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DfE issue new FE reopening guidance – Sector Response

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From this autumn, DfE expect FE providers to resume delivery so that students of all ages can benefit from their education and training in full.

DfE have just updated the guidance for FE providers, combining previous operational and autumn terms guidance. The guidance sets out what FE providers need to know for the autumn term so that students of all ages can benefit from their education and training in full. 

The guidance includes updates on:

  • Implementing risk assessments and managing the effectiveness of the control measures that are put in place
  • development of a ‘student charter’ or agreement with students, which sets out responsibilities for staying safe and protecting others
  • the importance of good ventilation to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and steps that can be put in place to limit use of poorly ventilated spaces
  • how you should manage confirmed cases of coronavirus as part of the wider system of control measures
  • the use of face coverings
  • how national and local partners will work together to prevent, contain and manage local outbreaks
  • the framework for supporting public transport to and from FE settings
  • supporting students to undertake music, performing arts and physical activity either as part of their study programme or as an extra- curricular activity
  • how quality remote and blended learning can support a full return for students
  • how remote and blended learning can meet 16-19 funding regulations, including examples of eligible provision
  • emergency treatment of students, for example through provision of first aid
  • how you should support staff who are at increased risk from Covid-19 to return to the work following the pausing of shielding on the 1st August
  • how you should support students and staff who are pregnant in line with guidance for those who are at increased risk from Covid-19
  • health and safety and equalities duties
  • resuming non-overnight domestic educational visits
  • the 16-19 tuition support fund
  • extended traineeship delivery flexibilities in 2020 to 2021
  • a return to the normal timetable for data collection, allocations and payments for the remainder of the 2019/ 2020 academic year
  • restart of routine funding audits on a remote basis for independent training providers from September 2020 and for colleges from November 2020

 This guidance is for leaders and staff in:

  • sixth form colleges
  • general FE colleges
  • independent training providers
  • designated institutions
  • adult community learning providers
  • special post-16 institutions

It also covers expectations for learners with education, health and care (EHC) plans in mainstream FE settings, including special post-16 institutions.

Sector Response to the FE reopening guidance

Julian Gravatt100x100AoC’s Deputy Chief Executive, Julian Gravatt said: 

“It is right that the government has focused on getting young people back into education and training for September. The guidance will help colleges to plan for their reopening and be extremely helpful in making sure buildings and campuses are safe. The focus on procedure for local outbreaks and how to continue to utilise remote learning to ease pressure where necessary will be reassuring for many.

“However, it comes very late in the day and being so close to the new term, many will already have robust plans in place for gradual full returns. We suggest that college leaders use their judgement as to what is right for their students, staff and communities. Colleges will all be facing different challenges in September, we are confident they will do all they can to offer the best experience to their new and returning students.”

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