Creating a safe environment for students and staffPublished: May 22, 2020
Telford College has outlined the measures being put in place to allow students and staff to safely return to the campus in June.
Principal and chief executive Graham Guest says he does not envisage large numbers attending the Haybridge campus for the remainder of the academic year.
But he said detailed systems were still being put in place to ensure a safe working environment for those who may need to return over the coming weeks.
“The Government has allowed each college to make their own decisions regarding which students are invited back in – but obviously, a safe environment will need to be created.
“Our priorities are to save lives, to protect student achievement, and to ensure that students have a place with us for the new academic year in September.
“We are currently collating a list of students where increasing concerns exist about their vulnerability and/or their ability to achieve. This process will operate from June 1 until the end of the academic year.
“Priority will be given to students requiring production-based assessments to ensure they can complete qualifications this year, as well as those who would benefit from one-to-one support to make sure they can achieve.”
He added: “We have conducted a comprehensive Covid-19 risk assessment for each of our curriculum areas, and will be taking a managed approach to the numbers of staff and students on site at any one time.
“Staff and students will only be in college for a short period of time. I can promise that no-one will be forced back on site, and those staff and students most at risk will be expected to carry on working from home.”
“We are reconfiguring our teaching areas throughout Telford College to ensure appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
“One-way movement systems will be in operation in our buildings, with hand gel stations and anti-bacterial wipes provided.
“All surfaces are being disinfected thoroughly, and we have increased the frequency of cleaning, including wiping down frequent touch points throughout the day.
“Signage is also in place across the campus to raise awareness of social distancing, hygiene and cleanliness, and locations of toilets.”
Mr Guest praised the ‘constructive’ dialogue the college was having with local union representatives, and said he wanted to thank the Telford College staff who had been ‘absolutely brilliant’ throughout the process.
He added: “As you can imagine one size does not fit all, and each study area provides its own challenges. We are keen to communicate as much as possible with students, parents, and where appropriate, employers too.”
Telford College is one of the region’s largest further education colleges, with around 7,000 full and part-time students, plus more than 1,100 apprentices.
The college has found creative new ways of delivering its curriculum during lockdown, and the application process is now under way for the 2020/21 academic year, starting in September.
Full details can be found at www.telfordcollege.ac.uk/apply.
Video interviews are available for potential candidates, and a ‘virtual open day’ is also planned next month to showcase the college’s courses and facilities.