Latest Advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Kingston Maurward

29th April 2021

The Summer Term is here – the sun is shining, and the Estate is looking fantastic!

A very warm welcome back to all our students following the Easter break. Our students have returned with a real sense of purpose to make the most of their time left at college; it’s great sight to see. We are now clear on how the various awarding bodies will be assessing students this year and for many of our students, it is very much business as usual – exams, Synoptic assessments, and assignments a plenty. It is going to be a challenging 6 weeks for both students and staff, but the effort put in now will last a lifetime and ensure everyone gets the grades they deserve.

For some students there may be some tweaks to their timetable to support the assessments, but these will be well communicated so everyone is clear. Students will have completed most of their assessed work by the end of May and after half-term there will be the chance for them to get involved in more practical work, developing the important skills they need for industry and courses at a higher level, and more importantly to have fun with their peers.

Government guidance for colleges is unchanged and therefore we will continue to encourage students to use Lateral Flow Tests at home, maintain social distancing where possible and wear appropriate face coverings when indoors. So far, their behaviour and understanding of the situation has been excellent and they should all be applauded for their responsible and mature approach. If, however, a student is feeling anxious and needs further support for any reason our welfare team are always there to help.

We wish every student the very best for the remainder of the year and look forward to celebrating their success with them very soon.

Warm regards to all,

Oliver Symons

29th March 2021

Welcome back to our students!

We have been so impressed with how well students have responded to Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) since our return to on-campus teaching and learning on 8 March. Following the government roadmap, and to continue to keep everyone as safe as possible, we have issued home testing kits to all students who have opted in to testing. Students should continue to test themselves twice a week throughout the Easter break ensuring results are uploaded to the NHS portal against the College’s name and the identifier KMCX. Tutors will be able to issue more home testing kits this week should they be needed.

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, has written to all young people to thank them for the part they have all played in helping us fight coronavirus. In the letter, the Secretary of State recognises the significant disruption that children and young people have experienced in their education over the past year and the challenges they have faced as a result. The Secretary of State thanks young people for the resilience they have shown and outlines his commitment to supporting them to recover from the pandemic. Read the full letter here.

Teachers have planned an inspiring and challenging term of activity after Easter to ensure all students have the opportunity to develop and learn the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be successful this year, and progress positively next year. We now have more clarity of how different qualifications will be awarded this year ensuring that no student is at a disadvantage. The various types of evidence students will need to produce forms a key part of next term and therefore it is imperative that students’ attendance is high, and they fully engage in all tasks.

Enjoy the break, stay safe and please continue to comply with the government guidance relating to Covid-19.

Oliver Symons,

Deputy Principal

22nd March 2021

Ofqual consultation on the autumn exam series 2021 for schools and colleges

Ofqual is seeking views on how an autumn exam series for GCSEs, AS and A levels should run this year, in a consultation published on Wednesday 17 March.

They are keen to hear from students, teachers, exam boards and the wider education sector on their proposals, which include:

  • the autumn series being open to any student who entered or who had intended to enter exams this summer
  • holding AS and A level exams in October and GCSE exams in November/early December
  • grades being determined by a student’s exam performance only
  • students being able to use the better of the summer or autumn grade
  • the use of the normal reviews of marking and appeal arrangements

The consultation follows the cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A level exams this summer because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When the government set out its policy on how grades would be awarded it also confirmed it wanted students to have the opportunity to take exams in the autumn.

The consultation will be open until Friday 9 April 2021.

1st March 2021

Covid-19 update

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday (22 February), students will begin returning to on-site learning at Kingston Maurward College from Monday 8 March 2021.

We are looking forward to welcoming students back and, in line with current Government guidance, will be encouraging our students and staff to ensure they continue to maintain the principles of social distancing (hands, face, space)

The two-metre rule should still be observed where possible which means that the college will operate as it did last term with a blended mix of onsite and online learning. Student timetables will therefore be as they were in the Autumn term. Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings (unless exempt for health reasons) in all public areas and in classrooms or workshops, where the two-metre rule cannot be observed.

The bus companies have been informed and transport will resume on March 8th. We are pleased to have been able pass on all savings that we have received from the bus companies for the cost of transport during the period of lockdown. On 8 January we asked those who pay by monthly standing order for their transport to cancel their standing orders for February and March. As we are welcoming students back from 8 March we now ask that you resume your standing order payments from April to secure your place on College transport. If you have paid for the transport in full then please get in touch with the Student Administration Team via shelley.collins@kmc.ac.uk and we will discuss options with you.

