• Face coverings will no longer be required in classrooms, communal areas, corridors or catering outlets for students, staff or visitors. Face coverings in some classroom environments may be requested at the discretion of our lecturing staff.

    We expect and recommend all students to continue to wear face coverings on our campus buses until further notice.

    One-way systems will be removed however we still expect all in our college community to respect each other’s space.

    With effect from Friday 11 February (04:00hrs):

    People arriving in England from abroad will no longer have to take Covid tests if they are fully vaccinated (they will only need to verify their status using a passenger locator form). This will facilitate international students returning following the half-term break.

    Whilst our organisation has followed the Department for Education’s guidance fully and removed restrictions, you should continue to follow safer behaviour to protect yourself and others. We would also therefore encourage our college community to get vaccinated and get your booster dose, continue to test twice weekly (whilst supplies are readily available) and to self-isolate if required.

    Thank you for your continued efforts to keep the campus a safe environment.

    20/01/2022

    Yesterday the Prime Minster announced that all Plan B measures will be removed in England, with a full return to Plan A by Thursday 27 January. The College Group’s leadership team will review what these steps mean for Sparsholt College Group practices on Monday with a subsequent communication shared with our college community following this discussion.

    Therefore ALL current controls will remain in place until further notice with the following exception:

    We are asking staff, students and visitors to continue to wear masks on campus in indoor communal spaces such as corridors and in catering outlets prior to taking a seat, however face coverings are no longer required in classroom environments with immediate effect unless requested at the discretion of lecturing staff.

    18/01/2022

    If you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result, most people will not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. You must self-isolate immediately if you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result. From 17 January, students and staff can stop self-isolating and return to college at the start of day six if they receive two negative rapid lateral flow test results on days five and six, and do not have a raised temperature. Tests must be at least 24 hours apart. If either test is positive, they must wait 24 hours before testing again.

    January 2022 Update

    We have an update on COVID-related matters for our college community following the Government’s announcement over the Christmas holidays.

    Testing for students after the holiday period

    All students and staff should take one self-test at home either the evening or morning before you return to campus in January, then continue to test twice weekly at home.

    Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education settings

    From Sunday 2 January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, at which point it will be reviewed.

    Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19

    Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

    Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to college from day 8.

    Daily testing for close contacts of COVID-19

    Students who are fully vaccinated, or aged up to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend college as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

  • Coronavirus Update November 2021

    Updated 30/11/21 @14:00

    Please see the below letter sent to students from Sparsholt College Group Principal Julie Milburn

    Dear Student

    I am writing to provide an update on COVID-related matters for our college community following the Government’s announcement over the last few days. The Prime Minister has announced new rules to help us all protect ourselves and others from a new variant of COVID-19 called Omicron. The Omicron variant has extensive mutations from previous versions of the virus, so we need to take urgent measures to protect ourselves from it. UK Scientists are working hard to find out more about the new variant. In the meantime, we must all follow new guidelines to help slow its spread. Please find below an update on College Group protocols and procedures in response to the Government announcement and subsequent instruction from the Department for Education:

     

    Face coverings

    It has been our request and strong recommendation since the beginning of term that students wear a face covering on College Group transport and in communal indoor spaces such as corridors, catering and retail outlets. Please can I ask again that, in line with the weekend’s announcements, you continue to support our community by wearing an appropriate face covering in public spaces unless medically exempt from doing so.

     

    College Transport

    If using College Group transport please ensure that unless you have medical exemption detailed on your college ID card, that you wear a mask getting on and getting off and for the full duration of the journey. I ask for your understanding in order to keep the whole community safe. Our bus and coach companies will not accept students on to their vehicles without a face covering or an exemption in place and will deny access to students not meeting this obligation.

     

    Testing at home

    I would like to stress how important it is that the whole community works together to limit the spread of infection on campus. Please can we ask you to continue to test using a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) twice each week. We continue to have a supply of Lateral Flow Tests which can be requested from your Progress Coach if you have run out of them.

     

    Isolating  

    Current guidance on contact tracing and isolation remains in place. If you test positive for COVID using a Lateral Flow Test, you should then take a further PCR Test.  You should self-isolate whilst waiting for the results of the PCR and if the PCR test subsequently confirms that you have tested positive, you are required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date that you took the PCR test.

