As I am sure you are aware, the Government are encouraging all schools and colleges in England to prepare for a limited opening from early June, provided that it is safe to do so (and that the number of coronavirus cases continues to fall).
We have now received further guidance and clarification from both the Government, and from our professional associations, both of which will help us create an action plan for the phased and limited opening of the College.
Our plan will be tailored to the needs of our students and our community, and will be put in place with the safety of our students, their families and our staff as paramount. We would appreciate your support at this most challenging time.
All schools and colleges face different challenges, and each will develop approaches that they believe work best for them. As a member of the Venn Group, a federation of the five sixth form colleges in this region, Wyke Sixth Form College is able to draw upon the considerable expertise and experience of our colleagues as we develop our plan. In this way we hope to be as well prepared as possible so that our students can access the support and guidance they need in a way that is both safe and effective.
As you are aware, we are already working closely with our students using on-line and other remote learning. This is proving to be very effective for most young people in keeping them on track, and ensuring that they make the progress they are capable of. Our plans for limited reopening in June will in the first instance focus on those students who have found it difficult to engage with on-line learning, as well as those students who could benefit most from some additional support.
Our plan is, from week beginning 15th June 2020, to invite in students that fall into the above categories for a discussion / support with a named member of staff. We will then roll out invitations to wider groups of students in small numbers who are able to get into College for specific support and/or catch-up discussion in the weeks commencing 22nd and 29th June. This will include those students making early UCAS applications to medicine, veterinary science and Oxbridge.
This is a very unsettling time for us all, but rest assured that we will be doing everything that we can to ensure that our building, and our ways of working are as safe as we can make them. As Principal, I will only reopen the College if I (with the support of my staff and Governors) believe it is safe to do so.
Rest assured that we will not be placing pressure on students or their families to attend College at this time, although we do expect all young people to continue to engage with their teachers using the online learning systems we have provided. The situation and guidance is subject to change, so we will keep you informed about our preparations for the limited reopening so that you can make an informed decision.
I will be in contact again shortly with further details. On behalf of all the staff, and our Governors, may I thank you for your continued support in helping our students learn from home. It is likely that these extraordinary circumstances will be with us for a while to come, so please continue to do what you can, and stay in touch with us if you are concerned about the progress that your son or daughter is making.
If you have any questions about the preparations we are making, please see our website for relevant contact details or if you have anything urgent you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as quickly as we can. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to telephone calls at the moment.