College update: Return to blended learning from 15 March

March 9, 2021

NESCol will return to a blended learning model from Monday (15 March).

The priority remains to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, students and the communities we serve and plans are in place for a managed return to campus on a limited basis.

The majority of students will continue to learn remotely and will not return to campus at this stage. Students should follow the guidance of course leaders, who will advise those who are required to attend for practical sessions.

In keeping with Scottish Government guidelines on the safe operation of Colleges, numbers will be restricted to 5%. Fewer than 500 students will be scheduled to attend across the NESCol campuses each day.

This is a smaller cohort than prior to the Christmas break and the comprehensive measures in place to safely manage facilities will be crucial as students return for the first time in 2021.

The requirement for face coverings in all College settings, including classrooms and other learning areas, is an additional step contained within the latest Scottish Government guidance.

The safe return to a blended model will enable some face to face teaching, work placements in designated industries and workplace assessments to resume. All will be subject to stringent risk assessment.

Students, staff and the wider College community are being reminded of the key FACTS guidance:

  • Face coverings: Must be worn at all times within College buildings, unless there is a medical exemption. This now includes within classrooms and other learning areas.
  • Avoid crowded places: Access to campus will be carefully managed by the College to limit numbers – but there is also a personal duty of care. There is a shared responsibility not to congregate in groups and to avoid crowded places, both inside and outside of College.
  • Clean your hands regularly: Facilities are in place throughout NESCol buildings to enable regular hand washing. Good hygiene practices remain vital.
  • Two-metre distance: Distancing measures are in place throughout our campuses and should be observed at all times. The only exception is in specifically risk assessed activities or in emergencies.
  • Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms: Anyone experiencing any symptoms that may be connected to Coronavirus should not attend College. Instead, individuals should isolate at home and book a test. Any student experiencing difficulties booking a test should contact .

In addition students and staff are being reminded:

  • The College recommends the Protect Scotland app is downloaded, which will provide an additional layer of reassurance inside and outside of College.
  • Students or staff members who test positive for Coronavirus, even if that individual has not attended College, should notify their Academic Tutor or line manager.

NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: “The return of some students and staff is a significant and very positive move forward after the extended period of remote learning we have navigated.

“The reduction in case numbers coupled with the pace at which the vaccine programme is being delivered should give us all great hope that the easing of restrictions will continue to gather pace following the Easter break.

“We thank students, staff and our partners for their support and for doing all that they can to ensure their safety and that of all those connected with NESCol.”