The college campus remains closed to students until March 8th and online and remote teaching and learning will continue, although our site will remain open for those students who have been attending and are identified on the Government list as either children of critical workers or vulnerable learners.

Testing 

To reduce the spread of infection as much as possible, the Government is introducing onsite testing, using Lateral Flow Tests, for all staff and students.  The college are working to ensure this is in place for March 8 when students will be invited to be tested in their group ‘bubble’.  These are voluntary, but we do encourage everyone to take part.

All students will be sent an e-mail, to their student e-mail address, with further details and associated Consent Forms to discuss with Parents Guardians.

18th January 2021

Consultation launched on exam replacement

Following the cancellation of this year’s summer exams, the Department for Education and Ofqual have launched a consultation seeking views on how to award grades in a way that reflects students’ performance accurately recognising the disruption they have faced this year.

Ofqual and the Department for Education want to hear the views of students who were due to take their exams, their parents and carers, their teachers, school and college leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers, and employers.

The consultation, which has been published on GOV.UK, will close at 11.45pm on 29 January 2021.

11th January 2021

In light of the government announcement regarding the move to online learning for education settings, we would like to reassure all of our students currently on a course at Kingston Maurward College.

Students will now be aware that they are preparing for a continued period of remote delivery. Teaching will now be online for ALL students until February half-term. Tutors and course managers will have communicated with students regarding ongoing delivery and support. For most of you this will be through the Microsoft Teams platform that you will be familiar with from last term. Your tutors are there to support you if you need further support. The online delivery will be a mixture of live lessons, research tasks and activities for you to carry out individually or with your peers.

Our overriding priority is the health and well-being of our staff and students. We appreciate that this continues to be a very stressful and challenging time for everyone and the College continues to do everything to make the current circumstances as easy as possible. We thank everybody for their ongoing support and patience.

We have taken the decision to stop exams that were planned for January and February and we wait for confirmation from the awarding bodies about how these will be managed in the future
As in the first lockdown, the College will be open for some students with safeguarding needs, vulnerable young people and for some with EHCPs (education care and health plans), where appropriate. We have contacted these students and have made arrangements, where appropriate.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable then please follow the government advice to shield. We know that many of you will feel anxious about studying full-time online, keeping up your practical skills and preparing for future assessments and exams. If you have any concerns, please share them with your course team who will try to answer any questions you may have. They may not have all the answers immediately as some things will need to be determined by the Government and exam awarding bodies, but we will happily share with you all we are able to.

Your safety and well-being continue to be our priority. If you have any questions, or you are concerned about your own, or the health and well-being of your friends, please feel free to talk to the Welfare Team – 121@kmc.ac.uk 01305 215058 or safeguarding on 07500661340 (call or text).

Further external health, well-being and mental health support is also available through the following organisations:

NHS – get support from a mental health charity

CALM

Kooth – mental health support

Domestic Abuse

NHS – health information

Work and financial support

Young Minds

Papyrus – Hopeline UK

MIND – for better mental health

Rethink

Samaritans

In the meantime, please look after yourselves, your family, friends and loved ones – keep each other safe and we all hope to see you very soon. You will always find the very latest information on our main College website and our College Facebook page.

Very best wishes
Oliver Symons
Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

8th January 2021

January 2021 – Cancellation Functional Skills, BTEC and other VTQ exams

We recognise that the past week has been exceptionally challenging as we move into another national lockdown. Information and guidance has been changing rapidly and has coincided with the start of a new term. Colleges have effectively been given the option as to whether to go ahead with exams planned for January and February.  We have now heard from all our Exam boards that no learner will be disadvantaged if they are unable to take their exams in January. They are looking at alternative arrangements that could include rescheduling at a later date and/or other forms of assessment.

We have therefore taken the decision to stop all BTEC and other VTQ exams due to take place in January.

We recognise that this decision has a significant impact for our learners as many wanted the opportunity to take their exams. However, in the current circumstances, we believe this is now the right thing to do in order to keep learners and our staff as safe as possible.

