Covid19 - Updated Information for 16-18 year olds - 5th January 2021.
As you know, the Government has placed England into a National lockdown from today. This means that until further notice all learning will be online. In this regard, the following support is in place:
How will my study continue?
During this lockdown, in line with Government guidance, your timetable will continue but instead of coming into college you will be set work online. This includes structured taught sessions with your tutors, on MS Teams, similar to what you have been doing since the start of term, as part of your blended learning. When the Government lifts the lockdown, we will let you know and start bringing you back into college, for face to face learning. It is likely that this will be after February half term but the decision will be made by Government. It is therefore important that you continue your study, as guided and taught online by your tutors until that time.
What if I am due to take exams in January?
Currently, these exams will go ahead from tomorrow. Please attend the site you are scheduled to take your exam where facilities will be in place for you to undertake this whilst remaining socially distanced. All of the things we had in place to keep you safe including the one way system of entrance / exit; hand sanitation stations and regulations about remaining socially distance must also be followed to keep you and others safe. If you are unwell, isolating or cannot attend for any other reason, please let us know and we will liaise with your awarding organisation to arrange a resit in the future.
What if I have Covid19 or I am required to isolate?
Please let us know so that we can record this on your record and ensure you follow Government guidance for isolation, seeking medical assistance if you need advice from NHS 111.
How can I be supported to access on-line learning?
At the start of the academic year every student who did not have access to IT facilities to learn from home was provided with a new Laptop and all of the necessary kit to provide you with personal access to engage in online learning. We also have records of every student’s engagement online, since September and know this has been working well. If you have any issues with this during lockdown, please let your tutor know in the first instance.
How will my support workers help me?
If you have additional learning support or a pastoral support mentor they will continue to support you online and will keep in regular touch to ensure you are coping well with your work. We also understand that our support team help you with things that are not directly related with your study, but help you to cope with learning and other things that sometimes affect your progress. Because your support worker will be keeping in regular touch with you, you can continue to have this support through telephone or online through MS teams.
If I get free school meals, or bursary, what will happen over the lockdown?
The College will continue to pay you for this directly into your bank account or, where you do not have a bank account, we will provide vouchers that can be used in local shops. Just as we would expect you to attend at college, you must fully attend your online sessions in order to receive any funding support or bursary you are entitled to.
What if I have an issue relating to my safety and wellbeing?
We understand that it is a very unsettling time for everyone and assure you that the changes we have put in place follow Government guidance are designed to keep you and others as safe as possible whilst the Covid19 virus remains a serious risk to us all. We will continue to support you as detailed above, to complete your studies and when we can, we will reschedule in college learning to help you continue and successfully complete your study, qualification and progress to the next level. In the meantime, we also stress the importance of you following all of the guidance relating to ‘hands, space, face’ that are constantly being reinforced in college, in the media and on all of the Government guidance. These are designed to keep you as safe as possible. We will continue to provide updates on our website, following any further changes the Government announce, so please keep an eye on that. We will also, of course, continue to meet with you in your online sessions and, for those with support workers, they will also keep in touch as set out above.
A copy of this letter has been sent to your parents, for their information.
Covid19 - Updated Information for adults 19+
As we all go into the third lockdown of the pandemic I know the challenges this poses are significant as we all cope with the impact of Covid-19. At least this time, we have the prospect of vaccination with the hope this brings in helping us to return to a more normal life and let’s hope that does not take too long. In the meantime, as you know, Government has requested that adult learning is restricted to online to enable you to remain safe and reduce risk, particularly as the new variant of the virus has made it easier to contract. It is anticipated this will extend to February half term but that will be kept under constant review, informed by the science.
Our online resources, supported by structured online, taught sessions are designed to ensure you can continue your learning. Please be assured of our commitment to support you to continue and progress. We will keep you advised of progress as advised by Government guidance and in the meantime, assure you of our commitment to helping you achieve and we will be actively working with your qualification awarding body and Ofqual, who are working to ensure students impacted by the pandemic are not disadvantaged.
We are also aware that many of our adult students are parents who will be dealing with the added challenge of home schooling. Taking time to look after your well-being is as important as your vocational studies. In this regard we invite you to access our well-being resources that may support you, in the Student Support Services and Be Safe sections of our Virtual Campus. If you have any concerns about your progress, don’t hesitate to contact your tutor in the first instance. If you have additional learning support you will continue to receive this online, during the restricted lockdown period.
I wish you every success with your continued learning journey and look forward to working with my colleagues to support your achievement.
Microsoft Teams Support for Students
- Web Browser Login
Teams can be installed as an app or can be used as a webpage. If you have an old PC sometimes your video will appear sideways. This is because the app is struggling on your PC, in this situation please use the Team Web Browser Software login.
