01904 554277 york.learning@york.gov.uk


Coronavirus information for Learners

York Learning

Update: National Lockdown from 5 January 2021

Online courses starting January onwards are available to enrol via our website.

Following the latest government announcement that we are again in a national lockdown, anticipating that we would not be able to return to our community learning venues, we had planned for most of our classes to be online.  Where disruption to learning should be avoided due to learners being classed as vulnerable or being ‘High Needs’ we have returned to safe, COVID-19 secure learning.   Find local COVID-19 updated information at Information on coronavirus – City of York Council.

All fee-paying classes which have moved online have been discounted against our normal pricing to exclude the premises charges we would normally pay.

Please email York.learning@york.gov.uk with any queries.

Our priority is to keep you all safe whilst also protecting the health of our staff and the local community.

During this period:

  • Most courses will move to online learning except for courses which are related to vulnerable learners as per government guidance.
  • We will follow government guidance and our provision continues to support existing and new learners.
  • Safety measures in our COVID-19 secure centres will be followed 100% of the time.
  • Learners, tutors, and staff will be encouraged to wear face masks.
  • Initial assessments for Skills courses will continue online.

Initial Assessments

If your course requires you complete an initial assessment, this will be conducted via Zoom.  You will be advised of the zoom codes and passwords via email.  You may receive a telephone call in the first instance to check eligibility for the course and that you have a suitable device and the software in order to be able to complete the assessment.  In most cases the assessment will be conducted on a one-to-one basis and will be followed by a discussion regarding the most suitable course for you to join.  There will be ample opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have.


After enrolling on a course, all learners are required to complete an online induction.  This induction includes useful information about your course and how we might be able to support you, what we expect from you and information about our shared responsibility in relation to Safeguarding , Prevent and Health & Safety.

End of Course Assessments/Examinations

We are currently working with Awarding Organisations to understand the next steps in relation to exams and will follow their guidance.
If a physical exam is required, this will be conducted in a COVID secure manner. In other cases, end of course assessments or exams may be carried out remotely or grades awarded via tutor assessment and predicted grades.
We understand that you may be disappointed by not being able to sit your exams as planned, however, please be assured that none of your hard work will be wasted and you will not be disadvantaged by not sitting them.
There may be a few smaller practical or apprenticeships exams and assessments that can continue safely some areas and we will advise those learners and apprentices accordingly.


Support with Resources and Technology

  • If you require support with access to resources or technology, please contact your tutor as soon as possible to ensure continuity of your learning or ask for technical support at ictskills@york.gov.uk. If you do not have access to a device at home, please let us know so that we can support you. We are also able to provide paper-based resources to support you.

Online Learning

  • We are working very hard to ensure that all learners have every opportunity to successfully complete their qualifications.  .

Online Safety

In order to stay safe during remote learning, learners are advised to:

  • not to disclose or share any personal information on-line.
  • only arrange to meet new friends met on-line in public places.
  • immediately report any unpleasant or inappropriate material or messages or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable when they see it on-line.
  • take care when using the internet to find information, to check that the information is accurate. Some information may not be truthful and may be a deliberate attempt to mislead.
  • beware of clicking links in emails unless they are confident the email has originated from a trustworthy source.
  • be mindful of what and who other people can see and hear when using Zoom, calling remotely or sharing screens.

Lots more information about protecting yourself online can be found at www.getsafeonline.org.uk

How to get the most out of online learning

  • Create a space to work that is quiet and away from distractions.
  • Make sure you understand the targets you are working towards and the deadlines to achieve them.
  • If you are sharing your workspace with others in the household talk about how you can all study effectively together.
  • Remember to take small breaks throughout the day and have a scheduled lunch break.
  •  Ensure you get some fresh air during the day.
  • To avoid feeling isolating at home stay in regular contact with your tutor and other learners on your course.

