COVID-19 updates from South Essex College

 Last updated: Fri 15 May 10.00


Following government advice our campuses are currently closed and we have moved to online learning. This means we are unable to answer telephone enquiries as normal or monitor our voicemail facility, please use the contact details below to get in touch with the college.

 Contacting the college

This webpage will be regularly updated with information. If you cannot find the answer to your query please contact us by:

  • Emailing learning@southessex.ac.uk
  • Using the online message service (Pubble) available on our website, just look for the blue "ask" button

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.


General information for students

We have been asked by the government to close college buildings but continue to provide education to you through distance learning. If you are eligible to come into college in line with the government’s criteria and have any concerns about yourself or your child please contact  safeguarding@southessex.ac.uk

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.

Students who receive free college meals should already have received information from the college. If you need further financial support please email  funding@southessex.ac.uk

Students

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

Parents and guardians

Please also contact  centraladministrationteam@southessex.ac.uk if you would like us to add your email address to the system to help us communicate with you.

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  Safeguarding@Southessex.ac.uk who will be able to provide support.

Unfortunately now our campuses are shut we cannot help with equipment at this stage.

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  ITHelpdesk@southessex.ac.uk

Please see our student password reset page for guidance on resetting your password.

New

The college is constantly reviewing Department for Education guidelines and will remain shut for the remainder of May.

The majority of students will not be required to return to college before the end of the year. However, we are looking at how we can safely reopen some buildings in June or July to allow those students who need to complete practical assessments to do so, in order to complete their qualification.

We will plan this very carefully, with very small numbers of students in the buildings and workshops at any one time and clear social distancing measures will be put in place. These assessments will not involve large numbers of staff or students.

Students who are required to complete practical assessments will be contacted individually to discuss the best way forward once we have received clear guidance from the government and awarding bodies. We will keep you informed as we receive further information and guidance.

Coursework and exams

For the latest government advice follow this link for more information regarding exams.

We will be in touch directly with students as we receive further guidance on your particular course. Please continue to complete course work set by your tutor in the meantime.

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.

We will be in touch directly with students as we receive further guidance on your particular course. Please continue to complete course work set by your tutor in the meantime.

 Letter to students from Ofqual

How GCSEs, AS & A levels will be awarded in summer 2020

Students who planned to complete their Access to HE course by 31 July 2020

If you’re due to complete your Access to HE studies by 31 July this year, you will now receive calculated grades for all remaining assessments with submission dates after 20 March 2020.

We are working hard to provide you with information about exactly how your grades will be calculated as quickly as possible. Once available, we will publish it on the Access to HE website.

In the meantime, we’re working with Access Validating Agencies and course providers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that the principles for the assessment of grades are fair and robust.

We will also ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to previous years, so that you do not face a disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.

We know that, as Access to HE students, many of you are engaged in a tricky balance between work, family responsibilities and studies. However, it is important that all students are as well prepared as they can be for their transition into higher education, so making use of the resources prepared by Access to HE tutors and participating in continuing virtual teaching and tutorials, where possible, is key to ensure you have covered all the subject knowledge required of your Diploma.

Continuing with learning will help all Access to HE students feel more confident that they are ready to take the next step in their education or career pathway. We expect Access to HE course tutors to continue to deliver teaching and support. Therefore, we encourage you to continue your learning wherever you can. If you need help or further support, you should contact your course provider.

We recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they haven’t been able to complete their assessments. If you do not feel your calculated grades reflect your expected performance, you will have the opportunity to appeal or you may choose to sit your assessments at the earliest reasonable opportunity. If you do this, you should be aware that taking your assessments later may impact you progressing to university in September as planned. You will also have the opportunity to appeal the process of assessment for the award of the Access to HE Diploma that has been followed in your case.

Students who plan to complete their Access to HE course after 31 July 2020

If you are scheduled to continue your studies after 31 July 2020, you will be supported to complete your studies through changes to the delivery of teaching and assessment of your course.

Access to HE course tutors are working hard to adapt to new ways of delivery and assessment, and are developing materials to help you get the most out of your learning in order to prepare you for higher study.

We know that the current environment is a really challenging one, and we want all students to be supported as effectively as possible during this time. Access to HE providers and Access Validating Agencies already have in place procedures to allow you to request extensions to deadlines and to identify where extenuating circumstances may affect your academic performance, should the current situation make studying difficult. These procedures will certainly be available to you. It is also possible that some assessments may be rescheduled. If you do not believe the correct process has been followed in your case, you will be able to appeal.

If you are studying A-levels with us you should have received a letter by email. Please see the documents below for the latest information:

If you are studying GCSEs with us you should have received a letter by email. Please see the documents below for the latest information:

You should have received a letter from us, please see the document below for the latest student update on vocational course gradings:

Absences

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.

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

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

Applications

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  admissions@southessex.ac.uk

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.

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  admissions@southessex.ac.uk if you require any further assistance.

Wellbeing and support

The current situation we find ourselves in can be scary and overwhelming. It is OK to feel worried, stressed, anxious or concerned about what is going on, you are not alone in feeling this way.

Everyone will react differently and again that is OK. To help everyone manage this difficult and uncertain time we have pulled together a range of support services and links to guide you through.

We appreciate the current situation is difficult for families and you may be experiencing trauma. Please click here to find out about organisations and helplines that may be useful (if you click this link the webpage will show in your browser simply as 'Information page' so do not worry).

You can also email  safeguarding@southessex.ac.uk for advice or help.

Yes, the Safeguarding & Pastoral Team are working remotely supporting students and can be contacted via email at  Safeguarding@Southessex.ac.uk

They will also take referrals from parents, carers, friends or members of the public if you are concerned about the safety of a student from the College. The Human Resources Team are also available remotely regarding any concerns about staff and can be contacted via email at  Departmentofhumanresources@southessex.ac.uk

The College’s Safeguarding Policy has an Exceptional Closure Addendum which can be found here.

Finance and funding

Our FE funding is not a hardship fund and we do not have grants to issue. Funding is based on educational need. Students who were eligible for Free Meals have been issued with funding as per the Government guidance. Funding will be reviewed after Easter and any changes will be published. Although the campuses are shut our funding team are still available remotely to discuss college funding and potential sources of help. Please contact  funding@southessex.ac.uk

Yes. We have made a decision to make payments as normal to our VB students whilst they continue their studies at home. Payments will be based on good attendance during the first part of 2020. The payment you would normally have received on Monday 30 March will be paid on Monday 6 April. Your next payment will be received after the Easter break on Monday 20 April. If you have any queries in relation to this payment please contact  funding@southessex.ac.uk

Please view the  funding and bursaries FAQ document for details.

Information for key workers

Due to low numbers attending college we have now shut our buildings. If you have concerns and want to talk to someone please email  safeguarding@southessex.ac.uk