COVID-19 Update

Following the Government announcement on January 4th, 2021 of a further national lockdown, all learning at the college has now transferred online and this will continue until the February half-term.

The following information provides more detail for you about January exams at the college, how summer exams may be graded as well as other important advice around access to the college and digital resources during this period of remote learning.

We will keep this page, the college website and social media channels updated with any changes to the current situation so please check back with us at regular intervals.

January Exams

The college has also taken the decision to reschedule January BTEC exams in recognition that to continue with exams at this time would cause unnecessary stress on candidates as well as resulting in a significant number of people circulating on public transport systems and around education settings.

The awarding body that runs BTECs (Pearson) has pledged to award a grade for any student who is unable to take their start of term exams where they have been provided with enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression.

Pearson have also said that students who are unable to take their assessment this month may also be able to take it at a later date and that if that is not possible, arrangements will be put in place to ensure students not disadvantaged. The awarding body is working closely with the Department for Education and Ofqual and as soon as the college has more information we will update the college website and notify you.

Summer Exams

The Government has taken the decision that there will be no external exams for GCSE, AS and A level exams in Summer 2021. As yet, we have no further information on the process for awarding grades, but it is likely that a range of evidence will be required so it is vital that all students continue to engage fully with remote learning. Ofqual will now begin the consultation process to seek the views of all involved to contribute to the final model. We will provide an update as soon as we have further details.

Remote Learning at the College

At Trafford College we are committed to continuing to provide you with the high quality of education that you are used to throughout this period of stricter measures. Please find below an overview of the remote education offer that we are providing.

16-19 Study and Adult Learning Programmes

You will be used to using Microsoft Teams as a way to communicate, collaborate and learn. We are now using this platform to deliver your learning progamme through live classes, assignments and independent study tasks. Please navigate to the General tab of your class Team where you will find regular updates and guidance of what is expected.

Your timetable will be largely unchanged and you should expect to log in to your class Teams in line with this to complete your timetabled learning programme. There may be exceptions to this, for example where a class would usually take place for longer than 1 hour, where the delivery will not necessarily be live for the duration but you will instead be guided through a range of activities during this time with your tutor available for help and support throughout.

Where a course was due to start in January you will be contacted to discuss the start date for your course. In some cases, it has been necessary to delay the start of the course where substantial on site activity is required. Where remote arrangements can be made instead this is happening and the course will start this way.

Apprentices

Trafford College apprentices can continue to work, if their employer says it is safe to do so, following government advice. For apprenticeships delivered in the workplace, our assessors will continue to work with each apprentice and their employer to support progression. For apprenticeships that include day-release classes, then these classes will take place online. Teachers, Trainers/Assessors have been in contact with their apprentices to confirm these arrangements.

Should Awarding Organisations make changes to the Apprenticeship then Trainer/ Assessors will be in contact with Apprentices regarding future assessment arrangements. If you need to speak to explore any concerns please do not hesitate to email Joan.scott@tcg.ac.uk.

Expectation of all Students

Now, more than ever, regular contact is of vital importance and we need to know when you are unable to attend. Registers are being taken in the usual way and so your attendance to your timetabled sessions is of vital importance. We expect you to be on time and to attend as usual unless you are unable to for a valid reason (for example if you become unwell). If this is the case you will need to notify your tutor in the usual way. Contact through Microsoft Teams is simple, easy and effective and is encouraged during normal College hours.

We will continue to support you to achieve your academic and career aspirations during this time. We continue to have high expectations of you as learners and your engagement in the learning activities should continue as per your on site timetable. Where exams are not going ahead we are working with awarding bodies to determine how assessment of learning will be fairly judged. Your continued work towards learning skills and developing knowledge is necessary to fairly ascertain your level of progress this academic year and to ensure that you are not hindered from taking your next steps whether that be into further education, training or employment.