Remaining safe in the Centres

If you are required to attend one of our COVID-19-secure Centres, please ensure that you take responsibility for your safety and the safety of others. We continue to undertake several steps to ensure  your safety including:-

  • Keeping 2m social distance while moving around the buildings
  • One-way systems
  • Hand Sanitiser stations
  • Perspex screening
  • Classrooms arranged in rows for side-to-side teaching to avoid face to face contact.
  • Staggered start and end times
  • Wearing a face mask indoors (see below)
  • Regular hand washing

Wearing of Face Coverings

It is now council policy for everyone to wear face mask inside our premises.  Once a learner is sat down, they are allowed to take their mask off for their lesson but must put it back on when standing and moving around the premises.  This is an additional safety measure to protect us all whilst learning, and we ask that everyone shows support for each other and engages with this measure.  Although we are sure you are all well versed in mask wearing by now, here is a quick reminder from the World Health Organisation (WHO) who have produced a short, informative video demonstrating the safe wearing of a facemask.

How to wear a face mask

Exemptions to face coverings:

Some people will be exempt from wearing face coverings and we encourage you to be sympathetic of this.

Generally, this applies to those who:

  • cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability.
  • speak to or provide assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.

Public Transport

  • Where possible we would encourage you to drive, walk or cycle to our Centres. Where this is not possible, and you are required to take public transport please ensure you follow the government’s guidance for travelling safety.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If you are showing signs of COVID-19 (either a temperature, new cough or a loss of smell or taste), you must not come into the Centre and inform your tutor immediately. You must book a test as soon as possible (guidance at Information on coronavirus – City of York Council) and remain at home until your results come back.  If someone in your household is showing symptoms or has a positive test result, you must not come into the Centre.  You must inform your tutor and self-isolate for 14 days. If you are self-isolating due to someone in your household showing symptoms, you should continue your studies remotely. Contact your tutor for support.

Classroom delivery and Covid-19 prevention

We have followed Government and Department of Education guidance to ensure our venues which are open adhere to COVID-19 secure guidance.  We have conducted thorough risk assessments at every stage of the pandemic and have recently been assessed as Safe by City of York Council.

NHS Covid-19 app

The NHS Covid-19 app is live across England and it’s ready to download onto your phone from the Apple or Android app store. It is a way to see if you’re at risk from the virus. If you have been in a venue where there has been a confirmed COVID case, even though you may not have any symptoms, you may be carrying the virus and spreading it to the people you care most about. The app can alert you so that you can act quickly to protect your loved ones. As well as making it simple to check into venues through an in-built QR code scanner, the NHS Test and Trace app also has several other useful tools including contact tracing, searchable risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking. It is  a legal requirement for businesses and venues across York to display the new NHS Test and Trace QR code on special posters at the entrance to their premises.

Rule of Six

As an adult education provider, our courses are exempt from the ‘rule of six’ that came into effect on Monday 14 September 2020. All our classrooms have already been assessed to hold a maximum capacity of learners based on its size, and as we offer part-time learning provision and our learners are not together in social bubbles for majority of the week, we have maintained a two-metre social distance for all staff and learners for maximum safety. As a result of this continual action all our class sizes are already small.
For more information about what you can and can’t do, visit this government FAQ page.

Please see below a few things to be aware of:

  • Sanitising stations – you will find stations in classrooms and in corridors of Adult Learning Centres with hand sanitiser dispensers and wipes to keep furniture regularly cleaned. Sanitisers will also be available in all of our community venues when we return.
  • Class times will be staggered to manage footfall through the centres and doors will be closed. Tutors will open doors when the class is about to start so please arrive as close to the start time as possible and sanitize your hands as you enter the building.
  • When classes return to venues, we will reduce some class sizes to ensure that there will be two metre social distancing in all classes.
  • Furniture may look a little different, this is to help us keep space in classrooms.
  • The drinks’ machines and coffee areas will be closed for the moment, please bring your own drink to have during your class. You may have a break during your session, however for the moment we ask that people remain in their classrooms.
  • Where possible we have reduced the number of handouts we distribute in class.
  • We are encouraging a “Catch-it, Bin-it, Kill-it” policy and tissues will be provided in all of our classrooms.

As this is a changing situation, there may be future amendments, please check our website for any updates. If you develop any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, please keep yourself and others safe and stay at home.  Local guidance for testing etc. is at Information on coronavirus – City of York Council

Please see the information and Government advice below.

Information and advice – resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice 
Public Health Matters 
Public Health England 

Find out how to protect yourself or find out if you need medical help at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-Covid-19/

If you are unsure you can seek further advice from the Department for Education’s dedicated helpline on 0800 046 8687 or Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk