Telford College is seeking to remove uncertainty and doubts for students by setting out a detailed curriculum plan for the rest of the academic year – and beyond.
“We are receiving a lot of questions about what the next few weeks might have in store, and how the college will be operating after the half term,” said principal and chief executive Graham Guest.
“But rather than taking a short-term view, we feel it will provide far greater certainty to plan much further ahead, and explain how we will be delivering a structured end to the academic year.”
A comprehensive curriculum review is under way, in close conjunction with tutors and unions, allowing the college to take a pro-active rather than reactive approach to the current Covid challenges.
Mr Guest said the plans were built around three key objectives:
- Ensuring staff and student safety
- Maximising achievement opportunities
- Protecting physical and mental health
“For many people, this latest lockdown is proving to be the toughest yet, and we must not underestimate the toll it is taking on people’s mental health.
“This is why we have tasked the entire college to plan effectively between now and July, to look at what sort of changes might be needed to our day-to-day operation.
“This may involve some form of collapsed timetable, and will inevitably mean a continuation of virtual learning, combined with a structured return of students to college, under strict regulations.
“We believe there really is light at the end of the tunnel, and we want to focus on the positives – both for our current students, and those who will be joining us in September.”
Telford College has pledged to continue holding assessments for its vocational and technical qualifications wherever possible, to ensure student career prospects are not disadvantaged.
All of the tests are being carried out under strict safety guidelines, in small groups – with every student being required to take a Covid test when they are on campus.
Although A level and GCSE exams have been cancelled this summer, the Government is allowing colleges to continue offering many other vocational and technical exams, such as BTEC and NCFE.
The college has already turned its sports hall into a Covid testing centre, offering daily tests to staff and students.
Mr Guest said: “We are working hard to ensure students are not disadvantaged any more than necessary.
“In many instances, students simply cannot embark on their chosen careers without completing practical assessments, which is why we want to keep them running in a safe environment whenever we can.
“We know this is an anxious time for students who work so hard towards their exams and assessments, and we want keep disruption to an absolute minimum.”