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SGS ProtectED Covid-19 Report It Face Masks Stay Safe

SGS ProtectEDCovid-19 Guidance

All campuses are open to vulnerable learners and children of critical workers - please note that SGS is exempt from any travel restrictions

Covid-19 information for learners, parents, employers, visitors and stakeholders.

Face Masks must be worn at SGS College

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If you test positive for Covid-19, please ensure you email [email protected] in addition to letting your tutor know.
This mailbox is monitored 24 hours a day and means we can act upon this information immediately.

Principal's Statement

Kevin Hamblin - CEO of the SGS Academy Trust Sara-Jane Watkins, College Principal

Dear learners, friends and families

In light of the Prime Minister's announcement, I can confirm we will be delaying the return of all learners to onsite delivery until further notice to stop the spread of Covid-19. All provision will move to online delivery from Tuesday 5th January. I know for many of you this will be a disappointment as you all value and recognise the importance of face-to-face education and the support that the College provides to thousands of learners across all our sites.

We will however continue to offer education onsite for our most vulnerable learners and the children of those who are classed as key workers. Information can be viewed in the Approach to Learning - January 2021 section on this page.

I appreciate that you will all have many questions, and I am hopeful that we will have more information tomorrow where I can provide you with further clarity. We will be posting updates on social media, on our website and learners will also be contacted through TEAMs.

Any learners due to attend for lateral flow tests are asked not to attend college.

Public vocational exams and assessments scheduled to take place in January will go ahead as planned. All other students will learn remotely until February half term.

Take care, Sara-Jane

Lateral Flow Testing at SGS College

Information for Students, Staff & FAQs

Please note that this is a fast-moving project and details are being updated constantly. Some of the information below may be subject to change and we will share these updates with you regularly.

Lateral Flow Test Booking Forms

Mass Asymptomatic Testing

SGS College is supporting the roll out of mass testing of staff and students without symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. 'asymptomatic' people). The purpose of this mass asymptomatic testing is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by those who are not aware they may have the virus and to keep the college running by reducing the need for people to self-isolate unnecessarily.

The test being used for this is called a Lateral Flow Device (LFD), which provides a rapid result. The test subject carries out their own nose and throat swabbing and the sample is then processed by a team member on site. This involves dropping a solution on to the sample, timing the process (30 minutes), then interpreting the result displayed on the device - much like a typical pregnancy test.


  • SGS College WISE campus - Ground Floor Changing Rooms
  • Filton main site - Filton Refectory (left hand side)
  • Filton Sixth Form - Coffee Shop (far end)
  • Stroud - Gym
  • Berkeley - John Huggett Centre
  • Queens Road and Bristol Zoo- we are working on arrangements for these staff and learners to attend the Wise test centre.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Full PPE appropriate to the nature of the tasks being carried out will be provided. Staff will receive instructions on the safe donning and doffing of their PPE and the frequency of use.

A set of Team Leaders from SGS College will be contactable for queries or concerns regarding infection prevention and control.

COVID-19 symptoms

Staff and students must not attend the test site if they have any COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a persistent cough or loss of taste and/or smell) or if they have been told by NHS Test & Trace that they must self-isolate.


Who is eligible for a test?

Students and staff across the College are eligible for a test. Parents or other family members of students or staff are not eligible.

Who carries out the swabbing?
When will tests be available?
How many times should someone be tested?
What should someone do if they have coronavirus symptoms?
What are lateral flow tests?
Do these tests work for people without symptoms?
What will this test tell me?
How long does it take to do the test?
How long does it take to get the result?
What should I do if I test positive?
Do I have to take this test?
Why should people take part?
What happens if I test negative?

