The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new helpline to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) related to education.
Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline by telephone and email:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Support for students
Will any lectures or classes still be taking place on the college campus between the 23rd March and 20th April (or until further notice)?
No – delivery of your course will move onto a distance learning model for this period, your course manager will be able to provide more detail related to your specific course. Students are reminded that they are able to access their college email, college resources, online journals, and course materials on Moodle or Microsoft Teams, through MyReaseheath or by downloading the MyReaseheath app.
If you are unsure of where to access classroom resources from, please get in touch with your course manager via email.
Practical sessions will be rearranged as soon as face-to-face lessons resume and all college events, lessons and trips that were scheduled for during this time are unfortunately cancelled.
Full-cost study and NPTC courses will be rearranged. If you have any questions regarding this please speak to your course tutor directly.
The college bus services will not be running during this period.
If you are an apprentice or block release apprentice your studies will also move to distance learning from the 23rd March, you will be contacted by your apprenticeship assessor with more details.
These arrangements also apply to learners studying at one of the college outreach centres.
If you feel you need welfare support or someone to talk to during this difficult time, our Wellbeing Advisors are available. You can reach them Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm online via the MyReaseheath app.
I have assignments and/or exams that require me to be on site during that period of time, what will happen if I can’t access the campus*?
College leaders are currently following government advice and communicating with examining and awarding bodies about the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic on coursework and examinations. There are assurances from the government that no student will be disadvantaged by the current situation and as more information becomes available this will be communicated. Your course manager will also keep you informed of any changes to coursework and exam schedules as a result of the disruption to timetables.
*Where possible students will be supported in continuing with assignment and coursework tasks remotely.
I am a student living in residential halls, will I need to leave the college campus by 23rd March?
Residential students will be expected to vacate their accommodation and return home for the period between 23rd March and 20th April (or until further notice). However the college understands it may take some time for arrangements to be made for safe travel home and therefore will commit to providing support and continued residential services until such time this is possible. There may be some learners who have significant extenuating circumstances that mean it is not possible for them to vacate their accommodation during the stated period, these learners will continue to be provided with safe accommodation onsite for the duration of this time.
Will I still be able to access the college site to use facilities such as the library and gym during the period between 23rd March and 20th April (or until further notice)?
No – the campus will be closed to the majority of students as per the governments guidelines in order to minimise the risk of the coronavirus being spread. However there may be limited services and support available to some students who have extenuating circumstances which would include:
- Residential students for whom it is impossible for them to travel home safely in the short term
- Looked after children and those with EHCP who need to continue to access face to face support services provided by the college
- Vulnerable students with key worker parents who need to continue to access face to face support services provided by the college
I am in receipt of free college meals, will I still receive these?
The college student finance team are able to make payments to students in receipt of FCM in order to ensure they are still able to fund a daily meal. Learners currently in receipt of free college meals need ensure the student finance team have up to date bank details. You can contact them by calling 01270 613205 or emailing email@example.com.
I am worried about how I will achieve my qualifications this year if I am unable to attend college or take examinations, what will happen?
The college is working with the government and the qualifications regulators to develop a set of measures to ensure every learner gets the recognition they need for the work that they have done towards GCSEs, A Levels and Vocational Qualifications. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
It is vital that learners continue to engage with their studies for the duration of this period to ensure they have the full skills and knowledge to support their positive progression.
What’s happening with my Maths and English studies?
Maths and English (GCSE, Functional Skills, L3 Core maths):
A Microsoft Teams group has been set up for every class and all students will have received an email on their college email notifying them of this set up. Teachers will check-in at the lesson times and communicate with the students, directing them to uploaded resources and useful links that they should work through.
In review week, the teachers will communicate with each student and feedback some MOCK information and a target.
Until we are clear as to what is happening with the summer exams it is essential that all students continue with their Maths and English studies so that you are prepared for all possible decisions. We are in regular contact with exam boards and will share the plan on Teams, Facebook and Twitter, as soon as the government releases it.
If you have any problems with Microsoft Teams or cannot access it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for maths or email@example.com for English who will be happy to help you and organise some work to be sent out.
