Following the Government’s announcement regarding the reopening of schools and colleges in March, we have been developing plans for students to return safely to college and we wanted to share the key points of our approach with you today.

Returning to College

Students will return to college based on their current programme of study, as follows:

For those studying at Ashington Campus:

Entry and Level 1 – Monday 8th March
ESOL - Monday 8th March
Employability – Tuesday 9th March
Level 2 – Tuesday 9th March
Level 3 (Year 1) – Wednesday 10th March
Level 3 (Year 2) – Thursday 11th March

Students on Adult programmes will have their return to college date confirmed shortly.

For those studying at Berwick and Blyth Campuses:

All students will return to college on Monday 8th March

For those studying at Kirkley Hall Campus:

Entry and Level 1 – Monday 8th March
Foundations – Monday 8th March
Level 2 – Monday 15th March
Level 3 (Year 1) – Monday 15th March
Level 3 (Year 2) – Monday 15th March
Adult - Monday 15th March

Apprenticeships:

For those studying Apprenticeship programmes at Ashington and Kirkley Hall Campuses, classes will restart on Monday 8 March.

Higher Education Students:

All HE students, with the exception of students studying BSc Applied Animal Management, BSc Environmental Conservation and BSc Equestrian Performance and Coaching should attend college W/C 15 March for their first normal timetabled session.

At this session, staff will provide further information regarding what proportion of the programme will be delivered in person and remotely going forward. For those studying BSc Applied Animal Management, BSc Environmental Conservation and BSc Equestrian Performance and Coaching should attend college W/C 22 March for dissertation supervision.

Residential students – Monday 15th March (access to halls from Sunday 14th March)

All HE students, with the exception of students studying BSc Applied Animal Management, BSc Environmental Conservation and BSc Equestrian Performance and Coaching should attend college from 15 March 2021 for their first normal timetabled sessions.

At this session, staff will provide further information regarding what proportion of the programme will be delivered in person and remotely going forward.

For those studying BSc Applied Animal Management, BSc Environmental Conservation and BSc Equestrian Performance and Coaching, they should attend college from 22 March 2021 for dissertation supervision.

Asymptomatic Testing – launching week commencing 1st March

Asymptomatic testing is being put in place by the Government to support the return to education by helping to identify people who are infectious but do not have any Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. Whilst testing is voluntary, we would really like students to take part in testing to help keep everybody safe.

As we have high numbers of students, we have having to take a phased approached to testing over a two/three-week period.

During the week starting Monday 1st March, we are going to start testing students in preparation for their return to college. Students will be contacted by their PD Tutor to confirm the days and time for their tests.

Students will be supported to take two tests at college, 3–5 days apart. This will give students the opportunity to get used to swabbing in a supervised environment before self-administering the test at home with the support of parents/carers.

Once students feel confident to self-administer the test, Tutorial Mentors will give students testing kits for use at home. The home test kits have clear instructions.

Residential students at Kirkley Hall

Residential students returning to college will be offered weekly tests. The college testing centre will be open between 9am until 11am throughout next week (W/C 8th March). Once the first test is completed at college, we will then be providing test kits which can be used at home or in halls every 3-5 days.

Catering Facilities

From the 8th March, a catering service, similar to pre-Christmas, will be available at Ashington Campus and normal opening hours will apply.

There will be no catering facilities week commencing 8th March at Kirkley Hall. Please ensure you bring a packed lunch each day.

New Safety Measures

Face coverings must be worn by staff and students where social distancing cannot easily be maintained such as when moving around the premises outside of classrooms, corridors and communal areas.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings, this applies to:

  • Those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical impairment or disability, illness or mental health difficulties.
  • Those who speak to, or provide, help to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.

 

As a temporary measure until Easter, face coverings must be worn in classrooms and other teaching spaces, unless wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in sport lessons, or for those who are exempt from wearing a face covering as set out in Government guidance.

Over the coming days, we will be posting further updates regarding students returning to college. All students and parents will receive an email update today (Monday 1 March).