If you’re a current learner or employer and have coronavirus-related questions, click here for the COVID-19 dedicated live chat.
The Colleges West Midlands Group of 20 colleges are working collaboratively and have agreed on an Education and Skills Pledge that articulates a regional package of support, tailored to the needs of businesses and individuals, whilst ensuring the protection of individuals and educational facilities. Click here to download the pledge.
On Friday 20th March, the college followed the official Government guidelines and advice, and closed all of its operating sites. The college has put robust plans in place to operate remotely across the vast majority of its curriculum and business during this enforced closure.
We understand that there has been a lot of information released to our community, so we have put together some FAQs regarding coronavirus for all of our customers.
SPORTS FACILITIES UPDATE
We have reviewed the recent Government announcements giving guidance for the public on the phased return sport and recreation. Please be advised that NWSLC has made the difficult decision that all College sports facilities, including the gym, will remain closed for the time being. We have limited staff on campus during the summer break and as such will be unable to adhere to Government guidelines to ensure the absolute safety of customers using our facilities during this time. We will review this decision in October.
Please be assured that we will continue to keep you updated as this position is reviewed and will contact you once we have a confirmed date to reopen in the new academic year.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
We recommend that you visit the official government website for the latest information and advice on coronavirus and here for the latest guidance for educational settings.
WHEN WILL COLLEGE SITES REOPEN?
All college sites, including Blank Canvas, Budding Florists, Facilities Hire, Nurseries, Glebegate Restaurant, Refresh, Sport and Fitness Centre and The Salons, will remain closed until the government advice changes and allows us to reopen.
Our Nuneaton and Wigston campuses will remain open for children of keyworkers, as identified by the Government, students on Education Health Care Plans and to our most vulnerable students, who currently attend NWSLC or one of the Midland Academies Trust Schools.
CAN I STILL CONTACT THE COLLEGE TO MAKE A COURSE ENQUIRY?
Absolutely – the college is still accepting enquiries and applications for all of its courses. We are also answering enquiries via messenger on our website.
Please note that our switchboard will only be open from 9am – 3pm, Monday through to Wednesday.
You can continue to apply for a full-time course on our website: https://www.nwslc.ac.uk/applications/
Higher Education, including Access to HE
You can continue to make applications for Higher Education courses for 2020-21 through UCAS.
If you are looking to study one of our degrees delivered in partnership with a University, please apply via the course page.
For Access to HE courses, please apply via our application portal: https://www.nwslc.ac.uk/applications
Should you need any support with your application or would like to make a course enquiry, you can contact HE Admissions by emailing HEenquiries@nwslc.ac.uk or calling 0330 058 3000 ext. 3423
You can still apply for an Apprenticeship Vacancy or register your interest through our website: https://www.nwslc.ac.uk/courses/apprenticeships/
Alternatively, you can contact a member of the Apprenticeships Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Business Engagement Team are still here to speak to Employers about training solutions, including how to hire an apprentice, by email: email@example.com
Online and Distance Learning Academy
You can still apply and enrol for any of our Distance Learning courses online. Click here to find out how.
Should you need to get in touch with the Distance Learning Team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have selected to study one of our popular courses, it may take up to 4 weeks for your enrolment to be processed. All courses that are in high demand have been identified on the individual course page.
* Our switchboard will only be open from 9am – 3pm, Monday through to Wednesday.
CAN I STILL APPLY FOR BURSARIES AND LOANS?
Yes, students can still apply for financial help to support the associated costs with studying a course at College. Please go to the Financial Help page to access our bursary portal.
Students looking to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan or Student Finance can continue to do so through the Student Loans Company website.
I’VE BOOKED TO ATTEND ONE OF YOUR OPEN EVENTS – WILL THESE STILL BE GOING AHEAD?
Yes, during the lockdown period we will be holding virtual open events. Go to the events section on our website to find out more.
If you have already registered for an event, keep an eye on your emails, we’ll be in touch soon.
I HAD AN INTERVIEW SCHEDULED BUT THE COLLEGE IS CLOSED?
The College will continue to interview applicants and will conduct interviews over the telephone. Our Admissions Team will be contacting all prospective students to advise them of this.
If you would like further details about the interview process, please contact the Admissions Team on 0330 058 3000* or email email@example.com.
*Our switchboard will only be open from 9am – 3pm, Monday through to Wednesday.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I CAN’T SIT MY GCSE EXAMS THIS SUMMER?
We understand that many of you will be concerned about the government’s decision to cancel all exams due to take place this summer. Please be assured that whatever the position, there is a place for you on a course at NWSLC.
The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teaching staff to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer.
Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students.
The aim is to provide students with calculated grades before the end of July.