    If you are under 18 and have come into close contact with someone with a COVID variant other than the new Omicron variant, you do not need to isolate provided you feel well. If you feel unwell and develop COVID symptoms, you are required to test as detailed above

    If you are over 18 and unvaccinated and have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for any variant of COVID then you should self-isolate for 10 days.

    Finally, under new rules announced last weekend, regardless of age, if you have come into close contact with a suspected or confirmed Omicron case, who will need to isolate for 10 days, even if fully vaccinated.

    If you are required to self-isolate, please ensure that you notify the college of your absence in the usual way. 

     

    Vaccination

    We would ask our whole community to actively consider the option of vaccination and the take up of second dose and booster when/if you are eligible. We believe that prompt take up of the vaccine will enable us to keep our community safe and prevent further interruption to the in-person delivery of education. Any student residing on site who needs to attend a local COVID vaccination clinic is asked to contact the Wardening Team who will be happy to agree a mutually convenient time to provide transportation. 

     

    Examinations

    The College Group is receiving daily updates from the Department for Education. In line with government guidance, all examinations are currently planned to continue as scheduled.

     

    Testing on return to college in January

    The college has ordered a further supply of Lateral Flow Test kits which we hope will be delivered in time to be able to distribute to students before we break up. All students are asked to take a Lateral Flow Test on the day prior to their first day in college following the Christmas break.

     

    International Students

    Please can we ask international students residing on college campus or at Burma Road to contact our Wardening Manager to discuss their plans to return home over the Christmas period and arrangements for their subsequent return to campus in the New year.

     

    I would like to thank you for your continued support in helping us keep our community as safe as possible. I do hope that you and your families have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas break in just a few weeks’ time.

    All best wishes

     

    Julie Milburn, Principal and CEO 

  • Updated 16/11/21 @ 11:00

    Ofqual have released a letter to all students regrading the arrangements for A Levels, AS levels, BTEC and Vocational Qualifications in 2022. You can read the full letter here.

    Updated 01/11/21 @ 10:00

    We hope all our students had a great start to term and have had an enjoyable reading break. The College has reviewed all safety measures and decided that all existing controls will remain in place after reading break with a subsequent review to take place prior to Christmas.

    The UK Government has now entered a new phase in its response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day to day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk. As Covid-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, the Department for Education (working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England) have informed all education leaders that the imperative now is to reduce further disruption to young people’s education and for our priority to be the delivery of face to face high quality education.

    Asymptomatic testing of learners

    Students should continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of Term (Friday 17 December).

    Wearing of face coverings and one-way systems

    When you arrive on campus you will find that we continue to have numerous safety measures in place to keep our college community safe, such as one-way systems, extra cleaning, hand sanitising. If you’re using College-arranged transport, we ask you to wear a mask/face covering to be able to travel.

    We are asking students to continue to wear masks on campus in indoor communal spaces such as corridors and in catering outlets prior to taking a seat.  You may also be asked to wear face coverings in some classroom environments at the discretion of our lecturing staff.

    Vaccinations

    We are starting the year in changed times and part of that change is the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We recognise that having a COVID vaccination is a personal choice but we would encourage all students aged 16 and over to consider the vaccination option.

  • Updated 05/03/21 @13:30

    Will Exams be cancelled?

    The Government recently announced changes to how final grades will be calculated across a number of qualifications and programmes this academic year.  While we have clarity on how GCSE grades will be calculated, guidance on BTEC, Vocational and Technical qualifications will be outlined in the near future.  The College will clarify the position on BTEC, Vocational and Technical qualifications when we receive further guidance.

    Over the next few months, the College will be determining and submitting a teacher assessed grade for learners due to complete GCSE exams later in the year.  Teachers, who know their learners best, will be drawing on a range of information, not just a single assessment point, to arrive at a fair and reasonable judgement. We will ensure no learner is disadvantaged due to remote learning, with final outcomes taken from a range of evidence across each learner’s time at Sparsholt College.

    We understand how uncertain and unsettling the past few weeks have been and the College will continue to support learners on their return from 8th March.   Learners will continue to be assessed on work completed and this work may form part of the final grade outcome.  Therefore, it is vitally important that learners continue to engage with their lessons and attend regularly.

