COVID-19: Advice and support on education

You will find information on a number of questions that you may have surrounding education including exam results, progression to college or university, apprenticeship information and more.

Use the headings below to help you find the information you need:

 

GENERAL

When and how will I get my results now that exams are cancelled? 

GCSEs and A-Levels: Grades for cancelled GCSEs and A-level exams in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published on 13th August 2020 for A-Levels, and 20th August 2020 for GCSEs. Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Vocational Awards including BTEC & Cambridge Technicals: The Government has confirmed that technical qualification results will also be calculated using evidence from work completed to date. Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Will results come out on the same dates even though I’m at college? 
Yes.  Grades for all cancelled GCSEs and A-level exams in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published on 13th August 2020 for A-Levels, and 20th August 2020 for GCSEs. Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Will my college GCSE be graded the same way as the schools are doing it? 
Yes. For more details on grades will be awarded are available on the GOV.UK website.

Can I progress to my chosen post-16 or post-18 learning?
Yes. All FE Colleges in Somerset are honouring conditional places and are accepting new applications.  Training providers are staffed and can take enquiries. Click here for a list of providers if you need to find how to contact your new or current training provider or FE college. 

Some colleges are hosting online information events so you can find out more about the courses and facilities on offer. We are adding any events to our Events page as they become available. Check back regularly for new event details.

When I go back to college in September, how do I find out if the company I usually do my placement with is still in business?
Check the website of the company you usually do your placement with. If this indicates that the company may no longer exist or be able to host a placement, speak to your course leader.

What happens if I can’t finish my qualification without a placement?
Your course leader and the employer engagement team at the college/training provider are continually seeking new placement opportunities. You can also seek opportunities through your own contacts.

I am worried about the cost of transport for getting to my college, training provider, or placement.
Please check the Somerset County Council website for the latest information on student bus passes.

Should I buy my student bus pass if I don’t know if college will be open?
Please regularly check the Somerset County Council website for the latest information on student bus passes. Plus, check the website for your chosen learning provider as they may have further information. 

My family can no longer afford my bus pass, do I have to give up my college place?
If you or your family have concerns about the cost of learning please contact your college or training provider as they may be able to provide further support.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

How will the cancellation of A-Levels and vocational exams affect my University application?
Due to the cancellation of exams, the Government has extended the deadline for students to decide which university offer to accept. Visit the UCAS website for information.
The Government has also asked higher education institutions to consider this year’s results as they would any other so that your application is not affected.

What advice is there for university students during the Coronavirus outbreak?
The Office for Students has advice addressing key issues including accommodation and finance. See the student guide to Coronavirus here.

What happens if I retake my A-Levels in Autumn?
If you choose to re-take A-Levels in the Autumn you will need to discuss with your chosen university whether you should start your course as usual or delay starting.

Will there be finals this year for degrees etc?  Will our exams still happen?
Each Higher Education Institution will decide how best to manage final year assessment for its under-graduates. Please keep in close contact with your institution to understand what advice to follow and action to take.

If you have a particular career or education step in mind after your final year, please contact the relevant body to check how they are responding to applicants whose final year has been disrupted by COVID-19.

 

APPRENTICESHIPS

I’m hoping to start an apprenticeship when I finish school – are companies still taking apprentices?
You can find details of apprenticeships available in Somerset at Skill Up - Somerset’s Apprenticeship and Skills advisory service.

I’m part way through my apprenticeship - what happens if I am furloughed or made redundant?  
If you are ‘furloughed’ you can continue with your ‘off-the-job’ training. Discuss this with your employer and training provider. If unfortunately you are made redundant during your apprenticeship, speak to your training provider who will support you to find another job to enable you to complete.

 

TRAINEESHIPS

I am meant to be doing my Traineeship – have I lost my place because of not being able to go to my placement?
Colleges and learning providers are working hard to provide online options for the learning element. You may, therefore, be able to continue this aspect of your traineeship whilst seeking a new placement. Discuss your options with your learning provider. 

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