Information on this page updated 21:27 on 15 January 2021.
DN Colleges Group – Start of Spring Term
The Government have instructed colleges to move learning online for students, whilst maintaining onsite provision for vulnerable learners and the children of key workers. The Spring term commenced on the 4 January 2021, with online remote learning for most students and this will be maintained until February half term when this will be reviewed.
The College will continue to make arrangements to provide campus Lateral Flow Testing facilities that has the capacity to test all students and staff, as early as possible on their return to the College. We strongly encourage everyone to take the test on campus when we return to site.
Further Education Students (EPYP and Adult Provision)
Education Programmes for Young People (full time students) and the Adult Provision (unless instructed otherwise, below) are to work from home from Monday 4 January – Friday 12 February 2021. Classes will be delivered online, as communicated by your tutor. Advice about returning to campus (currently from Monday 22 February 2021) will be shared once this date is confirmed.
Following the decision to close colleges as part of a national lockdown, many people do not feel comfortable about coming into the College for their vocational examinations.
We have now received notification that external assessments/examinations for Btec and VTQ qualifications have been cancelled for February and March 2021 and we await guidance from other awarding organisations. Your tutors will communicate with you directly over the coming weeks regarding your examinations/assessments.
We appreciate that this must be a very difficult time for our students, and we will be working closely with our awarding organisations to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by decisions which have been made in the best interest of our students.
We hope that this update provides you with some clarity and reassurance that you will not be disadvantaged, whether you have taken an exam or not and we will provide more information as soon as it is available.
The Department of Education have indicated that other external examinations (including GCSE) will not go ahead as planned. We will provide more details about these examinations when the format is confirmed by the Department of Education and the awarding organisations, but early indications are that they will include Centre Assessed Grades. When we have greater clarity from the awarding organisations about this, will let you know.
Financial Support Arrangements
We want to update everyone with the support that is available to students who are in receipt of Financial Support during this lockdown period.
- All students who receive a meal allowance including those who get FSM will continue to receive a weekly allowance of £9.60, which will be paid directly to students
- Those students who are deemed as “asylum seekers” will receive their weekly allowance in the form of a food voucher which they can use at a local supermarket
- Vulnerable Bursary students will continue to receive their bursary payment
If you have any queries regarding Financial Support, please direct these to the relevant Financial Support Team:
- Doncaster: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students with an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan)
Students who have an EHCP can come on to campus. However, students with an EHCP can choose to study from home online, if they prefer.
If a student with an EHCP would like to attend the College campus, then North Lindsey students should contact Caroline Hawkins (Caroline.Hawkins@northlindsey.ac.uk) and Doncaster College students Sally MacDonald (Sally.MacDonald@don.ac.uk) who will make suitable arrangements.
Students who are considered vulnerable, studying a Foundation Level course or have parents / carers who are key workers
Students who are considered vulnerable, studying a Foundation Level course or have parents / carers who are key workers, can come on to campus if they wish. However, these students can choose to study from home online, if they prefer.
Any student who is considered vulnerable, studying a Foundation Level course or has parents / carer who are key workers and would like to attend the College campus, please let your Curriculum Leader know who will then make suitable arrangements.
Higher Education students
Higher Education (University) study programmes will be delivered online until at least the 12 February 2021 at which point the situation will be reviewed and new guidance issued. Students should follow their normal timetable, accessing classes online during this time.
Where students do not have a quiet space to study at home or where they need to access college-based assistance, such as mental health or learning support, students should contact their course leader. Access to the College LRCs and the Higher Education Library will be available (slightly amended hours; please refer to notices on the virtual learning environment).
Apprenticeship delivery and assessment (including the assessment of functional skills qualification) will continue to take place remotely.
For specific and more detailed information, as it relates to you, please read the messages on your relevant learning platform pages.
Access to Online Learning
You should attend online sessions as directed by your course tutor, however if you are struggling to access online sessions due to problems with your internet connection or access to an appropriate device (laptop, computer, ipad) then we would ask that you initially discuss this with your course tutor who will recommend suitable arrangements.
The College and University Centre Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) will be open and available to allow access to computers and the internet for students who do not have access to the internet or a computer at home. The opening times will be:
- Doncaster LRC 3 – 10:00 – 14:00 during the week
Learners who do not have access to a computer or the internet should make their tutor aware.