- What is Microsoft Teams?
You can visit Microsoft's website to learn more about Teams and you do not need a log in to access help.
- Virtual Campus
What is Wirral Met College doing to keep students and staff safe during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Wirral Met College is committed to doing its utmost to protect students and staff and to keep them safe. The College is taking a number of protective measures which include:
- Providing mandatory, detailed Covid-19 training for staff and students on social distancing and protective measures.
- Ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms (or who have someone in their household who does) do not attend College.
- Providing guidance and reminders to students and staff on washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and the use of hand sanitiser gel: hand sanitiser gel dispensers are available on every floor of each campus.
- Restricting access to visitors to College who are not students or staff.
- Ensuring one direction of travel along corridors and stairways in each campus.
- Ensuring there is increased cleaning on all campuses across communal areas, classrooms, toilets and staff rooms.
- Updating our ways of supporting teaching and learning:
a. Reduced numbers of students on campus to facilitate social distancing.
b. New timetables will include staggered start and finish times with staggered breaks.
c. Blended learning will include practical sessions in College, online/remote learning from home including tutorials, resources on the student virtual campus, and book-able places in the College library for those students who do not have access to wifi at home.
d. Development of students’ digital skills to help them study safely and effectively online.
e. Staff to use personal protective equipment (PPE) for students with special educational needs or disabilities, as appropriate.
- Providing mental health support via:
i. Access to Pastoral Support Mentors
ii. Online resources and links through the student virtual campus
iii. Encouraging young people to identify their own self-care strategies
- Working with employers to support the safe working of apprentices in their workplace.
- Providing mandatory, detailed Covid-19 training for staff and students on social distancing and protective measures.
Can I still apply for a course at Wirral Met?
Yes, you can apply for courses online – visit www.wmc.ac.uk/our-courses/browse-by-subject to choose your course, click on the course title to see full details of the course and then you click on Apply Now.
How should I travel to College?
If possible, please travel to College by walking, cycling or by car, to avoid using public transport. If you do need to use public transport, please remember it is now mandatory to wear a face covering during your journey.
Please ensure that you wear your College ID badge with the photo facing forwards whenever you are on campus and that it can be seen at all times.
Students should only attend College on the days and times confirmed on their course timetables. Students who turn up to College, who have not been asked to do so will be sent home immediately.
Once your lessons have finished, you must leave the campus immediately, as directed by your tutor.
How can I access support for mental health, wellbeing or personal problems?
There are lots of other ways we can continue to support you:
Pastoral Support Mentors
Pastoral Support Mentors can support you with:
- Problems relating to finance, childcare, or accommodation
- Personal issues
- Any other issues you feel are affecting your college course
You can find their contact details and more information on the Virtual Campus here.
Additional Learning Support
The ALS team are here to support students with any kind of disability, learning difficulty or special educational need.
They can provide you with guidance and support on all aspects of your learning. You can find their contact details and more information on the Virtual Campus here.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support
Our Mental Health and Wellbeing team are still available to support you while you are studying from home.
You can find more information, including lots of helpful advice, on the Virtual Campus here. If you wish to be referred to this service, please contact the Additional Learning Support team above.
If you are already working with anyone on the ALS, Mental Health and Wellbeing, or Pastoral Support teams, they will be keeping in regular contact with you throughout this period of studying from home.
The following websites and helplines are still available to you:
- Kooth (for young people up to age 18)
- Quell (for 18+)
- Samaritans - Telephone 116 123
- Anxiety UK - 0344 775774
- The Open Door (wellbeing support for age 15-30) - 0151 639 4545
- Papyrus - Confidential suicide prevention advice on 0800 068 4141
- Response - Advice and support on all matters regarding your wellbeing on 0151 666 4123
- Teen Wirral
What should I do if I have any concerns?
If you feel worried or anxious at any time talk to your tutor or Personal Support Mentor. If you see someone not adhering to the social distancing rules, you must report this in confidence to your tutor or the curriculum manager.
What about PPE?
Masks are required in College when moving around the campus. Each vocational setting has a specific risk assessment in place to determine PPE requirements.
Visit our Virtual Campus for help on Teams. You will need to log in using your student ID number as your username and your DOB as your password eg: 08012021.
Frequently Asked Questions
The wellbeing of our students, staff and the safety of our community is our main concern. Please be assured that we are following all guidelines set by the Government and Public Health England. Please remain alert to Public Health England advice, which can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Our Advisory Service will be available for Information, Advice and Guidance for the public online via our online enquiry form and live chat facility.