Last updated: 14 January 2021 - 9am

Our campuses are now closed to the majority of students and staff.  Learning is continuing online for students and apprentices through our Home Access Service, via our website.

We are however continuing to support students of Key Workers and Vulnerable Young People as defined by Government Guidance. We will be in direct communication with you if you are one of these individuals, so that you can still attend the college.

Please be aware that some of the exams scheduled for January have been cancelled.  It is important that you read the information below to see how this affects you.

 

College teams across all types of programmes will be in touch with you to enable you to keep up  with your studies.

Key Information for Students, Apprentices, Parents/Carers and Employers

Wisemore campus will remain open for the students outlined above and for those that have exams booked.

After careful consideration, we have made the decision to cancel all BTEC, AQA and Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals exams across January 2021 as from the end of today (Wednesday 6th January).

We want to ensure you that you will still be able to be assessed against the external assessments and Ofqual and the DfE are working to ensure that no student is disadvantaged.

  • We will award a grade for any student who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression.
  • Students unable to take their assessment this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure you are not disadvantaged.

We appreciate this must be a very difficult time for you. We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged. We will share more information when we receive further updates.

If you are at all uncertain if your exam comes under this category of cancelled exams, then please contact your tutor without delay. Thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times.

Licence to practice in a trade, VTCT as well as work based learning exams, such as those for apprenticeship students, will go ahead across January as planned (including apprenticeship functional skills and in Standard qualifications). The College is working with exam bodies and end point assessment organisations to monitor the latest information in each case.

Should your tutor/ trainer/assessor need to update you on your particular exam, they will do this directly with you, otherwise please attend your exam as currently scheduled.

We appreciate this must be a very difficult time for you. We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged. We will share more information when we receive further updates.

If you are at all uncertain if your exam comes under this category of exams that will go ahead as planned, then please contact your tutor/trainer/assessor without delay. Thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times.

Breaking news from the government states that scheduled exams in England will not go ahead this year. The government are working with Ofqual, the DfE and exam bodies to agree the detail of how students will be assessed but a form of teacher assessed grades with some moderation to ensure they are fair.

We appreciate this must be a very difficult time for you. We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged. We will share more information when we receive further updates.

Thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times.

The nursery will be open for the children of staff and students who are working onsite or from home. The opening hours are; 8:30am – 5:30pm.  (Students will not be able to study at the college when their children are on site unless they are students whose parents are Key Workers or Vulnerable Young People.

If anyone requires child care during this time, please contact the Little Professors Nursery Team on 01922 657062 or email nurseryteam@walsallcollege.ac.uk

As a Walsall College student we expect you to attend your regular timetabled activity and your tutor will notify you of any differences to your usual College activity.  You can access all of your online services and resources off campus using our Home Access service.  Click the Home Access link on the top bar of this page and choose the online service you want to access.  You will be asked to enter your college IT log-in details or SMART Assessor user name and password.

We want you to be able to continue to study in a meaningful way and make good progress towards your next steps. Your teachers will advise you of what is expected of you during every stage of your studies.

When teaching you remotely, we will:

  • set assignments so that you have meaningful and ambitious work in line with your existing timetable.
  • set work that is of equivalent length to the core teaching you would have received in College and as a minimum:
  • provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos
  • have systems for checking, at least weekly, whether you are engaging with your work, and act immediately to support you where engagement is a concern
  • gauge how well you are progressing through the curriculum using questions and other suitable tasks, and provide feedback, at least weekly, using digitally facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate
  • adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to your understanding and progress.

If you have difficultly accessing your education remotely then please contact your tutor without delay. Our central college number is 01922 657000. This number will be answered 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday for you to leave a message for your tutor.

Students can expect to receive a payment of £27.90 by the end of Friday 15 January.

This payment will be made into the same bank account that any bursary funds are paid into and will cover the week's commencing 4th, 11th and 18th January.

A further payment will be made around 25/01/21 to cover the period up to the February half term. This will again be for £27.90.

If you have any queries, please contact AdmissionsandFinance@walsallcollege.ac.uk 

Our Student Services teams are able to provide help with the following:

Pastoral Team  

  • For further information on how to complete learning activities during this period.
  • Support if you feel you have become disconnected from your learning activities and need further help.   They will help link you back up with your tutors so that you can continue making good progress.

Admissions and Finance Team 

  • For information on finances such as your bursary, student loans and course fees.

Careers Guidance Team

If you have queries relating to:

  • Career and course choices
  • What to do next i.e. from September onwards
  • Alternative career and course choices
  • UCAS/UCAS Extra
  • UCAS personal statements
  • Higher Education Student Finance
  • Gap Year options
  • Clearing
  • Employability skills (CVs, application forms, mock interviews)
  • Registering for Job Alerts
  • Help with finding voluntary work
  • Help with using Unifrog and Kudos (Career software packages).

