Renewed university attempts to recruit students by switching conditional offers to unconditional will be stopped, according to the Office for Students (OfS), reports FE Week. Despite a recent government crackdown, some institutions are worried that they will have empty places on their hands after the government scrapped this summer’s GCSE and A-level exams because of coronavirus. The government says grades will now be calculated based on teacher assessments. Universities minister Michelle Donelan is calling for a two-week pause on unconditional offers to work through admissions arrangements; college leaders say such offers disincentivise students from working at full pace.
* Exams regulator Ofqual plans to issue grades using earlier course assessments for many vocational and technical qualifications, such as BTecs, although it says some assessment arrangements on occupational competence awards may need to be adapted.
Colleges remain open for children of essential workers, whose details are listed in government guidance for colleges. The document covers key personnel affected in the following sectors: 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 utilities, communication, and financial services.
The planned September introduction of the first T-levels in construction, digital, and education and health is under government review, following college closures and canceled exams due to coronavirus, reports TES. In a recent TES survey, 18 out of 28 respondents said they were still on target for the autumn but seven could not confirm that. Key issues for a number of colleges included being unable to recruit and confirm student numbers because of campus closures, no opportunities to promote T-levels face to face in shut-down schools, and the likelihood of employers being less willing to offer T-level work placements while struggling to rebuild their businesses after lockdown. Capital projects to support T-level provisions have also been put on hold.
Switching over to mass distance learning within weeks is a big ask made easier by the following advice from TES contributor and Hong Kong-based teacher Max Seddon: