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Educating Beyond The Classroom

Educating Beyond The Classroom

Educating Beyond The Classroom

Provision of education and training for self-isolating students and remote learning during Covid-19

For students who have been advised to self-isolate, but are well enough to learn, we expect you to continue your education remotely as far as is reasonably possible. We have therefore developed a blended approach to learning where we make effective use of digital technology such as virtual learning environments, video conferencing, digital resources and storage.

In circumstances where you need to undertake your learning remotely, you should benefit from the same amount of teaching and guided work that you would normally receive on-site. We recognise for some students this may not be possible, for example where you are undertaking a course involving practical teaching and training which necessitates the use of specialist equipment and supervision or with respect to work experience and placements. We will use our best endeavours to deliver as much of your planned hours as possible. We expect you to maintain contact and to use this time wisely to benefit from as much contact time as possible

We have the following in place to assist:

  • adapted and sequenced education and training programmes to continue to give you the best chance to build your knowledge and skills
  • individual assessment and feedback to support progress in your learning
  • have systems in place to check, for persistent non-attendance or lack of engagement with remote education and to quickly agree ways in which attendance and participation can be improved with you and your employer
  • give particular consideration on how best to support you if you are vulnerable or disadvantaged, or with special educational needs

If you need to self-isolate or local restrictions require you to remain at home, we are here to help maintain your learning. Your assessor/tutor will contact you to plan for your one to one sessions which may include;

  • remote knowledge sessions using virtual learning environments and assessment arrangements
  • arrangements for remote observations for those of you who are still working and require specialist equipment or facilities to build on your skills
  • alternative methods of support for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning. This can include telephone contact and the provision of physical resources as an alternative
  • support for students with SEND or those who are vulnerable.


If you are still working, social distancing has significantly reduced available public transport capacity. Please contact us if you would like advice on how you can safely get to and from work to keep you in your job and progress with your apprenticeship.

Wider public transport

In many areas, students make extensive use of the wider public transport system, particularly public buses, to travel to education. Public transport capacity will continue to be constrained. Its use, particularly in peak times, should be kept to an absolute minimum. Where possible, consider speaking to your employer about staggered start times to enable more journeys to take place outside of peak hours.

Temporary staff and visitors

To keep both staff and learners as safe as possible, we will be minimising the number of visitors to our office as possible. This measure will reduce the risks for learners where face to face and onsite learning/workplace visits are still required. We will make use of outdoor spaces wherever possible to support the delivery of the curriculum.

Before agreeing onsite visits, we will undertake full and thorough risk assessments to ensure they can be done safely.

GFTS Workforce

We expect that most of our teaching staff will be able to attend work. All of our GFTS staff working on-site will follow a strict system of controls to minimise the risks of transmission. Following the system of controls will reduce the risks to all staff and learners significantly. Some roles, such as some administrative roles, may be conducive to home working, and we have considered what is feasible and appropriate.

Attending planned learning

All students must attend planned learning sessions unless they:

  • are ill
  • are self-isolating, including if self-isolating due to a household member having a suspected or confirmed case
  • have been advised not to attend by their local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace

It is important for us to keep an accurate record of attendance should there be a positive case or cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace or in our place of business.

5 key pieces of information and guidance for our learners

We understand that you may currently be experiencing some unexpected changes in your workplace or at home due to COVID-19 and would like to assure you that as your training provider, we are here to help and safeguard you in any way that we can. We have gathered 5 key pieces of information and guidance on the following topics to support you during this period.

  • Online safety
  • Top tips for learning/working from home
  • Health and well-being
  • Understanding Coronavirus
  • Furloughed – What it means for you…

1) Online safety

At this time of social distancing and lockdown, it’s of course understandable that everyone will be spending a lot more time on social media and online.  With this in mind it’s even more important that we are all aware of the potential dangers that people could be exposed to.

Key tips for staying safe online…

Be careful what you download.

Be careful what you post.

Be careful who you are meeting online.

Keep your privacy settings on.

Choose a strong pass code.

Practice safe browsing.

Report misuse.

The NSPCC also has useful advice and guidance online, including the facility for anyone aged under 18 to report if an image or video of them has been shared online and for it to be removed from the internet.  For more information visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre

2) Top tips for learning/working from home

You may be completing your 20% off-the-job training at home, at your own pace, or working from home rather than attending your workplace; whatever your circumstances learning or working from home is a new experience for most of us.

