As we move towards September 2020, we know you will probably have many questions about how we will navigate the situation we find ourselves in – ensuring exciting and rewarding educational opportunities, whilst keeping our community safe and healthy.
I would like to reassure you that while we are very optimistic that we will be open fully by September and we will return to our classrooms - ready to head into our 125th year with enthusiasm - we are preparing for how things may have to be done slightly differently.
Please see below for some Frequently Asked Questions specifically designed for our international families - both those who have already committed to us for the upcoming academic year and those who are still considering schools for their children.
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.
With my thanks,
Director of Marketing, Admissions and Enterprise
How are you planning for September?
It’s all systems go! We are very pleased with the way in which remote learning is going and so now we turn our attention to the next academic year. In September we’re launching our brand new co-curricular Programme at Worksop College and we’re excited to share that with you all. It’s also our 125th year, so lots to look forward to.
In terms of our physical buildings and infrastructure, we have a core team of people ready to get both schools back up and running for the new academic year, looking at what measures we need to put in place to ensure the safety of our whole community.
I have questions about costs – such as fees, uniform and trips etc. Who should I speak to?
The Admissions Team should be your first port of call. The team works all-year round and are currently set-up in their home offices, so please do give them a ring or drop them an email.
I am an international pupil – what if I can’t travel to the UK for September?
We are issuing Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) as we usually do for our Non-EU students. It is only young people over the age of 16 who are currently required to attend an interview at a Visa Application Centre and that is where the delay may come. We are very hopeful that these issues will be overcome - our experience with UKVI so far has been very positive. If you are unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will be able to defer the place or receive a full refund.
How are you making sure buildings and classrooms will be safe?
We don’t know how long the social distancing rules will apply and so we are planning accordingly. This includes a number of measures, ensuring adequate space between desks, maximum numbers of pupils in classrooms and looking at how we may need to reconfigure Boarding Houses. There will be staggering of meal times in order to reduce traffic in our corridors and we are also looking at a one-way system that we will put in place to aid social distancing.
We increased the number of sanitising stations in early March of 2020, but we will increase these again as we prepare for September and beyond.
We know that some activities and sports may still be prohibited by September and so we’re looking at our timetable and reconfiguring it to ensure full and exciting programmes that are social-distancing-compliant and yet create amazing opportunities for all pupils.
Will there be a two-week quarantine period for those coming into the UK?
As it currently stands, anyone coming into the UK is required to self-isolate for a period of two weeks. Depending on how the situation unfolds in the next few months, it is likely that we will insist on this for all international pupils – both for their own safety and for the safety of the wider community. This may take place at the home of the pupil’s UK-based Guardian or we may be able to accommodate pupils at a Boarding House on-site. If you are an international family who needs a UK Guardian, please get in touch – we can help.
Will International Welcome Weekend (5&6 September) still take place?
We are still moving ahead with our plans for International Welcome Weekend. This is our programme of events to welcome International pupils and their families. If the 2-week quarantine period makes it too difficult for families to attend, we will run the programme virtually, with exactly the same opportunities for families to learn more about the school and meet key staff members.
What if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at school?
At Worksop College, we have a 24-hr Healthcare Centre - separate to the main building – staffed by qualified nurses who already have measures in place in the case of this occurrence. Should a member of our community become ill, we have adequate, well-equipped and completely contained self-isolation areas and have a close relationship with Bassetlaw NHS Trust should further treatment be needed.
Sport and extra-curricular activities are a big part of an Independent education – how will you ensure these programs can continue?
As you may be aware, the UK government has already lifted restrictions on some types of sport and we expect this to continue as we move through the summer. However, there are some sports and activities that are more ‘non-contact’ than others and so it’s likely that we may alter our sports fixture programme, accordingly. We’re also looking at how we can make use of technology to enhance what we’re offering from September.
What about the Boarding community and the House system – how will you keep people together when they may have to stay apart?
We are proud to say that the Worksop College community is stronger than ever. What we have learned in the past few weeks is the strength of the bonds that exist within our school – especially within the Houses! New ways of using technology has been eye-opening and enabled us to stay in close contact with all our pupils, irrespective of location, time difference or language. As we return in September, there will be no change to that sense of community we are famous for – House activities will continue as they always have done – we shall simply ‘tweak’ them to ensure pupils are kept safe and healthy.
Will pupils be required to wear facemasks?
At this stage, we don’t know whether wearing facemasks will form part of UK government guidelines in September. However, we are already in touch with a manufacturer who is on standby to supply face coverings if this were to be the case.