Keep up to date with important announcements from the College. You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
22/05/20: Message to all Year 13 BTEC and CACHE students:
In line with the government and exam board guidance, teachers are now working on inputting grades for internally assessed completed units and centre assessed grades for units which you been unable to complete due to these very unusual circumstances. These will then be subject to Examination Board and Ofqual standardisation. In light of this and in order to protect the integrity of the process, the government have stipulated that schools and colleges do not share provisional grades with students or parents and carers.
BTEC teachers have set you some broader, extension reading, tasks or projects to complete independently. The aim of these is to keep you stimulated and academically challenged over the longer than anticipated break before you move on to university, apprenticeships or into employment.
Pastoral support through Academic Coaches will continue to be available to all Year 13 students until 30 June 2020 and those of you who receive financial support (bursary and meal allowances) will also continue to do so up until 30 June 2020.
21/05/20: Following guidance from the government about re-opening schools and colleges from 1 June, the College is working on a strategy to deliver some contact for students with teachers from Monday 15 June for a 4-week period, however, the main method of support will continue to be through remote learning. The aim is to provide 1 session in each A level/A level equivalent subject and two sessions for BTEC Extended Diploma and Cache students by the end of term. Students will be invited into specific sessions in small groups, and can only attend during these sessions to ensure we can keep the numbers of people on campus to a manageable level. Further detailed guidance about how we will be maintaining social distancing and keeping staff and students safe will follow after half-term. The health and safety for our entire community will remain our top priority.
18/05/20: It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week. Check out this great video on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing during this Covid-19 pandemic.
13/05/20: A letter from Catherine Anwar (CEO of the Summit Learning Trust) to all parents and carers about the College re-opening in June following the announcement on Monday 11 May by the government. While the government are developing more detailed guidance, we have starting to work on a plan to provide Year 12 students with some face to face contact with teachers prior to the end of the summer term, to supplement students’ remote education. We will communicate with you further on this when we have more detailed plans. In the meantime, Year 12 students are urged to continue to engage with ongoing online learning to ensure they are ready to move into Year 13 in September.
12/05/20: Following the government’s announcement on Monday 11 May regarding the roadmap ahead to ease lockdown restrictions, they have published advice for schools and colleges and advice for parents and carers.
05/05/20: We’ve updated our Bridging the Gap page with some resources for Year 11 students who are thinking about taking on the challenge of an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) when they join us this September. Scroll down to the end of the list of A level subjects and click on Extended Project to find out more about this qualification, which allows students to boost their university/apprenticeship applications by doing a piece of private research.
30/04/20: Calling all Year 11 students! Our teachers have put forward some brilliant resources related to all our A level, BTEC and CACHE courses to help students bridge the gap between GCSE and advanced level study. It includes suggested reading, podcasts, videos and online activities to help ensure students are ready to start their studies with us this September. None of it is compulsory, but we hope it will keep students academically stimulated during this time of school closure and we really think it will help prepare you for the next stage of your education.
30/04/20: Are you aware of the mental health services available in Birmingham and Solihull? Visit the Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group website for more information.
28/04/20: The government have released more information on Supporting Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Wellbeing. There is more useful advice on the Rise Above website.
23/04/20: The Summit Learning Trust has put together a document detailing Financial Support available to families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
22/04/20: The Summit Learning Trust has issued a statement regarding the provision of laptop computers for students.
20/04/20: UCAS update for Apply 2021 – for Year 12 students and Year 13 students taking a gap year: UCAS have announced that Apply 2021 will run as normal, with the following key dates:
• 19 May – Apply 2021 will go live allowing students to register and start their applications.
• 8 September – completed applications can be sent to UCAS.
20/04/20: UCAS update for Year 13 students for 2020 entry: The deadline for students holding five offers to make a decision has now been moved to a single deadline of 18 June.
17/04/20: The Department for Education have confirmed that results for A levels and GCSEs will be released on the same dates as originally planned – 13 August for A levels and 20 August for GCSEs.
17/04/20: We are delighted to do our small bit to help in the fight against Covid-19. One of our Science technicians Svetlana took Science goggles and other items of personal protection equipment from our Biology and Chemistry departments to Anita Stone Court, one of the nursing homes run by charity BCOP (Broadening Choice for Older People) yesterday. Find out more here.
16/04/20: Message to Year 13 BTEC and CACHE Students: Ofqual published its latest guidance about Applied General qualifications (in our case all BTECS, Cache and Criminology) late on Friday 3rd April. They have said that, “As far as possible, such qualifications will be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with learners receiving a calculated result. Calculated results could be based in part on teacher, trainer or tutor judgements of what result each learner would most likely have achieved had they been able to complete their assessments in summer 2020. This information will, where appropriate, be combined with a range of other evidence held by the school, college or training provider and/or by the awarding organisation offering the qualification. Depending on the structure of the qualification, schools, colleges and training providers may be asked to provide an estimated result for the whole qualification, or for uncompleted components. There might be some instances where they are asked to provide a rank order of learners (as with GCSEs, AS and A levels).”
Ofqual have confirmed that they will be giving further guidance on this after the Easter break and we will keep you updated. In the meantime, we would encourage you to work with your teachers to complete the theory elements of units already started but you will not be starting new units. We will update you on the processes when we have further information.
16/04/20: Message to Year 13 A Level Students: Remote learning will restart on Monday 20th April for all Year 13 A level and GCSE Specifications which have not yet been been completed. The subjects which fall into this category are: Chemistry, Drama, Film Studies, Fine Art, Graphics, Maths, Further Maths, GCSE Maths, Media, Music, Law, Photography, Psychology and Religious Studies. The aim is to make sure you have completed the specification so that you are fully prepared for your next steps and we urge you to engage for your own academic gain. It is anticipated that all teaching will be completed by at the very latest the middle of May if not before. You will be guided in this by your subject teacher.
Teaching of the following A level and GCSE specifications has been completed: Ancient History, Biology, Business, Criminology, Computer Science, Core Maths, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, German, GCSE English Language, Geography, Geology, History, Philosophy, Physics, Physical Education, Politics, Sociology, Statistics, Spanish and Russian. Now that teaching of the specifications has been completed, by the end of the first week back, teachers will be setting you some broader, extension reading, tasks or projects to complete independently. The aim of these is to keep you stimulated and academically challenged over the longer than anticipated break before you move on to university, apprenticeships or into employment.
Pastoral support through Academic Coaches will continue to be available to all Year 13 students until 30th June 2020 and those of you who receive financial support (bursary and meal allowances) will also continue to do so up until 30th June 2020.
16/04/20: Message for all Year 12 students: An important reminder to you that remote learning will restart from Monday 20th April. It is vital that you keep engaging with your teachers across all Year 12 A level and BTEC courses so that you continue to make progress and submit and receive feedback on your work. On your return to College (date yet to be confirmed by central Government) A level students will sit an in-class assessment based on revision of everything up the point of closure and a check on work completed at home so we can identify gaps going forward. BTEC students will continue with the learning and assessment of individual units. Our aim is to make sure you are as well prepared as possible for the final assessments of 2020/21.
14/04/20: There is support for parents and children with dyslexia during the school closures in the form of an online Q&A at 7.30-8.30pm on Wednesday 15 April. Ambassadors Mollie King (singer and BBC Radio 1 presenter), Lee Byrne (former Welsh rugby international) and Adelle Tracey (Team GB athlete) will be taking part. Register for free.
07/04/20: The Government has updated its information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and colleges.
07/04/20: We are experiencing very high volumes of emails to the Admissions Office regarding applications and enrolment this September. As a result, there is a backlog and there may be a delay in our response. Rest assured we are working through the queries as quickly as we can. In the meantime, you may find out Admissions FAQ useful.
03/04/20: Ofqual have today provided further guidance on how GCSE and A level grades will be calculated. Find out more about this and read the statement from Principal Martin Sullivan here.
31/03/20: Remote Learning will continue for all students up until close of play Thursday 2 April when we break for Easter. At this time of distance learning, communication is vital. Students are urged to check their Tyber messages every day for important updates from their teachers, coaches and college leadership. We are still waiting for details from the government on how Year 13 grades will be calculated.
31/03/20: Learning is currently taking place at the College and at schools across the Summit Learning Trust. Please take a moment to read the statement that the Trust has issued about this home learning.
31/03/20: Due to these unprecedented circumstances, our application process for study in September 2020 will remain open until further notice. Please keep checking back for further updates.
30/03/20: Please note, the College is continuing to deliver our safeguarding duty of care during this time of College closure because of the on-going Covid-19 situation. Read more information on how we are dealing with Safeguarding here.