5 Top Tips for working/learning at home:

Time – decide and then allocate the best time of the day for you to learn. You might have to book this time with the rest of your family. Get ready for learning at your chosen time. If working from home, you may still have to stick to your normal working hours but do make sure you take regular breaks. It is easy to forget the time so do stick to a schedule and ensure you switch off when you should do.

Space – decide where the best place in your house is for you to learn/work. Again, you might have to negotiate with others for that space. Where possible, a room with natural light can be beneficial.

Equipment – a comfortable seat, the right headphones and the right lighting, all make learning/working from home better.

Regular breaks – make sure you move away from your workstation regularly, maybe every 20 – 30 minutes. If you have a garden, take a walk outside, drink plenty of water.

Make the most of learning opportunities – take advantage of any groups or webinars and use them to the full.

It’s also a great time to learn a new hobby or develop new skills. Try cooking or baking, a new dance, a new language and reading more often – whatever you are interested in!

3) Health and Well-being

Every Mind Matters provides a free mental health plan and some great health and well-being tips at  www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters

Top tips for keeping your mental health and well-being in top shape

Stay connected – organise a quiz or bingo night; meet up remotely for coffee and chat.

Talk about your worries – share with a trusted person, or look at helplines.

Support and help others – volunteering or just helping those close at home.

Feel prepared – planning your week and keeping routines.

Looking after your body – eating and sleeping well. Good exercise and plenty of water.

Stick to the facts – be careful of fake news and bogus stories. Choose a trusted site.

Stay on top of difficult feelings – concentrate on what you can control, not what you can’t.

Do things you enjoy – start a new hobby or improve some skill.

Focus on the present – relax, concentrate on the present and don’t worry about the future.

Look after your sleep – keep good sleep patterns and get ready for a good night’s sleep!

Do you feel you are at risk of abuse?

Not being able to get out of your home can bring additional problems for some people. Controlling your own anger and feelings can be difficult, and taking them out on people you live with can be a problem. Likewise, living closely in a household with others who are abusive can make you feel unsafe. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t right.

If you feel this might be impacting on you, you can get help in the following ways:

In an emergency, ring 999.

If not an emergency, but you want to talk to someone, Freephone 0808 2000 247

If sometimes you find it hard to control your anger call 0845 122 8609

Visit nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/controlling-anger/

Contact our safeguarding team via the contact details given to you.

Keeping Healthy & Active

Just because we are in lockdown that does not mean we can’t take care of ourselves and enjoy some exercise.  Over the last few weeks there has been significant increase in virtual fitness classes. If you are on Facebook, check your local exercise classes, there could be yoga, Zumba, dance, toning, all online. Divina McCall also offers online fitness and well-being guidance free for 30 days at https://ownyourgoalsdavina.com/

Don’t forget… you can still go for walks; it is free and you never know which new and interesting routes you may find when you are out and about.  If you are aged under 18, please always do so with the permission of your parents/guardians.

4) Understanding Coronavirus

Do you know what the Coronavirus is, what it means to you and how you can help yourself and others keep safe?

Often referred to as COVID-19, Coronavirus is the name given to the virus that is impacting how we currently live. It was first detected in January 2020, but has reached almost every country in the world.

  • Stay Alert- We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. In England this means you must:
  • stay at home as much as possible.
  • work from home if you can.
  • limit contact with other people.
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 meters apart where possible). At all times, you should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home.
  • wash your hands regularly, and as soon as you get home if you go out.
  • You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.


There is lots of advice and guidance out there but also plenty of false information.  We always recommend you follow the guidance set out by the Government, which is reviewed regularly.  Government information on what you can and can’t do is available by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Don’t Forget

Do not leave your home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.  The main symptoms are:

a high temperature

a new, continuous cough

a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

5) Furloughed – what it means for you…

Have you been Furloughed?  Do you know what it means for you?

This is a bit like putting your television on standby. It’s not working but it could at any time!  In other works, if you are on furlough you are not out of work, and you could be asked to go back to work at any time.

Many companies have put their workers on furlough.  Being on furlough is an unfamiliar situation and can bring about mixed emotions. Everyone will look at furlough in a different way. You may experience feelings of concern, fear or frustration; or feelings of relief if being on furlough allows you to balance caring responsibilities.

Whatever you are feeling, this could have an impact on your well-being. Just remember there is always someone to talk to.  All the organisations detailed on this page will offer some form of advice and guidance.  The websites below also provide information and guidance on being furloughed.

Government guidance can be found by clicking here.

Click here to access The Citizens Advice website.

Click here to visit the ACAS website.


Educating Beyond The Classroom