College Closure due to Coronavirus
Dear parents/carers, learners, employers and partners,
UPDATE AS AT TUESDAY 24TH MARCH 2020
In light of the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday 23rd March, the college has taken the decision to move all support areas to work remotely from 4.00pm today. Each area will continue to work and support learners, applicants, parents/carers, employers and partners in exactly the same way that they have done to date.
At the moment our crèche will remain open as per the requirement to provide childcare services to key support workers. In her statement on 23rd Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, was clear that whilst:
‘Children should be at home wherever possible, critical workers will still need to have safe care arrangements for their children. Our schools and childcare settings are providing a vital service to support critical workers and our most vulnerable children. Those involved in the current arrangements looking after children should continue. Many thanks to our amazing teaching and childcare professionals for their commitment in this time of national need. This situation will continue for the immediate term but we will be reviewing with healthcare professionals, local authorities and our teaching unions.’
We will of course keep you updated on any further information, advice and developments on this over the course of the next few days.
In the meantime, the safety and wellbeing of all of our staff is our key priority and we are working with our crèche manager to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our creche staff and the children who are attending during this time.
Contacting our support areas
If any of you have any queries or wish to contact any areas of support over the next few weeks, please use the following email addresses. They are all being monitored continually and staff will endeavor to come back to you as soon as they possibly can
Admissions, marketing and enquiries – if you have any queries regarding admissions or marketing, please contact: email@example.com. We will be continuing to process applications and enquiries as normal so please do get in touch with any concerns you may have.
Student Records – Any query that existing learners or staff may have on attendance or exams can be accessed via: SRHelpdesk@MERTHYR.AC.UK;
IT – If you need IT support, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance – For any queries regarding free school meals, EMA or ALG, bursaries or payment of invoices, please contact: email@example.com.
HR – if you require any HR advice and guidance or wish to inform us that you are sick, please use the HR@MERTHYR.AC.UK.
Learner Support and Wellbeing - please refer to the contact card below
Thank you for bearing with us during this difficult time. Please stay safe, follow the Government recommendations and look after yourselves
UPDATE AS AT FRIDAY 20TH MARCH 2020
Thank you very much for all your patience, assistance and support with all of the uncertainty over the last few weeks.
Due to the current and continually evolving challenges and risks associated with Coronavirus COVID-19 and in-line with the announcement made by the Education Minister this afternoon, we have taken the decision to cease face-to-face teaching for all learners from the end of this week (Friday 20 March 2020 at 4pm).
From Monday 23 March 2020, teaching and learning will move, wherever possible to be delivered digitally until further notice.
As we prepare to move towards this new phase of working, our priorities very much focus upon:
Keep learning going
We have put clear plans and actions in place to ensure that we are able to deliver and support teaching and learning remotely and ensure that learners keep learning. Learners are able to access the required learning platforms and resources through the college’s Website, Moodle and Student Portal systems. To assist learners requiring learning resources, our Learning Zone has increased the amount of materials/books/resources that learners are able to take out on loan. They will also waive all fines until we are back open again. Library resources are also available on-line via FINDIT and Blackboard (for HE learners).
Keep providing learners with the appropriate care, support and guidance
We have a large number of learners who are currently receiving support to help them with their studies and this support will continue on a remote basis utilising Facebook, Skype and other electronic platforms. Learners receiving EMA, ALG etc. will continue to do so. We will also continue to make regular bursary payments. All learners who currently receive support will be provided with a first contact card with the contact details of all key support workers on. We will also be offering three months’ supply of period products to learners to collect before they leave on Friday.
We will continue to review advice from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government and will publish all updates on our Website and official social media channels and via direct email to our staff and learners.