Following the latest government announcement, England is now back in national lockdown.
All JTL centres and partner colleges in England have been closed and where possible, lessons for apprentices that attend a JTL centre will now be delivered remotely through live tutorials that mirror apprentices existing class timetables. We have also reminded learners of the wide range of learning resources that are already available to them via Smart Assessor and for those with an account, via BKSB. We are contacting learners and their employers to let them know about these temporary changes and our training officers will be in touch with apprentices to monitor their progress and see if any further support is required. A more detailed breakdown of our remote delivery is provided below.
In the meantime, we would be grateful for your patience when trying to get in touch with our office staff at this time, like many businesses we’re in the process of moving back to home and remote working. Due to lockdown our telephone lines are very busy and waiting times may be slightly longer than normal as a result. If you have any questions please do drop us a line through to firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
JTL’s Aims During Lockdown
The training and progression of our learners is important to us. Our aim during a period of either national or local lockdowns or other restrictions, is to minimise the disruption to learning, whilst maintaining the safety and well-being of both our staff and learners. The steps we are taking to minimise this disruption and allow progression as planned are described below. Please note that these steps may change at short notice as Government, Public Health England or devolved administrations update their guidance.
Our Remote Learning Plan
For learners studying at JTL Centres our aim is to replicate the original centre timetable where possible through remote tutoring and make remote learning resources available for the majority of our programmes. Remote tutoring will involve real time engagement through live sessions, and it is therefore important that all learners attend as per the timetable so that they can progress as expected.
We expect our delivery partners, such as colleges, to deliver the same standard and type of remote learning as in a JTL Centre. If learners are studying at a delivery partner, such as a college, they will provide separate guidance on this and instructions on how to engage.
Until guidance changes, we will continue with centre-based assessment and exams at JTL Centres where remote alternatives are not in place, so it is important for learners to engage in remote learning to ensure they achieve the best they can in their assessment. Tutors will be in contact with learners, should they require a JTL Centre based assessment or exam, to make arrangements to attend a JTL Centre accordingly.
If learners are uncertain as to what will be offered during a period of either national or local lockdown, they are advised to contact their Training Officer who will support them accordingly.
Our Delivery Arrangements
Our remote learning plan will be delivered via a variety of methods and platforms depending on where and what the learner is studying. Learners studying at a JTL Centre will access remote tutoring via Google Classroom and Google Meet, as will learners being supported by JTL Functional Skills Tutors. Tutors will be in contact with learners over timetabling arrangements and what is expected of learners whilst undertaking remote learning. For those learners studying at a partner centre, such as a college, the partner centre will provide guidance on how learners can access the platform(s) they are using for remote learning.
If learners are studying for a Functional Skills qualification with a JTL tutor, they will be able to access resources and assessment via a BKSB account and Functional Skills Tutors will give further guidance on this. Functional Skills testing is still available although more limited. Functional skills tutors will discuss options for taking tests with learners who are ready to do so.
All JTL electrical and plumbing apprentices have access to Smart Assessor and there is a range of online resources available for learners to use during remote learning. If learners are unable to access these resources or need further guidance on this, they are advised to contact their Training Officer.
Learners who require an ECS card to be on site and have not achieved their Health and Safety unit and it is not feasible (e.g. travel restrictions) to take the test at either a JTL centre or partner, can take the ECS test within employer’s premises providing it is a safe environment and all JTL Covid procedures are adhered to. Where the ECS test is to be taken at a JTL centre, prior confirmation must be made with the centre to ensure overall numbers are not exceeded and jeopardise the safety measures in place.
Expectations of Our Learners
It is important that learners continue to engage with their learning and complete activities as set by their tutors. This is vital for progression and completion of programmes and until guidance changes, we will continue with assessment and exams at JTL Centres, so engagement in remote learning is essential for learners to stay on track.
We will be recording attendance and monitoring accordingly. If persistent periods of absence are recorded or the duration of absence is over a long period, we may put in place a break in learning, which will be a temporary suspension of an individual’s apprenticeship programme. However, we want to avoid this, so learners are advised to talk to their Training Officer and tutor if they are finding it difficult to engage with remote learning.
Our main focus during a sustained period of remote learning will be on knowledge units. We are exploring how we can deliver remote practical demonstrations, such as live or recorded demonstrations.
Practical assessments within qualifications have been paused until face to face teaching can resume. Knowledge assessments will still be scheduled by the tutor once the mandatory knowledge unit has been delivered. Learners are being urged to attend all timetabled online sessions to complete the knowledge units during this period of lockdown to ensure all their hard work can be rewarded by sitting and achieving the scheduled assessment.
Essential on-site assessment will continue whilst Government guidance permits it. Training Officers will be in contact with learners should they require essential on-site assessment, to make arrangements accordingly.
JTL AM2 centres at Oxford and Birmingham are open, currently both centres have reduced their assessment occupancy to ensure the safety of learners and staff. Whilst the centres have reduced capacity, we do ask learners to be patient when trying to arrange an assessment. All learners who have had their test rescheduled will be contacted and given a new date by the centre.
If learners cannot engage with remote learning due to either not having the right IT equipment, sporadic access to IT equipment or connectivity issues, they are advised to contact their Training Officer and tutors to let them know as soon as possible.
Under current Government guidance, learners are expected to approach their employers first to see how they can assist in providing IT equipment etc. They may also be able to attend a JTL Centre or partner centre and access IT facilities there if they are classed as a vulnerable learner, as defined by Government guidance. This needs to be pre-arranged, so learners must not attend either JTL Centres or partner centres without prior approval.
We have put in place support for those learners that have already notified us that they are having difficulties engaging; but learners that continue to be affected are advised to contact their tutor to discuss how JTL may be able to provide further support.
Additional Learning Needs
In order to support our learners with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) over this period, our JTL Centres will be open to learners to attend where it is felt they can be better supported in person by a member of our Learner Support Team. This must be arranged with the Learner Support Team before attending a JTL Centre. We appreciate that many learners with ALN would prefer working from home where possible and we will continue to support whichever option is taken.
We will continue to have regular contact with learners with ALN and vulnerable learners; keeping in touch to check wellbeing and progression and provide the opportunity for learners to discuss any further additional support requirements they may have.
As examinations will continue, we will continue to complete Reasonable Adjustment assessments remotely, where possible. If learners believe they require adjustments to their exams or learning they are advised to contact email@example.com or their designated Learning Support Tutor.
JTL Centres will continue to adhere to recommendations outlined by the Government, Public Health England and devolved administrations, to ensure the safety of both staff and learners whilst attending a JTL centre. The same is expected of our delivery partners and their centres.
This is likely to impact on capacity at JTL Centres, which may impact on the timing of assessment and exams, so we ask learners to remain patient and to contact their tutor or Training Officer if the delays are causing excessive disruption.
Children, young people and our adult learners always come first, and staff will respond robustly to any concerns and, where appropriate, contact the safeguarding team.
Our processes are consistently under review to ensure we are in line with the latest Government guidelines over the pandemic and we will continue to assess the best possible support we can provide whilst keeping both learners and JTL staff safe. Learners and their employers are advised to regularly check the JTL website for further updates.