College update - 20 May 2020
Dear Students and Parent/Carers
Last week the Department for Education (DfE) published its guidance for a phased reopening of schools, colleges and nurseries. The following update outlines the preparations we are making to ensure your safety when you do return to our college.
What has the Government said?
The Government has stated that as the transmission rate of Covid-19 has decreased, colleges could offer some face-to-face support for a limited cohort of students from 01 June. This is in addition to the existing provision for vulnerable learners and children of key workers.
The DfE has clarified this provision would not include taught sessions and does not replace any existing remote learning. Students should be kept in small groups and the use of public transport should be minimised. Click here to read the guidance.
What does this mean for GB MET?
Our absolute priority is the safety of both our staff and students. We will not offer this face-to-face support until we are confident we have adequately planned for and put in place the necessary safety measures. This will take time so we are not expecting to be ready before the middle of June at the very earliest.
To be clear, when we do reopen this will be for a very small number of people. Our priority is to support any student who would be unable to complete their qualification this academic year, as planned, without an onsite assessment or face-to-face support.
Part of our preparations will involve identifying these priority students and inviting them to attend their usual site at pre-scheduled dates and times if they are able and feel safe to do so. We will be in touch with those students and parents where applicable to discuss individual circumstances.
What preparations are being made?
We are carefully reviewing all available advice to inform our planning. We are currently investigating a range of safety measures with the intention of minimising the risk to anyone attending our campuses; examples include: limiting class sizes; staggering breaks; enacting one-way systems; more frequent cleaning; and installing protective screens.
We will confirm any new procedures you will need to follow prior to you attending college.
What is happening with assessment of my course?
By the end of this week we are expecting clear guidance from each of our awarding organisations as to how individual courses will be assessed. We are expecting these to fall into one of three categories:
- Calculated results
Grades will be calculated based on the range of evidence available, including previously completed units and assignments, and an assessment by teachers of what students were likely to have achieved had they been able to complete the academic year.
- Adapted assessment
A final assessment will be adapted to meet the current social distancing measures.
- Delayed assessment
For qualifications requiring a skills assessment that cannot be completed during the current social distancing measures, assessment will be delayed until further notice.
As soon as we have received this guidance, we will write to you again to confirm which of the above categories applies to you and outline what happens next.
For those students in the ‘delayed assessment’ category, we will be in touch to discuss your individual circumstances and, if appropriate, invite you into the College for the face-to-face support outlined above.
We’re here to support you
We know that for many of you the past few months have been very difficult for a variety of different reasons. We are still here to provide support however we can; whether that be with IT, careers advice, pastoral mentoring, additional learning support or by signposting you to external organisations that can help.
We’re looking forward to the day when we can welcome you back to the College but in the meantime we would like to thank you for your continued dedication to continuing your education remotely and your ongoing patience while we navigate through all the challenges remote teaching brings.
Keep safe and well.