Partnership with schools
The University of Exeter highly values working in partnership with some 300 schools across the South West (and in London). The relationships are strong and seen as key strengths by Ofsted who praised the collaborative nature of the partnerships.
Statement for School Partners regarding PGCE Students’ Campus-based learning
Firstly, thank you for agreeing to work in partnership this year in training our next cohort of new teachers. As always, it is a pleasure and a privilege to work with you. We understand that this year present entirely new challenges for schools, Universities and student teachers, and we would like to explain the measures we have put in place to minimise any opportunity for COVID-19 to spread.
University wide measures
All students are provided with reusable face masks and thermometers at the start of term. Masks are worn on campus at all times. The University has conducted stringent surveys of ventilation and limited room capacities to ensure that student numbers are below the ventilation cap and that social distancing can be maintained at a minimum of 1m+. Sanitisation points, signage and one-way systems have gone up around campus to ensure that students are able to maintain distance. Classrooms are wiped down at the start and end of each session, and students will use a QR code and log a desk number to ensure that they can be traced should any students in a class become symptomatic. All teaching has been prepared so that it can be delivered online to any students who need to self-isolate, or should a lockdown be required. Students in Halls are in small ‘bubbles’ within their hall and corridor, but I want to be clear that very few PGCE students take accommodation in University Halls of Residence, with most commuting from their own homes or accommodated in private rental accommodation during the University term. Students can access a Rapid Response Hub helpline to support them should they show symptoms of COVID-19, need a test, or need to self-isolate. Outside taught sessions, students are expected to follow current guidance from the government regarding socialising and social distancing – at the time of writing, this is the Rule of Six.
PGCE Specific measures
Exeterpartner and School Direct @exeter trainees are all learning via a combination of online and campus-based sessions. Students will attend the St Luke’s campus on 1 day per week attending approximately 3-4 hours of taught sessions. St Luke’s is a small campus with a limited number of taught programmes running on site. Where possible, students are taught in bubbles, to minimise mixing. Our usual 2 week placement in November has been moved to the end of term, effectively meaning that students have all their campus-based work before moving to school placements for the remainder of the year, thus minimising opportunity for viral spread.
We hope that the measures put in place will help to keep students and their university and school communities as safe as possible, whilst continuing to support them in developing the peer support networks that are so valuable to them.
Once again, thank you for your support.
Lindsay Hetherington, Head of Initial Teacher Education
The General Data Protection Regulations came into effect on 25 May 2018 and the ITE Partnership Office has specific Privacy Policies that relate to the data we hold for both our trainees and also the school staff who work with them.
The University of Exeter is a data controller and the privacy notices explain how the University processes and uses the personal data we collect.
If you have any queries in relation to this please contact the Partnership Office on 013920 724841 or via firstname.lastname@example.org