Coronavirus Update

Reporting symptoms and a positive covid-19 test

You should notify us using the online notification form of all results and updates.

  • If you are a student and you have received a positive result for COVID-19, you must not come into college and MUST self isolate for 10 days along with others in your household who should isolate for 14 days.
  • If a member of your household or close contacts has received a positive result for COVID-19, you must self isolate for 14 days regardless of any test during this time (even if you receive a negative test yourself).
  • If you have COVID symptoms do not come into college or leave your home. Please arrange to have a test and if positive self isolate for 10 days, and members of your household should isolate for 14 days. If negative, return to college when feeling well and non-symptomatic.
  • If a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19, they are advised to arrange a test and you must all isolate until a negative result has been reported.

Please inform us of the outcome of the test as soon as possible.

If you are self-isolating because you have been contacted by Test & Trace, another member of the household or direct contact has symptoms, or you have returned from an area requiring quarantine, please notify us and follow the latest advice at

Alternatively, you can notify us by emailing

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

COVID-19 Results

College currently closed

The table below will show the number of positive test results reported at each campus once the College reopens in September.  In each of these cases, we will follow our established procedures for contacting everyone directly affected.

Alton Havant South Downs
Cases 0 0 0

Starting College in September?

Starting college can be a bit daunting during normal times, without adding a pandemic to it, so it’s no surprise that you may be feeling a little anxious about starting with us in September. Keep checking this page for updates over the summer with details on what COVID-19 processes will be in place and what it will look like for you when you start at HSDC in September.


13 May 2021

You will be aware of the Prime Minister’s announcement that the recommendation that masks be worn in classrooms and by learners in communal areas will be lifted from 17 May. The Government has also published guidance for FE providers, therefore we have written to parents/carers and students confirming our guidance for students and staff attending HSDC.

  1. Students should continue to carry a clean mask with them.
  2. Students will not generally be required to wear masks around the college nor for classes where individual staff are generally content for this.
  3. There may be classes operating within a workshop, restaurant, fitness centre or other training facility where mask wearing would still be required and in keeping with current restriction guidance.
  4. There may be exceptions where, due to a specific medical condition of a member of staff, students are requested to wear masks in class. We would ask that the request where it arises is respected without question.
  5. We are recommending that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas).
  6. We ask that students continue to use lateral flow tests every three days and report their outcomes as advised.
  7. We continue to ask that students follow the general advice. Everyone is advised to clean their hands thoroughly and more often than usual, particularly: after arriving at college, when returning from breaks, when changing rooms, before and after eating or handling food, after touching your face, blowing your nose and sneezing or coughing.
  8. To clean your hands, you must wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub/sanitiser, ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
  9. The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.
  10. Please continue to use masks when using all forms of public transport, including college coaches

Please click here to read the letter in full.

30 April 2021

HSDC has submitted the final versions of the Teacher Assessed Grades policies to awarding bodies today.

These outline how students will be awarded grades in place of exams in Summer 2021. We have closely followed the guidance supplied by Joint Council for Qualifications (a membership organisation representing the main awarding bodies such as AQA, OCR, Pearson, WJEC etc.).

We are keen for parents and students to make themselves familiar with these policies which demonstrates how we will ensure fair and valid Teacher Assessed Grades in Summer 2021.

Mike Gaston (Principal & CEO) explains Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) in the following video.

As a result of the third lockdown, all future interviews for new applicants will be by phone until further notice. Each interview will take place on the same date and time as scheduled. If you have any questions please contact Customer Services.

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new helpline dedicated to answering questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people are welcome to contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

The gym at Alton and South Downs will be closed for the duration of the third lockdown for both the public and staff and will be reviewed again in line with the Government guidelines prior to reopening.

We understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for our HE applicants, but please be assured that we are working on understanding the situation.

Our advice, for now, is to confirm your offer as normal and as the situation becomes clearer, we will provide further information on how we are managing our admissions process.

You can also visit the UCAS website for further information.

HE teaching at HSDC this year

In the event that the Government guidance changes or class sizes require further social distancing, HSDC has the ability to adjust the timetables and teach fully online or through a blended model. This would involve implementing a mixture of in-person and online teaching and learning using a variety of flipped learning methods, making use of effective learning technologies. If necessary, lectures will be online and seminars conducted in smaller groups. If a further lockdown is necessary, lectures will be pre-recorded using Screencastify and seminars delivered live online using Google Meet. Tutorial and 1:1 support would also be offered using video conferencing software.

Consideration will be given to subjects that need access to specialist facilities or hardware/software as part of the course. Courses will therefore be designed so that students can complete units remotely online and in college. When on campus, all health and safety guidelines will be followed regarding the use of equipment and spaces.

The goal of this information is to provide clarity for students, parents and carers about what to expect from remote education at HSDC.

We continue to deliver students’ timetabled lessons online via video conferencing. We have decided to use Google Meet. The reasons that we have chosen Google for Education is:

  • Meetings are secure. Audio and video streams are specially encrypted, so they cannot be accessed by anyone outside the College and not even by those from within the College if they do not have the unique link or code.
  • Broadcasting is simple, we share the meeting links/codes with the appropriate students via Google Classroom, see below for a short video.

  • We also share announcements, resources, assignments and chat via Google Classroom.
  • There is more information on how Google Classroom works in this short video below.

  • Recording in Google Meet is easy, too. Some teachers may record and upload to Google Classroom, this is useful as you can re-watch the classes at a later date, for example for revision. Students will always be asked for permission when lessons are being recorded.
  • Google Meet makes it very simple for teachers to share their screen. Students can see a presentation and hear the teacher explain the key points.
  • In Google Meet, students can raise their hands if they have a question.
  • We have now allowed students to enable their cameras but we suggest blurring of the background.
  • For safeguarding reasons, students cannot use Google Meet without a teacher present, if a 1:1 with a teacher is required it must be audio only (no cameras).

If for any reason a teacher cannot deliver a live lesson at the student’s normal timetabled lesson, they are using ScreenCastify to record the lesson and upload onto Google Classroom at the lesson time.

In a minority of cases, teachers are following alternative methods for teaching, learning and assessment. This includes paper-based resources, as for some students or courses this method is more effective.

In terms of practical lessons and work experience, HSDC has re-sequenced the delivery to ensure these happen in different ways or at the end of the course when we hope to resume face to face lessons. Where possible, students will be able to access their campus for learning, with the appropriate assessment of risk.

All students on a full time study programme without prior achievement of grade 5 or above in English and/or maths by age 16, will continue to have the opportunity to access additional sessions remotely to maximise their opportunity for success on their chosen qualification. Further information about the 16 to 19 tuition fund will be coming soon.

Students will have homework in addition to online remote lessons. It is expected that students continue to work to the best of their ability during this remote learning period.

We recognise that some students may not have suitable online access at home. We have taken the following approaches to support those students access to remote education:

  • Chromebook loans to students who have no digital devices at home*
  • We have requested 50 SIM cards with 30GB data for 90 days for students who have no connection at home (courtesy of Vodafone as part of their schools connected initiative)
  • Printed materials – please liaise with your tutor/teacher who will send this information out via post required
  • Support from teachers via audio calls/emails to ensure that knowledge and skills gaps are addressed.
*The hardware will be returned to the College at the expiry date of the loan.

We use a combination of the following approaches to teach students remotely:

  • Live lessons (via Google Meet) accessed via Google Classroom at students’ normal lesson times
  • Recorded teaching, for example, pre-recorded sessions and uploaded at student lesson time
  • Live online activities, for example, quizzes to check understanding and Google Forms to submit answers to questions
  • Digital textbooks, journals and resources signposted on Google Classroom
  • Engagement and feedback from teaching staff.

We ask HSDC students to:

  • Monitor attendance, targets, comments etc. on ProPortal
  • Join and participate fully in all remote lessons.
  • Complete all work set in a timely manner.
  • Contact the College if any concerns regarding progress arise so we can work together on supportive targets.
  • Monitor the College’s website for Covid-19 and other College-related updates.