Current Cases Monday 4th January

Campus Live Positive Cases Subject Area(s) In Isolation Isolation End Date
Filton Main 0 N/A N/A N/A
Filton Sixth Form 0 N/A N/A N/A
Wise 0 N/A N/A N/A
Queens Road (Bristol School of Art) 0 N/A N/A N/A
Stroud 0 N/A N/A N/A
Bristol Zoo Gardens 0 N/A N/A N/A

If you wish to contact SGS about this message, please email [email protected]

SGS Protected

'SGS ProtectED' - you will be safe if you attend college

As SGS reopened in June we have had the opportunity to successfully implement and trial a robust approach to onsite health, safety, well-being and hygiene plans to ensure you are safe when onsite.

Details of what is in place:

  • Every classroom, workshop, library and social area is set-up to ensure you can study and socialise safely to reduce Covid-19 spreading.
  • We have extra cleaning, extra hand-washing facilities, and extra staff on hand to make sure everyone sticks to the rules.
  • Clear safety signage is in place across all campuses.
  • Start and finish times vary for different classes to support safe access to public transport to and from college.
  • We have far fewer learners on our campuses on a day to day basis to ensure social distancing can be managed effectively.
  • Departments operate as dedicated zones and learners per day will be viewed as a 'bubble' to limit contact with others onsite.
  • All staff and learners are mandated to wear face masks onsite.

Important - Guidance That Must Be Followed To Ensure You Are Safe Onsite

Please note the conditions outlined below. These are for your safety and that of others on campus, you MUST make yourself familiar with these and follow them while you are on campus.

These are for your safety and that of others on campus, you MUST make yourself familiar with these and follow them while you are on campus.

  • Do not attend the campus if you have any Covid-19 symptoms (e.g. raised temperature, fever, sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell etc.)
  • Ensure that you sanitise your hands, as directed, when you arrive at campus, regularly during your time on campus and following the use of toilet and other onsite facilities.
  • Remind yourself of the strict social distancing, put in place to reduce the transmission rate of Coronavirus. From June 1st, the Government's guidance on staying alert and safe means that you must continue to maintain a safe social distance from others which includes staying at least two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

In order to help protect you all and our excellent teaching and support staff, with immediate effect, face masks must be worn in all areas of the college, including classrooms; exemptions will only be in place for those with medical conditions or on health and safety grounds where mask wearing is not recommended. Face masks must be worn in refectories and removed for eating. Please note, you may be asked to remove your mask, at a safe distance, to confirm your identify.

For the safety of all, anyone found on College grounds not adhering to social distancing measures or failing to follow reasonable instructions will be asked to leave the site immediately.

Please observe all social distancing and infection control measures, which will be clearly signposted when you arrive. Stay alert for everyone's safety and well-being.

  • All parking management and enforcement is suspended until 30 September. After this date you must register your vehicle or buy a parking ticket on arrival. A link to register your vehicle is below: https://www.uk-carparkmanagement.co.uk/permit-order/university/signup.php
  • You will only be allowed to remain on site for your allotted lessons and you will need to leave the campus immediately after your session has been completed - you cannot currently stay on site to socialise.
  • Break times are at set times during the day and must be adhered to.
  • Smoking is currently banned across the whole campus, which includes the car park.
  • If any of the above guidance isn't followed you will respectfully be asked to leave the campus immediately.

'SGS ProtectED' - keeping you safe if you attend your exam at college

The Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, said: 'Exams are the fairest way we have of assessing what a student knows' and the Department of Education has set an expectation that schools, and colleges will run exams from January 2021. (Including schools and colleges in areas under additional local restrictions).

Therefore, SGS College is committed to supporting our learners to access their examinations and in doing so we will comply fully with the Public health guidance issued to support exams in January 2021.

At the present time no firm decisions have been by the Awarding Bodies, or approved by Ofqual, in respect of how candidates will be awarded grades should they not sit their examinations. Therefore, SGS is recommending that learners should attend their scheduled examinations in January as planned. We do however recognise that some learners may not wish to sit an examination during the current national lockdown, and we remain committed to supporting all learners to ensure that no one is disadvantaged.

