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Activate Learning Coronavirus Statement

Activate Learning takes its responsibility as an education provider very seriously. We want to reassure students, parents and visitors to our campuses that we are taking every precaution necessary to prevent against the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

31 March 2020

Updated Tuesday 31 March

Following recent updates from the UK Government, Activate Learning has now moved to initiate our plan to support students and staff throughout this period and minimise disruption to teaching and learning.

From 30 March, Activate Learning will close or limit access to college campuses in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey. 

We just wanted to update you about some further changes that we are putting into place across our campuses.

Over the past week, staff across Activate Learning have been supporting our vulnerable learners during the COVID-19 outbreak and in-line with the Government’s recommendations we created safe learning spaces across all our campuses.

Most learners have taken the decision to follow the Government’s guidelines to self-isolate and stay away from college and as such we’ve seen a low uptake for our support across our campuses.

Earlier this week, we took the decision to close several sites due to the low uptake, including Bracknell and Wokingham College, our Banbury campus and the Technology Campus in Blackbird Leys.

However, the continued low uptake and our desire to minimise unnecessary social interactions among those staff coming onto site, means that we are now implementing reduced opening across remaining sites.

Therefore, from next week (Monday 30 March) the remaining sites will be open from 9am-5pm on the following days:

  • City of Oxford College – Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • Reading College – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

  • Guildford College – Monday and Tuesday

All sites will also be closed to all students during the normal Easter break between Monday 6 April and Sunday 19 April. 

We also wanted to announce that following the change in Government guidelines, students are advised not to attend their industry placements and work experience until further notice.

Students have been informed of the change in opening times via separate communications and advised to speak to our Student Services Team via 01865 550401 or support@activatelearning.ac.uk if they have any concerns.

Based on feedback and enquiries to the Student Services Team, we will review this decision regularly and provide further updates when we have them.

In the meantime, we hope everyone is well and engaging with their tutor and online learning through ALO and Moodle. We are still awaiting further guidance from awarding bodies on how assessments will be carried out, so your continued focus on your studies is important.

Please continue to follow the Government’s recommendation around self-isolation and social distancing and keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we will be providing information around wellbeing and studying from home.

Stay safe,

Activate Learning

What do you need to do?

It is really important that you continue to communicate with your tutor and make sure that you are familiarising yourself with your online learning environments and providing your tutor with your most up-to-date contact details so we can stay in touch with you.  

What is happening with my exams?

Please find the latest Government announcement with further details on exams and grades amidst Coronavirus outbreak for this academic year. Please find further updates regarding your examinations at Activate Learning, as well as GCSE examination information

Links to portals

Activate Learning Online (ALO)

Bracknell and Wokingham College Moodle

Surrey Colleges Moodle

Apprenticeships Smartassessor

What will be happening with work placements and work experience (WEX)?

We also wanted to announce that following the change in Government guidelines, students are advised not to attend their industry placements and work experience until further notice.

Keeping in touch with the Careers team 

Have you got a plan? The Careers team are here to help,  

Whether you are planning to continue studying with us, looking for an apprenticeship or employment, or you're just not sure what to do next, we're here to support you.  

If you haven’t yet had your Progression Meeting with your tutor to discuss your next steps, contact them.  

We will be working with tutors to deliver group sessions and can offer one-on-one support via phone and email – whatever works for you. Be sure to also log onto your online learning portal for lots of useful resources. 

Continued advice to help keep you safe and well

Self-isolation

The latest guidelines have outlined new processes around self-isolation. From today, anyone experiencing cold type symptoms should be self-isolating for seven days. If you live with other people, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.  You or your household should refrain from calling NHS 111, unless the symptomatic person’s condition worsens.

If you need to self-isolate, please contact your tutor and the Safeguarding team at safe@activatelearning.ac.uk or call 01865 550 401.

Where can you go for more information?

For more information on managing the spread of COVID-19 and on the virus, please refer to these resources:

The NHS website has a very informative section on Coronavirus.

Gov.uk has the latest information and advice from Public Health England.

We appreciate your ongoing support and we will update you should the situation change further.

Kind regards,

Sally Dicketts

Chief Executive

Frequently asked questions

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19's common symptoms include a high temperate above 37.8 (fever), a new continuous dry cough, fatigue and a sore throat. This may progress to a severe pneumonia which causes shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

For older people, those with compromised immune systems and/or long-term health conditions, Coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms and these people may be at a heightened risk. At this time, most cases appear to be mild and those who have died appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.

What can I do to prevent the spread of the virus?

Coronavirus spreads in similar ways to the seasonal flu. Advice to prevent the spread of infection includes:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing cover your cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from a cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is a novel respiratory Coronavirus. It is a new strain of Coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans.

What will happen with Open Events?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation we understand there is a lot of uncertainty about which events are due to run at Activate Learning. Please be aware that we are still planning on running our Open Events as planned. However, we are reviewing the format that these events will take place in.

Where can I go for support?

If you’re a student or parent at an Activate Learning college and you have any questions or concerns, please email safe@activatelearning.ac.uk or contact the Activate Learning Group Safeguarding and Student Support team on 01865 550 401 between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.

Who do I contact if I need to self isolate?

The new guidelines have outlined new processes around self-isolation. Anyone experiencing cold type symptoms should be self-isolating for seven days if you live alone and 14 days if you share a household. You should refrain from calling NHS 111, unless your condition worsens.

If you need to self-isolate, please contact your tutor and the safeguarding team via email at safe@activatelearning.ac.uk or over the phone on 01865 550 401.

Can I still apply to the college this year?

We want to reassure prospective students and parents that applications are still open for September 2020. 

Find a course and apply

Further updates will be made available as we have them and should the situation change.