College update - 06.11.20

6 November 2020

Dear parent 

I hope this finds you and your family safe and well.  

This is the first is a series of weekly emails to provide an update on college life in these unprecedented times. Could I thank you for your support and patience; the situation is challenging for everyone and we are working hard to provide the best quality of education and support for your sons and daughters. Please contact us at the college through your son or daughter’s Senior Tutor should you have any questions, queries or concerns.   

On Wednesday, the Department for Education published updated guidance relating to the new national restrictions which came in force on the 5th November. 

The college will remain open throughout the lockdown. The guidelines outline what we are expected to do during this period to ensure that the college remains COVID secure. We are committed to ensuring that the health and safety of all members of the college community are central to our thinking and planning.  

All students should continue to attend college throughout this period of lockdown unless they are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable as defined by the guidance. If this is the case, your son / daughter should work from home and join their lessons online. If your son / daughter is identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, they should receive a letter from the NHS or from their GP; they may have been advised to shield in the past. If you are in any doubt about your son or daughter’s status, you are advised to contact their GP or specialist clinician who will provide advice and guidance.  If your son or daughter is advised to stay at home by a medical professional, please contact your son or daughter’s Senior Tutor as soon as possible. Arrangements will then be made for them to access their curriculum from home for the period of lockdown. Unless your son or daughter is ill, they must attend all of their online classes; failure to do so will lead to an unauthorised absence mark which will be investigated by their Senior Tutor. It is very important that students remain engaged with their learning through this period.  

Students who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend college.   

If your son or daughter is categorised as clinically vulnerable or if they have underlying health conditions according to the Government guidelines, they should continue to come to college. Your son or daughter should continue to follow Government guidance and follow the advice provided by the college about staying safe and healthy whilst on campus.  

The advice from the Government can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020. More general advice on the lockdown period can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

For 16-18 year old students, your son or daughter’s college experience will not change when on site from the 5th November: 

  • They will continue to work on our week A/B rota 
  • They should wear face covering when in public spaces and on corridors  
  • They can choose to wear a face covering in the classroom if they want to 
  • They are expected to use hand sanitiser on entry to and when leaving the classroom, and should wipe down any workstation on arrival and when leaving (desks and IT spaces). They should use the hand sanitiser available when entering the college site  
  • When they are not in the classroom, they should try to stay at least 2 metres apart where possible. This reduces the risk of them being identified as a close contact should a student receive a positive diagnosis  
  • They should continue to walk on the left hand side of the corridors 
  • As classroom windows and doors will be open to improve ventilation, they should dress accordingly. Classrooms may be cooler than they are used to   

We are receiving a number of requests for students to change their bubble week. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make changes of this nature as this would compromise our COVID health and safety measures. 

It is important to remember that your son or daughter should not come to college if they are symptomatic. If they become symptomatic when on site, please remind them to inform their teacher or another member of staff who will help them. Please remember to contact the college using the absence line (0161 330 2330) to report any suspected COVID related illness and report the outcome of any COVID test to the college as soon as possible. 

Guidance on the symptoms of COVID-19 can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ 

Guidance on self-isolation can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/ 

Guidance on the rules of the lockdown can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november 

If your son or daughter needs to get a test, information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test 

All sporting fixtures are cancelled until further notice, although sport as part of education can continue following national body guidelines.  

Thank you for your support and understanding. By working together, we will manage the next four weeks so we can continue to deliver the best possible quality of teaching and learning to your son or daughter, as well as maintaining our vigilance towards the health and safety of all in our community.   

Take care, look after yourself, your families and each other; be patient and stay positive. 

Anton