In the past few days we have now received guidance from Welsh Government on the arrangements for both the reopening of further education colleges and for school and college transport.
This guidance allows for a return to face to face teaching for our full time students, provided that they are managed in cohorts. We are calling this our Plan A.
We are currently seeking further clarification from Welsh Government on a couple of issues with this guidance – which we believe will then allow us to teach in this way. For example, lecturers (rather than students) moving between classes and students taking their breaks together with their same classmates.
However, at the same time we also have Plan B based on a more blended approach to include some face to face delivery, alongside online teaching and access to materials/resources. This is the model that we followed from March to June, and which was well received by parents and students.
Therefore, we have two plans in place, both of which we can deliver confidently.
Even though our preferred intention is to begin with Plan A, should the situation change during the year (as seems to be anticipated), then we can effortlessly move from one method to the other should there be a return to any form of lockdown.
We have taken this dual approach because whilst the health and safety of our students and staff remains our number one priority, our number two priority is to ensure that no students are disadvantaged in achieving their qualification and progressing onto the next step of their individual journey.
In terms of the guidance on transport, there would seem to be little impact for those students travelling on College-run buses e.g. no social distancing or the wearing of masks, but for those travelling to College on public buses, there will be additional requirements i.e. the wearing of masks, as they will be travelling alongside other people. We will clarify this position as soon as we can.
We will aim to confirm our planned approach for full time students as soon as we are able to. For our part time students, including apprenticeships, at this current time we will be continuing with blended learning with social distancing measures in place.
Further details will be available early next week via our Covid-19 webpage and social media channels.
But for now, we hope this makes the situation a little clearer, please do not hesitate to contact us via email email@example.com or via phone 01792 284000 if you have any questions.