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Coronavirus Update

Message from the principal, June 5:

Dear all Yesterday the Minister for Education announced plans for schools and colleges to ease back into onsite operations. The statement made by the Minister is here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52895374

For all Colleges in Wales, this means an opening of campuses from June 15th 2020. However, we have decided that the earliest we can achieve this will be from June 22nd 2020. This is to ensure that all possible steps that we need to take to ensure appropriate staff training, safe working practices and operations can be implemented cautiously and successfully. Our paramount concern in this process will remain the safety of all staff and learners. The College is currently completing risk assessments for all elements of operations that it will be undertaking in the summer months, prior to September.

These will be shared with the Board of Directors, the Health and Safety Committee, Union officials and all staff prior to the commencement of any onsite work. Training will be afforded to staff prior to them receiving learners on campus.

This process will be underpinned with the very latest Welsh Government advice. Priority working areas during the summer months are those areas where learners need assessments to achieve their "license to practice" and to provide on campus support for vulnerable learners. Much of our work will continue online and many staff will continue to work remotely. More detailed information will be provided in the coming days and weeks.

Be kind, stay safe



Update April 24:

Ofqual has today launched a consultation following the cancellation of a range of exams and assessments in vocational and technical qualifications due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Click here for more >>

Update April 21:


Hello everyone

Welcome back to a new term after the Easter break. I hope that you all managed to find some time to relax and take a break in what continues to be exceptional circumstances.

Throughout the Easter period there have been a number of important meetings that have led to further discussions around the teacher-led grading of qualifications, the security of various funding streams and the inevitable questions of when life will get ‘back to normal’.

As a College we have worked hard to support the NHS through the current crisis by agreeing training to take place at our Aberystwyth Campus and providing local hospitals with much sought after PPE equipment to supplement their current levels of equipment. This has only been possible due to the number of volunteers that have come forward to help – on behalf of the College, thank you. Also, we are currently having discussions with the Welsh Blood Service about providing a centre for them to operate in June, at the Graig Campus in Llanelli.

I am sure many of you will have seen the CARIAD awards that have been presented recently. Support for learners continues online and I am grateful to those staff who provided much need support to learners, in particular the most vulnerable learners, during the Easter period.

Post Easter both support and learning online will continue, but as time progresses some aspects of these functions will change. For example, formative assessment and other factors will be used to provide final grades for learners and, as one academic year comes to an end, we must prepare for the next intake of learners. There will be more specific information on this important piece of work in the coming weeks.

Overall, we are adapting to working from home well but I also appreciate that family commitments and caring responsibilities are difficult to manage in this working environment. Whilst I appreciate the challenge that these difficult times bring I hope that you continue to support each other, to keep in touch with colleagues and above keep yourselves safe and in good health.

Be safe, be kind.




Update April 6:

The following is an update on next steps for Access to HE providers during the current COVID-19 pandemic from the QAA - Click here to read >>


Update March 24:

Dear all
Following the announcements by the Prime Minister and First Minster this evening, the College Campuses will be closed to all students and staff until further notice.
We have been preparing for this change to our working patterns over the last couple of weeks, and now is the time to keep all of us as safe as possible.
Stay safe and well.
Summer Examinations

In relation to the proposal to cancel GCSEs and A-Level examinations for Summer 2020, the college has no detailed information at this stage regarding the measures that will be used to award grades.

Once we know more we will communicate this to you. At this time, it is important that all learners continue with their studies as normal, in the event that WJEC refers to attendance, submission of classwork, past papers and homework to form their judgement on the final grade to award to candidates.

We appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

Update from the Assistant Principal, 18 March:

Anwyl Pawb /Dear All

We have just been informed that the Schools in Wales will close to pupils this Friday.
As such, the College will also close to students at 4.30 pm this Friday.
We will move formally to on-line delivery as from Monday 23 March from 9.15 am.
At present, we hope to keep our campuses open for staff who wish to attend (this is subject to confirmation).

