Corona Virus Covid 19 News Page
Current updates on the impact of Corona Virus on our services and measures in place to help our learners.
Impact on Services - NONE (except that we are postponing our normal Easter College Closure)
- We do understand that the current situation is impacting many of our learners in different ways, which is why we have put measures in place to help as well as assessing individual cases when you inform us of them (see 'Measures to help learners' below).
- We do not currently anticipate any impact on the range and quality of services we offer to our learners and applicants such as Applications, Enrolments, Course Starts, Tuition and Exams. All are operating as normal.
- The reason we are confident that core services will not be affected is because all our tutors have always worked from home and continue to do so, and our courses do not involve any face-to-face contact. Our Managers and Administrative Staff are working from home at present but we have all the facilities and technology in place to ensure that all can operate as normal.
- Easter Closure - we are postponing our normal Easter Closure for Tutors (we were scheduled to be closed Friday 10th April, re-open Monday 20th April 2020) with plans to move this to the summer. Tutors will not be working on Good Friday (10th April) and Easter Monday (13th April). With both Tutors and Learners stuck at home, due to the lock-down, we have found that many of you are using this opportunity to get on with your coursework and believe that postponing this closure will therefore be helpful.
Impact on Qualifications
- Access Diplomas QAA Statement
- The recent QAA statement outlines the use of predicted grades for Access to HE students. However, so far they have not issued a statement on how the grades are going to be calculated and therefore it may mean that if a learner does not complete all their studies, or very many credits, then their grades may not reflect their true final attainment.
- As DistanceLearningCentre.com learners, and many others who are being taught by distance learning by their traditional colleges, can complete all their studies, it is our recommendation that you continue studying to achieve the grades that truly reflect your performance, without having to appeal or sit assessments at a later date.
- Extenuating Circumstances - as QAA rightly points out, there are some learners who, because of the crisis, are no longer able to complete their studies to their usual standards. These students should complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form if they are not able to meet the DistancelearningCentre.com's deadlines and we will, along with our Awarding Body, look at these on a case by case basis.
- Access Diploma learners holding University offers
- We advise that you continue to study for your Access Diploma as normal.
- New updates were released on 3rd April by the Universities Minister extending the request for universities and colleges to hold back from making unconditional offers or amending existing offers until 20th April. You will be emailed by UCAS about this but you can also see it here.
- This information follows the original Government's announcement on 23rd March and the email sent out by UCAS.
- If you did not receive these emails, please check that your email address on UCAS is correct.
- UCAS have extended May’s decision and reply deadlines for UCAS Undergraduate applications by two weeks.
- GCSEs and IGCSEs.
- It has been announced that exams will not be going ahead in May and June 2020, so any GCSE exams you have booked will not be occuring when scheduled. All learners who are entered for GCSE / IGCSE exams for this summer (2020) must inform their tutor of this.
- Ofqual has shared further information on how grades will be awarded for GCSE, AS, and A levels this summer.
- We advise that you continue to study for these qualifications. Options for External Candidates are still not fully clear. However, the more work we have from you, the better we are in a position to provide evidence of a predicted grade to your Exam Centre.
- The exam boards have their own pages for updates:
- Edexcel (for IGCSE Biology, IGCSE English and IGCSE Science) https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/news-policy/press-releases/2020/update-from-pearson-regarding-the-covid-19-coronavirus-outbreak.html
- AQA (for GCSE Maths) https://www.aqa.org.uk/coronavirus-updates
Measures to help learners
- For learners currently studying with us, the minimum period for putting your studies 'On Hold' (taking a study break) has been reduced from 2 months to 1 month. You can request this from your tutor. You will need to give the reason why you are taking a break and the date you plan to return (maximum 6 months). If you need to extend the On Hold period you can do this by contacting us BEFORE the date you initially intended to return. During an 'On Hold' period, you will not be charged any further course fee instalments, although any fees owed at the time must be settled before you can begin your break. The only exception to further fees being charged would be if the 2nd part of your Awarding Body Registration Fee became due during the On Hold period.
- Functional Skills.We do not normally offer an On Hold option for our Functional Skills Courses due to their short length. However, we are temporarily allowing an On Hold period of between 1 and 3 months.
- Key Workers. We are fully aware that Key Workers are already experiencing additional pressures due to increased working hours and other factors. We are also aware that school closures are creating additional pressures in some cases. We can assure you that we will be taking these issues into account. They will be regarded as Extenuating Circumstances (see 'Impact of Qualifications' above).
- We will continuously review the assistance we offer as the situation unfolds and will post details of any further measures in place on this page.
- We are committed to your success and achievement so will do all we can to address difficulties arising from this crisis such as: financial hardship, illness, impacts of self-isolation and caring responsibilities. Please contact us if you are experiencing problems and we will look at your individual situation and do our best to help.