Yesterday (Wednesday 3rd June), Kirsty Williams (MS), Minister for Education announced measures regarding the re-opening of college campuses for face-to-face learning from 15 June. I am writing to update you on our approach and the next steps we are taking at The College Merthyr Tydfil.
Your health and wellbeing is our top priority and we want to reassure you that, with social distancing requirements expected to continue for some time, we will only be opening when we feel it is safe to do so and when we feel that we are able to bring staff and learners back into college in a safe and managed way. With this in mind, the college will only be opening in June for those of you who need to undertake any outstanding practical work or assessments in order for you to complete your qualification this Summer, gain your license to practice and progress successfully on to your next stage of your career journey, whether that be further or higher learning or employment.
When can I expect to hear more?
If you have assessments or practical work to complete, we will be in touch with you very shortly to explain when you need to attend and where you need to go. Please, do not attend the college unless you are advised to do so by your tutor. You must also follow safety guidance and instructions we issue, to protect yourself and protect others. We will provide you with a briefing video and presentation for you to view before you attend college so that you can familiarise yourselves with this guidance. You will only be required to attend the college for the duration of your assessment/practical lesson. You are not able to stay on campus after this time. Our on site refectory will remain closed so, if you are coming in for longer than a few hours, you may need to bring a packed lunch with you. We will explain all of this in more detail through the video briefing that we will provide to you.
Please try not to worry if you don’t receive information about returning to campus before the end of this academic year - we haven’t forgotten you and we will still support you to complete your qualification with us as soon as possible.
What if I do not have any outstanding practical work or assessments left to complete?
If you have completed your qualification and your grade has been calculated you will not need to return to college this year. If you are planning to return to college in September, we will be in touch shortly with further details.
What will happen in September?
If you are planning to return to us in September we are very much looking forward to welcoming you. We anticipate that your enrolment, induction and first term of teaching will be a blend of remote/on-line learning combined with small face to face on campus group sessions where possible. As you will be aware, many of our courses have practical components taught in specialist facilities such as labs, workshops and creative studios. We plan to continue to run as many of these practical elements as possible in small groups and in safe environments. We will also prioritise the delivery of as many face-to-face tutorials as we can safely, ensuring that all learners receive face to face support at least once a week. This blended learning approach of on-line combined with face to face will ensure that you continue to receive good experiences and high-quality education, particularly if you are joining us as a new learner in September and may not yet have had an opportunity to meet your course tutors.
We will shortly be writing out to you again with a further update on what to expect in September.
Support services available for you
A member of our I2A team will be present at the college during June to support any learners coming in to complete practical assessments. In addition, the full range of learner support services remain available for you to access remotely. If you do require any support to help you with your return to college, this will be available either remotely or at the college when you return (in line with and complying to social distancing regulations).
In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Please remember to include your name, student number and which course you are studying.
Thank you for your continued efforts and participation with online learning.
Keep well and stay positive. We look forward to seeing you soon.