Mike Williams

Pennaeth Cynorthwyol, Strategaeth, Cynllunio a Gwasanaethau Academaidd

Assistant Principal, Strategy, Planning and Academic Services

Update from the Principal, 17 March:

Dear All 

In response to the recent Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we would like to reassure our learners that the College is monitoring the situation extremely closely. As a Senior Leadership Team, we are meeting on a daily basis to ensure that the correct processes and procedures are in place to ensure the best possible advice is provided to our learners, in line with current Welsh Government recommendations. 

Our priority is the safety of our learners, employees, and visitors. In addition, we will do everything possible to ensure that teaching, learning and assessment preparation can continue during this period of uncertainty, following guidance from the UK and Welsh Government and Public Health authorities. 

At the present time, there is no plan to close any campuses of the College. However, it does seem possible, although not guaranteed, that some form of closure of part, or all, of the College may be necessary, and this scenario is being planned for by the Senior Leadership Team. Should this happen, we will communicate with you via email, social media platforms and the College website www.colegsirgar.ac.uk or www.cerdigion.ac.uk as soon as a decision is made. We would like to remind you to 

check these electronic platforms and your College email account regularly so that you can be kept up-to-date with any developments. 

At present, if you are well, you should attend all timetabled teaching and placements unless you are informed otherwise by your course or personal tutor. 

If you are on a placement, and your placement provider closes, please contact your course tutor as soon as possible so that measures can be put in place to support your studies. 

To ensure that learners, staff and visitors are not exposed to further unnecessary risks, we have suspended all international College planned trips and international placements from the College. We have also taken the decision to suspend new European students attending the College on placements. 

Activities within the UK will continue to be discussed on a case by case basis and subject to the latest Welsh Government information. 

At present, we would strongly encourage that you continue to plan and prepare for your approaching examinations and assessments. 

We will inform you as soon as possible, should Examination Board and/or Awarding Body requirements or arrangements change. 

Learners who feeling unwell and / or have underlying health conditions 

Learners who have weakened immune systems or underlying chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease and are concerned about coronavirus should continue to take their normal precautions and may wish to contact their GP. 

If you have concerns that you may have the coronavirus, you should follow the guidelines provided by: 

Public Health Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/

Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

We understand the impact this situation is having, and our thoughts are with everyone at this challenging time. 

Please follow the advice of the Government: - 

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap for 20 seconds; 
  • Cough and sneeze into tissues or the fold of your arm; 
  • Distance yourself from others socially and only take trips that are absolutely necessary; 

Stay safe and look after each other 


Dr Andrew Cornish 

Principal / Chief Executive 


Coronavirus 17 March 2020 Update

Changes or additions to advice issued on 16 March:

Anyone with a new persistent cough or high temperature is advised to self-isolate for 14 days. Anyone with family members with such symptoms, should self-isolate for 14 days.

Staff who are over 70, pregnant, or who have underlying serious health conditions that place them at greater risk are advised to work from home after discussion with the line manager.

Any other staff who can fulfil their function fully from home, should discuss this option with their line manager.

Staff should avoid all non-essential travel, including between campuses, and use digital means when appropriate.

Self isolating students should be marked as an authorised absence on the registers.

The Access centre, based at UWTSD, will not accept face to face clients, but will continue to accept clients through digital means.


Coronavirus 16 March 2020

Update The College remains open for students and staff across its 7 campuses, until we are advised differently by Welsh Government.

The College remains open for HE students registered with UWTSD. HE students housed in halls of residence at UWTSD can continue to occupy these.

Students must report any absence from College through their local campus office.

Plans are being drawn up for on line provision for all aspects of the College curriculum, if the College is required to close. These will be disseminated in the next few days.

The College is awaiting further advice from national awarding bodies regarding any contingency measures that will be introduced for managing assessment and examinations (including A levels and GCSEs).

The College hair and beauty salons, restaurants, dance studios, fitness centres, equine arena and 3G pitches will close to the public with immediate effect.

Contingencies are being drawn up for the stables at Pibwrlwyd. Owners will be informed that it may be necessary for horses to return to their homes if the College closes.

Anyone with a new persistent cough or high temperature is advised to self isolate for 7 days.

