The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to dominate the news, with major implications for public health and the NHS. As you would expect we are monitoring developments closely for both our staff and students’ safety, and for ongoing service delivery as far as practicable we are putting in place sensible measures to ensure that the College is well prepared.
I wanted to reassure you that in respect of the spread of COVID-19 outbreak we are focused on two key things: the health and welfare of our staff and students; and our ability to continue to support students in achieving their qualifications this academic year. I am therefore sharing with you some of the specific actions that we have taken.
- We have a working group in place who meet regularly to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and the daily Government updates. This group has also developed a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan that identifies the requirements that would be needed for each area of the business to function – this will be kept under constant review over the following few weeks.
- We have in place effective technology and infrastructure to ensure that our organisation is both robust and adaptable and is able to cope with significant and potentially disruptive events.
- As part of this, staff and students can work from home if required and can remotely access our systems within a secure IT environment.
- We have also invested in website portals, such as Moodle, that enable staff to upload student work and maintain effective communication channels for on-going tutor advice and guidance.
Employee and client safety
The health, safety and well-being of our staff and students is of paramount importance to us. We are therefore closely monitoring and implementing official guidelines from the Government and health organisations in respect of COVID-19. Specific actions taken include:
- Where any staff, students or a family member has travelled recently to a list of risk countries, we are asking them to self-isolate and work from home for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
- Any staff feeling unwell have been asked not to come to work. We have communicated to all staff that if they have flu-like symptoms they should remain at home.
- We have the technology in place to facilitate working from home and in the event Government advice recommends all workplace closures, or we feel that this is necessary, then we are ready to respond immediately.
- Hand wash and tissues are widely available throughout our buildings alongside posters showing advice and guidance on effective hand-washing techniques.
- We have asked staff to reduce business and personal travel to a minimum, and to facilitate meetings by telephone, videoconferencing and Skype wherever possible.
The coronavirus outbreak is clearly a constantly evolving situation both in terms of infection rates and the impact on day to day life. While we cannot predict when the outbreak will have peaked and starts to subside, we believe that the social, economic and market disruption will ultimately be short-lived.
In the meantime, we want to reassure you that we are taking sensible precautions to minimise the potential impact of coronavirus on our staff, students and operations while ensuring it is business as usual, as far as possible, during this busy period.
Where to find the latest information
- NHS: Coronavirus information
- Public Health England: Self-isolation information
- Public Health England: Stay at home guidance
- UK Government: Guidance for educational settings
Students with any concerns relating to their own health and wellbeing are asked to communicate with the college but to always seek medical advice through official NHS/PHE channels. We have also set up an email address for students to report any self-isolation/illness due to Coronavirus: StudentWellbeing@telfordcollege.ac.uk
Principal & Chief Executive