    The College asks that learners and parents do not contact individual teachers or support staff in relation to teacher assessed grades.  We thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.  Any further information will be shared in due course along with any further relevant detail that Ofqual issue in the coming months.

     

    Will I be refunded for unused transport/accommodation?

    In line with our previous advice that we will not charge for unused college transport or on-site accommodation during periods of lockdown and appreciating that this is a difficult time for many, we intend to suspend the payment plans for Sparsholt Campus on-site accommodation and college transport for the months of March and April. This will apply to those who have not used college contracted coaches, unused Stagecoach services or accommodation services during January and February 2021. We will of course then conduct a full reconciliation of all accounts once we have a date for return to on-site/face-to-face delivery.

    If you are experiencing financial difficulty at this time, please email creditcontrol@sparsholt.ac.uk and we will discuss a revised payment plan with you. The college is also contacting Stagecoach and South Western Railway to establish if they will reimburse the cost of passes purchased via the college for the period of the lockdown and we will update users once we know their position.  

     

    How will my studies be supported if learning remotely?

    We know how difficult the reality of another lockdown is and that it impacts our whole community.  Should you need any points of clarification in relation to arrangements, if you are experiencing any difficulty in accessing technology to learn from home or if you feel that you need additional support, please can we ask you to contact your Progress Coach who will be pleased to assist or facilitate the specialist support according to your needs.  

    Click here to read our Remote Learning Pledge.

  • FACE COVERINGS ON CAMPUS

    Updated 14/05/21 @ 09:00

    The Prime Minister has announced that the country’s roadmap out of lockdown is on track and step 3 will go ahead as planned on Monday 17 May. It is therefore not necessary for face coverings to be worn in classrooms. However, the guidance is very clear that face coverings should continue to be worn in areas where it is difficult to maintain social distancing of 2m.

    Therefore all staff and students must continue to wear face coverings in all communal areas, when queueing and on all College transport. We will continue to keep this under review.


    LETTER TO YOUNG PEOPLE FROM GAVIN WILLIAMSON MP, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION 

    Updated 26/03/21 @ 16:00

    The Secretary of State for Education has today written to all young people to thank them for the part they have all played in helping us fight coronavirus. In the letter, the Secretary of State recognises the significant disruption that children and young people have experienced in their education over the past year and the challenges they have faced as a result. The Secretary of State thanks young people for the resilience they have shown and outlines his commitment to supporting them to recover from the pandemic.

    Read the full letter here


    CORONAVIRUS TESTING AT HOME

    Updated 19/03/21 @11:00  

    We have been so impressed with how well students have responded to lateral flow testing (LFT) since our return to on-campus teaching and learning on 8 March. Following the government roadmap, and to continue to keep everyone as safe as possible, we will be issuing home testing kits to all students once they have taken their third LFT test in college.  

    How do you take your test?  

    Each testing kit will be issued with detailed step-by-step instructions to support the transition to home testing which can also be seen below in videopdf leaflet , easy read leaflet and here on the gov.uk website – all students should read these instructions before taking their first test at home.  

    When do you take your test?   

    Students will need to test themselves twice a week on the evening before their first timetabled day in college. So, for example, if your first timetabled day in college is on Monday you would take your LFT on the Sunday night and then the next one three days later on Wednesday; if your first timetabled day is usually a Tuesday you would test Monday and Thursday and so onStudents aged 18 and over should self-test and report the result, with assistance if needed. Students under 17 should self-test and report with adult supervision. The adult may conduct the test if necessary.  

    How do you report your results?  

    Once you have taken the test you must report your result to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone calling 119 following the instructions in the home test kit.  

    You will also need to report your result to college – your tutor will give you instructions on how and when to do this and we will also publish updated guidance on this page.  

    Students with a positive LFT test result will need to self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. They will also need to arrange a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result if the test was done at home.  

    Those with a negative LFT test result can continue to attend college in line with and using the protective measures already in place. 

    Need more information?  

    We are always here to answer any questions you may have about this next step in keeping our college community safe, get in touch with your tutor with any questions and we will be posting  new updates on this webpage, so stay connected.  

