Covid 19 Advice for Staff
See further down re. Summer examinations and assessments cancelled information
27th March 2020
Department for Education - update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings
On 24 March, we published new guidance on how to implement social distancing in education and childcare settings. This guidance also gives advice for individuals in vulnerable health groups:
It is important to read this alongside the overall guidance for social distancing:
School governance update
We have published an update about school governance which includes guidance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19):
Resources for educational settings
We have updated our guidance for schools and other educational settings on how best to provide advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). A new poster resource is now available:
Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.UK
All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.UK:
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Experiencing high volumes of calls.
24th March 2020
SUMMER EXAMINATIONS AND OTHER ASSESSMENTS ARE CANCELLED
The government has announced that there will be no primary school assessments (SATs) or secondary examinations (including Functional skills, GCSEs and A-Levels) this summer. The Department for Education (DfE) in conjunction with Ofqual has issued a statement which says that:
• Teachers will be asked to submit their judgements about the grade that they believe their students would have received if A-Level and GCSE examinations had gone ahead this summer. • Teachers will use a range of evidence, including mock examination results, course work and non-examination assessment, as well as other student data to help them do so. • These judgements will be used by examination boards to produce a ‘calculated grade’. • The grades awarded will reflect student performance as fairly as possible. • Calculated grades will be provided to students before the end of July. • In terms of a permanent record, the grades awarded in 2020 will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. • 2020 examination grades awarded will not be used to judge school performance and no 2020 national performance tables will be published. • Students will be able to appeal the calculated grades they have been awarded and to sit examinations early in the next academic year, if they wish to do so. • Ofqual will work with examination boards to ensure this process is applied consistently. • Universities will operate similar arrangements to award degrees. However there will be no award ceremonies held in 2020. • Universities are expected to be flexible in supporting students’ entry to higher education.
With reference to vocational and technical qualifications not yet completed, the statement from the DfE says, ‘There is a very wide range of different vocational and technical qualifications as well as other academic qualifications for which students were expecting to sit examinations this summer. These are offered by a large number of awarding organisations, and have differing assessment approaches. In many cases students will already have completed modules or non-exam assessment which could provide evidence to award a grade. All Students need to continue to work online and successfully complete this academic year, so that staff can award them with the most appropriate “calculate grade” of their performance for 2019/20.
All Students are reminded that it is essential to successfully complete all work set in this current year in order to progress on into next year.
20th March 2020
The Prime Minster and the Secretary of State for Education announced that Schools and Colleges will be closing after Friday 20th March due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic. However, as was announced at the all staff briefing, the College continues its duty of care to our students and our staff. Our priorities are to save lives, to protect student achievement, and to ensure that students have a place in College next September.
Following the Government guidance, we have taken the step to move all teaching, learning and assessment on-line from midday, Thursday 19th March.
Our students will now be working remotely on-line to their current timetable. Some vulnerable students will be invited to access the college site to receive additional assistance in using their online materials.
Teams have been working through Thursday 19th March and will continue on Friday 20th March to make final preparations for moving to distance teaching and learning. From Monday 23rd March, the College will be open if you wish to support your students on-line using the college facilities, or you may work from home.
Despite the pandemic, it is our responsibility to engage with our students to ensure that they participate in their learning with you as their teacher. This will then give our students every opportunity to achieve. The whole management team are there to support you with that process and will remain in contact with you. Team meetings will take place through Microsoft Teams.
IT and Technical Services have been working hard to issue laptops to teaching staff. The key communication methods will be: Email, Study Space, ProMonitor, Microsoft Teams and Softphone. The e-learning team are investigating other software tools for making resources for students and will send details in due course.
Teaching staff should be available during normal working hours and will work with students during these hours, according to their timetable.
The Government has announced that GCSE exams will be cancelled for this summer. However, the college will continue to plan for all other exams due in the next few weeks, and students should continue to prepare for these. The College is awaiting further information from the Awarding Organisations or the Government.
Services for Students staff The provision of laptops for remote working will be prioritised for teachers. Services for Students staff members are asked to continue working on site until we have put in place and tested the arrangements for you to work remotely. Representatives of the Services for Students team will remain working on site during the period of on-line learning to work with the most vulnerable students who may need to access the services of the college on-site.
Quality team The quality team will be available and will continue to support the quality of provision by tracking and monitoring the teaching, learning and assessment activity and the progress of students.
The Corporate Services teams below will continue to attend the College campus as normal, and will carry out their specific duties as below:
MIS/ Exams • We will continue to prepare reports/ submissions for the ESFA/ GLA and the Governors • We will track and monitor all student attendance with evidence supplied from teachers and support teams • All student assessments and achievements will be collected from teachers – this is critical to assess the grading for each learner • Awarding Body Exams (with the exception of GCSEs) will continue to the end of the summer term as planned, provided it remains safe to do so • Curriculum planning will be prepared for each School, in conjunction with the school management teams, for 2020/21 • Timetabling will be prepared for the start of the new academic year
Human Resources • The team will be present to support all staff working on-site and those working from home • The team will be recording all staff absence and sickness • We will track and monitor staff logins where staff are working from home • The staff payroll will be processed as usual • VHLs will be paid on the basis of evidence of learner engagement and work delivered and assessed • Actively recruiting to vacancies
Finance • Staff will be processing purchase orders and paying suppliers in a timely manner • Will process your payroll as usual • We will continue to tract and monitor our finances and report to the Governors
Estates • Our catering contractors will operate a very limited service (excluding normal holidays) until further notice • Our cleaning contractors will carry out their normal cleaning schedules and further deep cleans as required • One of our security team will patrol and the remaining staff will help maintain the campus • There will be access protocols for staff, students, visitors and for parking on the College campus • We will continue keep the site secure for all students and staff
IT/ Technical Services • Maintain continuity of IT services, systems and communications • Staff will support all on-line teaching and learning • Help to resolve any technical issues together with our e-learning leads • Support staff and students with IT issues
Marketing/Admissions • Staff will be actively marketing for our September recruitment (16-18 and 19+) • Our staff will continue to take all calls via the switchboard and maintain a presence at reception
Management Team The Management Team will always be represented on site and will be co-ordinating College operations and the liaison with our external partners: • Maintaining contact with funding bodies (ESFA, GLA, Harrow LA) • Coordinating and planning with government agencies on the Covid-19 virus pandemic • Implementing business continuity planning to ensure staff, students and stakeholders continue to receive the services of the college • Strategically coordinating teaching, learning and assessment of learners • Ensuring we meet the requirements of our partnerships with Higher Education and other providers • Ensuring the safety, security and well-being of all staff • Continuously monitoring and assessing risks to the organisation • Managing and supporting our subcontractors • Planning for next academic year 2020-2021 • Working with our Governing Body.
These are unpresented times and the College will continue to plan for contingencies and known risks actively however, we will also follow the advice from the ESFA, Public Health England and the Government to ensure the health and safety of everyone is maintained.
If you are unsure of what is expected of you, or have any queries, please speak to your line manager or HR.