Covid-19 virus: Guidance for Parents and Students
Frequently Asked Questions
These are updated FAQs effective from 11am on Wednesday 8th April 2020.
There are no changes from the previous version of FAQs issued on Tuesday 7th April 2020 at 11am:
Q. What will happen with A Level and GCSE exams as well as BTEC assessments?
A. Ofqual, the exams regulator, has published further information regarding how A-Level and GCSE grades will be awarded to students this summer. They have also published the linked letter to students to explain what will happen and to try and answer any questions. Please read the letter carefully here.
Ofqual aims to ensure that the awarding of grades is fair to students and that the process supports their progression to university or into employment or an apprenticeship. The College will now be asked to provide the grade in each subject we believe that the student would have achieved if teaching, learning, and exams had happened as planned. We will also be asked to provide a rank order for all students with the same grade.
To determine grades for each subject we have been asked to consider a range of things like classwork and homework; results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework students might have done; and general progress during the course(s).
Students do not need to complete additional work now and any assessments completed will need to be considered alongside the much greater evidence of progress over the course. Completing the course content for each subject is still important, however, because the knowledge or skills might be useful in the future at university or in a job. Ofqual and the exam boards will then use this information to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others.
This does mean that the final grade could be different from the one college submits. It is also why Ofqual has told us that the college cannot tell what grades we have submitted.
Please, therefore, do not ask teachers, tutors or any other member of staff as they will not be able to give any further details.
If students are not happy with the final grade there will be an opportunity to take the exam in the autumn term as soon as it is possible to do so.
We will update students and parents as further information becomes available, including details about vocational and technical qualifications, so please keep an eye on our website.
We are waiting on further information on BTEC assessment and we will advise further when we can.
In an announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020, UCAS has delayed the May deadline for undergraduate offers. Students affected by this change will be contacted directly by UCAS.
Q. Will SCG be closed for students?
A. Following the announcement from the UK Government on Wednesday 18th March, Shrewsbury Colleges Group can confirm that we will NOT be requiring students, other than those identified as Vulnerable, to attend any of the campuses effective from close of normal college hours on FRIDAY 20th MARCH 2020 and until further notice.
Q. What do you mean by ‘Vulnerable students’?
A. The official advice is that Vulnerable students are those students who have a social worker OR those students with an educational health and care plan (EHCP) OR those with safeguarding and welfare needs.
Students who can be safely looked after at home or who do not fall into one of these groups should remain at home or another safe place.
Q. Is it compulsory for Vulnerable students to attend SCG?
A. No, as some students will have underlying health conditions that will prevent them from attending and others may be able to be looked after safely at home. However, we will support all our Vulnerable students as well as the wider student population as best we can.
Q. How can students access online resources to continue their education?
A. Students will continue with their education via online platforms. Information on tasks and course content will be available online and students need to contact their course leaders and teachers for further information.
Further guidance on home learning for students can be found here.
We expect all students to continue their studies as this work may be used as part of the assessment process for the student’s final grades. We firmly believe that education is about learning and not just teaching to pass a test and would encourage all our students to continue their studies to the best of their ability.
Q. What will happen with Apprenticeship assessments?
A. Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March, Apprentices should not carry on with their work in the company. The Apprentice should contact their Assessor for further details and plans for their ‘off the job’ element of their Apprenticeship.
Assessment and reviews will take place remotely over a phone call, skype, Zoom or similar. This can be agreed on an individual basis between the company, apprentices and assessor.
Q. How will company closures affect Apprentices?
A. Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March, most Apprentices should not be continuing to go into work.
The Apprentice should contact their Assessor for further details and plans for their ‘off the job’ element of their Apprenticeship.
There are exceptions and some apprentices will still be expected to attend work depending on the job role and whether the employer is working in a key sector. Your employer will inform you if you are still to attend work.
Q. What will happen with work experience placements?
A. We have taken the decision to suspend all work experience placements until further notice and until they are able to be re-arranged.
Students should contact their course leader or tutor in terms of the continuation of their academic work and their work experience co-ordinator if they have queries specific to their placement.
Q. My son/daughter was due to go on a trip with SCG in the near future, will I get a refund?
A. We are currently working with insurance companies to secure refunds. We will be refunding payments week commencing 6th April.
Q. Will I get a refund on the travel costs to SCG that I have committed to for my son/daughter?
A. We are now refunding the full amount that we receive from the bus companies for any Summer term passes that have been purchased. Please allow a few days for the money to reach bank accounts.
Q. What should a student do if they don’t have access to the online platforms?
A. Students should inform their teacher who will arrange for printouts of the work to be completed at home and given to the student.
Q. Will the library (LRC) be open?
This email inbox will be monitored daily as our LRC team will be working from home.
Q. How long will SCG be closed for?
A. At this point, we simply do not know. SCG will continue to be open for Vulnerable students to support their needs.
We will be supporting all students via online means throughout normal term time as well.
Q. Can vocational or creative academic course work be done from home to allow qualifications in the summer?
A. Individual course leaders will determine the nature of the online studying and course work to be submitted.
Q. How will SCG support students who would receive free meals?
A. The equivalent amount of money that would cover free college meals will be made as payments into bank accounts.
A number of organisations have some excellent resources on mental health considerations relating to the Covid-19 virus outbreak: