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Covid-19 FAQs

We are delighted that you are considering one of our Colleges for GCSE, A Level, Foundation or other programmes. We understand parents and students may have questions related to Covid-19. The health and well-being of our students and your peace of mind is our number one priority. To this end, we have created a page to answer Frequently Asked Questions relating to Covid-19. The questions and answers are updated frequently, so please visit this page again.

At present, there have been no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in any of our colleges.  The health and well-being of students and staff remains our number one priority.

As a group of colleges we have committed to the Boarding School Associations’ (BSA) Covid Safe Charter. By committing to this charter, the Abbey DLD Group of Colleges are committing to:

  • Ensuring all college facilities and all staff are adequately prepared for the return of students in September 2020
  • Providing guidance and advice to students ahead of their arrival in the UK
  • Providing a safe arrival upon entry into the country and upon arrival at the college campus for all students
  • Ensuring all colleges adhere to appropriate safety measures on a day-to-day basis

Please visit the BSA Covid Safe Charter for full details of the measures we will be introducing and the commitment we are making.

BSA Covid Safe Charter Logo

September 2020 New Student Enrolment

Q. Are you still accepting applications for September 2020 enrolment?

A. Yes, all three of our colleges are still accepting applications for September 2020 start courses. You can apply here.

Q. Is the application process affected?

A. Our application process remains unaffected. You will be able to make applications directly to our colleges or through an agent or counsellor. We will ask you to submit relevant documents electronically, and our college teams will still conduct admissions interviews via Skype, WeChat or over the phone. Applicants needing to take our English Language test can do so online. We will issue offers of study to successful candidates.

Q. Can I visit the colleges?

A. Due to the coronavirus situation, the UK Government closed all UK schools and colleges from Friday 20th March. This means that all three of our colleges are currently closed to visitors, and that you will not be able to visit them in person until further notice. Each college website contains images and videos to enable you to experience the college environment and learn about student life. We are also happy to arrange online conversations with college staff on request.

As stated in the answer to the previous questions, all admissions interviews will take place online or via telephone until further notice.

Q. I have already accepted my place for September, is this still valid?

A. Yes, at the moment we plan for all colleges to be open as normal to accept both new and returning students for the start of the 2020/21 academic year.

Q. I have an offer to study in September, is this still valid?

A. Yes, for the same reasons as stated in the response to the previous question.

Q. Will the colleges resume face-to-face learning in September?

A. Face-to-face lessons will start on the first day of term and remote (online ) lessons will start at the same time and run in parallel for students who cannot physically join us on the first day of term.

Q. When will online lessons begin?

A. Online lessons will start on the first day of term and run in parallel with face-to-face learning. So if a student cannot join on day 1 due to covid-related circumstances, then they will learn the content at the same time as students in college.

Q. Will the online learning option be available even if the colleges resume face-to-face learning in September?

A. Yes, students can delay their physical arrival and join online for the duration of term 1 if they are unable to travel to the colleges due to covid. They will continue to receive the same lesson content as those students physically present at the college. If a student is able to travel then they will need to report to the college to start face-to-face lessons.

Q. How will I be able to attend lessons with a significant time zone difference be my country and the UK?

A. Online lessons start at the same time as face to face lessons and run in parallel, so if a student cannot join in person on day 1, they will learn the same content at the same pace through their online lessons. Lessons will be scheduled or recorded so that each student is not affected by time difference.

Q. How late can I join the colleges?

A. We highly recommend that students unable to arrive on the first day of term due to covid commence online lessons in order to avoid falling behind.

Students who have begun their learning online in September are expected to join us as soon as Covid circumstances allow.

Q. What happens if I cannot start my course physically or online in September 2020?

A. You will be given the option to defer your studies to the next available start date.

Q. What happens to my deposit if I have to withdraw due to coronavirus?

A. Deposits paid for enrolment in September 2020 will be refunded in full in the event of coronavirus related travel restrictions being in place at the start of term, either in the UK or in the student’s home country. In the event of travel restrictions, our Colleges reserve the right to delay the start of term, or begin the term virtually, until travel restrictions are lifted. Students will therefore have the choice to enrol late, enrol virtually, or to withdraw the acceptance, with the deposit becoming fully refundable in this circumstance.


Online Tuition discount

Students taking the online learning option will receive a 20% discount on tuition fees for the duration of their online studies. This discount will be available to students who are unable to physically attend or who choose not to attend the colleges due to covid-19 restrictions.

Boarding fees will also be pro-rata’d. For students confirming their arrival dates by 31st July, the relevant discounts will be applied to the bill upfront.

Q. How the online discount will be applied?

A. Student/Parents will be encouraged inform us whether they plan to commence lessons in person or online from the start of term. If online learning, we will request an estimated arrival date of either 4 weeks after the start of term, at half term 23rd October) or at the start of term 2 (January).

Students wishing to start their course online, who confirm their studies by the 31st July 2020, will receive a revised invoice reflecting their online tuition discount and pro-rata’d boarding.

Providing a safe arrival for students

Q. How will students be received in the UK?

A. All students arriving into London Heathrow or Manchester will be met by an Abbey DLD representative who is aware of, and follows, appropriate social distancing guidance. Transfers will be arranged with reliable and safe companies we have used in previous years, these companies will be aware of, and will follow, appropriate safety guidelines. Drivers will wear a face covering at all times when in proximity to the student in enclosed areas, unless screens are provided, and the vehicle will contain sanitiser and suitable wipes.

