Oldham Class of 2020 - Progression Survey Results

Oldham Class of 2020! Thanks so much for taking the time to complete our survey, we have loved hearing from you!

You can see the results of the survey here. We had almost 500 responses which is fantastic and you gave us lots of invaluable feedback.

We have taken your responses, comments and suggestions and used them to create this Good Practice Guide, which all local college, sixth forms and training providers have had access to. This has informed their enrolment processes and will hopefully mean that you will now move smoothly into your Post 16 destination.

Please do check out education provider websites which include lots of information, support and videos to help you and answer your questions. Don’t forget that you can contact us for support and guidance, your school Career Adviser would love to hear from you – or you can call our helpline on 0161 621 9300 or e-mail us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

COVID19 - Greater Manchester young people's survey

We are supporting the COVID19 - Greater Manchester young people's survey, which has been developed by young people’s substance misuse workers to help them better understand and respond to the needs of young people who access their services during the COVID-19 lockdown.

We want to better understand how lockdown is affecting access to drugs and alcohol, and what young people’s support needs are. Young people’s participation in this survey, and the answers they give, will help us to understand the issues, and will help us to improve the support offered. We will not collect any personal information (such as name, address or telephone number); we simply want to know how things are changing and how services might be developed or improved to better meet young people’s needs at this time.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 30th June. You can access the survey here:


You can access our Integrated Health services here:


‘From Lockdown to The New Normal’ - Positive Steps Covid-19 transition Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic presented huge challenges for Positive Steps.

Over two weeks in March, we moved quickly, efficiently and strategically to remote working. This was achieved while maintaining client support, partnership communication, business continuity and employee well-being.

We are now planning for the transition back into the new, post Covid-19 ways of working, ensuring staff and clients safety whilst maintaining service delivery quality, quantity and achieving positive outcomes for our clients.

Interestingly, our staff and clients have reported that remote working has many benefits so not everything will be going back to the old, old-ways of working, we will learn from our experiences during lockdown.

However, there are areas of our work where remote working isn’t enough, these are predominantly face to face service delivery, where clients don’t have good access to ICT, where confidentiality is required and for the most vulnerable of our clients.

This plan provides guidelines on how we will return to a new-normal way of working; however, these dates will be constantly under review and may change dependent upon local or national guidelines.


• Stage 1 - Moving out of full lockdown (1st June 20 – 1st September 20)
• Stage 2 - Working alongside Covid-19 (1st June 20 – 1st June 21)
• Stage 3 - The New Normal (1st June 20 - onwards)

Note that all stages start on 1st June 20, this is to recognise that these stages will not be discrete from one another, and there will be significant ‘blurring’ between timescales and phases, and that multiple phases are likely to be operational at once.


We will:
• not put our staff or clients at unnecessary risk
• provide adequate and appropriate PPE
• remain true to our company vision and values
• learn from and be informed by experiences during lockdown
• continue working from home for everyone who can, as long as is advised
• uphold advised social distancing measures wherever we work
• be informed by local and national guidance
• work with our partners to develop strategy and deliver operational services
• prioritise safeguarding and public protection work
• risk assess any face to face work before it is undertaken


Detailed timeframe - Stage 1

Date by/on

Activity undertaken

Monday 1st June 2020

All staff will continue working from home


Remote working wherever possible where this can be effective.

Face-to-Face contact will increase for vulnerable and at risk clients.  (doorstep visits/ individual contacts at social distance etc)

PPE must be used or any contact where social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

Monday 29th June 2020

Sexual Health Clinics open in Medtia Place – for appointments only

Monday 6th July 2020

Appointment only services restart in Medtia Place (all service areas) Social distancing measures will be in place.

Monday 3rd August 2020

Front of house fully opens including drop-in services alongside appointments.  Social distancing measures will be in place.

Limited staff return to First Floor Offices, planned to ensure safe practice and where social distancing can be achieved.

(front line staff for appointments and Duty Officer)

The Senior Management Team will each work from the office base for 1-day a week on a rota.

The Service Leads will each work from the office base for 1-day a week on a rota.

Partners return to their offices in Medtia Place

Tuesday 1st September 2020

Meeting Rooms open


Medtia Place

You will see from the table above the timeframe we expect to resume normal working practice. It is important to note that this will be a gradual process over the next 12 months closely following local and national guidance and ensuring health and safety measures are in place.

The plan for return will be needs-based and each step forward will be risk assessed and signed off by the Senior Management Team before activity commences. During Stage 1 all staff that can work from home will continue to do so. The focus for Medtia Place will be on providing a safe environment to deliver our targeted work with our most vulnerable clients. We have included in our plans to ensure management availability when the building is open.

Staff that are based in other areas

The guiding principles are the same wherever staff are based. Direct delivery in any venue will require risk assessment and agreement by Senior Management before the work commences. This includes direct delivery work from any venue including, for example, schools, children centres, health centres or other partner premises.

Office based activity in Rochdale and Tameside offices will follow the same timetable, however, as Tameside is a partnership venue it will have to be considered alongside the plans for Tameside LA staff to resume office based activity.

Priority Service delivery

All service delivery will follow social distancing guidelines and use PPE as instructed and provided by Positive Steps. Details will be regularly updated, and the current guidelines will be followed. There will be a management presence for specified times as agreed to support service delivery.

