The statement below follows on from yesterdays COVID-19 statement which you can view here (www.huish.ac.uk/coronavirus-update/)
I am writing to provide a further update on the situation with regards to the College and COVID-19. As I am sure you appreciate, we are having to deal with a rapidly evolving situation and need to communicate with you as openly and transparently as possible.
I have met with senior colleagues again this morning and also discussed our situation with the Sixth Form Colleges Association, the Association of Colleges and other external organisations. Having assessed the volume and impact of staff absence, as a result of protecting vulnerable members of our community and those with underlying health conditions, we have concluded that we find ourselves in a position where we do not have sufficient key staff to manage the site and students safely.
We will therefore be suspending all classes from tomorrow morning until further notice. Students will not be required to attend the College and their absence will be recorded as authorised. In order to best support your young person we have asked teachers, where they are able, to:
- Maintain regular email communication with the students that they either teach or support with their training. This will include providing learning materials, assessing completed work, providing feedback and answering queries. We will endeavour as best as we can, to ensure that students are covering the necessary work and are supported in their studies.
- Respond to email queries on a daily basis (Monday to Friday) to support students in their learning.
I need to be clear that at this time the College is not closing. Whilst formal classes are suspended, students will still be able to attend and study on site should they wish. Our Learning Centre, which will be staffed by colleagues who are well placed to provide support, will continue to be open from 9:00am until 4:40pm until the point we are directed to do otherwise. Students who do wish to study on site will need to sign in at reception.
We understand that you and your young person are likely to be feeling anxious about forthcoming external exams. We are pressing hard with the Department for Education and Awarding Bodies for clarity about the forthcoming exam season and are expecting more information about national arrangements shortly. We will of course let you know as soon as we hear anything.
We will be updating the College website (www.huish.ac.uk) if or when the situation changes.
Thank you again for your on-going support and patience at this difficult time.