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Woking College

Latest Updates

07 July 2021

College Phone System is Up

We apologise but we have been experiencing issues with our phone lines. We currently have normal phone service.

Alternatively, you can contact us via e-mail: WokingCollegeEnquiries@gmail.com

Consultation on New Teaching Block

Consultation:

Woking College wishes to construct an additional eight-classroom teaching block in order to meet local demand.

Period of Consultation Tuesday 22nd June to Wednesday 14th July 2021

Introduction

Woking College is a very successful and oversubscribed sixth form college and as such we are experiencing unprecedented demand due to the success of its students and the growth of the school population locally.

Central to the Trust’s vision for the College is its ability to be able to provide a place for any suitably qualified student in Woking who wishes to apply.  The current capacity will not allow the College to meet the demand for places as the local population grows.

As a 16-19 Academy, permission is needed from the Department for Education for Woking College to be able to add to its student capacity.

The proposal

An eight-classroom block would allow for the flexibility that the College requires to meet student needs in and outside of lessons including the addition of one of the proposed spaces that will be an independent study space.

The benefits include the following:

a. Increase capacity within the College buildings

b. Alleviate the detrimental impact on students and staff as a result of the lack of capacity and space

c. Start a process to improve the external realm of the college, with pleasant external spaces and additional landscaping.

d. Improve the presence of the College and remove the dominance of cars at the front of the College

e. Enhance the character and appearance of the front of the college site and the surrounding street scene.

Proposals and planning permission

The Full Planning Application for the building was considered by the Woking Borough Planning Committee on 17th March 2020 and planning permission was granted on 19th March 2020.

The proposed building is to be positioned such that it can be constructed without the loss of existing teaching space, and is located on the front car park to provide a better, modernised and more aesthetically pleasing frontage aspect to the College. This is currently dominated by a large car park, and the presence of the College is understated for an important community asset in Woking 

The design proposes a reconfiguration and softening of the parking at the front of the College with the introduction of a groundscape and planting that gives priority to people walking, and spaces that relate to student and staff use of external spaces.

The parking lost with the construction of the building will be replaced by parking on one of the redundant and poor condition courts to the north of the campus, accessed from the end of the existing parking along the western boundary of the college campus. 

Access to the main entrance to the new building will be from the newly created pedestrian-friendly spaces. All accesses are at gradients and with thresholds suitable for use by people with limited mobility.

There are proposed enhancements to the parking and spaces around the building, including the introduction of pedestrian priority external spaces, landscaping and tree planting to soften the frontage of the college.

Consultation

Local secondary schools, Woking Borough Council, Surrey County Council, and the local community (via the Old Woking Community Centre notice board and their Facebook page) will all be consulted on the above proposals.  This document will also appear on the College website.

A meeting will be held at the College at 5 pm on Thursday 8th July 2021 if you wish to discuss these plans in person with Brett Freeman the Principal of the College.

If you would like to attend the meeting above or have any questions or issues you would like to raise please email the College at wokingcollegeenquiries@gmail.com by 2 pm on Friday 2nd July 

Key dates

Request attendance at the meeting: by 2 pm on Friday 2nd July 2021

Responses to questions and issues raised: by 4 pm on Monday 12th July 2021

Consultation ends: Wednesday 9th July 2021

Admission Queries

For any Admission related queries please use the following temporary e-mail:WokingCollegeAdmissions@gmail.com

Summer Open Evenings and Welcome Day Postponed

Unfortunately due to the recently announced Covid restrictions, we have had to postpone our upcoming Summer Open Evenings (scheduled for Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th June), and our Welcome Day (scheduled for Friday 25th June). We will, however, be arranging two Open evenings in the Autumn and will post these dates very shortly.
 
We are very much looking forward to meeting our new students soon and our Principal, Brett Freeman will be sending you all a virtual Welcome Day message shortly.

Message from Brett Freeman, Principal, Woking College: Important cyber security message

This is an important message regarding a cyber security incident we are currently investigating, linked to the network difficulties we have experienced since Friday 11th June.

Investigation of the issues has revealed suspicious activity on part of our network, including the unauthorised locking of some of our computers. As soon as we became aware of the issues, we engaged external cyber security specialists and took our key systems offline as a precaution. 

