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5th January 2021

By now, I am sure you will be aware of the announcement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to close schools and colleges in England, in response to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We understand that this will be a worrying time for our college community and will endeavour to provide as much information as possible about what this means for you and your family.

Nc Campus 16
Stafford College Campus6

Current students on full-time, HE and part-time courses:

With effect from today, Tuesday 5 January 2021 until further notice, our campuses in Newcastle and Stafford (including Palmbourne, Beaconside and Alsager), will be closed.

Remote learning will continue from Thursday 7 January (6 January is a scheduled CP day), and all students will now be familiar with arrangements in place to access remote delivery. Learners should ‘virtually’ attend timetabled classes, complete work and maintain a regular dialogue with their Tutors.

The main platforms for virtual delivery and sharing learning resources and information will be Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, parent portal, i-site and your college email. It is essential that you have access to these channels.

  • For help with Teams/Google Classroom, iSite or Parent Portal please contact your Tutor in the first instance
  • For help with accessing your college email, click here.

In the interests of the health, safety and mental wellbeing of learners, we can confirm that we have taken the decision to withdraw all learners from BTEC examinations scheduled to take place in January. Students should not attend the campus for exams or revision sessions and Tutors will be in touch to confirm semester two timetable plans. In addition, yesterday’s Government announcement confirmed that A Level and GCSE exams scheduled to take place in Summer 2021 will not go ahead in the normal manner.

We understand that news of changes to exams will no doubt create uncertainty and disappointment for many students, but please be assured that we are seeking further clarity on this matter from the Department for Education and awarding bodies. As soon as further guidance is available, we will share details with you.

We are pleased to confirm that students who are in receipt of a Bursary/College Maintenance Allowance will continue to receive their bursary directly in to their bank account, in the vast majority of cases.

Current students who are classed as vulnerable (e.g. have EHC plans, are classed as looked after children (LAC) and/or have a social worker allocated to them) or whose parents are keyworkers:

From Thursday 7 January, we will have provision in place to support learners who fall in to the above categories. Whilst we assess numbers and demand, provision will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays only, and will be based in the main buildings at both the Newcastle and Stafford College campuses (i.e. not Beaconside, Palmbourne or Alsager). Our Student Services team have already contacted many parents/guardians of vulnerable learners directly to understand their needs, however if we have not been able to reach you, please contact the Student Services team on 01782 254188 or email help.newcastle@nscg.ac.uk (Newcastle College Students) or help.stafford@nscg.ac.uk (Stafford College Students) to discuss your requirements.

Learners whose parents are keyworkers also have the opportunity to attend the campus on the days it is open (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday) - any learners wishing to access this opportunity must confirm attendance details to their Tutor in the first instance.

Please note: for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and learners we are only able to open the campus to learners in these categories at the moment.

Apprentices and employers:

With immediate effect, until further notice, apprentices will be unable to attend college to complete their off the job training. Instead, these learners will switch to remote learning, following their usual timetable. As a group, NSCG works with a wide range of employers who will all have individual policies and procedures in place for their employees during the latest lockdown period. Apprentices are encouraged to contact their workplace mentor or college Assessor if they have any immediate queries or concerns.

Learners who have End Point Assessments or functional skills examinations taking place in January will be contacted by their Assessor with further information.

During this time, we will continue to follow advice from the Department for Education and Institute for Apprenticeships and should guidance change over coming weeks, we will continue to support apprentices and keep our employer partners updated.

If employers have any immediate queries, our Work Based Learning Team can be reached by emailing: apprenticeships@nscg.ac.uk.

Current students on recreational / adult evening courses:

Any adult education courses will switch to remote learning with immediate effect. Course Tutors will be in touch with learners directly to confirm plans. The main platforms for virtual delivery and sharing learning resources and information will be Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, parent portal, i-site and your college email. It is essential that you have access to these channels.

As most of our recreational courses are highly practical and/or reliant on group interaction, it will be challenging to deliver these courses via remote delivery methods. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to postpone all recreational courses with immediate effect. Your course tutor or a member of the faculty administration team will be in touch with you to discuss potential options.

New students who will be joining us in September:

We are really looking forward to welcoming new students to the NSCG family in September. We encourage interested applicants to browse our website, request a prospectus and attend our next Virtual Open Events which are taking place between 10am - 12 noon on 23 January (Newcastle) and 6 February (Stafford) to find out more about studying at Staffordshire’s Leading College.

When you are ready to apply, please do so via our website. We will continue to process all online applications and will look forward to arranging a short telephone interview to discuss your preferred area of study and future career ambitions. You will also have the opportunity to ask us any questions you have about life at NSCG.

If you have already applied, had your telephone interview and accepted a place you will receive further communication from us in due course about potential welcome events.

We understand that these are uncertain times and would like to reassure you that our team will continue to be on hand to support your transition to college. If you have any questions or queries about studying at NSCG, or if you would like to discuss your application further, you can reach our Information Point team at:

Newcastle campus: info.newcastle@nscg.ac.uk

Stafford campus: info.stafford@nscg.ac.uk

In the meantime, please take some time to really get to know us well. You can like Newcastle College or Stafford College on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also keep up-to-date with news and updates from NSCG by checking out our website nscg.ac.uk

The Gordon Banks Sports Centre, Riverbank Restaurant and Academy Hairdressing Salons:

As our main campuses are closed, all commercial facilities will also be unavailable for the period of the lockdown, this includes our Gordon Banks Sports Centre, Riverbank Restaurant and Academy Hairdressing and Beauty Salons.

We are in the process of contacting customers to advise them of the situation and will aim to stay in touch with updates over the coming weeks.

During our period of closure, our staff teams will be working hard to provide as much business continuity as possible. We will continue to provide NSCG related updates via email, text message, social media and our website. You can keep up to date with the Government response to the Coronavirus situation here.

On behalf of the entire team at NSCG, thank you for your continued support and understanding. Please look after yourself, your friends and family as we face these extraordinary and challenging times together.

Yours sincerely,

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