College update: Returning to face-to-face teaching - Friday 26 February 2021

Dear students and parents/carers/guardians,

Following the government’s announcement that colleges can return to face-to-face teaching from Monday 8 March, we have been working through the detail. Curriculum teams will be in touch with their students shortly to provide further detail relevant to particular courses but the headlines are as follows.

Face-to-face teaching for the vast majority of courses will resume from Monday 15 March

In line with government advice, we will be prioritising our courses for 16-19-year-olds, apprentices and university-level students. These students will receive a mix of face-to-face and live online delivery from Monday 15 March.

For some students, including the vast majority of our part-time adult provision, face-to-face teaching will not resume until after Easter.

Process for testing 

The following information is only relevant to those students returning to face-to-face teaching from Monday 15 March.

Rapid testing is carried out using lateral flow devices (LFD). These are self-administered but carried out on our sites. 

Testing on site will commence from Monday 8 March. Curriculum teams will be in touch with students over the next few days to share the arrangements for testing. This will include the location, dates and times to attend, as well as further information about the test itself. 

Students must complete this consent form at least 48 hours prior to their arrival at their first appointment and are asked to arrive on time (not early and not late). Further information about the testing can be found here. The consent form must be completed in order to have the on-site tests.

Students will be expected to take two tests during the week of 8 March. A third test will take place during the week commencing Monday 15 March within normal class time.

After completing three on-site tests, students will be provided with tests to administer at home twice weekly. Results will still be centrally recorded. Guidance about this will be provided nearer the time.

While testing is taking place on-site during the week of 8 March, remote teaching and learning will continue as normal.

Returning to college

Face coverings MUST be worn everywhere in the college. 

This rule has been extended to include classrooms and workshops, and disciplinary action will be taken if this is not adhered to.

The only exceptions are:

  • For those staff and students that are medically exempt, as per the government’s guidelines.
  • For teachers where the wearing of a face covering would adversely impact on their teaching.

I appreciate whilst many students will be keen to get back to on-site learning, some will be feeling anxious and concerned about their safety. As a reminder, these are the safety measures we have in place:

  • extending the wearing of face coverings to classrooms and workshops
  • maintaining social distancing
  • ensuring adequate ventilation
  • provision of hand sanitiser throughout our buildings
  • increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
  • tracing close contacts of confirmed cases and issuing self-isolation notices

As mentioned above, curriculum teams will be in touch with students shortly to share the plans for each particular course and answer any further questions you might have. Please also keep an eye on the FAQs on our website as these are being updated regularly.

Helena Thomas
Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

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