Shrewsbury Colleges Group has responded to the government’s announcement over the planned return to face to face learning in colleges.
There will be a phased return to college to allow for mass Lateral Flow testing of students and staff for COVID-19 infection to take place during weeks commencing 8th March and 15th March. Students will be tested on three occasions during this two-week period. Once students have been tested three times, they will be provided with COVID-19 self-swab test kits to allow them to test themselves twice per week at home.
Students will be invited into one of the three college campuses to take the Lateral Flow tests and they will be contacted directly with details of the day and time of their COVID-19 test. The college will facilitate travel to the campuses through additional colleges bus services.
Return to face-to-face learning
Face-to-face learning on campus will then begin week commencing 22nd March. During the two weeks of testing, teachers will set work for students to complete in a flexible manner during the week, but there will be no timetabled lessons. Teachers and tutors will be available to support students at agreed times. In addition, there will be activities to support student’s wider development and progression, including work on careers and university applications.
Vulnerable students will continue to attend college during the weeks commencing 8th March and 15th March as per current arrangements.
We will be adopting further measures on the three campuses to minimise the risk of infection. In line with updated guidance, Students and staff who are not exempt will be required to wear face coverings during lessons in addition to in communal areas until at least the end of Easter.
Arrangements for March
- Students will be tested for COVID-19 three times at around 3-to-5-day intervals upon their return.
- Once students have been tested three times, they will be provided with COVID-19 self-swab test kits to allow them to test themselves twice per week at home.
- Adult learners will also be able to return to college from 8th March with an appropriate balance between on-site and remote delivery. Further details on the phased return for adult learners will be issued in due course
James Staniforth, Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group said:
‘We’re pleased that the Government have given colleges the discretion to phase the return of students to campus. This autonomy will allow us to bring back students to face-to-face learning in a safe and secure way.’
‘We believe that the managed approach that we’re taking is clear, easy to understand as well as implement and will offer reassurance to students, parents/carers and staff. This process will solve the logistical challenges of trying to test, teach and provide support functions as well as avoiding the anxiety of students sitting in classes awaiting COVID-19 test results.’
‘We would like to thank students and their parents/carers for their patience and understanding during this time.’