    The Government have also recently published two blogs as additional resources which provide further information on testing for school staff, students and families: 

  • CORONAVIRUS TESTING AT SPARSHOLT COLLEGE

    Updated 04/03/21 @10:45

    The College has been working with NHS Test & Trace since January and our on-campus Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) for Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) is set up so that students without symptoms, who may be infectious but unaware, are able to get tested and self-isolate if positive or to be reassured quickly if they are not.

    When students return, they will be asked to undertake three COVID tests in college over their first three weeks back on campus. Once the initial three tests have been completed over the three-week period, students will be supplied with further tests to be taken at home. All students and parents have been contacted via email with the specific arrangements for their return.

    Parents and guardians of students under 18, have also been asked to return the consent form emailed to you. Participation in testing is voluntary and will not be administered without the consent of the student undergoing the test as well as the parent or carer of any student aged under 18 years of age.

    The Government has advised that you will need to wear a face covering when travelling to and from college and at all times in and around college including in classrooms.

    If you have any queries, please contact your Progress Coach who will be able to help answer your questions.


    Updated 24/02/2021 @ 13:00

    Further to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, you will be aware that the intention is for our students to return to college during the week of Monday 8 March (7 March for Sparsholt residential students) – Friday 12 March.

    We are currently digesting the lengthy guidance which has been issued by the Government and working through plans for the safe return of our student community. When students return they will be asked to undertake three COVID tests in college over the first two to three week period. Once these initial three tests have been completed at college, students will be given tests to be taken at home.

    We will write to all students (and parents of all under 18 year old students) over the next few days advising of the day of the week that they will be coming back on campus. On their first day back students will be asked to take a COVID test where consent has been provided. We thank the vast majority of parents and guardians of under 18s for having completed their COVID Test Consent Forms. If you have not yet done so please return your consent, as a matter of urgency, when we resend the link to you in the coming days.

    We have been so impressed by and grateful for our student community’s response to online learning. We can’t wait to see you all back on campus and we look forward to your continued commitment to your learning and to the safety of your fellow learners and college community.

  • Updated 22/02/2021 @ 16:30

    The government has announced to parliament the roadmap for the easing of restrictions and a return to learning in England. We will be in touch directly with all students about the specific arrangements for you and your course as soon as we can.

  • Updated 04/01/21

    Following the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening of a second National Lockdown, we are cancelling all Covid testing planned to happen at Andover College, University Centre Sparsholt (UCS) and Sparsholt College with the exception of all Foundation and EHCP learners who have a pre-arranged test slot.

    In accordance with the instructions that we have been given, the vast majority of College delivery will move to online delivery until after February Half Term.

    If you are a Foundation learner or a learner with an established EHCP in place we will have already been in contact with you and you are able to continue to access face-to-face onsite learning at your discretion. We are seeking immediate clarification from the Department of Education for Veterinary Nursing (VN) learners and will update all VN learners tomorrow as to whether learning will be in person or online.

    Finally, we are seeking clarification regarding National exams that have been scheduled over the coming few weeks. We expect that most scheduled exams due to happen during January and February will go ahead but we will contact everyone due to undertake an exam as a matter of urgency, by telephone, to clarify arrangements.  Where exams are happening in person, we will provide the opportunity for a voluntary COVID test in advance of the exam.

    Should you need any points of clarification in relation to arrangements until Half Term, please contact your Progression Coach who will be pleased to assist.

  • Updated 31.12.20

    Sparsholt Further Education (including Access to HE students) and Apprenticeship Students 

    The government has advised that all colleges in England will be required to revise their arrangements for the start of term as part of the national effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). 

    The college will recommence delivery online for the new term from Monday 4 January with lessons happening as per your normal timetabled arrangements. 

    The college then plans to stagger a return to onsite facetoface delivery during the week commencing Monday 18 January. All lessons will continue online until a date during that week that we will give you for your return to onsite teaching.  

    You were contacted directly by your curriculum leader before Christmas with details on how to access your online learning. If you are unable to gain access, please make contact with your Progress Coach who will support you to recommence your learning from Monday 4 January. 