If you are scheduled to sit an examination in January but decide that you no longer wish to then please contact [email protected] or [email protected] to discuss this further.

Examinations Arrangements

Where candidates are travelling to or within an area under local restrictions to take exams, they should refer to the local restriction's tiers guidance. Candidates should expect to be able to travel for the purpose of taking exams. Travel into or out of tiers for the purposes of education and training, including exams and assessments, is allowed.

SGS is fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace and all examination candidates are asked to register on site and log their attendance directly with NHS Test and Trace if they have access to the NHS COVID-19 app. Every exam has a seating plan.

Students taking exams in January 2021 are encouraged to undertake a lateral flow test prior to sitting their exam or assessment. However, as testing is not mandatory no learner will be refused access to their exam if they have not already been tested.

Candidates are asked to read the safer travel guidance before planning their journey to their exam and detailed information can be found on this page.

When candidates arrive for the scheduled start time of their exam, social distancing measures are in place and face coverings are mandatory.

Where possible, examinations will be delivered in bubbles with no mixing between groups.

The College stringently follows the guidance for cleaning non-healthcare settings and exam rooms are always kept clean. This includes frequently touched surfaces (for example, door handles, individual desks, keyboards, and other IT equipment) which are cleaned after every exam.

All examination rooms are set up so that no candidates sit face to face and all examination desks are at least 1.5 meters apart (the minimum distance in all directions is 1.25 metres) and, where space allows candidates will be spaced at least 2 meters apart.

All examination candidates and invigilators will wear face coverings in communal areas and all candidates and invigilators are encouraged to wear face coverings during exams. Hand sanitiser, PPE and sanitising wipes are available to all examination candidates in all examination venues.

SGS College's Approach to Onsite Learning from January 2021

During the period of national lockdown, schools, alternative provision, special schools, and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers only.

The details below are who SGS College can support during this difficult period:
  • Preparation for Work & Life Learner
  • The Chase learners
  • Learners with EHCPs
  • Learners without digital access
  • Learners with parents who are critical workers
  • Vulnerable learners - those with an allocated social worker

Preparation for Work & Life & learners from Wednesday 6th January at Filton Campus & Preparation for Work & Life & learners from Monday 11th January at Stroud

With additional safety measures we can continue to offer onsite curriculum provision for all Preparation for Work and Life learners. Learner timetables will remain the same and will be sent out via the department with a supporting letter outlining further details.

The Government recognises that online learning is not always appropriate for learners with additional vulnerabilities. We know our curriculum works best when delivered face to face at college. Following the first National Lockdown we were able to see the negative impact on learners who had not been able to continue attending onsite lessons.

Since the start of term we have had measures in place to create a protective bubble around our students. We reduced mixing within the Department and eliminated contact with learners from other bubbles. Our efforts have meant that so far we have not had a case of Covid within our Preparation for Work or Life areas or needed to revert to online learning for any period of time.

We understand that some students or their families may fall into the high risk group, and as a result feel unsure about attending onsite learning at this time. We are keen to support you though this difficult time and will be happy to discuss your concerns to agree the best way for your young person to access their full curriculum.

The Chase at Stroud from Monday 11th January.

Planning on timetables and provision for The Chase is ongoing, but we are aiming for those learners who are not clinically vulnerable to start back onsite Monday 11 January.

Learners with Educational Health Care Plans, vulnerable learners (those who have an allocated social worker) & those whose parents / guardians are a key worker.

The Government advised that colleges will close to students with effect from Tuesday 5th January 2021. The exception is colleges should remain open to those students with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), those who are identified as vulnerable (i.e. have an allocated social worker) or whose main carers are keyworkers (such as working in frontline NHS health care, emergency services or home/supermarket deliveries) - a full overview can be viewed here.

SGS will provide an educational environment for students to access their online learning sessions. Students will have access to Wi-Fi or computer or both to complete their work. The provision will not include taught face to face sessions. The purpose of this provision is to provide a supervised learning environment. Where possible we are requesting students to provide their own lunch and drinks.

