Last week, the Education Minister announced that a small number of vocational students would be able to return to College from Monday 22 February which, as you will hopefully be aware from my previous update, we have been planning towards for the past couple of weeks.
The students who will be prioritised for return are those needing to undertake assessments to complete their qualifications and achieve their license to practice.
In the first instance these are likely to be students in engineering, construction, catering, applied science, plumbing, motor vehicle and accountancy. At this moment in time, this list does not include course areas such as health and care, due to the issue of work placements which are currently unable to go ahead, or hair and beauty as practical assessments for this sector are not able to take place within the current social distancing guidelines.
Social distancing will now apply to all
On returning to College, the single biggest change that students will find is that class bubbles will no longer exist, and all students and staff will need to keep two metres apart from each other at all times. For this reason all class sizes will be halved and we would estimate that, to begin with, all students will return for no more than one day per week.
We are currently modelling the different classes and will have new timetables available for these students as soon as possible.
Changes to face coverings
Three ply face coverings (which the College has previously supplied to all students) will be required to be worn at all times. This will include in classrooms and workshops as well as in and around the campuses.
All students will be required to make their own way to and from College as College buses are still not able to run. At this time attendance is not mandatory for students and staff, but we hope that most will attend, thus enabling these students to catch up in working towards their qualifications.
Once again we understand this is a challenging time for us all, so please, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us via email email@example.com or by phone 01792 284000.