Staying safe - Covid

Lockdown & Covid Updates

Updated: 12 April 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 22nd February, the College remains open to students, apprentices and staff.

The Government has produced an easy to follow guide, the Roadmap Plan out of Lockdown, which shows the 4 stages to coming out of lockdown and what we are allowed to do at each stage.

The nation is now in Step 2 of the Roadmap.


Existing Students & Apprentices

Asymptomatic Testing for Students and Apprentices

The College continues to encourage home testing for all students and apprentices. The College can provide you with Lateral Flow Test kits for home testing. Kits can be collected from the Student Hub at each campus. Each kit will provide you with tests to cover you for approx. 3 weeks.

No consent is needed for home testing, as accepting the kit is consent and therefore expectations are that full instructions will be followed. Government guidance recommends test twice weekly, before attending your scheduled classes. Testing is voluntary, however, we strongly encourage you to participate in order to safely attend one of the campuses.

Lateral flow testing is aimed for those without coronavirus symptoms (those classed as asymptomatic). A lateral flow test identifies people who are infectious on the day of the test, but don’t have symptoms. A PCR (COVID) test is required if you are experiencing symptoms.

The College will still offer a testing facility but will be limited and only be operational on set days and times. Our Centres only facilitate self-swab testing i.e. you do the test yourselves. Our volunteers support the registering, processing and recording. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy, using a swab of the nose and throat. For students who are unable to complete the test themselves parents/carers are able to support. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) are shared directly (via text/email) with you and if needed, appropriate guidance is provided.

Rapid testing stages graphic

Onsite activities

All existing College COVID-19 protocols for everyone safely remain in place and should be adhered to.


 

Staying Safe at College

The College has measures in place to keep all of our students, apprentices and staff safe when returning to College, including:

The College continues to encourage home testing for all students and apprentices. The College can provide you with lateral flow test kits for home testing. Kits can be collected from the Student Hub at each campus. Each kit will provide you with tests to cover you for approx. 3 weeks.

No consent is needed for home testing, as accepting the kit is consent and therefore expectations are that full instructions will be followed. Government guidance recommends test twice weekly before attending your scheduled classes. Testing is voluntary, however, we strongly encourage you to participate in order to safely attend one of the campuses.

Lateral flow testing is aimed for those without coronavirus symptoms (those classed as asymptomatic). A lateral flow test identifies people who are infectious on the day of the test, but don’t have symptoms. A PCR (COVID) test is required if you are experiencing symptoms.

The College will still offer a testing facility but will be limited and only be operational on set days and times. Our Centres only facilitate self-swab testing i.e. you do the test yourselves. Our volunteers support the registering, processing and recording. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy, using a swab of the nose and throat.

For students who are unable to complete the test themselves parents/carers are able to support. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) are shared directly (via text/email) with you and if needed, appropriate guidance is provided.

The home test kits will include instructions for testing and reporting results.

What if I test positive?

If you test positive, you will need to:

  • self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance
  • have a further test (a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test) to confirm the result.

You can arrange a test on GOV.UK

Temperature checking will take place upon entrance to the College.

Where possible the College has implemented a ‘safe flow’ to move around each campus in a safe way and strongly encourages social distancing. Entrances and exits may be different. Please read signage to guide you. We ask for your patience where queues may form and ask you to abide by social distancing measures.

Lifts will be limited for essential use only. If required for essential use, this is only for one person at a time.

Please maintain social distancing wherever possible. Maintaining a distance between people whilst inside and reducing the amount of time in face-to-face contact lowers the risk of transmission. ​

You should maintain a 2 metre distance from each other wherever possible, or if you are not able to there will be mitigations in place. ​ Everyone should avoid close, direct face-to-face contact and minimise time spent within 1 metre of anyone. ​

Teaching staff may maintain distance by staying at the front of the room and all classes have a ‘tutor zone’ marked out.  Seating plans will be put place for each class/workshop.​

Good ventilation reduces the concentration of the virus in the air, which reduces the risks from airborne transmission. ​It is important to ensure that the College is well ventilated and a comfortable teaching and learning environment is maintained. ​

Please expect: ​

  • opening of windows just enough to provide constant background ventilation, which may be opened more fully during breaks ​
  • opening internal doors to assist with creating a throughput of air ​
  • if necessary, external opening doors (where safe to do so).​

All areas and rooms will be cleaned before use. Enhanced cleaning regimes have been implemented with a focus on high-traffic areas such as toilets, handrails and door furniture throughout the day. Cleaning stations are being provided to support cleaning shared resources such as PCs and printers.

There is increased signage reminding students, apprentices and staff of hygiene practices. It’s important that everyone plays their part in supporting a clean environment.

‘Grab and Go’ food and drinks will be available to purchase. Monies can be loaded on to your College ID badges for easy payment. Vending machines will be available and cleaning facilities will be provided to support use. Existing water fountain points have been replaced with foot operated ones for safe use.

