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Will all Gower College Swansea students be able to return to College on June 15?

Following last week’s announcement by the Minister for Education that some students will be allowed to return to College from Monday 15 June, I would like to update you on how this announcement will impact on students studying at Gower College Swansea.

Firstly, I would once again confirm that our number one priority at Gower College Swansea remains the health and safety of our students and staff, and the Minister’s announcement will not change this priority in any way at all.

However, the announcement does provide an opportunity for some students – specifically those who have outstanding vocational assessments to complete – to return to College to undertake this work.

But in returning to College, students need to appreciate that we will be operating very differently than before, with smaller class sizes and social distancing measures in place.

Please take some time to read through this section of questions which will be important for you to know and understand at this stage.

Finally, thank you for your patience whilst we put the necessary arrangements in place to allow our students to complete any outstanding assessments whilst ensuring safety and wellbeing at all times.

Mark Jones, Principal, Gower College Swansea

Will all students be able to return to College?

There is no need for those students who have completed sufficient assessments (as set out by their particular examination board and which allow for their performance to be assessed and graded) to return to College this term. This category includes e.g. all A Level and Access students.

There are other examination boards in some vocational areas including engineering, plumbing, motor vehicle, engineering, childcare, accountancy and hair and beauty which require outstanding assessments to be completed. However, this does not necessarily apply to all students in those areas.

When will I know if I need to return to College to complete any assessments?

Currently the College is undertaking detailed planning and complex assessments to ensure that those curriculum areas, where there are outstanding assessments that need to be completed, are safe for students and staff to return to.

We estimate that we will need a further few weeks to complete this work which may include the receipt of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and possibly some estates work e.g. partitioning and screening etc. We will be in touch with individual students once this has been completed.

In the meantime, we would ask students not to attend any of the campuses until they hear from their tutor.

How will I get to and from the College?

All outstanding assessments are to be carried out at either Jubilee Court or the Tycoch Campus, where the vast majority of identified students with outstanding assessments have studied.

Students with bus passes can continue to use local bus transport, but students and their parents/guardians are also welcome to drive and park at the campus.

We have been advised by First Cymru that bus timetables have reduced due to the current situation, so please check their website timetable before departing.

We are anticipating further guidance on bus transport from Welsh Government in the next week or so and will update this question when we have further details.

How will you ensure I will be safe when I return to College?

As I outlined above, the College will look and feel very different after the easing of lockdown. When students arrive they will be given a briefing by College staff in terms of the safety guidelines that we need them to comply with.

Students will be brought back in small groups – and therefore when we contact you, we will give you a date(s) and time(s) when we need you to attend. Our expectation is that we will not have more than 70 students on the campus at any one time.

Any student who is invited to attend the campus to complete an assessment will only be required to be on the campus for the duration of the assessment. 

Students will not be permitted to stay on campus to wait, socialise or study independently – and most support areas within the College including any onsite catering will remain closed for now.

When does the term end?

The official last day of term is Friday 26 June and we are aiming to complete the majority of the assessed work by that date.

However, if necessary, assessments can continue after this date as our aim is to complete all of this work before the start of the new academic year in September.

Please also continue to visit our dedicated webpage on our response to Covid-19 which is updated regularly.

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