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PUBLISHED: 9pm, Monday 23rd March 2020

From Monday 23rd March all Highbury College Campuses will be closed to all students, with no exceptions, until further notice.

Please continue to check this web page for regular updates.

Exams or assessments scheduled for the coming days will be postponed and we will communicate the new arrangements in due course.

All classes will now be delivered remotely. If you are not clear about what work you should be completing, please contact your tutor. Class timetables continue as previously and your tutor will tell you whether it is tutorials, small groups or whole class sessions. We are very keen that your learning continues and that you are still able to achieve your goal and are working hard to support you to do this despite the disruption.

Individual student support will continue via phone and online communication methods.

Students can access Canvas, OneFile and other online resources by visiting the Student Hub.

The Student Hub also includes useful student guides to Using OneDrive and Microsoft Teams.

Staff can access useful links and download Citrix, OneDrive and Microsoft Team guidance via the Staff Hub.


Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives

While you're studying at home it's REALLY important that you stay at home. This means you should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Remember to wash your hands as soon as you get home. These actions will save lives so please support our NHS and stay at home.

These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.


Free School/College Meals

If you usually receive free school/college meals, additional payments will now be made directly into your bank account to the value of one meal per day. For students in receipt of Vulnerable Young People Bursaries, we will continue to provide the weekly payments while you study remotely.

For Portsmouth City Council Schools and Families advice please visit: https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/coronavirus-covid-19/schools-and-families-coronavirus-information


Latest Exams Advice

Message from Government

The principles outlined here will apply to vocational, technical and professional qualifications and are detailed here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced.

The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students, following the actions to slow the spread of coronavirus. University representatives have confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

This year’s summer exam series, including A levels, GCSEs and other qualifications, and all primary assessments, have been cancelled as we all fight to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Government’s priority is now to ensure affected students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including going into employment, starting university, college or sixth form courses, or an apprenticeship in the autumn.

There is a very wide range of different vocational and technical qualifications as well as other academic qualifications for which students were expecting to sit exams this summer. These are offered by a large number of awarding organisations, and have differing assessment approaches – in many cases students will already have completed modules or non-exam assessment which could provide evidence to award a grade. We are encouraging these organisations to show the maximum possible flexibility and pragmatism to ensure students are not disadvantaged. Ofqual is working urgently with the sector to explore options and the government will work with them to provide more details shortly.

In summary students’ achievements will be linked to

  • The work they do with the college
  • Their attendance, behaviour and attitude
  • Their assessments and any tests or exams already taken

We strongly encourage all students to attend the on-line classes, tutorials and other support to help them achieve qualifications and progress.

Message from AAT

AAT is a global business and we have evaluated the needs of our students worldwide. We have concluded that given the current global crisis (and the increasingly wide restrictions being placed on schools, colleges and public gatherings), that the most responsible course of action is to suspend all AAT assessments from midnight Sunday 22 March 2020 UK time. AAT will void any assessment that has already been scheduled for a date after 22 March 2020.

AAT continues to be fully operational in all other respects including the portfolio reflective element of Apprenticeship End Point Assessments which will be conducted remotely. All support services remain available to our students and members.


Latest NHS Advice

To support the delay in the spread of the virus, the NHS has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days and if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home, but please notify the College via the following contact details:

Absence Management Team
Tel: 023 9232 8966
Email: absence@highbury.ac.uk

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or do not improve after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at https://111.nhs.uk/ . If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

What we are doing

  • The College is continuing to clean frequently used areas more often, including doors, handles and lifts.
  • We have many alcohol hand gel stations located throughout the campuses.
  • We are applying social distancing strategies to our working to enlarge personal space and limit the spreading of the virus.

What you can do to help

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

It is particularly important for people who:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

Please do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Please don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

Think about others: Take extra care if you come into contact with those who may be more vulnerable.

The latest government information can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19