Returning Student Message, March 2021

1st March 21

Abbey DLD student and teacher in art class

On Monday 22nd February 2021 the British Government announced detailed plans for the easing of the UK wide Covid lockdown. The Government’s timetable consists of four stages, with the first stage beginning on Monday 8th March 2021.

This announcement has been made amidst the successful roll out of the UK’s Covid vaccination programme. With one third of the UK’s adult population now having received at least their first vaccination dose, we are now seeing a sustained fall in new Covid cases, reduced hospital admissions due to Covid, and a sharp decrease in the rate of Covid transmission across the UK.

As part of the first stage of the plan, the British Government has announced that all UK schools and colleges will reopen from the 8th March, allowing students to return to face-to-face learning. For a period, secondary school students and older will wear masks in class.

Following this announcement, we are delighted to confirm that our colleges will be resuming face-to-face learning from the 8th March 2021 for all of our students already in the UK. Students who are currently abroad and studying remotely will be able to continue learning online, but are expected to return to their college in time to start the Summer Term, unless they come from a country on the UK Government’s red-list of travel ban countries.

To enable students to return to their college and begin face-to-face learning as soon as possible, we encourage students to return back before the end of the spring term and we ask that you contact your college directly about this. For students who are currently at home, fees for boarding will only be payable from the date of arrival during this term. All boarding students will be invoiced for the full boarding fee for the summer term as normal. We encourage students who are able to do so to return to college as soon as possible so that they can complete the 10 day quarantine period required by law in our boarding accommodation, enjoy the Easter celebration here in the UK, and begin face-to-face learning as soon as possible.

Whilst quarantining in college boarding, returning students will be able to access lessons and extra-curricular activities online, and all meals and amenities will be provided. Before departing their home country, returning students will need to complete a passenger locator form and have proof of a negative covid-19 result from a UK Government approved test to travel to the UK from abroad. Returning student’s boarding invoices will be adjusted to reflect the current offer of free boarding for the remainder of the Spring Term.

From the start of the Summer Term we will only be offering online learning to students living in a red list country, or facing exceptional circumstances. All other students must attend face-to-face lessons. Students who are not in a red list country, but who are unable to return to college for exceptional reasons must contact their college directly to discuss their situation.

We fully support the UK Government’s cautious and data led approach to reopening. Our colleges will continue to operate as secure campuses, with stringent Covid-prevention measures in place for the foreseeable future. However, this latest announcement does represent a light at the end of the tunnel, and we look forward to welcoming our students back to experience the high quality learning and boarding for which our colleges are renowned.