College Reopening Support

Update - Wednesday 19 August 2020

We have asked colleges to provide Case Studies on how they are tackling 5 issues: Social distancing, Bubbles/groups, Safeguarding clinically vulnerable staff, Blend of online and in person learning and PPE.

Preparing for conversations with HSE inspectors

Colleges may be subject to telephone spot checks from HSE to get a view on how risks are being managed and how staff and students are being kept safe. We don't yet have a definitive list of questions, but we can share some feedback from schools about potential themes to help you to prepare:

Social Distancing (Wirral Met College)

'We have followed Government guidance, using the preferred 2m rule of social distancing where possible; This has included creating one way access and egress; marking up common areas to make the social distancing rule clear; completely remodelling learning to include college based AND online learning to provide a blended model approach thus reducing peak capacity on campus;'

Social Distancing (Anonymous)

'The College has used the government’s guidance for Colleges and Early Years Settings as a sound basis for determining its social distancing rules.'

Approach to 2m, 1m+ Social Distancing (Anonymous)

A colleges key considerations when applying the guidance on social distancing.

Staff Shielding (York College)

'Safety is always the key consideration.  All our staff either shielding or not, where possible, have continued to work from home.'

Staff Shielding (Anonymous)

'In line with the change to government guidance we are intending that all staff are now able to attend work – having taken steps to make the workplace Covid secure.'

Bubbles (Annonymous)

'Key considerations around managing bubbles in a college'

Blend of in-person and online (Annonymous)

The first priority when planning the re-opening of the college has been to ensure the safety of both our staff and our students. The risk assessment process has determined how many students can safely attend each College campus at any one time, which in turn has informed timetabling decisions relating to the amount of in-person delivery which can be offered to each student ‘bubble’.

PPE (Anonymous)

'The College considered the Government’s guidelines to not wear face coverings in educational settings but has decided that these will be required to be worn by staff and students when moving around public and communal spaces on campus unless people have an exemption. This decision was based on the fact that as the College is a large inner-City College with c.16,000 young people and adults there will be social contact between people who do not usually meet.'

September opening, blend of in-person and online (Anonymous)

Number and mix of 16-18, 14-16 and adult learners:

  • 16-18 – approx. 3000:
  • Adult – approx. 3500
  • 14-16 – 50

Number of campuses, type of estate:

Update - Tuesday 28 July 2020

Earlier this month we held our re-opening colleges working group session. Please find meeting notes, containing useful information and ideas, here.

Update - Friday 12 June 2020

Members of the re-opening colleges working group have kindly shared their risk assessments to provide examples of what they are identifying as risks and how they are mitigating against these to ensure safe working practices for in-person learning during COVID-19 for the remainder of this term. There is also a very helpful example of a step by step guide for managers included. 

Update - Monday 18 May 2020

The further education specific guidance for college reopening was issued on Thursday 14 May. A number of college leaders have since been in touch to provide case studies / exemplars on college reopenings to help you through the process.

To find out more about the initial guidance click here. All case studies can be found below and our Coronavirus Resource hub is available for additional support.

Members of the re-opening colleges working group have kindly shared their risk assessments to provide examples of what they are identifying as risks and how they are mitigating against these to ensure safe working practices for in-person learning for the remainder of this term. Over the coming weeks we will continue to gather examples of preparations for September and share these as and when we can.

*Please note that some case studies may refer back to the initial (and since updated) official Government guidance.

Example risk assessment forms  and example return plans

You can also access an example risk assessment form here and example return plans here and here.

Phase 1 re-opening plans

Nelson and Colne College Group Phase 1 Reopening Plan

In response government guidance the senior leadership team at Nelson and Colne College Group are considering taking the following steps...

Weston College - MOMENTUM

Weston College has planned the concept of reopening from the time it closed. Dr Paul Phillips, P/CEO Weston College, provides a number of key initiatives that have been employed...

Chichester College Group

Shelagh Legrave, OBE DL CEO Chichester College Group, describes the colleges plans as it moves towards reopening...

The Sixth Form Colleges Association

James Kewin, Deputy CEO The Sixth Form Colleges Association, runs through the processes being considered / implemented across a number of Sixth Form colleges...

London South East Colleges

Sam Parrett, CEO London and SE Education Group, explains how London South East Colleges are dealing with the college reopening process...

East Kent College Group

Graham Razey, CEO East Kent College Group, details how his college is preparing to open its campus buildings...

TEC Partnership

Gill Alton, CEO The TEC Partnership, explains how the organisation has been putting plans to reopen in place since the lockdown began in March...