Please read our full Covid-19 information here

Coronavirus Testing and further updates for FE and HE:

Page last updated: 03 March 2021

On Monday 22 Feb, the government announced that learning can resume in colleges and schools, and ABA is now making plans to re-open our East London campus to students. The return to campus will involve asymptomatic Covid-19 testing for both students and staff in a phased manner. To allow this testing to be carried out safely, we will be staggering the return of students back for the different groups/cohorts based on the subject and faculty.

The week commencing 8 March will see students testing for asymptomatic Covid-19 in their subject-based bubbles. Students should attend ABA only if they are advised by the staff as follows:


Apprenticeships learners will be visiting the college only twice a month. So, the dates will be arranged with your tutor / skills coach.

Currently any other short courses provision is held online until further notice.


The testing schedule will continue March 12 and week commencing March 15. Students will be tested a total of three times, but can resume in-college learning from 15 March, unless they have tested ‘positive’. It is not compulsory to be tested but we would strongly recommend that for your own safety and that of others, that you take part in the testing.

All staff are expected on campus from 8 March (except staff who have been advised to shield). Staff will be given self-testing kits.

ABA will be enforcing its existing Covid-19 arrangements, in particular requiring students and staff to wear face coverings in communal areas. Further guidance about face coverings in classrooms etc will be provided ahead of the return date.

The current situation (now until 9 March)


  • Those booked in to see the tutors or coaches should still attend if necessary.
  • Exams: currently some examinations are still going ahead as planned. We will be contacting individual students about exams if there are any changes.
  • Vulnerable students: please see below.
  • All other students must NOT come into college until further notice. Instead students will be expected to attend online lessons which will follow normal timetables. Please log in to Zoom at the time of your normal lesson (or follow any other instructions received from your tutor).
  • The campus is now shut to all students (except as above from 8th March when staggered starts will be introduced).
  • All learning is now online lessons following usual timetables, unless otherwise informed by your tutor. This will continue until further notice.
  • HE students: remote learning continues as planned and will continue remotely until further notice.
  • Students are advised to check your VLE and emails from time to time for any messages from their teachers.


For certain vulnerable learners, the college campus will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 4pm during the lockdown (not including the February half term week). These students will be able to access online lessons at ABA, East London Campus following their timetable. At other times there will be work set by teachers to be completed with support staff.

All access to ABA is via the Waterfront ‘reception’ (walk down the path on right hand side of the reception and enter via the basement).  All ID passes have been enabled if you have one. If not, please ring the office and one of us will allow entry.  The names of the students due in will be shared with admin staff in advance and you will need to sign in with security.  It will not be possible to just turn up on the day. For any queries about access for vulnerable learners, please email us on contact@abacademy.co.uk.


The campus is now shut to all staff, unless by agreed exception. Please consult your line manager if you need to obtain permission to access the campus. Clinically extremely vulnerable staff MUST NOT attend the campus.


ABA is in touch with various partners to help look after the health and wellbeing of our learner community. Some useful resources can be found below (note: links to third party information).

Mental health and well-being

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it some unsettling changes in our way of life. During this time it is more important than ever to look after our mental health. ​

​Newham Council has made a factsheet (PDF) to help you and your loved ones to remain well and to help prevent feelings of isolation.  Read more about the local services that can help (PDF)

If you have recently suffered a bereavement this Bereavement and support information guide (PDF) will provide some advice.

Find out more about the flu vaccine and if you are eligible.

Coping with financial stress

Financial hardship can cause stress and other health concerns. These are challenging times and Newham Council is working very hard to help residents who may be struggling financially because of Covid-19.

If you have been told to isolate by NHS Test & Trace and are in receipt of benefits you may be eligible for the Isolation Support Payment. If you’re not eligible for this support, you can contact the Newham COVID-19 Helpline for guidance on possible financial support available. The Newham COVID-19 Helpline can be reached at 0207 473 9711 or covidhelp@community-links.org (Open 9am-7pm, 7 days a week).

Contact the council early if you think you might need help. They want to help support you in these difficult times.

Read more about local services which can help you with money management and dealing with financial hardship (PDF) during COVID-19.

Top tips for managing your money (PDF)


We are in a rapidly-evolving situation and will provide further updates when necessary. Please check this website and the ABA’s social media pages for the latest info.