Last updated: 31st March 2020 - 5pm

Coronavirus - Latest Guidance for Students

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority.  Following the recent Government announcement for schools and colleges to close, we would like to inform you of the following:

There are no more face-to-face lessons and the college (all our campuses) is closed to all staff and students.  All our teaching and learning is now taking place online/remotely and teaching support is available.  (This includes support for students with EHCP Plans and Looked After Children as defined by the Local Authority and those with Social Workers.)

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

We urge our students to follow the social distancing measures in place.  This means staying at home and avoiding large and small gatherings in public spaces.  Keep in touch with friends and family using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

 

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 should have already clarified what is expected of you.  This may be working online or using work packs.

We will:

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.

 

Our priority is to continue to work with the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure that students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including starting university, college or sixth form courses, apprenticeships in the autumn, getting a job or progressing in work.

For academic qualifications, there will be no exams taking place in schools and colleges this summer.

Exam boards will be asking teachers who know their students well to submit, for each student, a set of evidence which will include performance in mock results as well as their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

It is therefore extremely important that you take up every opportunity to complete the work that your teachers set up for you and that you keep in regular contact with your tutors throughout this period. Your tutors will be recording your progress while the College is closed.

In a few cases where qualifications include a ‘license to practise’ (such as electrical installations or childcare for example), health and safety elements may mean that teachers are not allowed to estimate an end result for you. In these circumstances there may be a delay in final assessments and we will share further updates when available.

Apprentices should contact their Trainer/Assessor for further details and plans for their ‘off the job’ element of their Apprenticeship or for any changes to End Point Assessment (EPA). You must also let your assessor know as soon as possible any changes to your employment status so the College can put in the appropriate support, including continuing with your training during periods of ‘furlough leave’ (a temporary leave of absence for economic reasons, designed to save jobs), or actual redundancy.

Our intention is to deliver our teaching and training services by any alternative means available.

This includes:

  • remote working
  • telephone calls and emails
  • Smart Rooms/webinars

Workplace visits and formal reviews

In the likelihood of workplace visits being restricted, observations may proceed if the employer is happy for college staff to visit the premises.

We hope to carry on conducting formal reviews and welcome opportunities for employers to work with us so that we can complete these remotely.

What if I want my apprentice(s) to take a break from their programme?

Both our Trainers/Assessors and our sales team will co-ordinate regular communications with employers to ensure that on-going contact, attendance to remote sessions and any risk of redundancy or breaks-in-learning are identified early and appropriate action plans are implemented swiftly to support the apprentice.

If a need arises for an employer to release their apprentices 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.

 

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.

Employers should contact one of the following members of our Sales Team -

Kirsty Barnard
Enquiries for Business and Professional
07920 084827
barnardk@walsallcollege.ac.uk
Kat Palmer
Enquiries for Construction Trades
07825 398840
kpalmer@walsallcollege.ac.uk
Georgia Tsinopoulou
Enquiries for Health & Education
07766 465610
gtsinopoulou@walsallcollege.ac.uk
 

Eddie Jones
Enquiries for Electrical, Automotive, Engineering and Signmaking
07702 102854
edwardjones@walsallcollege.ac.uk

Sue Poulton
Enquiries for apprenticeship levy paying companies
07392 081191
spoulton@walsallcollege.ac.uk

For the latest information please check gov.uk 

Frequently asked questions
These questions and answers will be updated regularly in line with advice from central government, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE).

For queries not covered by this guidance, please contact the apprenticeship service helpline. They can be contacted by telephone on 0800 150 600 or email helpdesk@manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk.

The College will provide vouchers to registered students eligible for free college meals. Students will receive an email into their college email inbox containing instructions of how to redeem the vouchers. The initial voucher will be for £20 to cover students up to the Easter break.

 

You might be worried about coronavirus and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoid other people.  The latest government advice on mental health and wellbeing during this period is available here.

The links below also provide advice and support: 

www.youngminds.org.uk – telephone 0808 802 5544 Weekdays 9.30am until 16.00) – a leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers. 

www.kooth.com – provides free online support for young people delivered by qualified counsellors via chat based services. 

www.mind.org.uk – national mental health charity which offers support and a range of materials on all aspects of mental health. 

www.samaritans.org – telephone 116 123 any time of day or night – a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK for those feeling distress or despair which may lead to suicide. 

www.rethink.org – provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them – advice line 

www.themix.org.uk – provides a judgement free information and support to young people aged 13-25 on a range of issues including mental health – there is support via phone, email, web chat, peer to peer and counselling services 

www.anxietyuk.org.uk – 08444 775 774 (weekdays 9.30-17.30) – helps those experiencing anxiety disorders – self-help groups, counselling, email support 

Please follow the latest advice from Government here

 

Corona Virus advice for schools

 

The Littleton Restaurant, Graduate Academy Salon and Gym, will be closed until further notice.

It is vital that we all limit our social interaction with other people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

We urge everyone to follow social distancing measures where possible.  This means staying at home and avoiding large and small gatherings in public spaces.  Keep in touch with friends and family using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

www.gov.uk – has the latest guidance on social distancing

Little Professors Nursery is closed to all students and staff.  Nursery fees will not be chargeable after the Easter holidays (20th April).

If you are interested in studying a full-time, part-time or university level course with us this September, you can apply here and be offered a course place straightaway (subject to you meeting the entry requirements).*  Simply choose the course you would like to study and click the red Apply Now button next to the Course Overview.

If you were hoping to enrol on a course before September 2020, the current situation means that our start dates are uncertain. We will contact you as soon as these dates are in place.  In the meantime, you may want to consider one of our distance learning courses.  Click here to find out more about the qualifications you can gain while studying at home.

*If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan then your application will also be subject to a formal request for consultation by the Local Authority and review by our SEND Admissions Panel to ensure we can meet your needs.  If you have declared that you have any additional support needs we will be in touch to find out more about this.

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

  • Help and support if you have any concerns about your safety.

 

Due to the COVID 19 situation the College's finance team are working from home and are not able to take any calls or receive any post.

If you have a query please contact finance by e-mail finance@walsallcollege.ac.uk, and a member of the team will respond.

If you have sent the College an invoice via the postal service in the last week, it is highly likely that it hasn't been received so could you please e-mail a copy to
purchaseledger@walsallcollege.ac.uk to ensure it is processed and payment made.