Additional support for students with particular needs

We recognise that some students, for example, students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we work with parents and carers to support those students in the following ways:

  • Students with SEND have access to College-loaned Laptops or Chromebooks and are supported by tutors and learning support assistants to access online learning where required
  • The College conducts regular check-ins with these students to ensure that progress is being made in relation to online learning
  • Handouts/workbooks are posted home for learners who need physical resources
  • The College remains open for students with SEND, vulnerable students and for students with critical worker parents
  • Where possible, additional learning support assistants will attend remote lessons to support students
  • Tutors will complete welfare checks with students routinely as part of remote delivery sessions.

If any further information is required regarding online learning at HSDC, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Synergy Salons is now re-open for business! We cannot wait to welcome you back to our salons as our students are raring to go.

We are taking all precautions to ensure your safety in our salons by following the government COVID-19 guidance.

As part of ensuring your safety, all clients requiring colouring, tinting and lash lifting services will need a new skin test at least 48 hours before treatment. Visit our Synergy page for more information and to book!

Update – 21 April 2021

We are reopening!

We are pleased to announce that we will be opening The Restaurant at HSDC’s doors on 18 May 2021. In line with COVID-19 restrictions, we will be taking bookings for a maximum of six people. Call or email us now to book lunch or fine dining! We can’t wait to see you.

Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 12 – 12.45pm

Two-Course Lunch £11.95

Three-Course Lunch £13.95

Wednesday 6 – 6.45pm

Fine Dining £23.50

The bus companies are working hard to get the majority of the buses back up & running for those students starting to return to College next week (8 March) and most timetables will run as before.

South Western Railway has advised HSDC that there have been some timetable changes from a few stations, in particular, Hook, Fleet, Farnborough and Winchfield. We would advise students to check current train timetables before travelling. If able to do so, please remember to wear a face covering on all public transport.

There have been a number of changes around College recently as a result of COVID-19, to ensure the safety of students, staff and visitors when on campus. Please see below for a summary of the new procedures and features around campus, so you know what to expect when visiting us.

Arriving & Departing Campus

  • All students and staff are required to wear a face covering when walking around the internal areas of the College, including classrooms. This includes corridors, social spaces, libraries, refectories. Please remember to bring a clean mask with you each day.
  • All students and staff are required to wear their College lanyard and ID at all times when on College premises.
  • One-way system – you’ll see lots of yellow stickers pointing out the one-way system in place. Please adhere to this and give yourself time to move around the directed routes.
  • Sanitiser stations – these are located at the entrance to every building and throughout campus. We do recommend that you also have your own sanitiser with you when on campus.

Teaching sessions
All teaching rooms have been set out with distancing measures and with defined teacher areas. Desks and tables should not be moved without the agreement of the teacher.


  • No food containing nuts should be brought onto campus.
  • We encourage you to bring your own lunch but there will be a ‘Grab & Go’ limited offer available.
  • You may find that the eating areas are zoned out for Year 1 and Year 2 students and it is important to stick to these zones.
  • There will be reduced seating in social areas and we would encourage you to eat in the classroom you have your afternoon lesson in where possible.

Non-timetabled sessions
Normally we would want you to stay on campus and use the facilities, but at present, if you do not have a lesson we ask that you leave campus and work from home to reduce the number of students on campus at any one time unless otherwise requested by staff.


You are encouraged to:

  • wash your hands regularly
  • avoid touching your face
  • sneeze/cough into a tissue or the crook of your elbow
  • try to avoid touching surfaces, such as staircase railings
  • use sanitiser provided

If you have any questions at all about being on campus and the new guidelines, please don’t hesitate to speak to our reception team when you visit, or you can call the team before your visit.

HSDC is ensuring that students eligible for support from the 2020-21 16-19 Tuition Fund are benefitting from this via additional tuition sessions in Maths & English (for both the autumn and summer examinations), plus additional tuition in their main programme of study where their previous learning was disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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