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UPDATED: Morley’s response to national lockdown announced in January 2021

Here are the key messages related to Morley College London’s response to the announcement of a new national lockdown in January 2021:

Start of term postponed to Monday 11 January and all teaching to go online

Last month we notified you that we were postponing the start of term until Monday 11 January, and this remains the case, with term running until a week later (until 3 April 2021 with a closure for Good Friday) in most cases. The dates of the February half term break are unchanged: week commencing 15 February.

Due to the requirements of lockdown, and in keeping with the Government’s mandate for us all to “Stay at Home > Protect the NHS > Save Lives”, Morley will deliver learning exclusively online until at least mid-February.

This means that our Centres at North Kensington, Chelsea and Waterloo will remain closed to students, with some very limited exceptions (see “Are College Centres closed?” below)

We are planning to keep these arrangements in place until the end of term if necessary, although very much hope that we will be able to reopen our sites in the second half of term if circumstances allow us to do this. We continue to follow Department for Education guidance and advice at all times.

Course cancellations, transfers and refund vouchers

Our tutors and academic staff have been working hard this week to move all learning online where possible. Courses that were online-only will continue as planned; those ‘online+’ courses with an element of in-person learning will continue but online only; and many ‘in-centre’ courses will be able to go ahead online too. All accredited courses which have already started – e.g. those that lead to qualifications – will take place with delivery exclusively online. The team that runs your course will be in touch to confirm details in the coming days.

Sadly for some short courses, online learning is not possible and we will have to cancel those courses entirely.

If you are affected, you will receive an email from us confirming this is the case, and your tutor or course administrator may be in touch directly too. The email you receive will confirm details of refunds.

What is happening with exams and assessments?

GCSEs and A levels: the Government has now confirmed that traditional GCSEs and A level examinations will not take place later this year, and that teacher assessment will form the basis of grades in 2021. Morley staff are waiting on further guidance from Ofqual and are working in collaboration with Awarding Organisations, but in the meantime, given that results will be based on continuous assessment by teachers, please ensure that you remain fully engaged with and committed to your studies at this time and keep in touch with your tutor for the latest information.

Vocational exams: all vocational exams and assessments scheduled for the next four weeks will go ahead as normal in the fully Covid-secure environment of our Centres at North Kensington and Waterloo. This includes AAT exams for our accountancy students. Morley staff are working in collaboration with Awarding Organisations, and tutors will keep in touch with affected students accordingly.

Functional Skills and ESOL: all Functional Skills and ESOL exams and assessments scheduled before the February half-term break will be postponed and rescheduled to March, subject to any further Covid-related developments and Government or Awarding Organisation guidelines. Affected students will be kept up to date with assessment arrangements.

Making the transition to online learning

We deliver the majority of our courses using Microsoft Teams – if you are new to this technology, you may find the introductory videos on this webpage useful. For more general advice about getting the best from online learning, you can listen to our ‘top ten tips’ in this podcast by Morley student Conrad Stott. And for specific technical advice, please visit our IT ServiceDesk.

Are College Centres closed?

For most students, unfortunately yes.

Some students can continue to access our facilities at North Kensington, Chelsea and Waterloo – this includes the children of critical workers, those with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, and some others as noted in Government guidelines.

Our Student Services team is getting in touch with students who are eligible to still access our Centres during lockdown, but if you have questions about this, please contact the team by emailing enquiries@morleycollege.ac.uk

If I do visit a Centre, will it be safe?

Yes. The Government has been clear that the reason for closing school and college sites is to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus through reducing numbers of people gathering in community settings, not out of a concern for safety.

We are confident that the measures we have put in place – including enhanced cleaning, mandatory use of face coverings, hand sanitisation and one-way systems – mean that our Centres remain Covid-secure for staff and students alike.

Following Government guidance issued at the end of 2020, from mid-January we are also implementing asymptomatic Covid testing onsite, providing a further level of assurance for those students and staff who are eligible to use our facilities.

That said, please do not visit our Centres unless you are in one of the groups described above.

How do I stay up to date?

Please check our COVID-19 page for the latest updates.

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