Safeguarding Team
The safeguarding team continues to be available to support staff and students throughout this new lockdown period.  There will be a safeguarding officer on site at Wisemore Campus every week day whilst the college is open.

The safeguarding email – safeguardingteam@walsallcollege.ac.uk will be monitored every weekday from 8.30am until 5.30am.

The counselling team continue to support students over the telephone and they can be contacted by email – counsellingteam@walsallcollege.ac.uk.  All safeguarding students will be contacted on a frequent basis by the safeguarding team to ensure they are safe and well.

Food bank support

  • The college has been working with Black Country Food Bank and The Trussell Trust to support students (and their families) who may need their services.  Vouchers for food parcels are available from the Safeguarding team.  These can be redeemed at any of the sites operated by the two organisations.

If you are a school leaver, or an adult looking to retrain or enhance your skills, we have lots of courses that you can enrol onto now, throughout the year, or in September. Choose a course and apply here, or register for one of our many forthcoming virtual information events via our Events page.

If you are an employer, we can develop your existing staff or help you find fresh talent that can bring an extra pair of hands into your company….via industry placements, traineeships or apprenticeships. Our Business Training Solutions team are waiting to hear from you, and you can contact them via live chat within the Employers section of our website.

Our Distance Learning courses are ideal for you if:
• You are 19-years-old or over
• You are a resident in England
• You can commit to studying for a period of up to four months, meeting regular coursework deadlines throughout this time

For more information click here.

After careful consideration, we have made the decision to cancel all BTEC, AQA and Cambridge Nationals and Cambridge Technicals exams across January 2021 as from the end of today (Wednesday 6th January).

We want to ensure you that you will still be able to be assessed against the external assessments and Ofqual and the DfE are working to ensure that no student is disadvantaged.

• We will award a grade for any student who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression.
• Students unable to take their assessment this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure you are not disadvantaged.

We appreciate this must be a very difficult time for you. We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged. We will share more information when we receive further updates.

If you are at all uncertain if your exam comes under this category of cancelled exams, then please contact your tutor without delay. Thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times.

Higher Education Provision Returning for Spring Term

Michelle Donelan, MP Minister of State for Universities has written to all HE providers (31st December) updating guidance which further restricts the number of courses that can return to in-person teaching at the beginning of the spring term. This is not a decision the government has taken lightly but a necessary step given the rate of transmission across England and the need to curb the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

Walsall College Higher Education Students must therefore adhere to the instruction outlined below:

Term two/ spring term delivery will commence week beginning 11th January via on-line delivery only. Education will remain online until mid-February for all HE students except future critical worker courses.

The College have made all reasonable efforts and adjustments to enable you to complete your studies regardless of the periods of time needing to access your education via remote delivery. Provision remains in place for achievement to be reliably assessed, and for your qualifications to be awarded securely.

Should you have any concerns regarding your ability to access education remotely, you must contact your tutor without delay. A range of support measures are available to ensure that all students can access their education remotely where this is necessary.

We appreciate this must be a very difficult time for you. We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged. We will share more information when we receive further updates.

Thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times.

Office For Students (OfS) information and support for HE students

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing major disruption and concern across the globe. We know this is an extremely worrying time for you. The Office for Students (OfS) is working with the Department for Education and with universities and colleges to ensure you have the information and guidance you need. As you know, this is a fast-developing situation. Our aim is to keep you, and the universities and colleges we regulate, as up to date as possible. Please use the link to access this guidance: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-guide-to-coronavirus/

The government has published further guidance for higher education students on what the current lockdown means for them this term.

See our guidance for students
Read the government's revised guidance

The following restrictions are in place until further notice:

  • You must not leave, or be outside of your home except to shop for food, for work, for medical reasons or to avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • You may leave the home to exercise once a day in a public outdoor place on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble
  • Do not travel unless necessary, such as for work or education purposes. If you need to travel you should stay local—avoiding travelling outside of your village or town—and look to reduce the number of journeys you make

Keep in touch with friends and family using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

 

Further information and advice can be found on Walsall Council’s and the Government’s websites.

 

 

BBC Bitesize GCSE Subjects

Support and revision guides for those studying GCSE English and maths

BBC Functional Skills English and maths

Resources for Level 1 and 2 students.

Pearson: Remote teaching and learning support

Pearson have online and print solutions, top tips and guidance to help teaching and learning continue anytime, anywhere.

The DfE is providing laptops and tablets to schools to help children and families in need to access remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19). Devices have been made available for disadvantaged children in certain year groups who are affected by disruption to face-to-face education at their school and have been advised to shield because they are clinically extremely vulnerable

Further information about this is available here.

The organisations below also offer advice on navigating your way through online programmes, apps and other software:

BT Tech Tips

Video-based tech tips on a range of subjects are available to view or download.