27/03/20: Prospective students awaiting interview for their September 2020 place with us have been contacted with an email from the Admissions Office. The Interview Evenings scheduled for Wednesday 25 March, Thursday 22 April, Wednesday 29 April and Wednesday 13 May will not be taking place. Instead, interviews will take place by telephone and those who were scheduled to attend Interview Evening on Wednesday 25 March will be contacted first. Offer letters will be sent out via email. We will get to those scheduled for interview at subsequent dates as soon as we can and look to schedule those without a specific interview date as soon as possible. Students interviewed at a later date will not be disadvantaged. We do not yet know if the Interview Evening on Wednesday 10 June will go ahead or not; we will update prospective students as soon as we know more.
All the offers we are making are conditional offers, which means we need students to achieve certain grades to study A level, BTEC or CACHE courses with us. In light of the government decision to cancel GCSE exams, we await confirmation of how GCSE grades will be awarded and we will abide by the grades they are awarded by the exam boards. Please be reassured that we will follow all government advice with the aim of ensuring that every student with an application is treated fairly. Further information about this and the enrolment process in late August/early September will follow when the government has clarified the position. We thank all our applicants for their patience.
27/03/20: Message to all Year 13 students: The government and Ofqual are delaying their announcement on how GCSE, A level and Applied vocational courses’ grades will be calculated until next week. Read the government/Ofqual statement on this. We understand that is an anxious time and we will update you all as soon as we have more information. We want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to make sure you are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances.
26/03/20: Here’s a reminder of Public Health England’s advice on Covid-19.
25/03/20: Finding it difficult to cope with the current uncertainty because of the Covid-19 situation? Here are some useful tips for coping with that anxiety.
25/03/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19:
The current outbreak of COVID-19 is unprecedented and will have a significant impact on businesses of all sizes. Many suppliers to public bodies will struggle to meet their contractual obligations and this will put their financial viability, ability to retain staff and their supply chains at risk. As a Contracting authority, Summit Learning Trust (which the College is part of) are required to support suppliers at risk so they are better able to cope with the current crises and to resume normal service delivery and fulfil their contractual obligations when the outbreak is over.
All suppliers will be paid as quickly as possible to maintain cash flow and protect jobs. The Trust will also take action to continue to pay suppliers at risk due to COVID-19 on a continuity and retention basis. As Trust staff are working remotely, please email invoices to: PurchaseLedger@summitlearningtrust.org.uk. If you have recently posted an invoice please send it again by email as not all offices are being attended and therefore mail may not get opened as quickly as normal.
The Trust will be contacting suppliers who provide the goods or services that are critical to the functioning of our Educational establishments. We are complying with fresh Government instructions and will continue to do so as they are updated throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are a contracted supplier who is at risk of not being able to resume normal service delivery after the outbreak is over, you will continue to be paid as normal until at least the end of June, even if service delivery is disrupted or temporarily suspended. The Government will review this date in due course. If you have not been contacted by Friday 27th March and your financial stability will be significantly impacted as a result of the loss of our business during the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact us at: SupplierEnquiries@summitlearningtrust.org.uk. We will focus our greatest effort on those suppliers that are impacted most by our temporary closure.
For further information and to keep up to date, please visit the Gov.uk websites:
(N.B. this policy note is for Contracting Authorities only, but to be transparent with all you may access it should you wish to). Summit Learning Trust values your business and endeavours to support you throughout this difficult time.
24/03/20: Solihull Sixth Form College will be closing to all staff and students from Wednesday 25 March until further notice. This follows the UK Government’s advice on Monday 23 March for everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary. We have spoken with our most vulnerable students and determined that we can offer the support they require remotely. Those in receipt of bursaries and Free School Meals are continuing to be supported financially and remote learning is up and running for all students (Year 12 and Year 13 in A level, GCSE, BTEC and CACHE courses). Students are urged to carry on with the work being set by their teachers and to keep in touch with their academic coaches for support. As we get updates, this will be communicated to students and parents by email and Tyber message and added to the website on this page.
24/03/20: Important Message regarding UCAS applications:
We have been informed by UCAS that following a government announcement asking Universities and Colleges in England to hold back from making unconditional offers or amending existing offers to students for up to two weeks, UCAS have taken the decision to extend May’s ‘decision and reply’ deadline by two weeks. UCAS will email further details to all applicants shortly.
