If you have a safeguarding concern or query, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Alex Rolfe, on 0208 319 9724
Below you can find information relevant to current students, such as updates from the Department of Education, as well as tips for staying healthy and on-track during this time.
We will continue to update parents, students and the website as new developments are made, and we wish you well during this time.
Returning to college? Please see the risk assessment below
Coronavirus Risk Assessment
Get in Touch
Get in Touch
We have updated two of our policies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the updated versions below:
Safeguarding Policy March 2020 Update
Online Teaching and Learning Policy March 2020 Update
Department of Education Guidance
Department for Education
This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Schools, colleges and early years settings to close
Yesterday Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and early years settings have been asked to close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday 23 March.
A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office later today. We will share this with you once this information is made available.
Where schools are unable to provide this reduced provision, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.
Further details on this announcement can be found here:
The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need.
Update on assessments and examinations
Yesterday, we confirmed that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. Tomorrow we will provide greater clarity on how students and young people will be awarded the examination results that they deserve.
New free school meals guidance
We have confirmed that we will give schools the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending school, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home.
Schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Final rates will be confirmed in the coming days, but we have confirmed that the voucher value for each eligible child will exceed the rate that schools are paid for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.
Full guidance can be found here:
Update on school funding
We will put in place new measures, to reimburse schools for reasonable, additional costs that they face in order to stay safely staffed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Funding for all schools and colleges (including maintained and academy special schools, non-maintained special schools, independent special schools, pupil referral units, general further education colleges and special post-16 institutions), whether from local or central government, will be maintained and not reduced because many pupils are not in attendance (either because of self-isolation, or where the institution has closed). This includes top-up funding in respect of individual children and young people, which will still be needed by the school to keep their staff in employment.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information:
Please keep your GIAS school contacts up to date
If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).
To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:
Below are some tips and ideas to keep your body and mind healthy during this time.
Want to take part in our home challenge ideas to keep yourself busy whilst you're at home? Download our Home Challenges sheet here.
End of year results
You can find details and more information about this here.
GCSE, A-Level & EPQ Students:
The Government have released further updates regarding how your final grades will be determined. You can find them here and here.
Vocational and Functional Skills Students:
The Government have released further updates regarding how your final grades will be determined. You can find full details here.
GCSE students will receive their results on the 20th August.
A-Level students will receive their results on the 13th August.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2020
Please see guidance from the Department of Education below. You can view the gov.uk webpage here.
1. Did exams need to be cancelled?
From Friday 20 March, all educational settings are closed to everyone except the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
The coronavirus outbreak is expected to continue having a significant impact on the education system, and the country, for months to come. Therefore exams have been cancelled now to give pupils, parents, and teachers certainty, and enable schools and colleges to focus on supporting vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
2. What will happen to those who have already done some non-exam assessment?
The calculated grade process will take into account a range of evidence including, for example, non-exam assessment and mock results, and the approach will be standardised between schools and colleges. Ofqual is working urgently with the exam boards to set out proposals for how this process will work and will be talking to teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that the approach taken is as fair as possible.
3. How will you address the fact that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have their grades under-predicted?
We are not awarding students their predicted grades. Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, will develop a fair and robust process that takes into account a broad range of evidence, including teacher assessment and prior attainment. Ofqual will make every effort to ensure that the process agreed does not disadvantage any particular group of students.
Pupils who do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again.
4. Will all students get their predicted grade?
No, we know that simply using predicted grades would not be fair to all students. The calculated grade will take into account teachers’ assessment of the likely grade as well as other factors such as prior attainment, so students’ final grades will not necessarily reflect their predicted grades.
5. Will schools be using mock exam results as a barometer for results – and is this fair on students as they did not know at the time these would be used as their final mark?
Mock exam results will be one of the pieces of evidence that will be taken into account in this process, alongside other factors. Ofqual will ensure schools are provided with clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly.
6. Will the past performance of the school be taken into account when devising the calculated grade?
Ofqual will consider carefully how to ensure the process is as fair as possible, which is likely to include considering measures that reflect how much progress a student would have been likely to have made at the school they are attending.
7. Is this an entirely new system?
Exam boards have experience of using moderated teacher assessment to award grades to a number of students, such as those who fall ill immediately before an exam. Ofqual will draw on this experience when developing the process to be used this year.
