College pledges maximum support for students

Published: January 4, 2021

Telford College has pledged to do everything in its power to minimise disruption to learning as the UK goes into another coronavirus lockdown.

The college says it will immediately revert to a remote learning curriculum for the vast majority of students – as it did successfully during the original lockdown last spring.

The management team is already in dialogue with awarding bodies to discuss the impact on this summer’s exams.

BTEC and other vocational exams will still go ahead this month despite the new restrictions, but the Government has confirmed GCSE and A level exams will not ‘go ahead as normal’ this year.

Further clarification over the exam situation is expected over the next few days.

Graham Guest, Telford College principal and chief executive, said: “Our campus will remain open during this lockdown period, but only for vulnerable students, and children of key workers.

“We will revert to working remotely with other students, apprentices and local employers. Attendance levels through distance learning were really positive during the first lockdown – well above the national average.

“Since then, we have invested even further in technology to help keep things as ‘normal’ as possible for students. We are well prepared.”

The college has also handed out nearly 100 laptops to help vulnerable or disadvantaged students to access learning and stay connected while studying at home.

Mr Guest said: “Our priorities throughout the whole Covid-19 period have been to save lives, and protect student achievement.

“We appreciate that this is an uncertain time for students who were expecting to sit exams in the summer, and we want to assure them that we are here to give them our full support.

“In some instances, there may still be an opportunity to take assessments – we are consulting with awarding bodies, and will be keeping students fully informed.

“We understand this is a worrying time, but the college is doing everything in its power to allow students to progress appropriately.

“We are well prepared for this latest challenge, having already dramatically adapted the ways in which we deliver our curriculum.”

He added: “When I first arrived at Telford College, we invested heavily in the ability to monitor and track students online, and this has come to fruition over the past year.

“This latest lockdown announcement has not come as a surprise to us, and we have already been making contingency plans. But we know it will still come as a blow to many people.

“The most important message to students, wherever they are, is that they need to continue to study.

“I want to reassure them that they will not be disadvantaged by the situation we are in. The team at Telford College are working tirelessly to ensure they progress to where they want to be.

“We want to ensure that we don’t lose a generation, and that our students achieve.

“We have taken advantage of technology to remain in touch with our students as they continue their studies from home, and continue to find employment opportunities and placements for apprentices.

“And we will once again be holding video interviews for students who are interested in joining the college later this year.”