Coronavirus update: Friday 27 March 2.30pm
Update: Friday 27 March 2.30pm
Following the government’s instruction to ‘stay at home’ and having reviewed the uptake of our onsite supervisory provision during this week, we have decided to close the College from Monday 30 March.
With very few or no students onsite, we must act in the best interests of our staff. The decision to close has also been taken by a number of other colleges who have experienced very low take-up of onsite supervisory provision. We will continue to work closely with our vulnerable students, providing additional support remotely as required.
We will review this provision again on 20 April, taking into account the latest government updates at that point.
Nick Juba, CEO, and Helena Thomas, Principal
Update for current students: Monday 23 March 5pm
Online teaching and learning has commenced for most of you this week and teachers will be working with you, remotely, as per your normal timetable. If you are experiencing any issues with accessing your materials, please write to your tutor as soon as possible or email ITServices@gbmc.ac.uk. The resources accessed via the Student Portal may also be of help. Just a reminder, any absences should be reported in the usual way - either by text or on the eNotify app.
It is vitally important you keep up with your studies during this period of college closure. Although there is still uncertainty from the awarding bodies on how qualifications and grades will be awarded, it is still really important that you continue your learning as usual. How qualifications and grades will be awarded is being discussed at a national level and as soon as a way forward has been agreed we will let you know what this means for you.
In the interim, keep up-to-date with the work your teachers have set you and fully engage with the online delivery. This will ensure you are not unnecessarily disadvantaged when these decisions have been made.
Should you need any additional support during this time, our usual student services are available. More information and their contact details can be found in our FAQs for current students.
Update: Friday 20 March 4.30pm
The College is not open for students due to the government’s advice on social distancing to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We have moved to online teaching and learning that is specifically tailored to the individual courses students are following. This enables all of our post-16 students, including those of key workers, to enable their studies to continue.
However, we are providing access to a supervised space from 9.30am to 1.30pm Monday through to Friday for our most vulnerable students where they can access the online teaching and learning material from two of our college sites: Central Brighton and Broadwater in Worthing. These are not taught sessions. We have been in contact with parents/carers/guardians regarding this and will be reviewing this offer on a week-by-week basis to ensure we can maintain appropriate staffing levels during these challenging times. We will also maintain contact with those parents/carers/guardians over the coming weeks.
Students in receipt of bursary and free college meals will be receiving money directly into bank accounts during this period.
Update: Friday 20 March 8am
We have produced a list of frequently asked questions for current students to provide answers to some of the queries you might have. We will continue to update this page as and when we have more information. Access the FAQs for current students here.
Update: Thursday 19 March 7am
Following on from the Government’s decision to close schools and colleges across the country from Friday, we will continue with our aim of delivering online teaching and support to all of our students from Monday 23 March.
The College remains committed to delivering a high-level of education to all of our valued students and we will endeavour to continue this service using remote resources over the coming weeks.
We understand the decision to cancel exams may be concerning or confusing for you; we will provide clarity regarding this development as soon as we know more.
As the situation develops, we will continue to post regular updates on our website and the student portal, and you will receive regular communication from your tutors.
Continuation of courses:
Our aim is that academic and support teams can continue to provide coordination and delivery of courses for you during the coming weeks.
This will include:
- Virtual classes – tutors will set work for you as per your existing timetable and be available for support at the start of each session.
- Tutorial slots - you will be notified of tutor availability for tutorial slots.
- Communication of timings - you will be told when a teacher will respond to queries and when you can expect feedback on work.
- English and maths – you will still be expected to be engaged with these subjects as per your previous timetable. English and maths tutors will be available as per your timetable to assist with coursework.
Student support services:
In this uncertain and confusing time, our Student Services team have produced the following guidance should you need it. This includes key contacts at the MET for pastoral support, finance queries and careers advice:
Student support services key information
Student bursary payments:
All students entitled to bursary awards for travel and college meals will continue to receive your entitlement.
If you are entitled to college meals, you will receive a payment into your bank account equivalent to a weekly award of £12.05 (5 days x £2.41). The first payment of two weeks’ entitlement (£24.10) will be paid into your account on 30 March. We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to payment frequency or date. Further finance information and key contacts can be found in the document above.
We understand this is a worrying and difficult time, however we will do our very best to minimise disruption to you and ensure your education can continue.
Nick Juba, CEO, and Helena Thomas, Principal
Update 18 March: Adult leisure and hobby courses
From Monday 23 March 2020, the College will be postponing all part-time adult leisure and hobby courses, following advice from the government about social distancing re: coronavirus / COVID-19. We will resume face-to-face teaching when possible and will keep you regularly updated. Many apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Update: Tuesday 17 March 4pm
College moves to online learning from Monday 23 March
From tomorrow at 4pm, we are suspending face-to-face teaching and moving to online teaching and learning from Monday 23 March. Students are expected to follow their programmes as usual, remotely.