I am a student who has a key worker parent, will I be able to still attend college whilst it is closes for face to face delivery?
The college considers students of keyworking parents to be those for whom both parents/carers are classed as keyworkers under the current guidance or those for whom there is one keyworking parent/carer at home (single parent families). If you fall into this category and it is considered unsafe for you to be at home following a distance learning model there will be provision for you to attend college. If you feel you fall into this category please contact the colleges Learning Support Centre on 01270 613199 to discuss how you can access the site for learning during the period.
How do I access Wellbeing support?
It’s NORMAL to feel fearful, anxious and have increased concerns about your health. To help maintain your psychological health in these challenging times our Wellbeing Team have put together some tips – read them here.
As a Reaseheath student, you can access Wellbeing, Careers and Learner support on the student intranet page. If you want to get in touch with the Wellbeing Team please email firstname.lastname@example.org. An appoitnment will be made on a platform best suited to you (email, Skype, Microsoft Teams).
I’m currently on a work placement as part of my course, how will I be affected?
All work placements have been temporarily suspended until further notice.
The college has a duty of care to all of its students and your safety and wellbeing is our absolute priority. We are unable to carry out the same high level of monitoring checks with regards to work placements in the current climate. Students on middle year placements will be contacted separately to discuss their individual circumstances.
Please do not be concerned about any negative impact on your studies or qualifications and we will be working with the funding and awarding bodies to ensure you get recognition for all the work you have put into your studies and work placement.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated. Students and employers will be contacted w/c 20th April with a further update.
For further support regarding your work placement please contact email@example.com.
Advice on student finance
We’ve put together some further advice and guidance for students living in student accommodation and those who have paid tuition fees.
I’m no longer in residential accommodation due to the current situation, what will my charges be?
Following government advice students are no longer on campus from Friday 20th March. With regards to accommodation the following fees apply:
Term 1 & Term 2
The following table sets out how many weeks that you should pay for and how many will have been paid if you are on a payment plan.
The reduction for term 2 takes into account the two weeks non occupancy from Friday 20th March.
|Number of weeks in accommodation (full year)||Number of weeks in accommodation (term 1+2 only)||Total number of weeks payable||Payment plan – paid to end of term 2
|FE Students 1st Year||36||27||25||24|
|FE Students 2nd Year||35||26||24||23|
Termly payment plans are split in equal thirds and therefore students will have been in occupancy for more weeks that the associated payments.
These fees are still due to the end of term 2, as accommodation has been provided, as such we advise that you keep recurring card payments in place for these payments.
The college appreciates the current situation for anyone facing financial difficulties and we can support with flexible payments and payment holidays. Please contact a member of the Student Finance team on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a phone call or leave a message with the team on 01270 613205 for a call back.
The college will be working in line with government guidance and whilst accommodation is unavailable for term 3, no payment will be due. Should students be able to return to accommodation during term 3 pro rata charges will apply.
For students who have alternative arrangements with the college individual fees will apply as agreed.
I attend college for tuition but pay the fees myself, will I still need to pay?
Yes – The college is still open however at the request of government, learning has now moved online and will continue.
We appreciate the current situation for anyone facing financial difficulties, the college can support with flexible payments and payment holidays. Please contact a member of the Student Finance team on email@example.com to arrange a phone call or leave a message with the team on 01270 613205 for a call back.
I’m booked onto a short course and have paid will I get a refund?
The college aim to deliver your practical course as soon as the government permits. We are therefore looking to postpone some practical courses until a later date, if this is not suitable please contact the department that you booked with to discuss further.
Support for prospective students
We understand that you may have some questions during this time regarding your application or offer. Reaseheath is working with the government and the qualifications regulators to develop a set of measures to ensure every learner gets the recognition they need for the work that they have done towards GCSEs, A Levels and Vocational Qualifications. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
If you have an interview scheduled to take place in March or April, this will now take place by telephone and we will be in touch with you soon to arrange this.
Should you have any questions regarding our courses please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us directly on Facebook or Instagram.
