Last updated: October 2020 - 4pm
It is vital that young people attend college for their educational progress, wellbeing and wider development. The health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our top priority.
Please see our Student Guide for further details of the measures we have in place so that we are a safe and compliant environment for all students and staff.
Walsall local COVID alert level: High
New coronavirus restrictions have been announced for Walsall residents as a result of the government’s new local alert system. These restrictions came into effect on Wednesday 14 October. Walsall has been placed in the alert level ‘high’ as our infection rates are above 100 per 100,000 people. Due to the high rate in the number of COVID-19 cases, everyone in Walsall is being asked to follow the regulations to reduce the spread of the virus.
- People must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law).
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed in law.
- Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
- Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
- Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with)
- People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible
- Wear a face covering in those areas where this is mandated
People must continue to:
- Follow social distancing rules
- Work from home where they can effectively do so
- Walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
A frequently asked question section on Walsall Council website has now been developed and is routinely updated.
We have been working closely with Transport for West Midlands to ensure that we can provide you with as much information as possible as your children head into college.
We know that travelling on public transport will be different. All buses, trains and trams will be out on the West Midlands network, ensuring that our students can get to and from college. However, capacity on board public transport will be reduced to support social distancing measures. This means there may be more of a wait during busy times so the advice is to plan ahead and leave more time for your journey.
Please note that face coverings are required on all public transport, including on dedicated school transport, for anyone over 11 years old, except those exempt with a medical or health condition.
Students are also encouraged to consider the safety of the wider community when travelling to and from college, observing social distancing measures whenever possible, particularly if they are stopping somewhere long the way.
Transport for West Midlands, who manage the West Midlands Network, have created a dedicated website that has the latest information on bus, train and tram services, helping you plan your journey to college this September.
There is also a 16-18 photocard that entitles young people to pay child rate fares on bus, tram and rail effectively giving them 50% off.
Try something different this September
Cycling and walking are great ways to stay active and to complete shorter journeys, such as the journey to college. Cycling and walking can also help cut delays around the school.
There are a number of cycling and walking schemes in place or being put in place across the region. You can check to see if there are any on your route to school here wmnetwork.co.uk/campaigns/roll-stroll/
If you plan to drive, consider parking or dropping off a few streets away from the school gates and walking the remaining short distance. This will limit congestion and keeps the roads safer around the school, reducing the chance of collisions or injuries.
As a Walsall College student, 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, whether this is face-to-face teaching or remote learning.
a) be sensitive and adaptive to your wellbeing and recognise where any health and caring responsibilities could impact on your learning while the College buildings are closed.
b) provide you with guidance on your learning, focusing on where, when and how you are expected to engage and demonstrate your learning and how assessment and feedback will be delivered.
c) review methods to record/capture lessons to allow you to work at your own pace.
Online and on track
In the event of a future lockdown, apprentices and work-based learning will continue to access our teaching and training services by any alternative means available. These include:
• remote working
• telephone calls and emails
• Smart Rooms/webinars
It may also be possible for staff to complete extra portions of their 20% off the job training through our online platforms. Our trainers/assessors can provide further information on this.
Taking a break
We understand the challenges involved in people maintaining regular contract with everyone and/or attending remote training sessions and meetings. If there’s a possibility that these might lead to a break in your apprentices’ learning or a risk of redundancy then we can address any issues with you as soon as they arise.
This is what we can do if you are considering any of the following :
Releasing your apprentice(s) from their mandatory 20% off the job training - The college will be able to apply a formal break in learning. This would come into force if learning does not take place for more than 4 weeks.
Furloughing your apprentice(s) - We can still keep them on track with as much of their training as possible – through the remote learning options outlined above.
Alternative opportunities for apprentices
If, unfortunately you must make your apprentice redundant while they are in the last 6 months of their training, we can still help them complete their apprenticeship.
And if they are less than 6 months into their training we can now support them for 12 weeks, so there is minimal disruption to their learning. We can also help them find a new apprentice placement.
Please do let your assessor know if, as an employer, you are offering an essential service or if you have had to close down for this period.
These are some additional things to consider for your workforce -
Levy Transfer - If you’re a small to medium sized business, and do not currently pay the Apprenticeship Levy, you could receive help with funding to train apprentices for your organisation. Find out more here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruiting new staff - If you need an apprentice in the future you will need to sign up NOW to reserve apprenticeship funding. Full access to the Apprenticeship Service is now available for ALL employers, including levy-payers.
This service allows employers to:
• Reserve their apprenticeship funding
• Select their chosen provider from the Register of Apprenticeship Training
See here for details.
Screening applicants - We are still accepting applications and interviewing potential apprentices. So, when you are ready to recruit, we will have a bank of quality candidates available for you to interview.
Who should I contact for further information and advice?
Apprentices should contact their assessor for further details and plans for the ‘off the job’ element of their Apprenticeship or for any changes to their End Point Assessment (EPA). You must also let your assessor know if your employer is offering an essential service or if they have had to close down for this period.
Our Student Services teams are able to provide help with the following:
- 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.
- For information on finances such as your bursary, student loans and course fees.
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
- 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).
- Help and support if you have any concerns about your safety.