GB MET takes the safety and wellbeing of its staff and students extremely seriously. We have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) nationally and locally, and carefully following all instructions given to us by the local authority, the Department for Education and Public Health England. At this time the advice remains clear that schools and colleges should not close, however, the government has noted the importance of social distancing.
Following the above advice, the College remains open and has no plans to close unless it is advised to do so by the relevant authorities. However, with an increasing number of staff and students needing to self-isolate, our ability to deliver is becoming more challenging and is putting an unsustainable strain on our staff; in particular, for those staff who are trying to teach face-to-face as well as providing online resources for those students self-isolating but are able to study from home.
In the best interests of both our staff and our students, we have taken the decision to suspend all face-to-face teaching from 4pm tomorrow, Wednesday 18 March, until further notice. A small number of our adult leisure and hobby courses will continue to run for the remainder of this week.
Our intention is that teaching will resume online, making use of all available digital resources, from Monday 23 March – in some cases, this will be sooner. Students that are able to will be expected to work from home.
For the remainder of this week, teaching staff will be preparing the resources and tools they need to ensure they can deliver a high-quality learning experience for students, albeit remote. Teaching staff will be in contact with their students to outline their plans and expectations.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of the College in these challenging and unprecedented times. We will continue to share any updates as and when we can.
Update: Tuesday 17 March 1pm
The College is open as usual for students. However, we have taken the decision to close our public-facing services. This includes:
- Northbrook Theatre
- Metro salons (Brighton and Broadwater)
- The Arundel Restaurant
- The Gallery restaurant
All upcoming bookings have been cancelled and, wherever possible, individuals have been contacted to advise them of this.
Update: Tuesday 17 March 8am
To ensure the safety and wellbeing of all staff and students at GB MET, we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and carefully following all instructions given to us by the local authority, the Department for Education and Public Health England. Following the Prime Minister's press conference yesterday at 5pm, schools and colleges are still being advised to remain open. However, four new measures have been outlined:
- If anyone in your household displays the symptoms of a new and persistent cough or fever then everyone in that family should self-isolate for fourteen (14) days. (This extends the previous advice from individuals to whole households)
- People should avoid unnecessary or non-essential social contact with others and unnecessary travel. Where possible people should work from home / remotely. This is particularly true for those at high risk or vulnerable to the disease (such as the over 70s, those with weakened immune systems or long-term health conditions and pregnant women).
- By this weekend those with the most serious health conditions will be ‘shielded’ from contact for around twelve (12) weeks.
- From today (Tuesday 17 March) there will be no support for mass gatherings to take place.
As this is an ever-changing situation, the advice may change. In which case, we would use all channels of communication to share updates and provide further instruction. We will continue to post any updates to this page.
Please appreciate that as this is such a widespread concern, we have limited ability to respond to individual enquiries. However, we have prepared the following information to help answer any queries you might have. Please take the time to carefully read our guidance.
- The College is open as usual.
- If anyone in your household displays the symptoms of a new and persistent cough or fever then everyone in that family should self-isolate for fourteen (14) days. (This extends the previous advice from individuals to whole households). See absence reporting below.
- Any planned overseas student or staff trips will not take place.
Unless the College closes, students should continue to follow the usual absence procedures. The government's advice about what to do if you are concerned you may have contracted the virus can be found here.
Students should continue to prepare for all exams and assessments as normal.
College preparations in the event of a closure
Although the government is clear in its current advice that all schools and colleges should remain open, this could change. Should remote working and learning be required at a later date, our intention would be to minimise the disruption to students' learning by using online resources.
Staff are making preparations now to ensure content can be accessible remotely and to support all students to be able to access this if the College were to close. The student portal is a key resource that provides instructions about how to access college systems. Teaching staff will also show their students how to access specific course resources in case remote learning is required.
General health advice
The College will continue to reiterate the importance of good hygiene to all students. Our estates team are regularly topping up the hand soap and sanitiser dispensers across all of our campuses.
The advice to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus is as follows:
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
always wash your hands when you get home or into work
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Further advice about how to minimise the spread of the virus, and what to do if you are concerned you may have contracted it, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Please be assured that our priority is maintaining the safety and wellbeing of all staff and students, and we will continue to make adjustments to our plans in light of new information. This situation is unprecedented and we thank you for your support during this time.
From Nick Juba (CEO) and Helena Thomas (Principal)