Coronavirus response update - 31.03.20

31 March 2020

I hope this finds you well. It is at times such as these that we see the very best of us and the worst. Incidents locally involving young people in anti-social behaviour stretch our collective patience, but these are offset by some remarkable acts of generosity and community. The antidote to COVID-19 and the stress and worry it causes is kindness. Small acts of kindness can have an enormous impact on individuals, no matter what it is. If you can find some time to be kind we will all be the better for it. Hopefully, the post epidemic world will be a kinder, more gentle place for all of us.

So it is worth remembering to be kind to each other not just face-to-face, but also online. There is no place for ‘cyberbullying’ or ‘trolling’ during normal times, but certainly not in the current climate. If your son or daughter are being bullied or trolled online by others, please contact your son or daughter’s Senior Tutor to let them know; we can help. We have also signposted external agencies on our website and on Canvas to provide an alternative should you need it.

As part of our commitment to safeguard our students through these unusual times, we have added two buttons to our website. They can be found in the Student Life section in the IT section under IT and Learning Resources. They can also be accessed at www.asfc.ac.uk/student-life/lrc. We have added the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) button so students can report inappropriate content or the way someone has been communicating with them online. We have also added the UK Safer Internet Centre button for advice on how your sons and daughters can keep themselves safe online.

Teachers have been concerned that a very small number of A2 and Level 2 students, particularly those on vocational programmes, have not been engaging with them. We have advised teachers to report this to Senior Tutors who may be in touch and have asked teaching staff to stop chasing students who will not engage. Teachers will gladly support students in their completion of assignments and other work if commitment is shown. We do not know how grades will be awarded at the moment, so it would make sense to continue to work until we know more. We do not know what will be counted in the final reckoning though we should know more later in the week.

However and in contrast, the vast majority of students continue to engage proactively which is really positive. The number of direct access requests has remained high at 879 today. Thank you for your support and keep up the good work! If your son or daughter have any difficulties with IT or access, please email techsupport@asfc.ac.uk.

Take care, look after yourself, your families and each other; be patient and stay positive.

Anton

Principal