A message from Rebecca Conroy, East Sussex College Acting CEO
10 June 2020
The College will open for small numbers of priority students from 22nd June. The vast majority of our students will remain at home and online delivery will continue for the majority of students.
22 May 2020
I hope you and your family are well and are coping as well as you can with the ongoing lockdown. We know that this prolonged period of lockdown has been really disruptive for our students but we are now working to see how we can safely start the reopening process...
22 May 2020
As you know, the current Coronavirus outbreak has presented us with lots of different challenges and questions surrounding how students complete their final year and how their work will be graded...
17 April 2020
During the Easter break the government released information on how institutions will grade students due to take A levels and GCSEs this summer.
A letter (see link below) was sent to affected students and their parents/carers on Friday 17 April.
Further information on the process for applied and vocational programmes is expected this week and will be shared as soon as we have it.
East Sussex College Group are planning to work through the guidance over the early part of next week and will share further information with students and parents/carers as soon as this is complete.
We would kindly request that students, parents and carers please refrain from contacting tutors seeking clarification on this until we contact you with further information on how we will complete the requirements in these guidance documents.
We encourage our students to take a break during the Easter holidays and then we are strongly advising that all students maintain their college timetable and commit to complete the work set by their teachers.
This includes students that are in their second year of studies with exams (A Levels and other L3 programmes) who need to continue their learning to support their continuing education and progression onto Higher Education or into work.
Some students may also ultimately choose to sit exams in the autumn term (dependent on their summer results) and will need to have learnt the course content in preparation for this.
Students enrolled on GCSE maths and English courses should also continue to study these subjects as the knowledge and skills acquired will be beneficial to future study and/or progression.
Key dates for your diary
Today the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has written to all students with an update on how grades will be calculated and getting your place at university or college.
Her full letter is below, but here are the key points we think you should know:
You can contact our Customer Experience Centre who are still working, albeit remotely.
As you know, the summer 2020 exam series will no longer go ahead in order to help fight the spread of COVID-19, but those of you due to sit A level exams (and equivalent) will still receive a grade with the same status as grades awarded in any other previous year. Your hard work will be rewarded and fairly recognised.
Ofqual (the qualifications regulator in England) has recently explained how your grade will be calculated: your school or college will take in to account a range of things like your class and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment you might have done; and your general progress during your course. You can find more information above.
I know many of you will also be studying a range of other qualifications, alongside or instead of A levels, in order to progress to higher education. We know you need information as soon as possible about assessment of these qualifications so you can plan your next steps. We are working as rapidly as possible, with Ofqual – the regulator - to agree the most appropriate approaches to this and we will provide further information as soon as we can.
Universities have also confirmed that they will be flexible and will do all they can to support students to progress to higher education. This includes recognising the challenging circumstances many of you have been facing with completing your learning and assessment as a result of COVID-19, but also any challenges you may have faced due to personal circumstances.
There are plenty of higher education places available, including on some of the most competitive courses and at most competitive universities, so there is no need to worry or rush into decisions about where to study. Unconditional offers from universities might look attractive during this uncertain time, but it is worth spending time considering all your options and reflecting on which is the right university, college or other higher education provider, and which is the right course for you.
The releasing of A level results and the usual Clearing period will go ahead with the interests of students at heart, and with as little disruption as possible. Ofqual’s guidance published on 3 April makes clear there will be an appeals procedure for grades awarded. They will consult on proposals on how this will work shortly.
As students did last year, you will again from July 6 onwards have the option to self-release from a place you have previously accepted. Instead of having to contact your chosen university or college and wait to be released into Clearing, you can do this yourself, therefore saving time. Nearly 30,000 students used ‘self-release’ last year to change university or course. This process is simple, and UCAS has detailed guidance on the process that you should familiarise yourself with before making the decision to self-release.
We have recently asked higher education providers to temporarily pause making changes to offers already made to prospective students, such as converting conditional offers to unconditional offers or changing entry requirements, to allow time for everyone to understand the changes that are needed to ensure that offers are made in a way that maximises student choice. No applicant will be disadvantaged by this pause. Higher education providers are still making conditional offers as usual and this is unaffected. It also won’t affect students progressing applications. If you already have your qualifications (for example if you are a mature student, you will not be impacted by the pause).
We know these are uncertain times and these issues will be causing some anxiety for many of you. There is a lot of support out there.
What does this mean for your application?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything. Your application will continue through the admissions process the same as it would if you had taken your examinations or assessments as expected. UCAS will still receive your grades from the awarding bodies and pass them on to your chosen unis as we have in previous years.
We will continue to send you updates on your application as further information becomes available.
Stay safe and take care.
This is the dedicated webpage for students and parents/carers to find out more information about how East Sussex College Group is supporting them to continue to learn and development their knowledge and skills.
We have developed a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that should help but if you have a question not addressed here please use the chatbot (available during normal working hours) at the bottom righthand side of this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add popular questions regularly to this section.
Whilst we are waiting further information from Ofqual on how grading processes will be managed we are strongly advising that all students maintain their college timetable and commit to complete the work set by their teacher.
This includes students that are in their second year of studies with exams (A Levels and other L3 programmes) who need to continue their learning to ensure that they get the best grades possible as this work will be marked and could assist teaching staff to recommend grades.
Online learning, distance learning or independent learning is set to become the norm for school, college and uni students across the country.
As the government advises us to close schools and colleges, we thought we’d put together a handy little guide to help you get the most out of your online education.
Learning is still really important and it would be a real shame to let all your hard work and effort go to waste. Plus keeping your brain active is great for your mental health and well-being. Read our top tips over on our news section.
Please see the latest information regarding the Southdown Peer Support Service here:
We recognise that during this challenging time connecting with others is an important part of maintaining positive health and well-being.
As well as supporting current clients, the ESCN Peer Service are also accepting new referrals for 1:1 support. This can be ‘light touch’ , supporting you/clients to manage their mental health and well-being during this challenging time, or more long term support for up to 6-8 weeks.
Support will be provided by a Peer Specialist who draws on their own lived experience and recovery journey to mentor and guide others. The Peer Specialist will enable you/your clients to identify strategies/tools to help manage your mental health and promote recovery and well-being. Where needed, they will also signpost to relevant services.
Support will be provided over the phone, however, our team are also exploring new communication platforms and methods to meet the current needs of the community.
To ease the referral process, we have adapted our current referral form (click here to download).
Please send completed referral forms to: PeerServiceESussex@southdown.org
For further support/ information about this service please contact Michelle Trunchion (Team Manager) on 07772 613945 or by email at email@example.com
Eastbourne Volunteers have launched a telephone befriending service –if you know anyone who needs support get in touch with Helen Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contact point where residents of East Sussex can turn if they feel they need some extra help in coping with the effects of coronavirus or if they know someone else who needs help. Click here to download details.