While the College already holds data relating to students with an EHCP, your co-operation in ensuring we have the most current data will be invaluable. Please be assured that all information provided will be treated in confidence and in line with GDPR. We thank you in advance for your support and assistance.

To assist us with emergency planning and to secure access the above provision, please complete the brief questionnaire below:

Launch Questionnaire

Travel to College

SGS is working closely with local authorities and local Government to ensure that there is enough transport to support learners getting to College in September. However, current capacities are greatly reduced on buses and trains hence the reason we wish to increase the number of days a learner is on site once the public transport capacities increase. Please ensure you check what services are running and plan ahead to manage your journey into College. Additionally, please ensure you have a face mask, as these are compulsory in order to travel on public transport. Bins for used face masks will be available on entry to the College, along with hand sanitising facilities.

Remote Education Offer

What remote education will be made available for different learner cohorts

The following statement confirms the college’s approach to online and remote learning during periods when we are forced to close due to national or regional restrictions or during periods when learners are required to self-isolate. Regardless of the type of provision you are currently studying, you are still expected to engage effectively and this includes arriving promptly to all timetabled sessions and actively participating in lessons both in class, where applicable, and online.

SGS is committed to supporting learners to continue to access their vocational and technical exams in a COVID-SAFE environment. If you are scheduled to take an examination, we would encourage you to do so, but you should not travel to an examination venue if you are currently self-isolating or experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.

The College’s Well-being Team is dedicated to ensuring that you not only gain qualifications but that you also enjoy your time with us here at the College. More information about the Well-being Team, including our contact details can be found here.

At SGS College, the Curriculum has been carefully amended in light of the ongoing Covid pandemic. When the College is open to learners, practical elements of your course will be delivered face to face. Where online learning is appropriate, parts of your programme will be delivered remotely.

Across the College, a blend of online learning and face to face learning have taken place since September 2020 for all learners, including for those who are Pre-16, Apprentices and adult learners. Throughout this time, our key focus has been on ensuring that learning is engaging and enables you make positive progress towards completion of your qualification.

It is our aim, as far as possible, and in line with the guidance issued from the Government, that remote learning will only be a small element of your course. However, the proportion of remote learning will vary from course to course – your course tutor will explain to you exactly how your course will be delivered and what is expected from you. As a minimum, each learner can expect a range of live and pre-recorded learning sessions, self-directed study activities and 1:1 tutorial meetings.

Delivery arrangements, such as timetabling, virtual learning environments and assessment arrangements

All of the information that you need about the delivery arrangements of your programme can be found on e-campus, including the link you’ll need to access your timetable.

All timetables are held on the pro-portal system, which you can access via e-campus. If you have forgotten your pro-portal password you can re-set it here

To view your timetable on pro-portal, click on the menu icon or ‘Information’ and select ‘Lesson timetable’ from the drop down. You’ll then need to select ‘week commencing’ and click ‘update’ in order to view your timetable for that week.

Please make sure to check your timetable regularly for any updates or changes.

All remote and virtual learning takes place using Teams and you can access Teams via e-campus here

Within your Team you will find all of the information you need about your course and your assessments. Your Team will also include a link to the Learning Resource Centre where you can access resources relevant to your course or you can ‘jump’ straight to the LRC home page from here

Your assignments and assessments will also be set and accessed via Teams and you should also submit your responses via Teams.

Written feedback will be provided on all of the work that you submit and you will have an opportunity to discuss this feedback when you meet with your tutor on a 1:1 basis; you will be expected to take part in a 1:1 meeting with your tutor to review your progress at least every 6 weeks.

Apprentices will receive feedback through Smart Assessor as usual and you will have the opportunity to discuss this feedback at your scheduled progress reviews.

