Following the recent Government update on 22nd February, we are delighted that we will be able to return to face-to-face teaching in the coming weeks.
The Government has now confirmed that schools and colleges can return to face-to-face learning from 8th March, and we are currently working with St Helens College in planning for a safe return to campus for all our apprentices.
You will be aware that schools and colleges are required to test returning students for COVID-19. While testing is not compulsory, we would like to strongly encourage all our apprentices to engage in this initiative, and we will be offering all apprentices the opportunity to be tested before they return to the classroom or workshops, and the weeks that follow.
Testing facilities will be in place at the STEM Centre Campus from Friday 5th March, and apprentices will be able to book a slot to be tested. More information on this will be issued shortly, along with the links and information on how to book a test.
St Helens College is currently planning the safe reopening of campuses, and it’s likely this will be phased over the first two to three weeks to facilitate the testing process and to ensure we keep all staff and students as safe as possible during this transition. We will provide more details about start dates in the coming days, and College Tutors will also communicate directly with their apprentice groups.
It is likely that some adult programmes and higher education courses will continue with remote learning for a short period of time, and this is likely to include HNC and HND classes.
At this time, and until advised differently, all apprentices should continue to access their College classes remotely as per their current timetables and arrangements with their Tutors.
We have been informed that following new guidance, until the Easter holidays, face coverings will now be mandatory in all classrooms and communal areas, including workshops. Apprentices who are exempt should continue to carry and display their exemption cards.
We will update this page as soon as we have more detailed information to share with you. Please keep checking the website and your email accounts for the latest updates.
Meanwhile, please remember that the national restrictions remain in place and keep yourselves safe and well.
Following our last correspondence on 5th January regarding the closure of the Technology Campus site due to the current national lockdown rules, we wanted to provide an update on a likely return to face-to-face teaching and the reopening of the College campus.
Currently all teaching is being delivered remotely as per normal timetables, and this will continue until the lockdown ends. We are working to the current Government guidance timescales of an anticipated return to face-to-face teaching beginning on 8th March.
We are pleased to report that most apprentices are attending virtual classes and are engaging with their Tutors and learning very well. We can also report that following a very recent monitoring visit from OFSTED, feedback on the quality of remote teaching was very encouraging.
It is important that apprentices continue to attend the remote learning sessions and they keep in regular contact with their Tutor and advise them if they are unable to attend any on-line sessions. If any apprentice does report difficulty accessing Microsoft Teams for any reason, or has limited access to IT equipment, please let us know.
Waterside staff continue to work from home, undertaking regular progress reviews and supporting all apprentices as normal. If you have any concerns or questions about your apprentices or their progress, please contact us.
If the employment status of your apprentice should change during this period, for example if they are being asked to work from home, or have been placed on furlough, please contact us so we can keep accurate records, and if necessary, place the apprentice on a break in learning. Please also notify us if any apprentice is absent from work for any reason.
We expect to receive further Government guidance on 22nd February. Once this has been released, we will provide further information on a likely return to on-site teaching. We will also provide information regarding the large-scale lateral flow testing that will be in place for all students and staff as part of the return to campus plan.
We have been adapting our technical courses for online delivery via Microsoft Teams, and can offer training such as 18th Edition, Abrasive Wheels, Manual Handling via this platform. If you do have any training requirements during this time, then please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Waterside Training Limited
Following the Government’s announcement of a national lockdown on 4th January, Waterside Training premises will temporarily close, but it is still business as usual for most of our operations. All our staff will be working remotely and will continue to be available by telephone or email for any customer enquiries or support needs for our current apprentices and employers.
It is important that you continue to engage in your qualification teaching, and attendance in the online sessions will be monitored.
If you have any IT or internet access needs, please let your Assessor know as we can provide you with IT equipment and internet access whilst learning remotely.
As practical sessions cannot effectively be delivered online, plans will be made to ensure this time is made up once we can return to face-to-face teaching.
It is important that you continue to engage in your progress reviews with your Assessor, and complete any activities required on OneFile, or for those coming to the end of their apprenticeship. It is essential all work required in preparation for end point assessment is completed. If you have any concerns with any elements of your studies, please contact your Tutor.
We understand that you may be feeling worried and anxious at this time, but your Tutors and Assessors are available to offer you support and guidance at any time.
Please speak to your Tutor or Assessor if you have any concerns.
Currently, it is expected that teaching will be remote until at least February half term, and we expect all apprentices to continue to attend their online sessions as per their usual timetable and normal “college day” up until this point.
It is important that you keep us informed if the employment status of your apprentice changes during this period. If you need to discuss any issues around furlough, please contact us. It is important that any furloughed apprentices continue to engage in their qualification and “off-the-job” training activities.
We hope to have all our face-to-face technical courses back up and running as soon as the lockdown ends.
We are still able to discuss any requirements you may have for training, and many of our training courses can be developed for remote delivery. Please call us to discuss your requirements.
We thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time.