MESSAGE FROM DIRECTORS & CRITICAL RESPONSE TEAM - COVID-19
Following the UK Government announcements and release of the numerous guidance documents that followed, PTS has conducted a Critical Response Team led (virtual) Senior Management Meeting to review how we are performing under the lockdown control measures.
How best to move forward under the latest government guidance for phased return to work and learner education needs was a key part of the review (along with various what if, and or buts scenarios). It is critical that we maintain the safety of staff and learner/customer in a controlled manner as lockdown is gradually released. With this in mind, and the current uncertainty surrounding the phased steps forward, we have concluded that it remains too early to relax the PTS Covid-19 controls we have in place and see no option but to:
- Make the decision to postpone a full return to normal working arrangements until government & Public Heath England guidelines advice and the national Covid-19 climate is safer to relax these measures.
- To maintain the effective working from home and distance learning measures we have put in place that help us eliminate or minimise risk from virus infection
In the meantime, to eliminate where possible or minimise risk from Covid-19, please continue to follow the PTS Covid-19 risk assessment controls to:
1.Comply with government & Public Health England lockdown advice and instructions
2.Reduce risk to staff from commuting and mixing at work
3.Reduce risk to learners/customers from commuting, mixing at tuition attendance
4.Reduce risk of introducing/spreading Covid-19 virus into PTS centres/buildings and infecting each other.
Please remember to always follow government and NHS advice
Louise Pinnell - Managing Director
15th May 2020
Statement from the Managing Director Centre closures from 25th March 2020
Following the recent announcements made by the government, I must update you on further changes and measures we must put in place to protect the well-being and safety of everybody in the PTS community.
It is with great sadness that all sites will be closed to all learners from Wednesday 25 March 2020. This follows discussions and agreements with the parents/carers of vulnerable students and the local authority; I assure you that appropriate arrangements have been made for these students.
These are indeed exceptional circumstances and I would like to thank all of my staff who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to respond to the latest educational policy changes, and continue to prepare online material and resources for our learners and apprenticeship assessments. They will continue to deliver online training and support going forward.
Assessment of students and qualifications
We will continue to support learners to both complete their qualifications and it is important that all learners keep up to date with their studies. Learners are asked to keep communicating with their tutors and Learner Services Team.
Whilst the Government have set out plans to determine GCSE, there have been no announcements yet about the many other types of qualifications.
It is important that you continue to complete the assigned work set in order to successfully achieve your qualifications and get the best grades you can for your continued progress.
Suspected cases of Coronavirus
Lastly, if you are unable to study because you are unwell or showing symptoms please continue to contact firstname.lastname@example.org AND your Course Tutor.
We are here to support you
I understand these are very difficult and anxious times for everyone, and urge you to stay home and keep safe, and to relieve the burden on the emergency services.
My staff will support as much as they can – if you have any concerns please email your tutor in the first instance, or email@example.com and we will do our best to support you.
Kate Whereat is the Designated Safeguarding Lead for PTS to report any safeguarding concerns or to access support please contact:
Tel: 07515 596957
We will provide further updates as we get them through our website.
We do look forward to welcoming our learners back to our Centres as soon as we can. In the meantime, stay home and stay safe.
Statement from the Managing Director
The Government announced that in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak that Independent Training Providers would close to most learners on 20th March; and that external examinations such as GCSEs will not take place this academic year. We have not yet received the details of how this assessment will take place yet.
The information below is based on our current understanding of the position which is subject to change so please continue to check.
Our centres will be closed to all learners with effect from 5pm on Friday 20th March.
We will continue to support learners to complete their courses where possible. Learners will study from home from Monday 23 March supported by tutors.
Parents and Guardians
As you will understand, we are having to deal with a rapidly evolving situation and I think it is important to communicate as openly and transparently as possible.
This is to inform you of our current plans to support you over the forthcoming weeks as we act upon the Government advice.
Learners will not be expected to attend lessons in PTS with the exception of those identified as vulnerable learners.As per the Government guidance we will be making arrangements for vulnerable learners as defined by the Government and for sons/daughters of key workers.Please see the Government announcement for key workers / sectors whose work is critical to the COVID19 response here. We will be in contact with those learners separately with details of the provision.
The Government has not specified any time frames for the closures so we will be in touch via the website or emails with updates and/or any significant changes.
Until there are any decisions finalised in relation to exams learners should follow the advice below:
Exams: We will continue to be guided by the Department of Education and the Exam Boards. We will share this information as it is confirmed
We have been asking that learners have checked their own "home study preparedness" making sure that they can access learning, teaching and assessment materials remotely. This includes checking they have access to an internet-enabled device and reliable internet in your home environment.
We are also suspending all work experience and block week activity.
Thank you for your understanding of this situation. Please visit our website for updates.
For those in receipt of a bursary or free school meals, we will continue to provide support to assist in continuing learning. As travel to our sites will not be necessary, the travel bursary will not be paid during this time. Should you wish to appeal for further support, please contact your Sarah Rattenbury on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the links or information below for the relevant Coronavirus Guidance for you:
•Employers - Please see below.
•Apprentices – Your assessor will be in touch with the next steps in your programme.
Where to find the latest Government updates
Updates on COVID-19Updates on COVID-19
We will be writing to learners, parents and employers directly with more details as soon as we have them.
Coronavirus Guidance: Apprentice Employers
20 MARCH 2020
Following the announcements by the Government, PTS will be closed to all learners, including apprentices for face to face delivery of courses from 5pm Friday 20 March 2020.
Apprenticeship programmes have not ended and onsite delivery and assessment will continue either remotely or face to face. We will continue to support apprentices to complete their qualifications and will keep you updated if there are any changes to assessment methods once confirmed by the Government.
I want to assure you that whilst the PTS buildings are closed for access to learners from Monday, we are very much still open for learning, and will continue to provide full teaching support via online, email and telephone.
The arrangements are:
- Apprentices will study via online resources or working towards assessments instead of coming into centres from Monday 23 March (unless contacted separately) and will be supported by assessors and trainers
- PTS staff will communicate expectations to learners and will be available by email to answer any questions the apprentice may have
- Apprentices should continue to record their 20% Off the Job hours and 12 weekly reviews with Assessors will continue as planned
- On site assessment and delivery will continue and we will liaise closely with you and your employee to arrange visits and if appropriate this may be undertaken remotely
The Government has not specified any time frames for the closures, but we will contact you immediately the situation changes.
The Government has not detailed how different qualifications might now be assessed. For some there may be no change.
It is important that apprentices keep up to date with their studies and assignments, so they must complete any activities set by PTS staff and engage in any classes or support being set by assessors, including English and maths. We have asked them to stay in contact with assessors by email or telephone. The Government have been clear that whilst schools and colleges are closed learning must continue.
We do appreciate many employers are in the midst of setting up working from home policies for staff, and in this case apprentices must abide by their employer's instructions. We will continue to support them whether they are in their home or work environment.
Thank you for your understanding of this situation and please visit the PTS website for updates or contact us if you have any questions.
You can view our PTS Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Policy - Annexe F COVID-19 here - View Document