Myerscough College and University Centre has now re-opened for students (from Monday, 8th March).
We hope you remain safe, well and engaged in your studies. We write to update you about arrangements regarding your return to College campuses following the recent Government announcement on the return to education on 8th March as part of the Government roadmap out of Covid.
In line with the Government advice, all students will be able to return to College campuses on or after 8 March 2021, unless clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), in which case CEV students are not expected to return until 31 March 2021. On line delivery will continue to support your studies.
The delivery of your course will revert to the model that we used in Term 1 with the majority of timetabled sessions delivered face to face. Where appropriate, some large group lectures or theory-based modules may continue to include online sessions. The subject ‘bubbles’ for on campus delivery proved successful in Term 1 and we will continue to maintain this approach for the return to campus on and after 8 March.
Additionally, we have reviewed where we need to re-organise our timetables to maximise delivery of the practical aspects of your course and use of campus spaces for the remainder of the academic year. This may mean timetable changes for some courses to allow more blocks of practical time for the remainder of the academic year. Our Course Teams will be in touch with you to provide further information on this.
Further Education and 14-16 Provision
In order to accelerate any catch up for practical aspects of courses, Term 2 will be extended to include an additional week (22/3 to 26/3/21) before the Easter break.
With regards to examinations and assessments, we await an update from Government and will communicate this directly when received.
University Centre/Higher Education No Detriment Policy and May Exams
As detailed in our previous letters, the University (UCLan) No Detriment Policy is being applied for the whole year for those of you on University Centre Myerscough Higher Education programmes.
To ensure that your exams can be delivered in a Covid-safe way, any examinations for your course for the May exam period will be delivered locally by the Course Teams. This may include the use of alternative forms of assessment such as those used in the January exam period. Your tutors will be in touch to provide you with further details on this. If you do have circumstances that are affecting your studies, and in particular your assessments, please contact your tutors who will be extremely happy to help.
All residential students will be able to return to their residential accommodation on or after 7th March. The residential team will write to you separately with further details on the arrangements for your return to your residential accommodation. The restaurants, shop, Library, IT Drop In etc will be open as usual. The Gym and Stumble Inn will remain closed in line with Government guidance. Sports students will be able to engage in tutor supervised sports instruction and coaching.
Work placements will continue where placement providers are in agreement, and are able to ensure a Covid safe environment.
College bus services will resume as normal from Monday 8th March. Please adhere to social distancing and mask wearing in order to protect yourselves and others.
Laptop Loan Scheme
Whilst we are returning to site, the scheme will continue through to the end of the academic year at which point you will be required to return any devices. Students who have accessed the scheme may need to bring the devices to on site sessions.
Students at Croxteth, Warrington, Witton and Manchester Centres must bring devices. Elsewhere, tutors will advise where this is necessary. When transporting the devices, please ensure they are suitably protected in an appropriate bag.
The safety of our students and staff is paramount. The Covid-safety plans that we implemented in Term 1 proved highly effective in creating an environment which is safe for both our staff and students and we are very proud of our record in this regard. We will continue with those arrangements from 8th March including:
- To support the maintenance of the curriculum bubbles, staggered breaks and lunches will continue and these will be detailed on your timetable.
- Our restaurants and eateries will be open, and space will also be provided if you prefer to bring a packed lunch and refreshments.
- One-way systems will continue to be in operation in some buildings.
- Our Library, Student Support Centre’s (The Core) and HE Centre will be open as usual with safety and social distancing measures in place.
- Our classrooms will continue to be set up to maintain social distancing.
- Those of you who have already got your own devices (laptops etc.) will be encouraged to bring them in to use on-campus to help reduce the demand for computers in the drop-in study areas.
- Sanitisation stations will continue to be available in all curriculum buildings and cross-college areas, including the bus stops. However, we also recommend that you also bring your own personal hand sanitiser.
These measures are kept under constant review and with that in mind the following additional requirements will be in place for the return to campus on 8 March 2021:
- Wearing of face coverings in all areas of College including in classrooms – We have extended the wearing of face coverings to everywhere on campus including during outdoor practical activities even when two metres can be maintained. The only exceptions to this rule will be for any strenuous physical activities.
- Regular lateral flow tests for all staff and students currently on site - There will be an expectation that all students will have at least one lateral flow test a week, whether that be at home or on campus, full details of this testing will be shared with you on your return to campus.
- If you are one of our 14-16 students and attend school you should complete your lateral flow test at school. For home educated 14-16 students you will be required to provide consent for testing (documentation will be provided).
- Students attending our Warrington and Old Trafford, Manchester sites will commence directly with home testing - your teams will advise you accordingly.
We have a number of bursaries and hardship funds specifically to support all students with their studies. These funds are there to help you:
Additionally, we also have a new ‘Covid Hardship’ and ‘Digital’ Bursaries for Higher Education students. Please do not hesitate to contact your tutor to discuss your needs.
Our continuing priority throughout Covid-19 has been to ensure that our students and staff are kept safe and that we can provide support to assist their wellbeing. Coming back onto Campus may provoke a variety of emotions for individuals and we want to assure you that we are here to support during what could be a difficult return to campus for some. If you have any questions, or you are concerned about your own health and wellbeing (or that of your friends), please feel free to talk to The Core’s team of Student Support and Welfare Officers. We can provide counselling sessions from our team of qualified College Counsellor or provide support for you to access external support or support and wellbeing strategies. Below is a list of contact details for support, should you need them:
- Safeguarding: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 01995 642348 / 01995 642205
- Safeguarding (24 hrs): 07407 304267
- 07407 304267 (not 24hrs)
- The Core – All Centres for Student Support and Welfare: 01995 642348 / 642205 (Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm)
- The Core – Croxteth Centre: 0151 228 3565 (Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm)
- Residential Support Team (24hrs): 07889 754287
External health, wellbeing and mental health support is also available through the following organisations:
- Careers Information Advice and Guidance will be maintained through online appointments - email@example.com
Please continue to check the College social media and our website in order to keep up to date with any changes we need to make in response to Government advice. We will continue to keep you up to date with any developments.
by Dave Salmon