The government has now published clear guidance for schools and colleges on maintaining provision for young people in certain categories from Monday 23rd March.

22 April 2020

Periods of instability, such as during the coronavirus pandemic, bring an increased risk of fraud. Fraudsters will actively exploit these difficult times and will target vulnerable areas for financial gain.

We have been informed some learners and parents have received a letter from ESFA asking for personal learner bank details in relation to the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund. We never ask for personal bank account details.

This is a fraudulent letter – please do not respond.

17 April 2020

We hope you are keeping safe and well and that you were able to enjoy the Easter break despite the continued national ‘lockdown’.

The College will be continuing to provide teaching and learning remotely and tutors will be available to deliver teaching and support to students during normal timetabled hours. Please therefore contact your tutor if you are not clear on what activities you will need to complete and/or participate in on a weekly basis while you are studying at home.

In addition, the below summary of questions and answers has been collated to help provide more information for students and parents/carers, including about the provisional arrangements for awarding qualifications this summer. If you have any additional queries please do not hesitate to contact your tutor or email info@iwcollege.ac.uk and someone will get back to you as soon as possible during the College’s normal opening hours, Monday to Friday 08:30 to 5:00pm (4:00pm close on Friday).

We know these are challenging times for all of us and it is important we all maintain a structure to our daily routine and a positive focus on the future. To support you and your family’s health and well-being the College has also collated a range of resources and information to help you.

We will provide a further update to you as we receive more information from the government in the coming weeks. In the meantime please do keep focussed on your studies and stay safe and well at home.

Questions and Answers

Is the College still providing remote teaching and learning for students?

As you will be aware the government yesterday announced that the UK ‘lockdown’ will continue for another three weeks. During this period the College will continue to provide remote teaching and learning for students. Remote classes and day to day support from your tutors will therefore recommence from Monday 20 April. You should be available to participate in learning activities and to work on assignments during your normal timetabled hours. If you are not sure what activities you should be doing and how to participate please contact your tutor or email info@iwcollege.ac.uk and we will ensure someone contacts you.

Will classes for English and maths be continuing?

We will be contacting students who are studying Functional Skills, GCSE English and/or Maths early next week to confirm what support and online classes will be provided during the summer term to enable you to continue to develop these key skills. We have received guidance from the government on the criteria to be used to award qualifications for both GCSEs and Functional Skills. We will be in contact with students over the coming month to confirm the arrangements and the options available once they are finalised. Students studying GCSEs may, for example, in some circumstances have the option of taking their exams in the Autumn. In the meantime it remains important to continue your English and maths studies, both to develop your skills in these areas and to provide evidence for progression to the next stage of your learning, or to employment.

Is the College still open if I want to attend?

The College remains open on a very limited basis for students who have a social worker, an EHCP or whose parents/carers are key workers. If any parents or carers would like to access this provision please emailinfo@iwcollege.ac.uk and we will contact you to discuss what support is available at College. All other students should follow government guidance and remain at home to complete their studies remotely.

Will I still achieve my qualification this summer?

The government has provided the College with information about the proposed process for awarding grades for students for some qualifications, including GCSEs and BTEC. We are currently reviewing this information and we are awaiting further details for other qualifications. We will therefore contact students individually over the course of the next month to confirm arrangements for the award of their specific qualification once we have full details. It was made clear by the government that students who are due to complete a qualification this summer should not miss out due to the enforced closure period. However, it is important that you continue to study remotely in order for the College and the awarding body to have enough evidence to make a decision to award your qualification.

Further information on what has been announced so far can be found at www.gov.uk under the COVID-19 ‘education and childcare’ section.

My qualification requires practical assessments which I still need to complete, will I still be able to do these?

Based on the information received so far from the government, it is expected there will be an opportunity to complete practical assessments during the summer before your qualification is awarded. At this stage, there remains uncertainty on when the lockdown restrictions will be eased and what types of activities will be allowed to recommence. We will therefore contact students individually to confirm arrangements for practical assessments once we have further details on when these can take place.

In the meantime, you should continue to work at home towards completing the theory based elements of your qualification with help from your tutor. You may also be able to use online resources, such as video tutorials, to study practical skills. Please speak to your tutor or contact the Learning and Resource Centre at library@iwcollege.ac.uk for guidance on whether there are suitable online materials for your qualification.

I am considering starting a new course at the College in September 2020, how do I find out more about my options?

The College is continuing to run ‘virtual’ Open Days with staff available online and via telephone for 1-2-1 discussions about your future study options.  Our next event is on Wednesday 29 April from 10:00am to 6:30pm and you can contact us in advance to arrange a slot for a telephone discussion by emailing info@iwcollege.ac.uk Please do also pass this information on to other family and friends who were hoping to attend a future open days event.

Full details of the Open Day and the courses available can be found on our Event page. You can also continue to contact the College at any time beyond the Open Day to arrange an informal telephone discussion about applying for courses to start in September 2020.

