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SFCA responds to re-opening guidance for Autumn 2020

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Responding to the guidance published by the Department for Education today, Bill Watkin, Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association said:

“The guidance published today provides sixth form colleges with some welcome flexibilities. We are pleased to see that colleges can continue to deliver a blend of online and face to face learning if that is what is best for students. Some colleges will want all students to return in the autumn, but transport remains a major barrier to that. The guidance makes a helpful distinction between public transport and dedicated college transport, and it is right that social distancing does not apply on the latter. This will help up to a point, but students at many colleges are still heavily reliant on public transport. The guidance on forming groups is likely to be a lot harder to implement in colleges than schools, given there are often thousands of students in individual year groups, but again the flexibility in the guidance is welcome. Colleges will ensure that students learning remotely will continue to maintain the outstanding quality of online learning and meet the number of hours required by funding regulations, but as we set out last month, the Department for Education should make a commitment not to retrospectively penalise institutions for how they deliver education in these unprecedented times.”

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