HE Open Day
Our next HE open day is scheduled for Saturday 6th June. We are hopeful that we will be able to run this event, however, please check the website for the latest information.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about studying at University Centre Reaseheath that you wanted to ask at our open day, our HE Team would be happy to help you. Please contact them on 01270 613284 or UCR@reaseheath.ac.uk
FE Course Open Event
Unforutnately, we have decided to cancel our next course open event, which was due to be held on Saturday 25th April. Our next event is scheduled for Saturday 6th June and we are hopeful that we will be able to run this event, however, please check the website for the latest information.
HE Offer Holder Day
Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel our HE Offer Holder Day, which was due to be held on Saturday 25th April. We will be in contact will those that were due to attend very soon.
Advice for visitors
If you were due to visit Reaseheath between Friday 20th March and Monday 20th April please contact your host as this visit will need to be rearranged.
Our annual Family Festival event due to take place on Sunday 3rd May will be cancelled this year. We are now focusing on making the 2021 Family Festival even bigger and better as we will be celebrating Reaseheath’s 100th anniversary.
If you were due to exhibit at this year’s Family Festival we will be issuing a full refund.
Guidance for businesses
Reaseheath College and the Reaseheath Business Hub are here to support our businesses, apprentices and the community during this challenging period.
We want to reassure you that our apprenticeship provision is continuing to operate on a remote learning basis. This will ensure apprentices can continue their learning and development while working remotely from home.
The businesses that we work with are vital to the landbased economy and we are here to provide guidance and signpost you to government information outlining the support available to you.
If you need any advice or information, please contact our dedicated apprenticeship team at email@example.com and we will endeavour to respond within 24 hours.
Please see link below for the latest guidance from the government around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) apprenticeship programme response.
We have put together the frequently asked questions and information below to help guide you through this difficult time.
What happens if I am unable to continue to provide work for my employee and/or apprentice (the individual is furloughed), and am unable to pay them?
SME Apprentice – If whilst your apprentice is furloughed, they continue to study and access their training via our remote training programme, then their apprenticeship will continue. The government has issued guidance to ensure that all UK employers are able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that are furloughed during this crisis, and will not be undertaking any work. This guidance can be accessed here.
Levy Apprentice – If whilst your apprentice is furloughed, they continue to study and access their training via our remote training programme, then their apprenticeship will continue. Do not stop their apprenticeship in your DAS account. The government has issued guidance to ensure that all UK employers are able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that are furloughed during this crisis, and will not be undertaking any work. This guidance can be accessed here.
Employee – The government has issued guidance to ensure that all UK employers are able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that are furloughed during this crisis, and will not be undertaking any work. This guidance can be accessed here.
What happens if during this period my apprentice resigns from the business or have to permanently cease employing them?
Please notify us of this as soon as possible via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org . The apprentice will be placed on a Break In Learning (BIL) until alternative employment is found. Remote sessions may be able to continue whilst we find alternative employment for the apprentice. We will contact you if you are a levy employer to advise of the actions to take on your DAS account.
Please note that this guidance is subject to changes in government guidance and will be updated accordingly. Therefore please check this site regularly and notify us of an changes to your apprentices employment circumstances via email@example.com.
When will the cancelled blocks be rearranged?
We will be in touch to rearrange blocks once it is safe to resume face to face activity.
What is going to happen about my planned EPA?
The EPA (practical elements) will be rearranged as soon as it is safe to resume face to face activity. Any aspects which can be completed remotely will still take place. We are currently in discussions with EPA organisations and will update this section as further clarification is provided.
What do I do if I was planning to take on an apprentice this summer?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, as we are continuing recruitment activities for businesses, although initially this will be via remote activities. Once normal business starts to resume, apprentices will be key to a business resuming normal operations.
What about recruitment if people do not have GCSEs?
We are awaiting guidance around this but expect predicted grades to be honoured. The government are currently discussing the arrangements for this with the awarding bodies and as further guidance is issued we will update this section.
Will the college date for new apprentices be postponed?
All college start dates are on hold, the start dates will be communicated once it is safe to continue face to face sessions
Will we have assessment centres?
All face to face assessment centres have been cancelled and will be rearranged once it is safe to resume face to face activity. Assessment centre activities that can be undertaken remotely will continue to be scheduled.