Sky.Com Broadband Tips

Tips for staying connected.

We recognise the past number of months have been challenging for everyone, especially for parents and carers.  Many of you are balancing working from home and supporting the learning of your young person (student).

Colleges are also facing an unprecedented challenge following the Covid-19 outbreak. Walsall College has adapted quickly to this latest lockdown, considering how best to provide students with educational provisions from the safety of their own homes.

Remote Education – Approach and Expectations

We take a ‘blended’ approach to remote learning.  This is a mixture of live sessions delivered remotely and homework tasks.

Live sessions match existing timetables as closely as possible.  Various platforms are used to deliver these.

Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Classrooms and Smart Assessor etc all allow the College to create virtual classrooms, so students have the ability to interact with staff.

Live classrooms enable important interaction between teachers and students through, for example, questioning, encouragement and reflective discussion.  These are likely to be more effective, support student motivation and lead to better progress.

Homework tasks are shared or uploaded for students to work on in their own time or to complete alongside their live lessons.

There may be occasions when a member of our teaching or pastoral staff may contact students on the telephone to provide 1:1 support.

When delivering remote education, our commitment to all students will focus upon:

  • frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a tutor or trainer assessor, supported through high-quality curriculum resources
  • opportunities for interactivity, including questioning, eliciting and reflective discussion
  • scaffolded practice and opportunities to apply new knowledge
  • enabling students and apprentices to receive timely and frequent feedback on how to progress, using digitally-facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate
  • using assessment to ensure teaching is responsive to students’ needs and addresses any critical gaps in their skills or knowledge
  • avoiding an over-reliance on long-term projects or internet research activities

(Any contact from the college is carried out in line with guidance about suitable mobile telephone use.)

Extensive additional support, pastoral guidance and counselling is available to students, where seen as beneficial.

Please see the ‘Support and Guidance for Students’ section of this webpage for further information.

Behaviour and attendance

We expect all students to demonstrate good attendance for their remote education sessions and for them to complete any work that is set for independent study, in a timely manner.

Students should take relevant notes in class and respond positively to the feedback that they receive. Students are also expected to continue following our Ready Respectful, Safe behaviours and attitudes, even when learning remotely.

Poor behaviour will be challenged and could lead to disciplinary measures, even during this lockdown period.  This is to meet our ultimate aim of helping  our students become employable and increasingly ready for the world of work.

We have instructed students to contact their tutor without delay should they have any difficultly accessing their education remotely. Relying entirely upon their mobile phones to access their education is not ideal, and we urge students to let us know if this is their situation.

Our central college number is 01922 657000. This number will be answered 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday for them to leave a message for their tutor.

Data Protection / Recording

On occasion, teachers may decide to record their live sessions so that students can revisit them for revision. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Article 6 requires us to have a lawful basis for processing personal data.

Our lawful basis for processing this recorded data for students is for our legitimate interests.  For more information, please see our Recording Privacy Notice on our website https://www.walsallcollege.ac.uk/policies-procedures/

Recordings will not be shared to external third parties unless we have a legal requirement to provide this data. All recorded sessions will be deleted after one calendar year.

Parent/carer support and involvement

We would ideally hope to count on your support at this challenging time. For some students, accessing their education remotely can represent an additional barrier to their learning.

Our students speak very highly of the face to face support they have at college, and the inspiration that takes place in the classroom. Being removed from this experience (and exposed to the distractions available at home), mean focus and motivation can suffer.

Your involvement need not be onerous, time consuming or demanding. We appreciate you will be managing a range of circumstances at this time.

However, by frequently showing an interest in the progress of your youngster’s remote education, you may help and gently encourage them to continue  learning in a regular and meaningful way.

We know that many young people may communicate well with their friends via text messages and social media, but they might be less communicative with parents and carers. If this sounds familiar, and you feel that you need to find out more regarding their educational opportunities or progress, then please do be assured that you can contact us to.

Contacting the college

You don’t have to wait for ‘parents evening’.   Telephone 01922 657000 or email info@walsallcollege.ac.uk and we will aim to get back to as soon as possible and within three working days, depending on the nature of your communication.

When you contact the College, please ensure that you have the full name of the young person, their course title, and year of study and level of study at hand.

We can only share information with you if a student is under the age of 18.

If a student is over 18, then you will need to show proof that you have permission from the student to see their information.

(A data protection form can be completed on request.  Alternatively, an email can sent to our data protection team from the student, giving consent to release their  information.  Proof of your identity may be required by us checking your details listed against the next of kin information on their student record.)

 

Finally, we would like to thank you for the support you have provided over these last months.  With your continued support, we will ensure that education can continue in an effective and meaningful way.

We can also look forward to our students' safe return to College as soon as government guidance allows.

Please continue to stay safe, look after yourselves and others.