Following today’s statement on the return of schools in Wales for face-to-face learning, we look forward to collaborating with the Minster for Education and her Government officials as we await specific guidance for the further education (FE) sector. It will be essential for us to receive this clarification no later than next week given that colleges are set to re-open on the same day as schools and will require as much time as possible to prepare.
Provision for FE colleges must differ to that of schools
With a diverse group of learners, from vocational through to A level, it will be essential that appropriate provision is made to ensure their safe return to face-to-face learning. ColegauCymru on behalf of its members is requesting clarity and guidance at the earliest possible opportunity. Whilst the school and FE education sectors are different, we are disappointed that the provision for FE has not been clarified at the same time as schools, particularly as the sector is already noting confusion and misunderstanding amongst learners and parents.
There are key areas to consider in this process, none more so than that of funding to mitigate some of the damage already done to young peoples’ learning by the Covid19 pandemic. They include:
These examples alone will bring with them unprecedented logistical issues such as transport, the ongoing requirements of awarding bodies, and the delivery of a person-centred curriculum. And with just over 6 weeks before the start of the new academic year, it is essential for our members to receive guidance to be able plan appropriately. It is vitally important that the specific needs of this diverse group of learners are not overlooked, and to ensure their safety and that of staff and the wider learning community.
We are reassured that Welsh Government have always put the needs and safety of learners at the very heart of their decision-making process. We look forward to working closely with them as they continue to do so. And to the resumption of academic and vocational learning across Wales’ further education colleges.