Over the coming weeks we will work with Awarding Organisations to work through the details of how assessments will be replaced or rescheduled with the priority being that no learner will be disadvantaged. Across the College, some specialist exams and End Point Assessments will continue in line with Government guidance. This includes specialist professional qualifications and essential training. We will communicate directly with these learners and ensure that additional risk assessments are in place.

Please do continue to monitor our website and social media along with communicating with your tutors and course managers. In these difficult times, there will inevitably continue to be changes to our delivery and we are committed to working together to support our learners and customers. Please do ensure that you continue to engage fully with our remote learning.

Oliver Symons
Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

29th April 2021

The Summer Term is here – the sun is shining, and the Estate is looking fantastic!

A very warm welcome back to all our students following the Easter break. Our students have returned with a real sense of purpose to make the most of their time left at college; it’s great sight to see. We are now clear on how the various awarding bodies will be assessing students this year and for many of our students, it is very much business as usual – exams, Synoptic assessments, and assignments a plenty. It is going to be a challenging 6 weeks for both students and staff, but the effort put in now will last a lifetime and ensure everyone gets the grades they deserve.

For some students there may be some tweaks to their timetable to support the assessments, but these will be well communicated so everyone is clear. Students will have completed most of their assessed work by the end of May and after half-term there will be the chance for them to get involved in more practical work, developing the important skills they need for industry and courses at a higher level, and more importantly to have fun with their peers.

Government guidance for colleges is unchanged and therefore we will continue to encourage students to use Lateral Flow Tests at home, maintain social distancing where possible and wear appropriate face coverings when indoors. So far, their behaviour and understanding of the situation has been excellent and they should all be applauded for their responsible and mature approach. If, however, a student is feeling anxious and needs further support for any reason our welfare team are always there to help.

We wish every student the very best for the remainder of the year and look forward to celebrating their success with them very soon.

Warm regards to all,

Oliver Symons

Current students

Our students are important to us so please explore this page for helpful information if you are currently studying with us – www.kmc.ac.uk/college/current-students/

Our promise to our students is that we will be providing you with an inspiring learning programme that develops the skills, knowledge and behaviours you need to progress to the next steps in your chosen career path.

We are delivering a ‘hybrid’ model for most students which involves attendance two days a week onsite in College and significant work to complete remotely online using the Microsoft Teams platform. We are committed to supporting our students’ learning, and also have their welfare and the health of them, and their families, uppermost in our minds. We will be providing training to ensure all students can access the learning opportunities.

We continue to communicate with our transport companies to ensure our students are as safe as possible whilst travelling to and from College, and in line with government advice. This includes strongly advising students to continue to wear a mask on the bus, use hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing where possible.

We continue to interview and engage with those of you who have applied for commencing studies next September and we look forward to welcoming you to Kingston Maurward College. Applications for September 2021 are open so please visit www.kmc.ac.uk/college to apply. Can I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and patience during these challenging times. Stay safe and please get in touch if you have any queries.

Very best wishes

Oliver Symons

Deputy Principal (Learning & Performance)

 

For more detailed or specific information, please see the information below and if you have any queries during this time, you can still reach out to us on our website or by emailing us on marketing@kmc.ac.uk

Please continue checking this webpage to keep up-to-date with our latest developments and future information about the new academic year.

This is an evolving situation and official advice changes regularly. We will continue to review this policy and keep you updated as to any changes.

  • All visitors including parents must have a scheduled appointment.
  • Please do not visit the campus if you have developed a fever (above 37.8C) a new, continuous cough or other COVID-19 symptoms within the last seven days.
  • Please do not visit if in the past 14 days you have travelled from, or transited through, any of the countries or areas that are currently on ‘lockdown’, or anyone in your household is self–isolating in accordance with current guidelines.
  • Please ensure you report to Reception hatch to sign in. You will be met by a member of staff or directed to the area you are visiting.
  • Please use hand sanitiser before entering any building and wash your hands before leaving home and during your visit where possible.
  • You are not requested to wear a face mask but if you are more comfortable wearing a face mask, please bring your own.
  • Please observe social distancing during your visit.
  • We would like to advise you that Kingston Maurward is currently discouraging handshakes as a greeting. We apologise for not being able to give you our usual warm welcome, but we must take the current situation very seriously and look after the welfare of our students and staff.
  • As the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, we will revise procedures in line with government guidelines.

We thank you for your understanding and support.

