COVID-19 created challenges within education and meant we had to act quickly to change our approach. We moved from most classes being held in our centres to online learning. In many cases we have used a ‘blended’ approach, which is a mix of face-to-face and online or distance learning.
Our main priority is to make sure that you are safe while learning with us. This is true for both online and for face-to-face learning in our centres. Where we can, we will make sure that you can carry on learning with both the theory and practical sessions with your tutors.
Remote education for 14-16 learners
We'll make sure that you receive the materials needed to help you to carry on with your learning. It's still the parents' duty to educate their children and offer pastoral support, such as physical and emotional wellbeing.
Remote learning for 16-19 learners
We'll provide you with a range of remote learning methods. This will include live online sessions (video conferencing) using Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Depending on the course, other learning methods may also be used:
- Nearpod (online interactive learning led by the tutor, or self-paced to do in your own time)
- bksb (online resources to help you to practise and improve your English, maths and digital skills).
For some courses, we will provide you with an Office 365 account to use while learning with us. This will give you free storage space for your course work, and your tutor can mark your work within this space. It also gives you free access to online Microsoft programmes such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive storage, and email.
Some of you will be able to come into the learning centre for some of the time. When you are learning away from the centre we will support you to take part in online learning. We will help you use Microsoft Teams and our online learning platform, Derbyshire Learning Online. We will still cover your main learning curriculum, including English and maths, and your employability and work-related training.
Where needed, we will adapt your assessments to support you to achieve your qualifications. We expect that teaching and learning will continue as normal unless official guidance changes.
Our tutors will be supported by their line manager to make sure that you get the best learning possible. You will be advised by your tutor on the use of suitable software and online options to move to online learning as easily as possible.
Remote education for apprentices
You will continue to meet the 20% ‘off the job’ part of your programme by using the range of flexible models already in place.
We’ll provide you with an Office 365 account to use while learning with us. This will give you free storage space for your course work, and your tutor can mark your work within this space. It also gives you free access to online Microsoft programmes such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive storage, and email.
All one-to-one sessions, online classes, observations and reviews will be done online with you and your employer. This will help to make sure you carry on developing your knowledge, skills and behaviours. We will use this to set targets and actions with you. We will plan so that you can meet your goals by your expected end date.
We are working with the awarding bodies and their assessment criteria, so that you can take your End Point Assessment online using Go To Webinar and Microsoft Teams.
Remote education for adult learners
We are now offering online and distance learning for adult learners across a wide range of curriculum areas including:
- art and craft
- health and wellbeing
- environmental awareness
However, there are some parts of these courses where practical workshops are needed to help you to develop your skills. Where possible, we will prioritise this learning and change the order of the sessions to make sure that no-one is disadvantaged, for example in construction courses.
Our tutors have taken on board online and distance learning. Most tutors are now very happy to teach sessions using Microsoft Teams and Zoom. You will have full access to our online learning platform, Derbyshire Learning Online. This means that you can access resources, recorded sessions and hand in your course work.
View our current programme of adult education courses.
We follow the government’s rules to make sure that all learners and staff are safe when coming in to our centres, including for exams.
We will contact you to let you know when you are able to come back to our centres.
All staff are trained to be able to deliver your courses online. If you are new to online courses, we will provide you with:
- online information, advice and guidance about learning and work
- support and help to use the resources
- support in getting equipment to learn online, where needed
Staff will regularly contact with you when you are learning remotely. They will give you support with your learning and check for any concerns (such as mental health) through email, telephone and online using Microsoft Teams. You will be able to access online support for topics such as keeping safe online, mental wellbeing and resilience.
Expectations of learners
You will be invited to complete an induction course DACES Learner Induction. This includes information on how to keep safe online. You are expected to take part in all online and distance learning sessions offered to make sure that you continue to make progress.
If you can’t take part, such as because you are ill, your tutor will explain how to let us know. Your tutor will mark the register to show this. If tutors have concerns about your attendance, they will discuss it with our management team and they will take appropriate action.
Arrangements for specialist equipment or facilities
If you need specialist equipment or resources for your course, we will prioritise this part of your learning when centres are open again. Where we can, we will make sure you get all the practical parts of your learning first, in case a full lockdown happens again and we have to return to online learning.
In extreme situations, we will adapt courses to be able to assess the practical parts of your course differently (such as you showing your practical skills on a live Microsoft Teams or Zoom session). If this happens, this will be done in line with guidance from the awarding body for your course.
Support for learners without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning
If you do not have access to a device (such as a laptop or tablet), we will assess what support you need based on your individual situation. If you will be learning online for a long time, we will aim to lend devices to all learners who need it.
We will work with staff across the council to make sure that children in care and children with social workers access the scheme which provides devices for them.
We will use Adult Learner Support money (for learners aged 19 and over) to buy devices that we can lend to you or to make sure you can access the internet, if these costs stop you being able to access or continue your learning.
We are also working with all the UK’s leading mobile network operators, to provide free data for key educational sites. We are very grateful to EE, Three, Tesco Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile, Virgin Mobile, O2 and Vodaphone for supporting this offer.
We have also been delivering 4G routers to families who need to access the internet. You can read about this in the Education Secretary statement to Parliament on national lockdown.
Additional support for pupils with particular needs
If you have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) you will continue to get remote learning support through mentors and Learning Support Assistants. Our staff will maintain contact with you to give guidance to you and your parents during times of online learning.
We might give you different learning methods to suit your individual needs, such as posting printed materials to you every week.
If you need further information about our remote education offer, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.