As Covid-19 continues to impact businesses, livelihoods, and our general way of life, Theorise remains committed to adapting our operations to ensure the safety of all our stakeholders and the continuity of our business.
While our preferred option will always be to provide students with face-to-face support this is currently not possible. We have however been heartened that many students have continued to engage with us over this period which we believe is testament to the quality of service our support staff provide. Theorise has been closely monitoring all information from the Scottish government and our college and university partners so that we can update our staff accordingly as new information or guidance becomes available.
The safety of our staff, clients, students and all who engage with us continues to be our priority but we are pleased that we have managed to ensure the continuity of our business and have continued to provide the highest quality service available.
We have received excellent feedback from students regarding the provision of online support and in many cases students have indicated that online means of support have been ‘less distracting’ and ‘easier to keep concentrated’ than working on campus with their assigned Theorise support worker.
This guidance document has been formed through https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-universities/pages/overview/. It sets out our current advice and guidance for support staff and students who engage with us, in accordance with the Scottish Government’s guidelines. The content is provided as guidance only and does not represent legal advice. Each individual college and university with whom we engage may wish to set out their own advice and when they do so we will update you accordingly.
To reduce the risk of transmission of the virus we must continue to adhere to Scottish Government and Public Health advice, which includes physical distancing and good personal and respiratory hygiene, as far as reasonably practicable. We believe that, for the foreseeable future, this means the majority our staff will continue to work from home and support students via online methods and only where that is not possible will any activity be undertaken on campus.
The change to working remotely has been challenging for both Theorise staff and students alike and whilst we are moving forward with a plan for a return to work on campuses with our College and University clients when it is safe to do so, we acknowledge that some of our support staff and students continue to find remote working challenging for a variety of reasons.
Planning and Protocols
Theorise has been working with our College and University clients on careful preparations to ensure we remain operational throughout the 20/21 academic year, albeit there are significant changes to the way that support is delivered. While this has been challenging for both our support staff and students these are necessary adaptations to ensure support can be delivered safely. Information on the roles we provide and how we currently expect each of these to be undertaken is set out below:
· Study Skills tuition: All support staff and students should engage remotely until further notice. Support should take place on Zoom/Skype where possible as screen sharing functionality may be required depending on assignments. Phone calls and use of other online conferencing tools are available and can be mutually agreed between support staff and students.
· Mental Health Mentoring: All support staff and students should engage remotely until further notice where possible. Support should take place on Zoom/Skype where possible as screen sharing functionality may be required depending on assignments. Phone calls and use of other online conferencing tools are available and can be mutually agreed between support staff and students. In some cases where face-to-face support is required some exceptions may be necessary providing social distancing protocols as well as the Scottish government and college and university guidance is strictly followed. Please do not arrange for face-to-face support without prior authorisation from Theorise.
· Proof-Reading: All support staff and students must engage remotely. Support staff will contact students to discuss deadlines and assignments must be passed by e-mail or other remote file sharing methods.
· Note Taking support/ Support Workers: A blended learning approach will likely be the norm for most colleges and universities during this academic year. This may require our support staff and students to work via online means (Zoom/Skype/etc) and in some cases may require work on campuses. Where support staff and students are required on campus, they will have to strictly follow social distancing protocols as well as the Scottish government and college and university guidance.
Theorise remain fully committed to delivering outstanding academic support to all students with whom we engage and to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of all our stakeholders and believe the above approach will help us do both.
We would like to thank our support staff and students again for all their efforts and understanding and hope before too long we will all be able to assume a little more normality. We hope you all have an extremely successful academic year despite these extraordinary and challenging circumstances.
Our services will continue to remain available to all further & higher education level students as well as colleges & universities whom wish to utilise our support during this difficult period.