If you are an adult community learner, your remote lessons may take place via Zoom. If this is the case, your tutor will invite you to each session in advance and provide you with instructions on how to get the most out of Zoom

In the unlikely event that you have difficulty in accessing the technology necessary to attend remote lessons you should contact your tutor in the first instance.

Expectations of students

Remember you are expected to attend all of your scheduled sessions and remote lessons are treated in exactly the same way as on-site face to face learning. That means you must attend remote lessons on time and with all of the resources and equipment that you would usually bring to on-site classes.

During each remote learning session, you must be able to participate fully which means you should choose a suitable location and be prepared to complete tasks when required and respond to questions that are asked.

You will also be asked to turn your camera and/or microphone on during each remote learning session so that you can participate fully and so that your teacher can mark the register.

During online activities always wear appropriate clothing (the same as you would on campus) and have a suitable background (you can use the ‘blur’ feature in Teams to help achieve this where needed). Remember that learning online is the same as learning within the classroom so always be respectful towards staff and you peers.

Always try to listen carefully and ensure you keep up to date, understanding:

  • How your assessments are taking place
  • What work you need to submit and when
  • Your current progress against targets; and
  • How to improve your work and by when, in line with your targets and progression goals.

If you are unable to attend either a face to face or remote lesson due to sickness or another issue, you must inform your tutor directly and you can do that here

Parents of 14 to16 year old learners should also continue to report absence by calling 07984 540873 (In addition to the learner contacting their tutor directly).

Please note, failure to report your absence will result in it not being formally logged with your course tutor and this could affect your attendance record or entitlement to a bursary. After 7 days of no contact, we report you as a ‘child missing in education’.

Arrangements for students studying courses that require specialist equipment or facilities

Course delivery models vary across our range of programmes; many practical courses require significant time in studios, workshops, salons, and gyms; whereas programmes with more theoretical content may require less face-to-face delivery. The College has considered the delivery of each qualification individually to ensure learners have the best learning experience, whilst maintaining a Covid safe environment for all.

During periods when on site access to resources is limited, remote learning sessions will focus of theoretical content and knowledge development. However, if you need access to resources or materials to support your studies you should discuss this with your tutor in the first instance who will be able to support you to access resources and materials where possible at managed times.

Support for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning

We understand that it is sometimes difficult to access IT at home or find a suitably quiet space to join remote lessons.

You can loan certain equipment from the College and you are always welcome to use the College’s Learning Resource Centres, even during periods of lockdown. If you would like to access any of the College’s Learning Resource Centres please contact us by completing this form. Once you have submitted your form please wait for us to contact you to arrange access to campus.

To access the College’s Learning Resource Centres simply follow the LRC footprints which you’ll find at each student entrance when on campus.

The College’s Learning Resource Centres operate as its own bubble and therefore you can access these spaces regardless of which faculty bubble you belong to. The Learning Resource Centres have strict social distancing measures in place which you will be expected to follow and you will be asked to wear a face covering if you do not have a purple lanyard proving your exemption.

Remember, although you are free to use the LRC’s at any time you must stick to your staggered breaks and lunchtimes to avoid mixing in the College’s social spaces outside of your bubble. If you receive free-college-meals you can also get refectory tokens from the LRC staff (which won’t affect any other bursary payment that you’re already receiving).

Support for students with SEND

With additional safety measures in place, SGS continues to offer onsite curriculum provision for all Preparation for Work and Life learners, even during periods of Lockdown. If you are a Learner in the Preparation for Work and Life Team, your timetables will remain the same and you should continue to attend College where it is safe for you to do so.

The College has also opened additional specialist Hubs at each of our main campuses (Stroud, Filton and WISE). If you have special educational needs, you may attend your campus more frequently so that you can meet with your support team and access additional IT and other accessibility equipment.

If you have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and would like to access any of the College’s Specialist support Hubs, please get in touch by completing this form. Once you have submitted your form please wait for us to contact you to arrange access to campus.

Remember there are also lots of great accessibility tools embedded within Teams that you can use to help you if you cannot come on site.