Exeter College is to deliver all its lessons online the week before Christmas to reduce the risk of students having to isolate on Christmas Day.
The city centre college has told students and parents it wants to reduce contact during the ‘pivotal week’ before the festivities.
A letter to parents says: “By delivering online lessons the week before the Christmas holidays we hope to further reduce the risk that any of our learners should have their Christmas break disrupted.
“It will also reduce contact at college during a pivotal week when lots of university students will be travelling, and we anticipate that the city and transport routes will be particularly busy with shoppers post lockdown.
“The college has remained open this term, and we are still open the week before Christmas. We have been able to remain open for onsite learning because our students are helping us to keep the college safe by following the guidance whilst on site.”
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Nationwide Covid restrictions say that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus or is identified as a close contact must isolate for 14 days. Many parents have expressed concern about students being in lessons or tutorials in the run up to the festive period – increasing their risk of infection before December 25.
The last day of autumn term at the college will be December 18. It is the second time the college has introduced what it calls a ‘Flip’ week of independent study. The first one ran after the October half term.
A spokesperson for the college said: “Following the success of our first Flip Week after the October half term, we’ve decided to deliver teaching and learning online on the week commencing the 14th December.
“Teachers will be delivering their usual timetabled sessions online Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4.30pm. On Friday, December 18, tutors and skills officers will be delivering one-to-one support and learners will be set independent learning tasks to undertake.
“Throughout Flip Week, college sites will remain open, with access to socially-distanced computers in Learning Resource Centres for those who need a computer to access online lessons.
“Vulnerable learners will also be able to attend college sites if they need to.”