COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Latest advice and updates

Latest Update – 12th January 2021

Colchester Institute COVID-19 Testing

Colchester Institute supports the Lockdown ‘Stay at Home’ message, and staff and students should only attend campus where it is not possible for them to work or study from home.

In line with Government Guidance we are pleased to be able to offer COVID-19 testing to those who are required to attend college during the lockdown period, including vulnerable students, children of key workers, the those with an approved need to access specialist equipment (including IT / wifi), or to sit a public exam.

If you are in one of these categories you will be contacted with more information about the testing programme and how it applies to you. You will be asked to provide consent to be tested and for your data and information to be processed in line with the Colchester Institute COVID-19 Testing Privacy Statement

Colchester Institute
Posted on 12/01/21 at 09:15am

Vulnerable Students, and Children of Key Workers
January Exam Update
Emotional Wellbeing Support
NHS and DfE - Useful Links
The 16-19 Tuition Fund
Remote Learning at Colchester Institute

Update 5th January 2021

On account of the Government’s announcement of a new national lockdown, all lessons and learning will be on-line until further notice.

This message is to confirm that Colchester Institute, along with many other Colleges, has decided that the BTEC exams scheduled for January 2021 will not take place. This is a final decision. The College will work with the Awarding Body, Pearson, and will notify students of next steps. We are confident this decision will not prevent students from completing their qualification. The College has made this carefully considered decision for Public Health reasons, including the health of our own students, and in support of the government’s present National Lockdown.

Students are not to come on-campus and please await further information posted here over the next days.

The College can support on-campus learning for children of Key Workers and those deemed as ‘vulnerable students’.

Colchester Institute
Posted on 05/01/21 at 15:00pm

Update 4th January 2021 – Vulnerable Students, and Children of Key Workers

If you are a full-time student or apprentice of Colchester Institute aged 16– 18, or aged 19-24 with a current EHCP, please be aware that we are supporting the government’s Key Worker initiative, and you may attend college, on your scheduled on-campus day(s) if you have a parent who is a key worker, and this is necessary.

You may also request to attend campus if you are within one of the government’s categories of a ‘vulnerable learner’ (note at the end of this message there is a definition of what this term means).

If you choose to attend on-campus, you will undertake study supervised by staff across the day. The study will be of work relevant for your course, and specifically that being set on-line for your group by your teachers. There could also be an opportunity to undertake additional work to improve and to enhance English and maths.

As the college will not be operating in its usual conditions, please note that you could be:

  • with students different to those in your usual lessons
  • working with new staff, different to the usual ones
  • attending lessons that will be in different rooms and parts of the college

The usual arrangements around social distancing and face coverings remain in place.

If you need to attend college from Monday 4th January 2021 until Friday 8th January 2021, you are asked to email

Please give your name, student ID, course title, and the day you wish to attend on-campus and why. We will contact you on Monday 4th January 2021 to discuss your request.

Summary of Vulnerable Children and Young People

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance.

Summary of Key Workers

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined here:

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport and border
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

The above lists are only a summary the full guidance list of vulnerable young people and critical worker categories can be found here. 

Useful NHS links:

The Department of Education (DfE) are working closely with the NHS and Public Health England in order to update Colleges with the latest advice. As a College we have been advised to adhere to the following guidance and will continue to keep this page updated with any further changes and notifications as we are advised.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Remote Learning for FE students

‘Remote learning ‘ refers to learning which takes place off campus.   Remote learning will take place when:

  • Current Covid related reasons, such as a student needing to self-isolate
  • The college being asked to close or restrict attendance as part of a local or national lockdown
  • If the campus is closed for any other health and safety reason (eg winter weather )

As a part of our remote learning offer to all FE students we will provide:

  • continued setting of work for all qualifications being undertaken
  • access to teaching staff to discuss progress, including for SEND students
  • planned on-line learning lessons through already established timetabled sessions
  • alternative assessment arrangements or the postponed of assessments until the student can return to campus

By FE students we mean 14-16 learners, 16-19 learners, apprentices and adult learners and the offer noted above applies to all these cohorts.

It is expected that students will meet normal College expectations, will attend and participate in all scheduled sessions, and complete all work set by reasonable deadlines. Any student who is lacking the IT resources to complete this ‘remote learning’ is to contact their course leader to examine the problem and to seek a solution. If a situation arises where it is necessary for students to attend on-campus to access specialist equipment and facilities students will be notified in good time by course leaders, though the College will minimise such activity during a lockdown.