Having assessed the current situation, we have reached the point where it is in the best interests of our community to start transitioning to online learning as a precautionary measure because of COVID-19. We have a significant number of staff and students, who have been advised to follow guidelines on social distancing because of either age and/or pre-existing health conditions. This means they should significantly limit their face-to-face interaction with others.
Within current Government guidance, the College will remain open, but face-to-face teaching will pause from close of play on Wednesday 18th March 2020. Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March 2020 will be designated as staff development days with the exception of planned exams. Online learning will commence from Monday 23rd March 2020. We are currently working through the arrangements for individual courses. We have put in place arrangements for those in receipt of Free School Meals to access financial support and have allocated teams to keep in touch with our most vulnerable learners.
We have spoken with our local MP, Robert Halfon, who is in full support of the measures we are taking to safeguard our community.
We do not envisage face-to-face teaching restarting before the start of next term at the earliest. We understand that this is a difficult time for students who are preparing for examinations and formal assessments, but the current public health situation is unprecedented. Our sector is working closely with the Department for Education to ensure there is clarity regarding arrangements for the Summer assessment period.
We will keep you up to date as the situation changes through the News section of our website.