Shrewsbury Colleges Group Principal, James Staniforth, has appeared on BBC Radio Shropshire this morning, talking about what you can do if you are in Year 11 between school and college.
In the interview on BBC Breakfast, Mr Staniforth said the College was” ensuring it gave a clear message to anyone who had applied or was thinking of applying to start in September,” that the College is “here for them.”
Mr Staniforth said the College spoke to schools at the start of the lockdown process and continues to and the College was handling all applications as usual, with interviews taking place over the phone or online. He said the same level of advice and guidance was being given to students about their next steps and what course would be right for them.
In terms of College places being determined by GCSE grades, Mr Staniforth assured parents and students that all students would still receive centre-assessed grades, which would be statistically analysed to obtain a sound result.
The Principal was asked about how the College would reopen by September, and while he said that was still a long way off in the current uncertain climate, he said the College had remained open for vulnerable students throughout.
Mr Staniforth said the “vast majority” of students had engaged with online learning techniques, with only around 100 out of 1600 learners, having difficulty.
“A lot of things need to happen before September to allow us to safely reopen,” he said. “Students and teachers have taken to remote teaching and learning very well. We have a step-by-step plan and essentially two plans in place for September.
“The first students we will aim to support back in College are those who have had difficulty with online learning. We have distributed over 100 student laptops to help those who didn’t have access to one. Teachers are running classes as normal, lessons are streamed and work is submitted, with students, in many cases, being able to get almost instant feedback in this way.
“As a College, we have been learning by emersion as obviously you can’t plan for something like this. We have had to work really quickly to get systems in place to help people and the staff and students have been brilliant. Technology has enabled us to support people so well.”
Students can still apply for full-time courses starting in September.
People can visit www.scg.ac.uk and use Live Chat to get advice about courses, and existing students can receive support on a variety of issues.