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COVID-19 FAQs

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We are here for you

At Chelsea Independent College we recognise the concerns and worries caused by the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This page has been created for our students and their families around the world to provide information on what measures have been put in place by the college to protect our students and secure their education at the same time. We can confirm that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our college.

Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

 

Online Learning, Pastoral Care and Current Students

When did Chelsea Independent College move to online learning?

Following the advice of the UK government, Chelsea Independent College’s buildings have been closed to staff and students since midday on Friday 20th March. The College moved to online learning on Monday 23rd March, and was fully prepared for this transition, with staff and students receiving full training on the use of Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom in advance of our closure. The use of these online platforms, besides our normal lines of communication, has allowed us to continue to deliver high-quality lessons and support our students remotely, and the feedback has been very extremely positive so far. Students follow their usual timetable, and are expected to attend all classes (where time zones allow) and complete all homework tasks as normal.

 

Will the move to online learning affect students’ attendance record and/or their Tier 4 visa sponsorship? How will my visa sponsorship and attendance record be affected if schools cannot reopen after Easter?

No. Chelsea Independent College has authorised the absences of those students who returned home early for the Easter holidays as a result of COVID-19. As these absences have been authorised, the college does not need to report them to UK Visas and Immigration, a division of the Home Office, or curtail students’ visas. UKVI have confirmed that the college can continue to sponsor existing Tier 4 students, even if they are unable to physically attend college for more than 60 days. Police registration procedures have also been suspended. These arrangements will remain in effect until 31st May 2020, when they will be reviewed. It is very important, however, that students attend all online lessons during this period as their attendance and engagement with remote learning will be recorded.

Please also note that when a student’s visa expires, they will still have to apply for a new visa to re-enter the UK as normal. We await further advice from UKVI regarding the reopening of visa application centres over the summer period.

 

How is CIC helping international students who have been unable to return home?

Our boarding residence, Princess Beatrice House, will remain open during the Easter holidays for those pupils who are unable to travel home. Students will be taking part in distance learning from the residence while the college is closed. In line with guidance on social distancing measures, our boarding staff have enforced strict rules regarding hygiene and social interaction, and we have procedures in place to support those who may need to self-isolate.

Following the cancellation of our Easter Revision programme, there will be no new or external students staying at PBH during the Easter break.

 

Will students due to progress into Year 11, Year 13, and onto A-levels in September 2020 be affected?

No. We expect our Year 10 and Year 12 students to progress onto the next stage of their courses (Year 11 and Year 13 respectively) as planned in September 2020. Our Year 11 and one-year GCSE students also have unconditional offers for A-Level at Chelsea Independent College from September 2020. If we are unable to open the college on time in September 2020 or travel restrictions are in place, a later start of term may be decided or remote learning put in place. We will advise further on this as we receive further information from the UK government.

With regards to Tier 4 sponsorship, we are currently authorised to continue sponsoring our Tier 4 students up until 31st May 2020, even if they are outside of the UK. We are awaiting further updates from UK Visas and Immigration regarding visa sponsorship from 1st June 2020 for those students who are due to remain with us next academic year to complete their programmes (i.e. our current Year 10 and Year 12 cohorts). Students due to progress onto or start a new programme of study in September 2020 (i.e. those starting Year 10, Year 12, or the NCUK International Foundation Year programme in September 2020) and who require Tier 4 visa sponsorship will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa prior to the start of the course. We await further guidance regarding the reopening of visa application centres over the summer period.

 

Examinations and University Progression

Will GCSE and A-Level examinations take place as normal?

The UK government has announced that GCSE and A-Level examinations will not take place this year as planned. Students will receive a calculated grade from their teachers which will reflect the grade the teacher believes the student would have received if exams had gone ahead. The calculated grade process will take into account a range of evidence including, for example, non-exam assessment and mock results. We are awaiting further guidance from Ofqual on how students’ grades will be calculated, and will update our students and parents on this in due course (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced).

Students who do not feel their calculated grade accurately reflects their performance will have an opportunity to sit an exam early in the next academic year or appeal the decision if they wish. We are awaiting guidance from Ofqual on exam dates.

In the meantime, it is essential that students continue to attend their online lessons and engage with all assignments and homework set.

Further information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

 

How will universities assess students in the absence of A-Level examinations?

We are awaiting further guidance from UK universities on how students will be admitted in the absence of A-Level examinations. We will update our parents and students as and when further information is provided.

 

How are NCUK International Foundation Year students assessed and will their progression be affected?

Our NCUK International Foundation Year students have also moved to online distance learning, and all final examinations have been cancelled. Final grades will be awarded on the basis of completed summative assessments and newly-introduced time-controlled assessments. A range of other evidence will be taken into account to ensure grades are awarded fairly and accurately as part of the judgement of student outcomes. We await further guidance from NCUK regarding grade calculations and the new time-controlled assessments which are expected to take place next term.

All students will be expected to meet their Study Centre attendance requirements in order to achieve their final award, and it is therefore important that students continue to attend their online lessons.

Further information can be found here:

https://www.ncuk.ac.uk/coronavirus/

 

Prospective Students

Is CIC still accepting applications for September 2020?

Yes. We intend to open as planned in the new academic year, and are still accepting applications for September 2020 entry. Spaces remain available on our GCSE, pre A-Level, A-Level and NCUK International Foundation Year programmes. If you are interested in making an application to study with us, please do contact our admissions team on enquiries@cic.ac.

 

Is the application process the same?

The application process remains unchanged, however, we will exercise greater flexibility regarding the invigilation of our entrance assessments where students are unable to sit them at one of our partners’ offices. Students can attend an interview with our academic team via Skype or video call, and can sit our online English language assessment. We now accept electronic signatures on our application forms, and documents can be scanned and sent to us via email.

 

Will current offer holders for September 2020 be affected?

Current offer holders for September 2020 will not be affected and all current offers remain valid. We intend to open as planned in September 2020 for both current students completing their courses and new students.

 

Can I still visit Chelsea Independent College?

Unfortunately, following government advice, Chelsea Independent College’s buildings are closed to staff, students, and visitors until further notice. Our Admissions team are working remotely, however, and are very happy to arrange individual consultations with prospective families to answer any questions they may have. You can contact us on enquiries@cic.ac.

  • You will find lots of photographs of our college buildings and students at our website
  • A 360 degree tour of Chelsea Independent College can be found here
  • A 360 degree tour of our boarding residence, Princess Beatrice House, can be found here
  • You can also keep up to date with our latest news on our Instagram page, Facebook page or the website news section

 

What happens if I cannot start my course in September 2020 due to coronavirus? Will my deposit be refunded?

In the event that COVID-19 related travel restrictions and lockdown measures delay the start of the Autumn term, students will be given the option to arrive late, start classes remotely via distance learning, or defer their enrolment to January or September 2021.

If a student is unable to travel to us due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions and lockdown measures at the time of their course start date, and they do not wish to consider online learning or deferment, a full refund of deposits paid for September 2020 entry will be given.

 

Summer School

Is Chelsea Academic Summer School still accepting applications?

No. We have unfortunately decided to cancel our 2020 international summer school. Given the developing situation with Covid-19, we no longer feel that it is prudent to run the courses and have made this decision based on the welfare of the students and the staff.

 

Is it possible to defer my place to summer 2021?

Yes, we are happy to defer your 2020 placement to summer 2021. Please contact our admissions team on enquiries@cic.ac for more information.

 

What is your summer school refund policy?

We are offering full refunds for summer 2020 bookings. Please contact our admissions team on enquiries@cic.ac for more information.

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