Sexual health clinics will open first, this will be an appointment only service, followed by wider delivery from across our services on an appointment only basis, this will be for:

• One to One appointments where risk and/or safeguarding issues are a concern; for people unable to access appropriate ICT in order to engage fully; where confidentiality is required and can’t be facilitated via digital or home based appointments; where it’s important for accurate assessment to be undertaken
• Small group activity where risk and/or safeguarding issues are a concern; where confidentiality is required and can’t be facilitated via digital or home based appointments; where it’s important for accurate assessment to see the client and/or associated children


Front of house opening

From Monday 3rd August the centre will open for advertised hours for both appointments and drop-in support. The reception will open, and adequate staff will be working in the building to respond to ‘drop-in’ clients and support the appointment based activity. This will be agreed with Operational Mangers, Service Leads and overseen and authorised by Senior Management. All other staff will continue to work from home in order to safely operate distancing measures in the building.

Service Leads and Directors will return to office based working on a one-day-a-week basis in order to ensure a Senior Management presence in the building and monitor that safe distancing measures are in place during this time.

From September 1st Onwards

We will be looking to open meeting rooms and allow for more office based activity, numbers will be limited, and priority will always be for service delivery staff.

This is potentially a rapidly changing situation so detailed plans will continue to be prepared and updated with more information provided nearer the time.


Steph Bolshaw
Chief Executive




Throughout the pandemic we’ve been working with an Oldham company ‘Ultimate Products’ who have done some amazing work in supporting us to provide household products for families in need. 

As they’ve learnt about our work the situation that our young carers are in really touched them, and they discussed how they could help make a difference.  As a result,  they are now purchasing tablets to give as gifts to eligible Oldham Young Carers, to help them stay connected with school, family and friends.  We have identified the young people who will benefit and are in the process of delivering the first twenty this week.

The young people who have received them so far are absolutely delighted.  We’ll be collecting feedback next week, and if it is making a difference to the young people’s lives, Ultimate Products have agreed to get us up to eighty more! 

Andrew Gossage, Managing Director at Ultimate Products - “Whilst coronavirus has a huge impact upon the lives of everyone, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are felt even more so by these young carers, who would usually rely upon school and community groups to socialise with friends. COVID-19 has put a stop to that, and we wanted to make sure that those within our community who are working incredibly hard and doing extraordinary things at such young ages, are supported and don't feel on their own. These tablets will hopefully provide a way for them to easily interact with caseworkers, school and of course their friends to have some fun!

About Oldham Young Carers - https://www.positive-steps.org.uk/services-for-children-and-young-people/oldham-young-carers

UP donation tablets

Your Future First - Rochdale Borough Council's commitment to all year 11s

Rochdale Council's ambition is that no year 11 student should be disadvantaged when taking their next steps after leaving school this summer. Consequently, all of the colleges and other post-16 providers in the borough are working in partnership alongside Rochdale schools and the council to ensure that the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak to year 11 pupils is minimised.

Those year 11s who need advice on their options can speak to their Positive Steps Career Adviser. Positive Steps supports year 11s so that they make impartial and informed choices on their next steps in education, employment or training from September – even helping those who wish to study outside of the borough.


The two colleges in the borough; Hopwood Hall and Rochdale Sixth Form College (RSFC) have had a positive working relationship since the opening of RSFC in 2010. This relationship has ensures that young people across Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale and Pennines benefit from the wide range of courses on offer, and receive excellent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance. The college principals have pledged jointly that from this September there will be courses for all school leavers at Hopwood Hall and Rochdale Sixth Form College.

Principals Richard Ronksley and Julia Heap said, ‘In these unprecedented times, both colleges will ensure that all year 11 students are able to progress onto the course that best suits them. We understand how unsettling the current situation can be for school leavers; by working together in this way we will make the transition to college smooth and manageable.

Hopwood Hall and RSFC will provide excellent and comprehensive advice and guidance to students so that they enrol onto the best course for their future. For any students who have not applied to study with us, we would encourage them to get in touch and we can discuss the courses on offer.’

Diary Dates:
Thursday 21st May: HHC Virtual Open Event - 3pm- 8pm. Register via the college website https://www.hopwood.ac.uk/events/virtual-open-day
Thursday 4th June, 2pm – HHC & RSFC joint live Q&A Session. More details to follow.
Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th July: RSFC New Student Welcome Day. Invitations to follow.

Prospective students can contact the colleges using the information below.
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School Sixth Form

 Cardinal Langley offers a wide range of A Level provision and further information can be found on their website https://sixth.clrchs.co.uk/

Andy Greaves, Head of the Sixth Form, said “as we find ourselves in unprecedented times, we are still welcoming applications from year 11 students who wish to study at Cardinal Langley Sixth Form. Our promise is to work with you to realise your ambitions, reach your potential and achieve your dreams which will enable you to progress onto Higher Education, a degree level Apprenticeship or employment”.

Prospective students can contact the school using This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Apprenticeships and work based options
Year 11’s wishing to start an Apprenticeship or training in the workplace can contact one of our specialist providers based in the borough, such as Rochdale Training, Apprenticeships@Hopwood, The Growth Company or Mantra Learning.

Jill Nagy – Chief Executive of Rochdale Training said “although the economic situation is very uncertain at the moment, we are predicting that there will still be opportunities in the borough for those wishing to start an Apprenticeship. Year 11’s should contact providers about opportunities and open events.

Contacts for Apprenticeships and work based training are:
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