    You will receive a letter from us by Tuesday 5 January which will provide full details of your return date. The College is working with NHS Test & Trace to set up an on-campus Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) of Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) so that students without symptoms, who may be infectious but unaware, are able to get tested and self-isolate if positive or to be reassured quickly if they are not.  

    Residential students will be invited to return to campus on the revised dates of Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January and you will also receive a communication from us with an allocated testing slot. If you are an international student who has already made arrangements to return to college sooner than this date and you are unable to change your plans, please email emma.kennesion@sparsholtcollegegroup.ac.uk so we can make provision for you. 

    Whilst all students are urged to get tested on their return to College to help protect themselves and the wider student community, participation in testing is voluntary and will not be administered without the consent of the student undergoing the test as well as the parent or carer of any student aged under 18 years of age. For students under 18, parents and guardians are asked to urgently return the consent form you received in your original letter from us as soon as possible to allow us to put sufficient testing provision in place. Your follow up letter will also republish the consent form for your urgent consideration.  

    As previously advised all formal public exams will continue as planned between 4 and 15 January, including Veterinary Nursing examinations. 


    Updated 30/12/20

    Following today’s government announcement, we will update arrangements in more detail by the end of tomorrow, 31 December.


    Updated 18/12/2020

    The government has advised that all colleges in England will be required to revise their arrangements for the start of term as part of the national effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). 

    The college will recommence the new term as planned from Monday 4 January as per your normal timetabled arrangements, however all Further Education and Apprenticeship delivery will take place online this week rather than in person. You will be contacted directly by your curriculum leader before Christmas with details on how to access your online learning. 

    The college then plans to stagger student return to on-site face-to-face delivery during the week of Monday 11 January. All lessons will continue online until a date during that week that we will give you for your return to on-site teaching. You will receive a second letter from us on 5 January which will provide full details of the testing process and FAQs to help answer questions you may have. The College is working with NHS Test & Trace to set up an on-campus Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) of Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) so that students without symptoms, who may be infectious but unaware, are able to get tested and self-isolate if positive or to be reassured quickly if they are not.   

    Residential students will be invited to return to campus on the revised date of Sunday 10 January and you will receive a communication with your allocated timeslot on Monday 4 January.  

    Whilst all students are urged to get tested on their return to College to help protect themselves and the wider student community, participation in testing is entirely voluntary and will not be administered without the consent of the student undergoing the test as well as the parent or carer of any student aged under 18 years of age.

  • Updated 04/11/2020 

    Following the Prime Minister’s statement at the weekend relating to a proposed second lockdown, we have written to our students to update them on the arrangements for teaching and learning that will be in place until at least 2 December 2020.

    Nov Dec 2020 Lockdown Announcement FE

  • Updated 24.08.20 @ 15:00 

    As a reminder, the following BTECs are being reviewed and regraded where appropriate: 

    • BTEC Level 3 Nationals (2010 QCF and 2016 RQF) 
    • BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Awards 
    • BTEC Level 2 Technicals 
    • BTEC Level 1/2 Firsts. 

    We promised to share an update with you as soon as we could on timings for the release of revised grades and we can now confirm that all eligible results will be available by August 28. 

    For more information on GCSEs. AS and A Levels and other qualifications in 2020, click here.  

  • Many of you who have left college in 2020 have a clear idea of your next steps; to all of you, we wish you the very best of luck. For others though, we understand that you may still be uncertain about your future -we want you to know that we are still here to help. 

    With the assistance of the Southern Universities Network, we will be offering additional, dedicated Careers support for 2020 college leavers from Aug 13, 2020 until the end of September. 

    We are offering: 

    • 1:1 appointment – ‘in -person’ appointments, with social distancing measures in place, will be available at our Andover Campus on 26 August and 2 September. Please email: careers@sparsholt.ac.uk to book an appointment. Online appointments are also available. 
    • Careers hotline – Monday – Thursday 9:00-10:00am, and 3:30-4:30pm 
    • Webinars – Webinars will be available on Searching for Apprenticeship, Writing a Winning Application and Applying for University through UCAS. 
    • Support available to local students – We can also offer a limited amount of support to local students who did not attend our college. There will be places available on the Webinars and you are also free to use the Hotline.