As you will be aware, the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus pandemic is causing severe problems throughout the country, including the risk of infection and the need for self-isolation of affected people.
Further to yesterday’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Education, I write to confirm that NA College will close to learners and apprentices with effect from 4pm 20/03/2020, meaning that our last day of ‘normal’ teaching operations will be 20/03/2020.
As yet we have no date for a return to normal operations, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely. It does appear that we are, to quote the Prime Minister, ‘in it for the long haul’ and could be looking at a period of months rather than weeks.
In accordance with the Government’s advice, NA College will cease ‘face to face’ teaching and will move much of our teaching and learning activities as possible to online platforms using a range of technologies, most of which, will already be familiar to many of our students. We do not anticipate that this will have any detrimental impact on learner progress nor on our learners’ ability to complete their programme of study.
We will be working collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, including Awarding Organisations, the ESFA, Ofqual and the institute for Apprenticeships, to name but a few, to ensure that our learners have every chance of successfully completing their studies as timely as possible.
The College building will still be open to provide the infrastructure required to implement this approach and staff and teachers will be on hand to support each learner via email, telephone and virtual meeting spaces.
We have been working diligently to develop a continuity plan to enable us to deliver session remotely and maintain contact with all learners and this plan will now be implemented to ensure learners are contacted and are able to progress their learning, have access to resources and are able to speak to a tutor/assessor
All learners will be given guidance notes and tutorial support to ensure that they are comfortable with what we are doing and how their learning is shifting to online and electronic means.
We are currently awaiting government guidance but we are actively seeking clarification on end point assessments and gateway assessments. It has been indicated that gateway assessments can be undertaken without face to face interaction and we are awaiting clarification on EPA requirements. As you will appreciate clarity is yet to emerge from some quarters but you can be assured that we will secure accurate information and pass this on to our stakeholders as soon as we are in a position to do so.
We shall continue to communicate with students, employers, stakeholders and where necessary, parents and carers.
We shall be setting up an email address for queries as answering telephone with what could be skeleton staffing may prove problematic, we will provide all necessary contact details and email addresses below.
email@example.com – General points and students
firstname.lastname@example.org – Wellbeing/HR queries
email@example.com – IT and Digital Services Support
Diane.Myers@nacollege.ac.uk – Safeguarding
Tracey.Ford@nacollege.ac.uk – Stakeholder and employer queries
We shall continue to use our social media platforms to share information, though the content will obviously differ from usual material - please do keep an eye on them.
These are challenging times for us all. Unusually for our twenty first century lifestyle we face a problem over which we have seemingly no control. I am sure you will all agree that the best advice in these circumstances is to keep calm and to continue looking for the positives.
We are, of course, aware that a number of our learners will still be experiencing concern and worry and with that in mind we are planning to allow our staff welfare and safeguarding team to continue providing support by telephone consultations.