Blog from Andy Snape, Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) Project Manager at Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), for the Centres for Excellence in Maths programme.
As Further Education (FE) providers up and down the country are battling with the challenges of Covid-19, we decided to do a short survey to get a snapshot of the effect and impact the pandemic is having on the day to day running of a busy maths resit provision. We wanted to see how the work of the Centres has changed in light of the situation and how departments are working hard to ensure the impact on their learners is minimised.
The CfEM Centre Leads were surveyed and in total, the responses received provide an interesting ‘snapshot’ of the current feeling across the centres. The Leads were asked to indicate on a Likert scale their view on a number of issues ranging from ‘feeling safe at work’ through to ‘access to technology’ through to ‘challenges facing learners’ within the colleges. Interestingly the survey showed that almost 50% of staff did not currently feel safe at work and that digital poverty is something that needs to be considered more. The richness from the survey comes from looking through some of the supporting comments that were submitted as part of the centres responses. Across the centres there are a wide range of delivery models for this academic year which included 100% face-to-face, 100% online and a combination of both, with different options depending on level of learner.
Overall, the responses demonstrate the ever-present ability of the FE sector to adapt and change to negate the impact on the learners as quickly as possible. This unprecedented situation shows that whilst some areas are having some successes there are others that are struggling and highlights where greater support is needed.