If you are an existing student at Level 2 or Level 3 you will also have an opportunity to discuss your next steps with your tutor and with the College’s Careers Advisors – if you have not yet had an opportunity to do this please speak to your course tutor.

I have other questions which have not been covered in the above?

If you have any other questions or concerns at any time please do contact your course tutor or email info@iwcollege.ac.uk The Pastoral and Progress Tutors are also continuing to provide support to students remotely and can be contacted via student.services@iwcollege.ac.uk.

30 March 2020

All of our staff are still working hard to provide teaching and learning to students and to continue to provide services to apprentices and employers. We know this is a difficult time for everyone and maintaining a routine and a clear focus on achieving your goals is a positive way to stay optimistic about the future.

We are providing students with access to remote learning during the closure period to ensure all students can continue to work towards achieving their qualification or to enable them to progress further in their studies. The government has committed to ensuring all students in the current academic year do not miss out and we are awaiting confirmation on what this will mean in terms of individual qualifications. It will therefore be important for individual students to ensure they continue their studies and are able to evidence they have reached the required level to achieve their qualification or in order to progress their studies further.

The College is taking the following actions to help students to progress in their studies:

  • All students will have been set work by their tutor to complete remotely, either online or paper-based activities.
  • Teachers are available during the normal timetabled hours to direct learning and provide support. Teachers will check to see if each student is engaged in the activities during each session. Teachers can also be contacted online via Microsoft Teams, email or telephone. Students can download Microsoft Teams on to their phone or other devices.
  • For those studying English and/or Maths, teachers will have set tasks to be completed on a weekly basis by 12 noon each Friday and are available throughout the week to answer queries and provide help.
  • If you do not know how to contact your tutor or are not sure what tasks you are required to complete please contact info@iwcollege.ac.uk
  • In addition, teachers will contact students on a weekly basis for a short academic tutorial to check on your progress and general well-being.
  • The Student Services team will also be contacting students to offer general support and advice including for Bursary. You can also contact them at any time via student.services@iwcollege.ac.uk.
  • Students in receipt of Free College Meals will receive an equivalent payment directly into their bank account to contribute towards the cost of meals while studying at home.
  • We have developed a short guide to help students engage in online learning. Parents and carers may also want to read this to help them understand how they can support to help ensure learning remains productive.
  • We have also collated a range of well-being resources to help students and their families while they are based at home. This includes inspiration and advice on activities anyone can try while at home to help keep them feeling positive and motivated.
  • If parents or carers have any questions or concerns about work that has been set for students then they can contact the tutor, or if you have any general questions please email info@iwcollege.ac.uk and someone will reply as soon as possible, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:00pm.

I hope everyone keeps safe and well in these difficult times and please be assured the College will continue to do everything we can to support students and to help them to achieve their goals.

Free School Meals Email Scam

You may have seen this in the media and if not, it is available on the www.gov.uk website.

The guidance provides a clear directive from the government that from Monday, young people should remain at home, if at all possible.

The purpose of school and college closures is to further limit the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, if your child can safely stay at home, then they should do so to limit the chance of the virus spreading. This is how everyone within our community can and should play their role to help minimise the spread of the virus.

It is not the Government’s intention that schools and colleges will continue to provide the normal curriculum or programme of study that students would have received. The College will only remain open to provide care and supervision for the children of parents/carers who work in the critical sectors and whose children cannot remain at home.

The Government have also asked that schools and colleges remain open to vulnerable children (including those with EHCPs) but again only those who cannot safely be cared for at home. Parents and carers should also follow government guidelines to self-isolate at home those students who have an underlying health condition and who therefore should not attend College, as they are more vulnerable to contracting the virus.

The College, like many schools, will be providing all students with online learning activities. Those students who do come into College, as they meet the government criteria will be provided with opportunities to complete this online learning during their normal timetabled slots, as well as being able to participate in a small range of other extra-curricular activities.

Eligible students will be able to attend College between 9:00am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Students should arrive at College via the main reception each day. They should not go to their normal building or classroom as the limited provision is likely to be based in a central location in the College campus.

The College is also seeking to minimise the number of staff required to travel and attend work. In addition, a significant proportion of staff are required to self-isolate due to the virus. Therefore we have a very limited number of staff available to us. This means that it is unlikely that young people attending College next week will be supported by their usual teacher. Also, if a young person normally receives specialist or additional support, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to meet this requirement in these exceptional circumstances.

Finally, if your child is currently unwell, with or without Coronavirus symptoms, then they should remain at home. Where it is Coronavirus symptoms households should follow the government guidance on self-isolating for 14 days from the first symptoms.

If you feel your child meets the Government criteria and you require support with their care from Monday 23rd March please email info@iwcollege.ac.uk as soon as possible to confirm they will be attending.

If you have any general queries please also contact info@iwcollege.ac.uk.

Debbie Lavin
Principal at The Isle of Wight College.


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