Student Teams Guidance: https://wke.lt/w/s/5hJlvh
How can I continue my studies if I have to self-isolate or I am in lock down?
- Course work will be set on Microsoft teams to support you to progress and continual feedback given to you by your tutor.
- You will be able to continue to attend your online sessions with your peers and your onsite sessions will be put through live streaming if applicable.
- You will have extra one to one tutorials in the form of “catch up sessions” to keep you on track if needed.
- If you are on a practical course wherever possible you will be provided with materials so that you are able to continue to develop your skills whilst self-isolating or locked down.
What systems can I use to access my learning and how do I get to them?
Information about access to Outlook, Teams, Canvas, Moodle and a wide range of other systems and resources you can access from home is included in the student induction site at https://sites.google.com/don.ac.uk/pre-induction/home
What if I need specialist software, workshops or other facilities to learn?
Where possible we will make specialist software available to your to use on your own personal computer or a computer loaned to you by the college. We will structure courses as much as possible around theoretical delivery and practical activities that can be performed at home, possibly under video supervision. Where we can do so safely and within the current rules, we may ask you to attend College to use specialist workshops, labs and equipment. If you are self-isolating we will allow you access to facilities once your isolation ends and help you to catch up an any practical sessions you may have missed, so long as rules at the time allow.
If you’re unable to access specialist facilities for an extended period we will structure the course so as to not disadvantage you and it will not affect your final results, please make sure that your tutor is aware.
What if I don’t have my own computer or Internet access at home, or need support with other resources?
If you are suffering financial hardship or have questions about financial support, please contact the Student Services financial support team by email:
Doncaster College: email@example.com
If you do not have access to a suitable computer for learning from home, please let your tutor know and they will arrange for a college laptop to be loaned to you if necessary. Likewise, if you do not have Internet access at all at home, please let your tutor know so that we can help with this.
The College Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) will be open for students who do not otherwise have access to technology, and learners who are not self-isolating may continue to use the facilities. Learners will be expected to take a COVID test on site if they wish to use these facilities.
For assistance with access to other resources, help can be found from your tutor or from the Learning Resource Centres as well as on the induction site at https://sites.google.com/don.ac.uk/pre-induction/home
How can I get further support if I have SEND or other needs?
Please get in touch with the relevant contact below.
Doncaster College: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety on campus
All College Covid-19 safety measures MUST be adhered to when you return to the College.
Face coverings MUST be worn in all communal areas, unless you are eating or have a valid exemption. Wash your hands frequently and use the hand sanitisers which are located across the College. Keep your distance from one another and follow social distance principles.
All the above safety measures MUST also be followed when travelling to and from the College. Students MUST wear a face covering on College buses for the full journey to and from the College, unless you have valid exemption.
Covid-19 National Testing Programme – Campus Asymptomatic Test Site
The Government has now strengthened its intention to deliver a national Covid Testing Programme in all education settings. Colleges MUST offer on campus testing for ALL students and staff.
We are now looking to build our capacity and capability to make sure that ALL students and staff can access testing as early as possible.
The tests will be administered on campus. For students and staff who do not present any symptoms of Covid-19 – we strongly encourage all eligible students and staff to take the test.
We will communicate how all students and staff can access testing as early as possible.
Tests take approximately 10 minutes for registration and testing. Results will be sent via text message approximately 30 minutes after the test has been completed.
We are intending to offer testing to students who will be accessing facilities during lockdown, ie vulnerable students, students with EHCP, etc.
- Click here to view the DN Colleges Group Covid-19 Privacy Statement (pdf)
- Click here to view the NHS guidance on how to perform the Covid-19 test (pdf)
- Click here to access our Covid-19 Testing Consent form
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 please do not return to the College and arrange for a test through your local test centre.
I would like to thank you for your understanding and patience during this time and for your support to work with the College to help manage the spread of the virus.
Steps we’re taking to keep you safe on campus and partner locations.
As an anchor institution in South Yorkshire, Doncaster College remains committed to utilising all its resources to support its staff, students, apprentices and the wider community during these difficult times.