Latest Information regarding Coronavirus

17 March 2020

Tuesday 17th  March 2020

Ashton Sixth Form College Coronavirus Update

Ashton Sixth Form is currently open with lessons running as normal. This is in line with advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education. However, a number of precautionary measures have already been taken; all college trips, visits, work experience and sporting fixtures have been cancelled; all evening college events have been cancelled until further notice.  Students have been contacted about this. 

The Drama exam on Thursday 26th March will go ahead as planned.

How we will contact you if there is any change

As you will be aware, schools and colleges are now preparing for the possibility of closure in the coming days or weeks. We have well-developed plans which are ready to implement should we need to close. We will use our website and social media outlets as our main sources of communication.  It is also likely that teachers will use the college email system to contact students during this period. Please encourage your son or daughter to check their college emails on a regular basis.

Examinations and Assessments

We are monitoring the situation very carefully with regard to the formal summer exams. Ofqual’s position on exams is that it is currently ‘business as usual’ and at this stage, we are planning to run these as normal. The relevant authorities/examination boards (Ofqual, JCQ, AQA, Edexcel, OCR and Educas), will provide all schools and colleges with updates. We will contact students, parents and carers as soon as we receive any information which is relevant to your son/daughter. We intend to run our March mock examinations but these will be held in class time.

Plans for working from home and support available during closure

As with other educational institutions, there has been significant work going on in the background to prepare for possible closure and to ensure all courses have meaningful work available to students via Canvas, our Virtual Learning Environment, and other remotely-accessed platforms. Staff will be able to upload work and students will be able to submit completed work to their teachers. Our aim is to minimise any disruption to learning as far as is practicable. It is likely that in the next week or so we will be creating time for teachers to prepare resources which students can use at home. We will set independent study tasks for our students during this time.

Should the college have to close, we will inform students directly of the next steps and our expectations of their use of this time to minimise any disruption to their learning. College counsellors will be in touch with students who have appointments to inform them of the support available during this period of closure. We are also working to ensure that all bursary students will continue to receive their payments. Senior Tutors will be available via email during the closure period.

Protecting yourself and others

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and warm water. Public Health England recommends washing hands before eating, after coughing and sneezing and after using the toilet or travelling on public transport.

As directed by the Government, we should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres, and cease all unnecessary visits to friends or relatives in care homes. All non-essential travel should also cease. 

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who lives in any household where one person has a persistent cough or fever, to stay at home for 14 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 14 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection. These symptoms are a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) and / or a new, continuous cough. Students and/or parents/carers do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home but should inform the college through the Senior Tutor. If symptoms worsen for the patient during their stay at home or they are no better after 14 days, contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If there is no internet access, please call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. Further information can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

If you decide to self-isolate, please follow the advice from the Department of Health which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

We are in a fast-moving, unprecedented and developing situation. We are committed to ensuring that our students and staff are supported during this very challenging time. For now, the college remains open for lessons as normal. As soon as any new information becomes available we will update the college website and social media feeds.