Click here to read the government’s letter to students on Summer 2020 grades.
HOW WILL I COMPLETE MY STUDIES IF THE COLLEGE IS CLOSED?
The college has put in place robust plans to continue to operate remotely across the vast majority of its curriculum during this enforced closure. Our teaching and support staff will be keeping in direct contact to support you to continue to work towards your studies from home.
You will be able to access your work through Moodle and/or Smart Assessor. Please check daily for updates on work and assignments.
If you were due to sit any exams as part of your course, the College is following the advice released by the Department of Education. We will update you about next steps once exam boards have made a definite decision.
Click here to read the government’s letter to students on Summer 2020 grades.
If you have any concerns about your studies or any exams that you were planned to take, please contact your tutor or personal coach via email. They will be able to help you.
WHAT WILL THE COLLEGE PUT IN PLACE TO MANAGE SAFEGUARDING?
The College is committed to ensuring the safeguarding and the welfare of its students whilst our campuses are closed. If you have any concerns about anything or anyone, you can contact the Safeguarding Team by:
Text: nwslcsafe to 88020
Call: 0330 058 3000
Or by using the “NWSLC Learning” app which can be downloaded on Apple or Android.
WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE WELFARE SUPPORT?
Yes. Students will be able to contact the safeguarding team via firstname.lastname@example.org or by the NWSLC Learning mobile app which can be downloaded on Apple or Android.
For students that need urgent help, we are running a welfare drop-in every day from 11am to 1pm, at our Wigston and Nuneaton campuses. Please come to reception on arrival.
CAN STUDENTS STILL GET FREE MEALS?
Students who usually receive free meals will be contacted directly to arrange payment. If you think you usually receive free school meals and haven’t been contacted, please email email@example.com.
WILL I STILL RECEIVE MY LOAN?
In line with the advice received from the Department for Education, the Student Loans Company (SLC) is planning to make instalments as scheduled for students in receipt of Student Finance.
Advanced Learner Loans will also continue to be paid to education providers as scheduled.
Both new and existing students can still continue to apply for student finance as the SLC will be processing applications received as quickly as possible.
For further details, visit the Student Loans Company Website.
GUIDANCE FOR APPRENTICES
You can still make an apprenticeship application and begin your training with us, even if you have been furloughed. At NWSLC, we have an online application process to make sign-ups easy and contact-free.
Apprentices please rest assured, there’s nothing preventing you from continuing and in many cases completing your apprenticeship training – even if you’ve been furloughed.
If you have been furloughed, you can continue working towards your apprenticeship. There is no need to apply for a break in learning. We will work with you and your employer to evaluate your situation to make sure that you are able to continue.
Your Apprenticeship Training
We are working hard to continue offering you the same high quality, one-to-one support you are used to albeit now we are doing this purely virtually until this situation is resolved.
Bringing Face-to-Face Online
As we are unable to visit you in person, we will look at maintaining the progress that you make via our Smart Apprentices platforms, using SMART ROOM interactive technology.
You will have access to your e-portfolio, Smart Assessor and to our virtual learning environment Smart VLE. Here you will find lots of interactive resources and training activities which will be set by Assessors and Lecturers.
You will have access towards Functional Skills learning resources via Smart VLE or BKSB. From here, you can revise and work on any areas that you are finding challenging and continue to develop your literacy and numeracy skills.
We can provide access to Functional Skills Tutors where applicable to ensure there is minimal disruption to learning and achievement.
If you were about to sit an exam, then you may already know we have clear guidelines from Ofqual on how we will now claim your achievement to show your level of competency. We are working through this now but do not yet have a timeline as to when you will receive any confirmation of achievement.
If you are preparing projects or presentations for your end point assessment (EPA), now is the perfect time to start planning ideas. These ideas and plans can be shared with Assessor during your next virtual catch-up.
We have received notification that some of the End Point Assessment will be able to still take place by virtual means, we are working closely with our End Point Assessment Organisations and yourselves to make this as smooth a process as possible and support you to achieve.
End of Unit or End of Qualification Exams
We are awaiting guidance from the Award Body Organisations, Ofqual and the Department for Education. Until further guidance is released, we will continue to support you to prepare for exams by providing you with mocks and practice exams and test scenario activities.
Off the Job Hours
All of this hard work will count towards your 20% off-the-job training and must be recorded in your time log within Smart Assessor. The off-the-job hours must be within your working week, whatever that looks like for you now.
Additional Learning Support.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) rules for learning support remain unchanged. Where an apprentice has a need for additional learning support, and where this can be delivered remotely, it can and should continue. If you feel that you need additional time or support that is not already in place, please let your Assessor know.
Further support and information please contact our Apprenticeship Team firstname.lastname@example.org