We have now confirmed that this is a ransomware incident – which is where parts of an organisation’s systems are encrypted and cannot be used. Those responsible for these incidents are often criminal groups / foreign-based hackers, and the Government has advised that the UK’s education sector is currently experiencing a significant increase in issues of this kind. 

It is important to state that, although some of our systems are offline (including College emails and part of our learning platform), we will proceed with a full programme of teaching and those students due to attend College this week should do so as normal. Staff have been working hard to arrange workaround solutions to support our learning and teaching experience, and at the bottom of this update we have provided some practical tips and advice for students for their return tomorrow.

Investigation and incident response

We are taking this incident incredibly seriously and have launched a full investigation and wanted to share with you some of the steps we are taking to respond to this situation. Together with external cyber security specialists, we are working on two key areas: 

  • Rebuilding the parts of our IT system that have been impacted 
  • A forensic data investigation to understand whether any data has been impacted, and if so, what data that might be. 

We have been told that timescales for both areas may take a period of weeks – but obviously we are working as quickly as we can and putting in place temporary solutions wherever possible. 

We understand there may be concerns about whether any student data has been impacted or whether recently saved documents will be accessible. While we don’t have firm answers to these questions at the moment, what we can say is that our online payments system sits on a standalone site and has not been affected by this incident.  Similarly, our safeguarding platform is hosted externally and has not been impacted. 

In what has been a challenging year for students, parents and staff, it should go without saying that we are incredibly frustrated by this incident – all the more so because we know the importance of data security, and have implemented a number of measures to protect against these kinds of situations. Please be assured that I am personally leading the response to this incident and the associated investigation – and I know our staff are committed to minimising the impact this may have on learning – even if we may temporarily be using more pen and paper, and fewer laptops, than is normal. 

Going forward, we will be updating our website with an FAQ section on the incident and we will continue to keep you updated as both the investigation and rebuild, progress. If you have any questions, please email us via: WokingCollegeEnquiries@gmail.com

Learning and teaching remains, as always, at the heart of all we do at Woking College. We will continue to deliver engaging and impactful lessons. We are a team of highly experienced and flexible staff who have already adapted to challenging situations over the last two years – and will do so now.

I’d like to thank you all for your patience and understanding and I will update you again soon.  

Kind regards,

Brett Freeman

Cyber Attack on Woking College: FAQs

We have experienced a ransomware incident – which is where parts of an organisation’s systems are encrypted and cannot be used.  

As soon as we became aware of the incident, we engaged external cyber security specialists and, working closely with our IT team, they have begun a full investigation into what has happened.

We would like to reassure you all that we are fully committed to promoting and practicing E-Safety and we’d like to thank you all for your patience and understanding. 

Linked to the network difficulties we experienced on Friday 11th June, further investigations of the issues revealed suspicious activity on part of our network. 

The specific reasons are currently unclear, though it is important to state that the Government and National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently confirmed that there has been a significant increase in the amount of these kinds of incidents in the UK’s education sector. 

This will form part of our investigation and to a degree is also a matter for the police.

Yes, we have informed the Police and a number of external organisations as a precaution, including the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). 

Our investigation is in its early stages, but we can confirm that our online payments system has not been affected and our safeguarding platform has not been impacted by this incident. 

Understanding what data may or may not have been impacted during this incident is a priority area of the investigation and we are aware of our obligations under the relevant aspects of GDPR legislation.

We are taking this incredibly seriously and we are currently fully engaged with a large number of external agencies which include the police, Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Department for Education, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and specialist IT support. 

Our IT team and external cyber security specialists are working on two key areas: 

  • Rebuilding parts of our IT system that have been impacted 
  • A forensic data investigation to understand whether any data has been impacted, and if so, what data that might be. 

Yes, although some of our systems are offline, a full programme of teaching will be taking place for those students due to attend College. 

As a result of the incident, we have taken our key systems offline as a precaution. This means that, at the moment, we have disabled access to the College network, including emails, shared drives and e-learning platforms. We are taking this situation incredibly seriously and our IT team and external cyber security specialists are working to rebuild our system as quickly as possible.

Staff have been working hard to arrange workaround solutions to support our learning and teaching experience and we have shared some useful tips and advice to students who are due to attend College. 