Support Available

For those of you without the necessary equipment to study at home arrangements have been made to equip you with the necessary device and connectivity. Where this cannot be resolved we have provision on site to support you if you are in this situation. Where your home environment is not suitable for learning there is also the opportunity to come on site to continue your learning programme. This is done through a robust process to ensure that everything possible is done to enable you to work from home but where this is not possible to come on site and work safely with

the measures that continue to be in place. If your circumstances change, and you feel you need support to access your learning, please speak to your Course Tutor in the first instance who will be able to refer you to the right team for support.

Support with SEND continues to be provided to learners at the College. Teachers continue to make reasonable adjustments to learning activities to enable you to access materials and activities as necessary. Learning Facilitators continue to work with you to provide the support that you are used to but now this is via the Microsoft Teams platform.

Your Pastoral Support Mentor will continue to work with you via remote means.

The Student Portal continues to be your hub of information, help and support. If you feel you need any additional support during this time please contact your Course Tutor who will assist with connecting you to the right team who can assist.

Access to Digital Equipment During Lockdown

If you need to loan a laptop or WIFI device then please complete the attached Digital Device Request Form and email to the campus Finance Officer:

  • Altrincham – Julie.Manning@tcg.ac.uk
  • Stretford – Kathy Nuttall@tcg.ac.uk

Digital Device Request Form (View/Download)

You will need to complete and submit a relevant bursary form but this can be done in retrospect to ensure that you receive your device as soon as possible under the current circumstances. Information on the college bursary is available here.

You will be contacted when your device is ready for collection.

Student Support Available During Lockdown

Learner Services are here to support you. If you are not OK, you must speak to someone; we offer a range of services including financial support, careers advice and guidance, mentoring, counselling and group sessions. If you wish to access any of this support, then please contact Learner Services Reception at your chosen campus of study and they will be happy to help:

  • Altrincham, Debbie Riley - Debbie.Riley@tcg.ac.uk
  • Stretford, Diane Kennedy - Diane.Kennedy@tcg.ac.uk

Our friendly and welcoming staff will advise you on what support is available and arrange an intervention that suits you. We offer all our services both remotely and face to face so we can ensure that you always feel safe, comfortable and supported.

The Mental Health Self Help Tool is a fantastic starting point to assess your mental health and what you can do to maintain or improve this. You will find this tool here.

College students can also find out more information about the services and support available on our sharepoint site:

Pastoral Support Mentors

All learners are assigned a Pastoral Support Mentor (PSM). The PSM is trained to provide a frontline service for any mental health needs – a full list of all the PSMs can be found here:

Mentor Contact Details And External Services (View/Download)

Access to the College Sites During Lockdown

The College will remain open to vulnerable young people and children of key workers and contact will be made with you for such arrangements. If you have not heard from us or would like to make arrangements to attend college please contact Helen Redman, Head of Inclusion, in first instance on 0161 952 4732 / helen.redman@tcg.ac.uk.

College Applications

You can still apply for a place at the college by completing your application form online. Simply search our current courses and apply for the course you want and our Admissions Team will be in touch with you about the next steps in the process. If you have any difficulties with applying or would like some more advice you can contact the team using the live chat feature on the website, by emailing admissions@tcg.ac.uk or by calling 0161 296 7070.

Online Interviews

Once your application has been processed you will receive an invitation to attend one of our online interview sessions. These take place monthly and if you haven’t received your invite within a week of applying to us just contact our Admissions Team using the live chat feature on the website, by emailing admissions@tcg.ac.uk or by calling 0161 296 7070 and we’ll be able to confirm when your interview date is.

Information for Employers and Apprentices

Trafford College apprentices can continue to work, if their employer says it is safe to do so, following government advice. For apprenticeships delivered in the workplace, our assessors will continue to work with each apprentice and their employer to support progression. For apprenticeships that include day-release classes, then these classes will take place online. Teachers, Trainers/Assessors have been in contact with their apprentices to confirm these arrangements.

Should Awarding Organisations make changes to the Apprenticeship then Trainer/ Assessors will be in contact with Apprentices regarding future assessment arrangements. If you need to speak to explore any concerns please do not hesitate to email Joan.scott@tcg.ac.uk.