Q. Will the colleges quarantine students on arrival?

A. For the safety of everyone involved, all students will quarantine upon arrival on college premises or at their homestay for a period of 14 days. If students arrive to college at the start of term, they will commence their studies by attending online lessons during this time. Boarding students will be able to quarantine in the comfort of our boarding accommodation. Upon arrival at the college, students will be met by their respective house parent, all house parents will be aware of, and will abide by social distancing rules.

All boarding students will be quarantined in small huddles up to a maximum of 15 people. Students will only be able to interact with others within their huddle. Meals will be provided within each huddle throughout the quarantine period. Each huddle will have access to a houseparent at all times. Where students are living in private accommodation or homestay accommodation, students will be asked to provide their address and will be expected to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days whilst learning online.

Q. What Covid precautionary measures will the colleges be taking?

A. Thermal cameras will be installed at each college and hand sanitizers will be available in all colleges. Students and staff will be encouraged to regularly wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Covid tests will be available in all colleges should these be required. Students may bring their own face mask/face covering. Each college will have a supply of masks available should students choose to wear them.

Boarding students will be only be allowed off site with permission of their house parent, and will also be expected to adhere to guidelines such as observing social distancing or wearing face masks where social distancing is not possible. There will be a strict regime of regular disinfection of classrooms and common areas, and bedrooms will be deep cleaned weekly. Visitors will only be allowed in the building once they have agreed to adhere to all Covid-19 College rules.

Day students, those living off campus, and staff will be encouraged to adhere to all college guidelines such as observing social distancing.

Q. How would you handle a positive Covid-19 case in college?

A. As a college community, we continue to monitor and follow the advice of the Department of Education and the Boarding School Association (BSA). All students and staff will be required to report symptoms should they occur and testing will be provided in such cases.

Any member of staff who has tested positive or been in contact (within the last 14 days) with another person with Covid-19 will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. Students that test positive will also be asked to quarantine for 14 days. In such cases lessons will be provided online and students living in Abbey DLD accommodation will have meals delivered to their room.

Each college has boarding areas to facilitate onsite quarantine if required by any student. Should there be a positive case in the college, there will be a deep clean to stop the spread of infection.

Q. How will induction work?

A. All students will take part in a full induction which follows social distancing rules. The induction will ensure students are kept active and engaged throughout the quarantine period. All students will have access to a house parent and/or personal tutor should they wish to discuss any worries, fears or concerns.

Online students will receive a full online induction to help them familiarise with our online learning platforms, meet their teachers and fellow students, and settle into our college community.

Online Learning and Pastoral Care

Q. How does online learning work?

A. Our colleges are using a blend of online learning platforms, video calls, and email to continue to deliver high quality lessons and tutorial support. Lessons will continue to the established timetables, and all students are expected to attend as usual and complete work and assignments set. Where students have difficulty attending lessons due to time zone differences, lessons will be scheduled and recorded to allow them to attend at their convenience. Students have continued to receive homework at the end of each class, and this will be marked and feedback delivered electronically.

Q. When did the colleges start online learning?

A. The UK Government closed all UK schools and colleges from Friday 20th March ‘until further notice’. All three colleges suspended face-to-face learning at the end of the school day on Friday 20th March, and began to teach students wholly online from Monday 23rd March 2020 for the remainder of the academic year.

Prior to the school closure announcement our colleges had already begun preparing to continue lesson provision and support students remotely in the event of school closures, with many classes transitioning to online learning before the 20th March.

Q. Is online learning going well?

A. Our teachers gave a lot of thought as to how to deliver a comprehensive online education for our students. It has certainly been an adjustment, but online learning has been remarkably successful so far, with over 90% lesson attendance across all colleges.

Q. Does online learning affect students’ record of attendance or Tier 4 Visa?

A. No, providing students continue to engage with their online learning programme, maintain communications with their tutors and complete assignments. At the conclusion of their online learning students must attend face-to-face learning as agreed with their college, unless specific circumstances prevent this.

Q. What is happening to international boarding students who have not been able to return home?

A. These students have remained within our college boarding houses supported by our boarding and pastoral teams. They have been engage with learning online in the same manner as students who have returned to their home countries.

Students that remained in the UK for the summer term will need to vacate their accommodation at the end of term. Each college is assisting all students with their plan to return home. Where this is not possible due to travel restrictions, we will provide assistance to ensure students are accommodated in a safe environment.

As each individuals case is unique, please contact the college directly for an update on your son/daughter.

Progression and returning students

Q. Can returning students attend online lesson from September 2020?

A. A. Returning students are expected to attend lessons face-to-face unless specific circumstances prevent them from doing so. All cases of returning students who want to study online must be agreed with the colleges beforehand.

Q. What happens to students midway through their course? or who are hoping to progress to the next level in September?

A. We expect that all students currently in Year 10 GCSE or Year 12 A-Level or Foundation classes will be ready to move onto the second year of GCSE, A-Level or Foundation from September 2020, and therefore complete their programmes on time by June 2021.

Year 11 and 1 year GCSE students will receive unconditional entry to year 12 in September 2020.

We are looking forward to welcoming them again at the start of term in September 2020. If travel restrictions are still in place at the start of term, a later start of term may be decided and extra classes added to the timetable. We will inform you of this in due course.