PUBLISHED: Friday 5th March 2021
We welcome the recent announcement from the government that we can move out of the current lockdown from Monday 8th March. The College has been putting in place plans for this to happen whilst at the same time further strengthening our measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Our plan is that all students will attend College for a proportion of their lessons each week. We are staging the return with those students whose courses include practical, hands-on learning that cannot be done online or offsite being brought back into lessons first. A tutor or course administrator will soon be in contact with you to provide details on return-to-college dates and times for students.
We are committed to keeping the College safe for students to learn and therefore will continue, and in some areas extend, our current safety measures, including social distancing, mask wearing and good hygiene.
We are also introducing Covid-19 testing for students returning to college. This will initially happen in our Test Centres, which have been successfully running on all our sites since early January. Please note that because students will have to queue outside College buildings while waiting for their test, it is likely that warm clothing will be needed. To keep everyone safe and avoid the use of communal water fountains, students are also advised to bring their own drinking water.
Once students have experienced and are confident with the testing process some will be asked to test at home. They will be provided with kits and instructions (including a video link at www.gov.uk/covid19-self-test-help ) on how to self-administer the tests. We hope that you will support your child/dependant to carry out this process and report the results to the NHS. If a test result is positive, they should not come into College and should follow government advice about self-isolating.
Parent/carers with children/dependants at college, plus other adults in their household can also now access regular, rapid coronavirus (Covid-19) testing, even if you do not have symptoms.
Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice weekly:
• through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
• by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect two packs of 7 tests
• by ordering a home test kit online.
If you have any queries about the tests, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.
If you do not have access to a computer at home, you can visit one of the College’s Open Access IT areas during the following times:
Study Centre & Deck: open Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm
Library: open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm
Study Centre: open Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm
Contact your tutor if you would like to use a College laptop to work remotely from home.
If you are asked to attend onsite lessons or assessments, you may be invited to take a Covid-19 test on arrival. You will be guided through the testing process by our fully-trained onsite testing team.
Voluntary testing is yet another way to keep the College healthy and is in addition to the current range of precautions, which includes hand sanitising, social distancing, one-way systems, masks and screens.
Our safeguarding team will continue to offer support and can be contacted via the Student Hub here.
Remember, if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, you should self-isolate and request a test here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
Covid-19 symptoms include:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
And most importantly, the best way to keep yourself and those around you safe is to wash or sanitise your hands regularly, continue to wear a mask when asked and keep your distance from others. Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.
The latest government advice and details on current restrictions can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus