COVID-19 updates from South Essex College

We understand that students, parents and guardians may be concerned about the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We want to reassure everyone that we are closely monitoring the situation and responding to any developments within the college.

We have been, and will continue to monitor the situation, taking onboard guidelines from the government and health bodies.

  • Following the government’s announcement regarding the use of predicted grades, we will be working with the Department for Education and our awarding bodies to understand the implications for our courses, the majority of which are vocational qualifications. We will advise students as soon as we have further updates. In the meantime students should continue with work set by their tutors which will be on Moodle and emailed to them throughout the time our buildings aren’t open as normal.
  • As our campuses are not currently open apart from a skeleton service for a limited number of students, we are unable to answer telephone enquiries as normal or monitor our voicemail facility. We would encourage you to visit our website which will be regularly updated with information. If you cannot find the answer to your query please contact us by emailing or by using the online message service available on our website.
  • We would like to reassure applicants that the college can provide a guarantee of a place in post-16 education for every student affected by the cancellation of the 2020 summer exam series. We will work with you to find a suitable course depending on your predicted grades and other factors. We will be in touch with applicants directly regarding next steps.
 Online applications are still open for September

Online applications are still open for September so if you missed one of our previous open events please do apply online or for queries regarding applications contact

We are working hard to respond to all individual enquiries as quickly as possible and we thank you for your understanding and patience at this time. Stay safe and stay in if you can.

Update 1pm Friday 20 March

 Please note: Following the government’s announcement this week we can confirm that from Monday 23 March we will be moving to online learning provision.

The vast majority of our students are not required to come into campus buildings, we have moved to online learning, so students are required to complete work set by their tutors during this time. Tutors will be contactable to support students where needed (as long as they remain healthy) and some students (as outlined by the Department for Education) will still be attending college to complete work. 

For students with EHCPs and in other categories outlined by the Government we are going to open the communal learning spaces at Southend and Thurrock West Building from 9-3 pm for these students from Monday, while being mindful of social distancing guidelines. This will be a limited provision which will allow students to complete the online work set by tutors. All other students will not have access to college buildings at this time. It is important that only those who have been advised to attend do so.

All students that are safe at home should remain at home to help stop the spread of the virus. This applies to children of key workers who are aged 16 or over. 

In terms of other queries we are receiving:

  • For students who receive free school meals we are currently working on a solution and will be emailing students directly on their student emails regarding payments. 
  • We are currently working on plans for learners who require IT equipment especially those with a high need. In the first instance students should contact their tutor ( to outline their needs. 
  • If you are concerned about your well-being during this period, the College’s Safeguarding Team are available to provide advice and support. The Safeguarding Page on Moodle has information to support students during this time including helplines. If you fit one of the vulnerable categories (looked after child or have a social worker) you can contact the Safeguarding Team on who will be able to provide support. 

The move to online learning has been a complex logistical operation and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.

 Please note: If you can’t access your student email or any of the required online systems please call the IT Helpdesk via 01702 221832 or email

University Centre and the Forum

The Forum in Southend will be closed from Monday to students. If you have any queries about your course please contact your Programme Leader.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although the campuses are shut our funding team are still available remotely to discuss college funding and potential sources of help. Please contact

Our advice is that all students that are safe at home should remain at home to help stop the spread of the virus. This applies to children of key workers who are aged 16 or over. If you feel you or your child need to come into college this can be considered on an ongoing basis. Please get in touch with your/your child’s tutor initially regarding this rather than just attending college.

Yes, please continue to use the student absence form to report absence so we know that you are unable to complete work that is set for you.

Action Required:

If you are unwell with issues related to the Covid-19 virus or self-isolating you should report this via the student absence report form .

We will try to call you back to discuss this with you but as cases increase this may not always be possible. For further advice please see the NHS website .

Look on Moodle/canvas or Smart Assessor for work, check your college emails and contact your tutor if you have any queries.

Please view the  University centre student COVID-19 update for the latest guidance.

If you are absent from college due to being unwell from the Coronavirus this will not have an impact on your overall attendance.

Please be rest assured that we will continue to make an offer based on your predicted grades. Alternative arrangements will be put in place for anyone who does not complete exams this year.

If you already have an interview booked you will receive further information via email. To ensure we are able to contact you, please log in to our Applicant Portal and check we have all your correct contact details.

In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact our advisers by emailing if you require any further assistance.

We have been asked by the government to close college buildings but continue to provide education to you through distance learning.

The government have asked that we continue to provide support to students in various groups. we have been in touch with learners who are eligible to attend to discuss options with them. If you have any concerns please contact

All students can access Moodle and email via the college website:

Your tutor should provide you with information on work to be completed, so please contact them via your college email address.

Follow this link for more information regarding exams.

This is a national issue and will therefore be impacting all students so you won’t be at a disadvantage.

We are in touch with and awaiting further guidance from exam and awarding bodies and will forward this as soon as we receive any relevant information.

The college will be keeping records of students who are absent due to diagnosis of COVID-19 or if you have to self-isolate. Any information disclosed will be treated in confidence and only used for the purposes of managing your health, wellbeing and absence. The college may be required to report on numbers affected for Senior Leadership Team and Public Health England as appropriate.


If you are not receiving information from the college and need to update your contact details please email the college at with your student number and your revised details.

Parents and guardians

Please also contact if you would like us to add your email address to the system to help us communicate with you.

Further information

National Health Service

NHS Medical Advice & Questionnaire:
NHS Coronavirus overview:

Department for Education

Launched a coronavirus helpline to answer questions related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
0800 046 8687 -  - opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office