Welcome to our COVID-19 Hub. This dedicated page contains all our latest COVID-19 updates and information, plus links to external information and support.
We encourage you to check this page regularly and also follow us on social media.
Summer 2021 Examinations
The Minister for Education confirmed in her statement of 20 January that learners in Wales studying for Qualifications Wales-approved GCSE, AS and A Levels this year will receive grades determined by their school or college, based on work they have completed over the duration of their course.
Further information and details can be found on the links below.
Pearson also confirmed on 15 January that BTEC Summer exams will not go ahead. We await further information and guidance.
Spring 2021 Internal Assessments
Qualifications Wales has cancelled the Spring internal assessment window (due between 22 February and 23 April) for GCSE, AS and A Levels. Revised assessment arrangements for the award of these qualifications in Summer 2021 will be put in place shortly.
Click the buttons below for more information.
January 2021 Examinations
Message to students regarding Pearson and Health & Social Care January on-site examinations.
As you will be aware from the television and social media coverage of 5 January, Pearson announced without any prior warning, that they were not cancelling January examinations and put the decision of an individual school or college to continue with, or cancel, January exams.
Pearson circulated the following announcement:
We want to ensure that you are supported by us regardless of the choice that is made by your school or college on whether exams take place. If your college or school decides to offer exams, you will be able to run your external assessments as planned and if your school or college decides not to offer vocational exams, we have agreed the following with Ofqual and the DfE to ensure that no learner is disadvantaged.
- We will certificate any learner who is unable to take their exams and has enough evidence to receive a certificate that they need for progression.
- Learners unable to take their assessment this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure no learner is disadvantaged.
NPTC Group of College has taken the decision to continue with the Pearson January 2021 exams and the Health and Social Care exams set for later this month. To ensure the safety of all staff and students during their time on-site, we have fully risk assessed the process from entry to exit, including social distancing of exam desks, the wearing of face coverings and the cleaning of furniture and equipment.
We have not taken this decision lightly given the current Covid situation in our communities. It is to give those students who are able to or wish to, take the opportunity to sit the exams they have been preparing for. It is the individual student’s decision as to whether they wish to sit their exams in January. Students who are not able to attend, are self-isolating, are in a protected bubble or are shielding will not be penalised, nor disadvantaged by either the College or Pearson.
Students will be sent information about exam room locations. If attending, a face covering must be worn and students must socially distance at all times whilst on-site or when leaving the premises.
The First Minister announced on January 8 that schools and colleges in Wales will continue with remote learning until February half term unless the number of cases of infection starts falling. Welsh Government will bring the decision-making on schools and colleges into line with its three-week review timetable of 29 January.
This means that students will continue to learn remotely, and vulnerable children and children of critical workers will have access to on-site provision, along with learners undertaking essential exams and assessments.
As you are aware the College has put measures in place and responded to the agreements made with the trade unions and implemented risk-based strategies like hybrid teaching. The success of this is evidenced by the relatively low number of cases reported across the sector in general and the decision to extend the online learning period is to help reduce infection rates in the wider community.
Further details can be found on the links below.
We will continue to keep you updated regarding the on-going situation here on our Covid19 Hub and via our social media channels. We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone, especially so for our students. To this end, we have support available here on our website and via Moodle for our students.
All of Wales is not at Alert Level 4.
At alert level 4 you must:
- Follow social distancing rules with people you don’t live with or who are not in your support bubble.
- Wear a face covering (if you are able to) in all indoor public places.
- Stay at home.
- Not create an extended household (single adults or single parents may join with one other household to form an exclusive support bubble).
- Meet only the people you live with or your support bubble indoors.
- Meet only your household or support bubble in private gardens.
- Meet only your household or support bubble outdoors.
- Work from home if you can.
- Not travel without reasonable excuse.
- Not travel internationally without reasonable excuse.
The Welsh Government has announced plans that will see rapid coronavirus testing rolled out across schools and colleges across Wales.
Under this process, pupils and staff identified as close contacts would be asked to either self-isolate as normal or to take a lateral flow test at the start of the day for the duration of the self-isolation period.
Those who test negative would continue attending school as normal, those who test positive would be required to self-isolate and book a confirmatory test.
We are waiting for Welsh Government to update the sector in order to prepare for the rollout, which will begin in the New Year.
At NPTC Group of Colleges, we remain committed to providing a learning experience that is transformational and supportive to all learners. Our expectation is that social distancing and public health regulations will continue through the 2020/21 academic year and we are committed to ensuring that teaching and learning continues effectively while ensuring our communities and campuses are safe. To this end, we have implemented a blended learning framework for delivery of higher education
Delivery arrangements may vary by course and will be communicated by tutors to the students on each programme.
Click on the links below for more information on teaching arrangements and our approach to blended learning:
You can find the latest information and guidance about COVID-19 here:
Guidance for Education
Read the latest updates from Welsh Government about Further Education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current guidance on Post-16 Learning and Skills
Student Space is run by Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity. It is safe, confidential and developed with students and experts in student well-being and mental health
Student Space makes it easier for students to find what they need during the coronavirus pandemic. Help and guidance is available aswell as a range of trusted information, services and tools to help with the challenges of student life.
There are three ways that Student Space can help during the pandemic:
- Access to dedicated support services for students, by phone or text;
- Information and tools to help get through the challenges of coronavirus;
- Help to find what support is available at college.
Staff or students should be in self-isolation and not attending College if:
- they have COVID-19
- they have COVID-19 symptoms, for example, a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste. You can also use the NHS Direct Wales symptom checker
- someone in their household has COVID-19 symptoms
- they’ve been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111
- they’ve been told to self-isolate by a Public Health Wales test, trace and protect service
- they have recently visited a country on the UK Foreign Office quarantine list
- they have had direct contact with a person who has had a positive test for Covid-19 (within 2 metres for 15 minutes or within 1 metre for a minute)
Those staff or students who are in self-isolation but are not sick can continue to work from home.
We have employed a number of health & safety changes at all our college sites, in compliant with COVID-19 legislation and Welsh Government guidance.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers are available across college sites
- Screens have been installed at reception areas
- No gathering or sitting is permitted in communal areas
- One-way systems have been clearly marked out throughout college
- There is social distancing signage and signage about how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across college sites
You can see our COVID-19 ‘Keep Safe’ videos for each college site here.
Further information is available to students via Moodle.
Service buses and College buses are running with reduced capacity. Please check the revised timetables before you travel. You must wear a face covering when using public transport.
Staff and learners in secondary schools & colleges are now expected to wear face masks in all areas outside the classroom and on school transport. You can read the updated guidance on the Welsh Government website.
The guidance now states that face coverings should be worn:
- in all areas outside the classroom by staff and learners in secondary schools and colleges
- on dedicated school and college transport for learners in year 7 and up
- by visitors to all schools and colleges, including parents and carers dropping off and picking up children
The full guidance document can be accessed here.
There are exemptions that apply if you are unable to wear a face covering.
These exemptions include:
- Underlying chronic breathing conditions (demonstrate medical exemption)
- Physical or mental illness, disability or impairment
- Accompanying someone who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate.
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.
If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org