The extension will give you and your chosen universities extra time to fully consider any decisions and offers and ensure fairness in admissions is maintained. It also gives more time for further information to be shared on the awarding of grades for examinations and assessments that have been cancelled.
When results are confirmed, UACS intend to run a clearing process to give applicants the flexibility to make further choices during the remainder of the application cycle.
We will update you if we are informed of any further development.
23/03/20: Important Message for Year 13 BTEC students:
Some of you have been inquiring why you are still being asked to continue with your assignments whilst you are working from home.
Our answer is this. The government have indicated that all Year 13 BTEC and CACHE students will get a calculated grade and that teachers will be involved in supplying information that contributes to that grade. We do not yet have details of how the grades will be awarded. However, as non-exam assessment is a fundamental element of BTEC and CACHE, it is vital that you continue to work on this as advised by your teachers. The Government have made it clear that they will not simply be using predicted grades.
Therefore, all student work, including work that is currently being set and assessed remotely, will be taken into account as we strive to ensure that as much of your qualification as possible is covered and that the awarding of your grades is fair and robust.
In addition, we have a duty and a commitment to ensuring that you complete as much of your BTEC/Cache course as possible and teachers will continue to set and assess work which helps you to do so. Your teachers will be working with you to complete units that are already in process. You may also for example be working on units that have theory and practical assignments. Teachers will keep assessing the theory assignments so that the unit can contribute to the information we pass on to the Awarding Body. Until we hear further, we will not be starting any new units.
Our aim is to facilitate your progression to university, apprenticeships and employment and to ensure that you have no knowledge gaps. Should you be unhappy with the calculated grade awarded to you, you will have a right of appeal to the Awarding Body.
Details of how grades will be awarded have yet to be finalised by the government and we will let you know as soon as we know. This link summarises the Government’s current position.
23/03/20: Important Message for Year 13 A level students:
Some of you have been inquiring why you are still being asked to continue with your remote learning, even though there will be no exams.
Our answer is this. The government have indicated that all Year 13 A level students will get a calculated grade and that teachers will be involved in supplying information that contributes to that grade. We do not yet have details of how grades will be awarded but it is clear that it will take into account a range of evidence (non-exam assessment, mock results, standardisation of student marks, teacher assessment and prior attainment) and that the Government will not simply be using predicted grades.
Therefore, all student work, including work that is currently being set and assessed remotely, will be taken into account as we strive to ensure that specifications are covered and that the awarding of your grades is fair and robust. Non-exam assessment, where applicable, is also very important so students should be continuing to work on this as advised by their teachers.
In addition, we have a duty and a commitment to ensuring that you complete your A level specifications, and teachers will continue to set and assess work which helps you to do so. Our aim is to facilitate your progression to university, apprenticeships and employment and to ensure that you have no knowledge gaps. Should you be unhappy with the calculated grade awarded to you, you will have the opportunity to sit the exams once schools and colleges are open again.
Details of how grades will be awarded have yet to be finalised by the government and we will let you know as soon as we know. This link summarises the Government’s current position.
23/03/20: Distance learning can take some getting used to. Here are our tips on how to work effectively from home.
23/03/20: Here’s a link to a British Dyslexia Association free webinar aimed at parents of children who have dyslexia, to support the education of your children at home. Click here for further information and to book your place.
23/03/20: Starting from today (Monday 23 March) the frequency of train services will be reduced across the country. New timetables are available online over the weekend from train operating companies. In addition, between Monday (23rd March) and Wednesday (25th March) most bus operators will reduce the frequency of the services they operate in the West Midlands. New timetables will be available online today. West Midlands Metro services are expected to remain as normal this week but do check for updates in case the situation changes. Everyone will still be able to get to where they need to go, however, the time at which you normally travel may need to change. West Midlands Network are encouraging everyone to plan ahead. See their website for more information.
20/03/20: The Summit Learning Trust Chief Executive Catherine Anwar has issued a letter to parents and carers of all the Trust schools and the College.