Any staff self isolating must inform their line manager and campus office. Any staff absent due to self-isolation will be entitled to full pay. Absence will not be recorded on the absence management system but staff should notify campus office in the usual way.

Planned trips abroad for students will not be going ahead during the remainder of this academic year.

Essential off campus visits within the UK may continue, but only where absolutely necessary for the curriculum.

We urge all students and staff to strictly follow the hygiene information that has been issued widely, which recommends thorough and regular hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds.


Coronavirus 13 March 2020

Update In view of UK Government’s statement issued 12 March 2020, the College advice to staff and students is as follows:

The College remains open for business as usual across its 7 campuses.

Anyone with a new persistent cough or high temperature is advised to self-isolate for 7 days, as the UK Government moves to the "delay" phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus.

Any staff self-isolating must inform their line manager and students must report their absence through their campus office.

Planned trips abroad for students will not be going ahead during the remainder of this academic year.

Trips within the UK may continue, but will be considered on a case by case basis.

We urge all students and staff to strictly follow the hygiene information that has been issued widely, which recommends thorough and regular hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds.


UPDATE: Coronavirus 10 March 2020

At present, the College continues to operate normally for all students and staff.  

The situation is evolving daily and the College is monitoring this closely.  It is being guided by information issued by central government and the guidance for educational settings issued by Public Health Wales.


However, if any staff or students are concerned about their health or have recently returned from affected areas please contact NHS 111 for personal advice. 

We strongly encourage all students and staff to follow the hygiene information that has been issued widely, which includes thorough and regular hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds.

If, in future, there are any suspected cases of Coronavirus in the College, the management team will work with the local Health Protection Team and seek advice on how best to respond.

Any planned staff and student trips or events scheduled for the remainder of this year, will be considered on a case by case basis and in light of the most up to date advice issued.


UPDATE: Coronavirus 5 March 2020

An update on the action which the College is taking with regard to the COVID19 virus.

1. Cleaning

Solo, the College Contract Cleaners for Coleg Sir Gâr campuses have already instigated a more intensive cleaning regime in line with the Cleaning Industry recommendations. This includes using Antibac sprays on "hotspots" ,which are door handles and push plates (particularly metal fittings). Toilet areas are continuing to be cleaned as per normal spec - there is no additional cleaning required for such areas. Currently there is no requirement for any deep cleaning however this will be reviewed if there is a confirmed case of COVID 19 in the College. At Coleg Ceredigion campuses, door handles and push plates are being cleaned with anti bac products.

Solo are not responsible for cleaning desks and IT equipment Ideally these should be regularly wiped down with anti bac wipes. Gym / Fitness equipment should also have a similar cleaning regime. Wipes are currently out of stock - this is the position with all suppliers across the entire country.

2. Hand Sanitisers

The College has been able to place an order for sanitiser foam gel dispensers. It is the intention that these units will be placed at main door entrances and Refectories. Hopefully these will be with us without too much delay.

3. Posters

Bilingual Information Posters are in the process of being produced and will be issued to all campuses.

4. Plasma Screens

A Public Health video clip on awareness of COVID 19 and personal hygiene will be played on college reception plasma screens. In line with Public Health Wales information, the most effective action which can be taken is for everyone to ensure that they wash their hand thoroughly in hot soapy water frequently throughout the day and also to be responsible for high standards of personal hygiene particularly when coughing / sneezing.

UPDATE:  Coronavirus 2 March 2020

At present, the College is operating normally for students and staff.    

The College continues to follow the global progress of, and response to, the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.  It is being guided by information issued by:

Public Health Wales(PHW)

Public Health England (PHE)

The situation is evolving daily and the College is watching its progress closely.  However, if any staff or students have recently returned from affected areas please ensure that you self-isolate for the recommended 14 day period and contact NHS 111 if you feel unwell. 

The College is also reviewing the comprehensive advice for Educational Settings issued by PHE and if there are any suspected cases of Coronavirus in the College community, the College will act accordingly.  

Any planned staff and student trips or events scheduled for the remainder of this year, will be considered on a case by case basis and in light of the most up to date advice issued by central Government.