8. How will schools/colleges cope with the burden of putting on an atypical exam season?
We recognise that exams are a stressful time for schools and colleges. We will set out in due course the steps we will be taking to minimise this burden.
9. Will universities/colleges/sixth forms accept these calculated grades?
The calculated grades awarded will be formal grades, with the same status as grades awarded in any other year.
University representatives have already confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.
10. What if I am unhappy with my grade?
We will work closely with Ofqual and awarding organisations to ensure candidates are awarded a fair grade that recognises the work they have put in. If a student does not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.
11. Will there be an opportunity to take exams this year if a student is unhappy with their grade?
We recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they have not been able to sit their exams. If they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.
12. What about private candidates or home educated students?
We will work closely with the independent regulator of qualifications, Ofqual, to explore options for awarding grades to private candidates, including home educated students.
13. Can private centres run GCSEs/A levels if they chose to do so?
No. Exam boards will not be issuing papers for this summer’s GCSE, AS and A levels so there will not be the opportunity to sit them at any centre.
14. Does this mean every exam in every module in every subject being cancelled, or will a limited number go ahead at GCSE and/or A level?
Exam boards will not be issuing papers for this summer’s GCSE, AS and A levels so there will not be the opportunity to sit them in any subject.
15. What about vocational and technical qualifications?
No exams will be taking place in schools and colleges this summer.
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 we will work with them to provide more details shortly.
16. Will parents be required to educate their children while they are off school?
We are completely committed to ensuring that every child receives the best education possible and will be working with the BBC and others to provide resources for children to access while at home.
17. What if have started my coursework but it is not finished?
Exam boards will provide advice on this to schools and colleges as soon as possible.
18. What will young people with university offers do?
The grades awarded to students will have equal validity to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers. There is no reason for the usual admissions cycle to be disrupted.
We welcome the constructive approach taken by the main university representative body, Universities UK, who have said that universities will be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to university.
19. Do universities need to start making unconditional offers / should I accept an unconditional offer now that exams are cancelled?
The grades awarded to students will have equal validity to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers.
There is no reason for the usual admissions cycle to be disrupted. Universities should not begin making new unconditional offers and applicants should feel no pressure to accept such offers, as they will be awarded a formal calculated grade for each exam they would have taken.
20. If I already have an unconditional offer, does that remain?
Yes, an unconditional offer means you have already met the entry requirements, so the place is yours if you want it.
21. If I take the exam option, will I still be able to go to university this year?
Students who do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after the beginning of the academic year.
While it cannot be guaranteed in every circumstance, Universities UK has assured us that the majority of universities will show the utmost flexibility to ensure that such students who take this option are able to begin their course with a delayed start time.
If a student is in this circumstance, they should speak to the university from which they have an offer after receiving their calculated grade.
22. Are iGCSEs and the International Baccalaureate also cancelled?
We are making clear to all awarding organisations that no exams should go ahead in schools and colleges in England this year.
23. How will colleges, sixth-forms, universities cope with the fact that these students will have missed out on some of their education?
These are extraordinary circumstances. We are working with schools, sixth forms, colleges and universities to ensure that we do everything we can to best help students prepare for and progress to the next stage of their education.
24. Might the exams be reinstated if the coronavirus (COVID-19) is not as bad as expected?
No, the decision has been taken to cancel all exams this summer.
Internal progression for current students
Additional Information for students on SEN and inclusive Learning Provisions
Students will now be eligible to remain with us until the age of 23. Whilst studying at with us students will automatically enrolled on the next level of their course or the next available option.
School closure information for students
Remote Study Guidelines
Free School Meals & Bursary
The DfE has warned that fraudsters are targeting parents of children eligible for free school means. Families have received an email requesting their bank details, claiming this will enable their children to continue receiving meals through school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DfE have issued a notice, urging parents to delete the scam email immediately.
If you are in receipt of Free School Meals from Shooters Hill Sixth Form College you would have received an email individually from a school account with your Tescos voucher for the next two weeks.
If you have any problems please contact the finance office on the following email :- firstname.lastname@example.org. Discretionary and Vulnerable Bursary grants will continue to be paid to students through their bank accounts.
Please note, these vouchers will not be available during the Easter break, as this is not part of the funding agreement.