For our full statement on Remote Learning, please visit the following policies:

Blending Learning Policy

Information on Remote Learning

You can apply to all our courses and Apprenticeships at www.kmc.ac.uk/college. Applications can be made online through our website. Search for the course you are interested in and fill in an application form.

Yes you can. Please email your subject change request to admissions@kmc.ac.uk

In your email please state the course you have been offered a place on and the course you would like to transfer to.

For some transfers within the same department there may not need to be another interview but if you are requesting to transfer to a different department, our Admissions team will be in contact with you to discuss the new course and any conditions that may apply.

At the College, we are supporting employers, organisations and apprentices to continue with apprenticeships wherever possible and that our decisions are in line with current Government advice.

We’ve had discussions with many smaller employers, who are feeling anxious that they may have to terminate the contract with an apprentice but also don’t want to take that course of action. In these situations, we often advise that furloughing the apprentice is a good option and allows us to continue training the apprentice. We are then able to deliver underpinning subject knowledge matter, in accordance with their apprenticeship and ensuring the apprentice is up-to-date and ready to restart back in the workplace.

For larger employers, the same option may well be discussed but some will not want to furlough staff, particularly those in the health and care industries. In these instances, where employees are struggling to keep up with workload and the commitment to the apprenticeship, a break in learning of at least four weeks is often the right solution. This removes the anxiety of having to complete assignments whilst dealing with a highly stressful environment and situation but allows them to return to the apprenticeship in the near future.

We realise that this is a difficult time for employers and apprentices and we deal with each person on a case-by-case basis to ensure decisions are right for them. The safety and wellbeing of our apprentices, the employers that we work with and our staff is of fundamental importance to us and we are regularly reviewing how we deliver apprenticeships in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some courses have been cancelled prior to starting and some courses have started but have not been able to be completed. The College is evaluating each of these courses and looking at the possibility of rescheduling where possible or processing refunds where appropriate. These will be actioned in due course.

In the short term, all Kingston Maurward College events, including Open Days have been cancelled until further notice. This is following government guidance on mass gatherings. We are holding our Open Days virtually and more information can be found here: www.kmc.ac.uk/college/information/open-days/virtual-open-event/

We are keen to still meet you! We will be arranging interviews to take place via telephone rather than face-to-face. We will be in touch to arrange these with you directly.

Yes. Class size and the balance of online with on-campus delivery has been planned to support your studies. This approach is called Blended Learning. It involves online study that is linked to sessions in College, or some modules may be suitable without face to face delivery in the classroom. There will also be opportunity for ‘live’ lessons to be delivered online.

Transport update (as of 8th January 2021)

I wanted to give you an update on transport and payments.  We are working closely with the bus companies to ensure we are able to provide transport for all the vulnerable learners and those students of key workers who are not safe at home, as well as maximising the efficiency of the service.

For those of you who pay monthly I would propose that you cancel your standing order for February and March.  If we are able to resume normal college activity towards the end of February or in March then your standing order would need to be started again in April.  If we are unable to have students back in college until after the Easter break in April than your standing order would need to start again in May.

If you are in receipt of a transport bursary and do not pay a monthly fee then please take no further action.

If you have paid for the transport in full then please get in touch with the Student Administration team shelley.collins@kmc.ac.uk and we will discuss options with you.

We thank you for your support and understanding at this time as we continue to focus on providing learning for all students.

Very best wishes

Oliver Symons – Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

At this stage whilst the college is still open for vulnerable learners and the period of lockdown is relatively short, all bus routes are still needed to run and the bus companies therefore can’t pass on any savings to the college.  If there is a situation when they don’t run various routes then we will pass this cost saving onto students.  The cost charged to students effectively reflects the total cost of running the buses which the college already heavily subsidise and is not a daily/weekly charge.

Oliver Symons

Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

The College will still be able to provide regular contact with a tutor, as well as module tutors, remotely or online. As soon as restrictions allow, face to face support may resume. The College’s student support service will still operate remotely but they will still be able to deal with enquiries for support, and sign post students to relevant services as necessary.

No, you will not receive a reduction in fees for online-only tuition as the College would still be teaching you and supporting you with your study. We are expecting to start next academic year with a blended delivery model, meaning you will receive a combination of online tuition, and in-situ small group, practical tuition sessions on campus.

The Government’s dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is being kept up-to-date with the latest advice and guidance: gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public 
For more information about self-isolation, please visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

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