Keighley College prioritises student safety by postponing January exams

Keighley College has taken the decision to postpone exams due to take place in January to ensure student, apprentice and staff safety during the pandemic.

The latest government update outlines that GCSE, A level and AS summer exams have been cancelled and will be replaced with teacher assessed grades. However, the decision to run BTEC and other vocational qualification assessments is down to individual institutions. 

Steve Kelly, Principal at Keighley College, said: “Cancelling January exams was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but we felt student and staff safety needed to be our top priority. The message from the government was to ‘stay at home’ to defeat the virus, therefore asking students to attend college and sit exams seemed untenable. 

“To go ahead with the exam series now would be unfair on our hard working students. The stress of the pandemic will undoubtedly affect their performance and probably has affected their preparation, potentially leading to unfair results.

“Although many are disappointed with the move back to remote learning, teachers and students are already well equipped to adapt to distance learning following the first lockdown. We’ve worked hard to enable learners to maintain their communities during these hard times, which makes a real difference to their mental wellbeing. 

“We’re proud to be at the heart of the community and as we move through this challenging time, we want to be able to support the best we can while maintaining the safety of our students, apprentices and staff.”

BTEC and other vocational assessments will be rescheduled later this year, giving students time to plan and prepare.

Foundation Studies student, Bethan Jones, is committed to developing her learning during lockdown. She added: “The support from college throughout remote learning has been brilliant. We all speak to each other daily on Google Hangouts, where we can talk through work and help each other. 

“Our tutors are constantly checking in to see how we’re doing, which really helps with any feelings of isolation. We are set individual tasks which allow us to become more independent while improving valuable skills.”

Keighley College plans to have a mass testing system in place for when students return to college after February half term.

Keighley College reaches new level

Keighley College announces plans to launch an A level provision to boost its further education offering.

The Bradford Road campus provides full-time and part-time courses, apprenticeships and degrees, and welcomes a range of students from 16 to 19 years old and over.

Launching in September, Keighley College will be offering a two year Business and Law pathway, two year Social Science pathway and a three year pathway option. As the college is recognised locally for its high-quality vocational provision, the pathways will combine traditional A levels with vocational components. These elements incorporate Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE) and Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) accreditations.

For students who haven’t met the minimum GCSE requirements to study A levels, the college offers Access to Further Education courses.

Steve Kelly, principal of Keighley College, said: “We’re excited to introduce brand new hybrid A levels. As we’re vocational experts, it’s fantastic to be able to combine practical and theory for the qualifications. We’ll be bringing in dedicated A level staff on board who are committed to creating an empowering and inclusive environment for our students.”

Keighley College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has also recently launched a higher education centre to meet increased demand for degree level courses in the area. The centre includes new learning and research facilities to complement the theoretical work of degree level apprenticeships and those studying for higher national qualifications.