Telford College welcomed students back to campus today for the start of a new academic year – with a host of new Covid-19 safeguarding measures in place.
Staff said students had reacted well to the new procedures which have been introduced around the college to minimise risks of coronavirus.
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A one-way system has been created around the Haybridge campus to reduce the chance of students crossing paths, with class groups operating
in ‘bubbles’ wherever possible.
Hand sanitisation stations have been set up around the college, and a clearly signed social distancing queueing system is in operation.
Classrooms and workshops have also been reconfigured to ensure they are Covid-safe, and there is restricted access to social areas around the site.
Engineering student Yacine Oumar said: “It’s been good so far – everything seems well organised with timetables, and everyone’s been given hand sanitiser.”
Telford College is running a new ‘blended learning’ timetable from September, with flexibility the key factor for staff and students.
Principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “Our priorities throughout the whole Covid-19 period have been to save lives, protect student achievement, and ensure that students have a place with us in September.
“Inevitably, there are different curriculum plans for different areas, reflecting the contrasting needs of our students, and the practical nature of many courses.
“But as a general principle, we have built a blended learning timetable which will involve most students spending much of their time in college, but also studying from home.”
He said the new timetable involved staggered start and finish times, with students spending time on site whenever possible, but with restricted use of social areas around the campus.
Online learning platforms which have been operating successfully for the past few months are continuing to be used to deliver some elements of the curriculum remotely.
Mr Guest added: “Education is essential to a student’s healthy development – and missing too much can have a negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing.
“There is a delicate balancing act, and we have worked hard to make sure all possible practical measures are in place for the new term.”