information.

Staying safe online

With an increased reliance on the internet, it’s more important than ever that our young people know how to keep themselves safe online. During induction, we introduced our students to the college network and the Google suite (the safe online work spaces we use), and delivered training on digital safety. We have also produced a wealth of resources about this that are readily available from our Student Landing Page. Over the last month we have been asking our students to complete a short online safety quiz to refresh their knowledge.

Health and wellbeing

Did you know we have a team of Pastoral Mentors who are on hand to support you/your young person with any issues that may be impacting on your/their ability to achieve and enjoy your/their time at college? They are the first point of call for any student needing help or advice, and can be contacted by emailing mentor@gbmc.ac.uk

We’ve also collated some external resources that may be of use, particularly during the current lockdown. Click here to access these resources.

Helena Thomas
Principal

Back to all posts
Stay connected