Learning and teaching remains, as always, at the heart of Woking College. We will continue to deliver engaging and impactful lessons. We are a team of highly experienced and flexible staff who have already adapted to challenging situations over the last two years – and will do so now.

As we continue to work through this incident, students may experience: 

  • More student-focused lessons
  • More 1:1 feedback and support
  • Some staff or teaching group changes, which will be communicated face-to-face.

All timetabled lessons will go ahead as per the timetable and registers will be taken at the start of every lesson.

Please ensure that students bring the following equipment to College

  1. Pens and paper
  2. Other subject-specific equipment, as appropriate
  3. Textbooks if they have one
  4. Other paper resources they may have been given prior to half-term e.g. Booklets, worksheets.

Our IT network is complex, and timescales for both the rebuild of our system and the forensic investigation may take a period of weeks. 

We are working as quickly as we can and putting in place temporary solutions wherever possible and we’d like to thank everyone for their continued patience and understanding. 

At this stage, you do not need to take any specific action, apart from remaining vigilant and following best practice guidance about how to stay safe online. 

Our top priority is maintaining the safety and security of all our students and therefore, we are asking all our students for their latest emergency contact information in the case of an emergency. 

Our phone lines are currently unavailable but we hope to have them back up and running in the week beginning 21 June 2021.  We have also set up an alternative email address for any enquiries regarding the incident. If you have any questions, please email us via: WokingCollegeEnquiries@gmail.com

Virtual Work Experience with the Surrey History Centre is currently postponed until further notice due to IT issues. Please keep checking the website for updates.

We are experiencing some difficulties with our network and internet system today. Please accept our apologies if you are having difficulties accessing documents or communicating with the College.

IT/Computing Exams

Notice to students, due to technical issues IT and AS Computer Science paper 1 June progression MOCK is postponed until further notice.  Please keep an eye on the website for further notifications. (AS paper 2 will run as planned tomorrow 15 June)

26 May 2021

Latest News

JCQ Guidance

For students, parents and guardians: GCSEs and AS/A Levels in England Summer 2021. CLICK HERE

Physical Tours 2021

COMMENCE 19th May 2021.

We are booking physical tours now on a limited number basis for 2021. Please bear in mind we will commence tours once we are downgraded to Tier-3. You can book your tour here.

Exam Results 2020

Results 2020

Coronavirus updates

Click here

10 Reasons for
joining Woking College

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Woking College
virtual tour

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A-Level and Vocational Transition Work for Year 11

In this section, you will find a comprehensive package of Year 11 Taster Lessons delivered by Woking College teachers, as well as subject-related Transition Work to give you an insight into the sort of work you will explore in your chosen college courses. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to “taste” some lessons and we look forward to welcoming you in September 2021.

Meet the Students

Here’s an opportunity for you to meet our students and get an understanding of why they chose Woking College. Learn more about their chosen subjects and life at the College.

Got any Questions?

Click the link below for our frequently asked questions page.

Tours of the College

Unfortunately due to the current Covid restrictions, all tours of the College will commence from 19th May 2021. 

To book/check your tour click here

About Woking College

99.9% pass rate at A level

100% at BTEC

A record 63% at high grades A*- B

Woking College is one of the top-performing Sixth Form Colleges in the country providing high-quality education for over 1,400 16-19-year-old students.

The College provides an outstanding learning environment in which every student is valued and encouraged to achieve their very best.

  • With 57 subjects at A-Level and Vocational, students also benefit from highly professional Progression and Careers advice which ensures students are prepared for their next steps, whether that be to higher education or to the workplace.
  • The College recognises the importance of extracurricular activities in a well-rounded education and there are over 50 different programmes that students can get involved with.
  • Renowned for its inclusive community environment, our Pastoral and Learning Support services ensure all students benefit from their sixth form experience.
  • Facilities at Woking College are excellent and in the past few years have benefited from a new multi-million pound Sports Centre, Art Block, state of the art Science Building and 3G pitch.
  • Located on a greenfield site close to Woking town centre, the College is easily accessible by public transport and provides free on-site parking for students.

Deciding where to continue your post 16 education is an important decision and we hope our website can help you in your choice.

We look forward to welcoming you to Woking College.