Students, undergraduates and apprentices at Reaseheath College and its University Centre will move to distance and online learning from next Monday (March 23) in a move to combat the corona virus.

All students at the Nantwich college have been asked to complete coursework and assignments at home and will not return until further notice, although the campus remains fully operational for staff and essential service providers such as livestock care and security teams.

The decision was taken late yesterday and follows the government’s decision to close schools and colleges. Lectures will continue as normal for the rest of this week.

Reaseheath College has been actively preparing to change the delivery of its teaching from face to face to e-learning over past months to ensure as many students as possible remain on schedule with their studies.

Course Managers and lecturers are aiming to make the change over as smooth as possible.  It is envisaged that the new delivery model will remain in place initially until Monday April 20, when students are scheduled to return after their Easter holiday, or until further notice depending on how the situation unfolds.

The college will continue to provide a range of support for vulnerable students and well-being advisors will be available to all students throughout the closure period.

Residential students are being asked to vacate their accommodation where possible and to return home until further notice.  They will continue to be provided with safe accommodation and full residential services onsite until they have arranged safe travel home.

Reaseheath’s mini zoo, which normally opens to the public at weekends, is closed but keepers are continuing to ensure the usual high standards of animal welfare. Events and competitions held at Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre have been cancelled but teams remain on site to care for the college horses and also for the livestock on the college farm.

All public events including Reaseheath’s Family Festival on Sunday May 3 have been cancelled until further notice, as have student study tours and industry visits.

Principal and CEO Marcus Clinton said: “These are unchartered times but we remain determined to maintain the continuation of learning through different delivery methods and to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by the current situation.

“We are communicating with examining and awarding bodies about the impact this is having on coursework and exams, and are working with government and qualifications regulators to develop a set of measures to ensure every learner receives recognition for their achievements. It remains vital that students continue to engage with their studies to ensure that they keep progressing.

“We are also preparing to further support our local community and national effort. All Reaseheath staff are showing the highest level of professionalism and willingness to be as productive as possible. I am immensely proud of their positive attitude and desire to do their best to support the college, its students and our wider community.”

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