Safely returning to campus - adult students
Details on our plans to return to campus following the Prime Minister's announcement.
As students will be aware, last Monday the Prime Minister outlined his roadmap out of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is much to be optimistic about following this announcement and since then, The Manchester College has been assessing how we respond to this in a managed and measured way whilst continuing to keep your safety and that of our students firmly as our number one priority.
Part of the Prime Minister’s announcement signalled that educational settings will reopen from Monday 8 March. Having received the government guidance for how this should be managed late last Monday night we have now completed the process of working through it and how it applies to our adult education provision.
- The government has advised that adult learning can return to face-to-face learning where it is safe to do so. Alternatively, it can also continue to take place online. As such the majority of The Manchester College’s learning will continue fully online until after the Easter break, at which point the position will be reviewed in accordance with government guidelines
- In some circumstances where it is deemed essential for an element of face-to-face delivery to resume for our adult learners, some students/classes will be invited to attend on-campus sessions but no sooner than Monday 22 March. The Government has given us the discretion to decide this based on our professional assessment. It is likely to be the case where, for example: specialist equipment is required; where there is a practical element to the course; where specific assessments are required as part of a licence to practice course or where not undertaking the assessment would disadvantage achievement of your qualification; or where a lack of device at home is a barrier to learning. This will be communicated to students on an individual/course basis and unless contacted you should continue to follow your timetable fully online and remotely for now
- If you are a 19-24 year old student in receipt of an EHCP, you will be invited back to attend your face-to-face timetabled session back on campus.
Continuing your studies
Unless you are contacted your studies will continue to be delivered online. Whilst we know that you will be eager to get back on to campus, we hope you will understand that we have not taken this decision lightly. Ultimately, though, we must continue to make the health, safety and wellbeing of you and our staff our number one priority.
While we are desperate to be able to welcome you back to campus as soon as it is safe to do so, our processes for delivering a fully remote timetable are well established and will enable you to continue to progress your studies. Your existing online timetable will remain in place until the Easter break at the earliest.
At this point, after the Easter break and providing government guidelines permit, we will revert to the blended delivery model that we had in place prior to Christmas with some parts of your timetable taking place on campus and others taking place online. We will write to you closer to the time to confirm this and any details you will need for safely returning to campus.
If your course has been identified as being essential to return w/c 22 March 2021, we will be writing to your separately in the next week or so.
Asymptomatic Covid-19 testing
You may have also seen the government announcement that all 16-18 College students will be provided with asymptomatic Covid-19 testing on their return to campus. This will be followed with the provision of two home test kits per week thereafter. Adult learners will also be provided with the opportunity to access Covid-19 testing, with self-test kits provided to you and collected from the College. We will communicate further information on this to you as soon as possible and prior to your return to site.
You may have heard that the Government has just announced how examinations/qualifications will be awarded this year. You will receive a separate letter telling you what this means for you in the next couple of days.
Support for you
We fully appreciate that many of you may be finding things difficult in the current circumstances. However, I wanted to reassure you that all the support that has been in place since the start of lockdown in January will remain in place right through until you return to campus and beyond. You can find all the details of the support available to you on our website.
We understand that everyone is now eager to get back to some sense of normality, but we know you will understand why we are continuing to take a measured approach. Please rest assured that we are taking every step possible to get you back to campus as soon as possible where we will welcome you back to a safe learning environment.
We look forward to welcoming you back to campus as soon as it is safe to do so.