Coronavirus safety information and FAQs
Students will be invited back to college on a phased basis starting from Monday 8 March, in line with government guidance. You will get information from your tutor about your exact return date and time. Read our latest update to find out more.
You can find the latest government advice on gov.uk/coronavirus. Remember to respect social distancing and wash your hands.
If you are coming to college you need to fill in the online testing consent form in advance. This form is for both staff and students.
We are planning for continued testing, the initial three tests for students will take place in college, after which students will be provided with two rapid tests to use each week at home.
Please watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on COVID self testing.
Safety tips and guidelines
Please do NOT come in to college unless you have been asked to do so. We will directly contact all students who should attend.
If you have been asked to come into college then you must follow our safety guidelines:
- Please wear a mask in communal areas.
- Please scan your temperature using our temperature monitor and leave your details with us for NHS Test and Trace purposes.
- Please sanitise your hands throughout your visit. We have sanitation points at our entrances that you can use.
- Please maintain a safe distance between others and follow our signage.
- Sign up for our cashless payment system.
- Wherever possible, please arrive alone.
Please do not visit us if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
- you’re waiting for a coronavirus test result.
- you’ve tested positive for coronavirus.
- you live with someone or have come into contact with someone who has had symptoms.
Frequently asked questions
What does teaching look like? What platforms are being used?
Students will be returning to college on a phased basis, starting from Monday 8 March. You will get information from your tutor about your exact return date and time. Until then you can continue to use online learning.
Online teaching is delivered mainly through Microsoft Teams but also through Zoom and other platforms – which differs on a class-by-class basis.
There are some cases where students may come into college before Monday 8 March:
- students with special educational needs (SEN) should continue to come into the college and attend as normal
- students who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers can continue to attend college
- some Higher Education students who are on professional vocational courses can continue to attend college
- students who have external exams in the next few weeks should attend college to sit these exams.
Do I need to wear a mask if I’m at college?
We’re asking all students and staff (unless exempt for a medical reason) to wear face coverings or visors in communal areas. This includes reception, corridors and refectories.
Face coverings should be plain fabric material.
Do I need to wear a face covering in my lessons?
- There is no general requirement for face coverings in classrooms. However, some teachers may ask you to wear one.
- You may need personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and/or visors in specialist areas of the college. This includes our hair and beauty salons and college restaurants.
Will staff be wearing face coverings in lessons?
- Staff do not need to wear face coverings or visors in classrooms or staff rooms.
- Visors are the preferred option for staff, to enable better communication with students.
What steps have you taken to make your centres COVID-safe?
We have modified the learning spaces at all centres.
Hand sanitiser stations have been set-up in all centres and all staff and students have received clear guidance on social distancing rules with markers on the floors.
There is also a one-way system around campuses with stickers on the floor to direct you the right way around.
How we’ve adapted
- We’ve developed online learning for students.
- We’re asking everyone (unless exempt for a medical reason) to wear masks in communal spaces like reception areas and corridors.
- We’ve fitted protective screens in relevant areas.
- We’ve introduced intensive cleaning regimes.
- When classes resume we will have modified timetables and class sizes to spread footfall.
How do you deliver practical teaching (e.g. construction, hairdressing)?
There are procedures in place to ensure our facilities meet social distancing measures including working in shifts or in reduced classes to conduct practical teaching.
What support is available in college or learning from home?
Whether you are learning from home or in the classroom, we will be able to support you on your course.
This is carried out through virtual classrooms similar to what we are using now but with Microsoft Teams.
Our Student Services team are available to talk to you both online via live chat, over the phone or by email with any financial questions you may have.
Teams such as our Safeguarding and Additional Learning Support will also be able to support you digitally.
How can I travel to college safely?
Once face-to-face teaching resumes we expect you will be able to travel using train and/or bus to attend your lessons. You should follow safety guidelines, including wearing a mask, when doing so.
If you have been told to attend college and you’re able to walk or cycle to our centres, we encourage you to do so.