Following the reopening of schools and colleges on 8 March, the Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that on‐site training can resume for students of all ages in the following further education (FE) settings if a provider follows the operational guidance:
• Sixth form colleges
• General FE colleges
• Independent Training Providers (ITPs) ‐ defined as organisations that receive Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) formula funding for the provision of 16 to 19 education
• Designated institutions
• Adult and Community Learning Providers (ACLPs)
• Special post‐16 institutions.
The National Construction Colleges in Bircham Newton (East) and Erith (South) are gradually reopening, with their apprentices due to return from 22 March. All FE providers should continue to follow pre‐COVID‐19 guidance for adult students and “judge the right balance between on‐site and remote delivery in order to provide high quality education and training”.
Apprenticeship providers should also read the current apprenticeships guidance, which confirms that FE apprentices may now return to training and assessment in educational settings, in addition to the training and assessment that is currently permitted in the workplace where the apprentice cannot work from home and the workplace is COVID‐19 secure.
There has not been any further guidance issued about resuming face‐to‐face training in the workplace. Companies will need to determine if any training required can be undertaken remotely or is essential at this time, as they may be required to explain how they are complying with the current ‘stay at home’ restrictions.