20/03/20: Year 13 students and parents of Year 13 students: Please be aware that the Government has just published a broad brush update on how grades will be determined for GCSE and A level subjects this year, in light of the decision to cancel this summer’s exam series. Teachers are going to be asked to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead. Performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment will be considered and clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in. For vocational courses where work has already been completed and assessed, these grades are likely to form part of the judgment. Grades will be available hopefully by the end of July, and have a similar distribution as in previous years. Students who wish to will be able to sit exams early next academic year if they wish or in summer 2021. Read the full statement from the Government.
19/03/20: We have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to address many of the questions we have been getting today from students and parents. Please note this is a rapidly evolving situation and changes are coming regularly. As such, we will update the FAQ when we have more information. There is a date and time stamp at the top of the page, which will show you when it was last updated.
19/03/20: A letter to parents regarding the suspension of all Year 12 and Year 13 lessons from 4.00pm on Friday 20 March until further notice is being sent out today – download it here.
19/03/20: The following statement has been released by the Summit Learning Trust, which the College is a member of, regarding recruitment of staff:
19/03/20: Despite the move to distance learning from Monday 23 March, continued provision is being offered for some students. To this end, the following message has just been sent to all students via Tyber and to all parents for whom we have an email address:
Following the guidance provided by the Government on 18th March, the College will be closing to the majority of students from 4pm on Friday 20th March. We will maintain a provision for students, whose parents are key workers as identified by the Government, who have an EHCP, who have a Social Worker, are a Young Adult Carer or who are in receipt of a Full Bursary. The provision will be limited to providing a working environment in the LRC for students to complete the remote learning work which will be set for all students throughout the period of closure. Only a small number of staff will be available to supervise students as they need to minimise the risk to themselves and their own families. it is important that we have information regarding the number of students who will access this provision as quickly as possible so that we can put in place a viable plan. To this end, we have sent a link to a form to all students via Tyber to gather the required information. We ask that students requiring access to College after this week please complete the survey by 9am on Friday 20th March. If we do not receive a response, we will assume that you will not be accessing College from Monday 23rd March.
18/03/20: Important Message from the Principal, Martin Sullivan: “The College will be following the advice given by the government about closing the college for most students from next week. However, we are still committed to making sure that all students are safe and well during this challenging time. Teachers, academic coaches and other support staff will continue to be available to support you while the college is closed for most students. We will also aim to complete the syllabus and fully prepare Year 13 students for their progression to University, Apprenticeships or Work, and to enable this to happen, Year 13 students should continue to attend College until Friday at 4.00pm. We will give more information on how your grades will be awarded as soon as we get the details from the government in the coming days. Year 12 students should monitor Tyber and continue to work with their teachers through distance learning to ensure you make the progress that will enable you to be successful in the end of Year 12 assessments which will take place on your return and in 2020/21. Year 12 students should also maintain the contact with academic coaches who will support you during this period of closure.”
18/03/20: A letter to parents and carers has been sent out explaining the reason for suspending Year 12 lessons for the next 14 days.
18/03/20: Following yesterday’s decision to suspend Year 12 lessons for the next 14 days, the College wants to clarify the reasons for this, in light of some misunderstandings raised on social media. This decision was taken for staffing reasons. Read the full statement here.
17/03/20: Message to Year 12 students and Parents of Year 12 students: Due to staff absence resulting from the government’s recommended measures for self-isolation, we have regrettably made the difficult decision to suspend all formal year 12 lessons (subject lessons, supervised study, enrichment and coaching) for the next 14 days. Year 12 students may come into College on Wednesday to pick up any resources they might need during this period and are welcome to use the LRC facilities for as long as the College remains open. During this period of suspension, Year 12 teachers will remain in touch with Year 12 students to guide their study and provide support. Any specific enquiries should be addressed to each student’s Academic Coach. Year 13 lessons will continue as normal, preparing students for the successful completion of their courses here at the College.
16/03/20: There is a letter from Summit Learning Trust CEO Catherine Anwar going out to all students and parents today.
16/03/20: Our upcoming Easter Concert on 1 April and the Childcare Taster on 24 March have been cancelled due to the developing Coronavirus situation. Apologies for any disappointment.
12/03/20: A letter regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) is being sent out today to students and parents, reminding students what action to take if they feel unwell and asking students to ensure their personal and College email addresses are working and being checked, should we need to communicate with students in this way.
26/02/20: In light of recent reports in the media, the College has sent a letter to students and parents with some public health advice concerning coronavirus. Rest assured there is no cause for concern at the College, which remains open.