College full reopening guidance released

29 Aug 2020

The government has today (Saturday 29 August 2020) released its full guidance for college reopenings in September. You can find the full guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

The document combines the previous guidance issued in the summer with some new information. You need to read and act on the full document but our summary is that the guidance:

  • Brings everything into one place, including the new instructions on face coverings, new advice on ventilation, information about track and trace, updated advice on performing arts and related areas and various other topics

  • Explains ways in which study programmes and courses can be taught flexibly and remotely

AoC has consistently emphasised that colleges are open, even if online, throughout the pandemic and we have no reason to challenge the idea of a full return but there are definitions and details to support a full return which will need to be explored or challenged. We continue to raise and discuss these issues with the Department, but if you have any questions or concerns, please contact David.Corke@aoc.co.uk.

In response, AoC'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.”