Face coverings must be worn on all public transport and at stops and in stations unless you are exempt from wearing a face covering.

The West Midlands Network has more guidance about travelling and how to stay safe.

If you share a car to College with someone outside of your support bubble or household, you should:

  • share with the same people each time
  • open the windows for ventilation
  • wear a face covering (if not exempt)

The impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is still having on our lives may cause us to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated.

Everyone feels different sometimes. It’s important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently – for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

There are simple things we can do to help take care of our mental health and well-being during times of uncertainty. Doing so will help us think clearly, and make sure we can look after ourselves and those we care about.

Read the NHS top 10 tips for helping with your mental health.

Check out the College’s Mental Health and Wellbeing for more support.

GCSE and A Level exams will not go ahead this summer as planned. Information and guidance of how grading is currently being shared through your tutors. Unsure – please ask in your next GSCE or A Level class.

 


 

Hands, Face, Space

Washing your hands

While coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.

Covering your face

All students, apprentices and staff should wear face covering while on College sites, including during classes. Face masks will be available to purchase if you forget to bring one with you.

We will work with any staff, students and apprentices who are unable to wear face coverings due to underlying health conditions to be easily identifiable so challenge will be appropriate.

Coronavirus is carried in the air by tiny respiratory droplets that carry the virus. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch while smaller droplets, called aerosols, can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, and often much longer if there is no ventilation. Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus you’re less likely to spread it when you exhale.

Making space

Transmission of the virus is most likely to happen within 2 metres, with risk increasing at shorter distances. While keeping this exact distance isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread.

 


 

Feeling ill?

What if I feel ill while I’m at College?

  • Please immediately talk to your tutor.
  • You may be asked to go home and follow government guidance.
  • If you need to be collected, you will be asked to go to specific room on site where you will be supervised until you are collected.
  • Your Curriculum Manager will remain in contact with you to establish how you are feeling. If its COVID-19 related, support and guidance will be provided for such things as testing, self isolation measures etc.

What if I feel ill when I’m at home, before I leave for College?

If you are ill and unable to attend College you should report your sickness to the ​CALMS team on 01902 821167.

If you are reporting the development of COVID-19 symptoms, this will be recorded on ProMonitor and will be communicated to your Curriculum Manager. ​Your Curriculum Managers will keep in contact with you and your family providing support in accordance with guidance.

What if I have COVID symptoms? ​

If you have symptoms you should stay at home and book a free NHS test and follow government self-isolation guidance until the results of your test are known.

If you have any concerns about your health you should use the NHS 111 website initially, or if you have no internet access then contact the free NHS 111 telephone helpline. Check the NHS website for the latest official advice.

Stay Safe at College - COVID Measures

GSCE Exams

We have now received further guidance from the exams regulator Ofqual and the Joint Council for Qualifications.

This has recommended the types of evidence that we can use to calculate your grade and has set the rules that we must follow to ensure that grades are awarded fairly.

To give yourself the opportunity to achieve the best possible grade, it is essential that you attend all sessions that you are timetabled for.

During the week beginning 10th May 2021, you will complete an assessment activity in your usual maths/English class. There might be other shorter assessment for learning activities in the weeks running up to this. We want to give you a good opportunity to show how much progress you have made under difficult circumstances.

We will also take into account verified work completed over the year.

We have to keep any evidence we use to award your grade. Our awarding body, Pearson, will be completing quality checks and might select your evidence for a check to see if we have awarded our grades correctly. The evidence will also be used if you wish to appeal your grade.

Details of the process can be found in the guide published by the Joint Council for Qualifications:

This also outlines the appeal process, as well as key dates. Results will be released on 12th August.

Finally, please do not ask your teacher to give you a specific grade. Ofqual’s rules state that we must record each time this happens. Pearson could ask for this information when looking at our grades and could treat this as malpractice.

If you are unsure or would like further support, please speak with your Maths or English teacher.

 


Applicants & New Students

Define your future…

Want to apply for College?

Full-time Courses Starting September

If you want to apply for a course you can do this online. Once your application has been submitted a member of the Admissions team will be in touch to talk to you in more detail about the course and ensure you’re on the right course. Once you have your exam results we will then guide you through the enrolment process so you are ready to start college in September.

Part-time Courses Start Throughout the Year

We have a range of part-time courses with various start dates throughout the year. To apply for a course just complete our online application form and then a member of the Admissions team will be in touch to talk to you in more detail about the course and get you enrolled.

Online Courses

We have a range of online only courses which you can apply for here. Once you’ve applied you’ll get sent a link containing the course joining instructions.

  

Already applied and wondering what next?

Full-time Courses

If you’ve already applied then our Admissions team will be in touch to talk to you in more detail about the course and ensure you’re on the right course. Once you have your exam results we will then guide you through the enrolment process so you are ready to start College in September.

Part-time Courses

Once you have applied our Admissions team will contact you to discuss the course in more detail and get your enrolled.