Information for Parents
25th January – Covid Update
The government has announced that the measures put in place under plan B in England will be lifted this week.
Whilst it will no longer be mandatory to wear a face covering, including in communal areas, the government suggests that they continue to be worn in crowded and indoor spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet. For this reason, we will continue to encourage you to wear a face covering in communal areas of the College though this will not be mandated.
Precautionary and safe behaviours should continue to be adopted as described in the government advice, these are:
Are you up to date with Government Guidance as from Tuesday 11th January 2022?
The government advice in respect of those who have had a positive Lateral Flow Device test result has changed.
It is important to note that there was an indication in a document published by the government on 5th January 2022 that in some circumstances a PCR test would be required.
However, the guidance issued yesterday (attached in the below links) has now clarified that for a temporary period, PCR tests will not be required in the event that a Lateral Flow Test is accessible.
If you have been notified that you are in contact of someone with confirmed Covid-19 by NHS Test & Trace, but DO NOT live with the person, OR If you live in the same household with a possible or confirmed Covid-19 case the following applies:
• You should take the lateral flow test as normal.
• Should your own lateral flow test return a negative result, or for our young people (in the event that they are under 18) then you do not need to self-isolate or take any further action other than to continue to take the lateral flow test twice weekly.
• However, if the lateral flow test returns a positive result, you are no longer required to have a follow up PCR test but should stay at home and self-isolate immediately.
Individuals should only have a follow up PCR test if:
• They intend to claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment – this should not be relevant for any College employees as no one has been financially decremented in terms of salary for absence in relation to Covid matters.
• They have a health condition that means they may be suitable for new Covid-19 treatments.
• They are taking Lateral Flow Device tests as part of research of surveillance programmes and have been requested to do so.
Please use the links below:
4th January update
• Where do I have to wear a Face Covering?
Face coverings are to be worn in all classrooms and in all communal areas with effect from the 5th January until further notice.
Please bring your own face coverings with you. There will be some supplies available at reception for those students who forget to do this.
• Will there be exams and assessments in January?
Yes, Examinations and assessments in January will go ahead as originally planned.
• Will my lessons be on site in a classroom?
Yes. Our shared priority with the Government is to keep education settings open with young people continuing face-to-face education.
• Do I need to take a Lateral Flow Test before returning to college after the Christmas break?
Yes, all students must take one self-test at home either the evening or morning before they return in January, then continue to test twice weekly at home.
• What are the new self isolation rules for individuals who test positive for Covid-19?
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason. Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to college from day 8.
• Is the Government advising 16 to 17 year olds to have a COVID-19 vaccination?
Yes. In response to the threat from the Omicron variant, the JCVI advised that a Pfizer booster vaccine should be offered to all young people aged 16 to 17 years old. The NHS will communicate how eligible young people can get their boosters shortly.
1st December update
As always through this pandemic we have taken a precautionary view- keep safe and ensure our students succeed. Therefore having reviewed the guidance that is available to us through the government and specifically the Department for Education in relation to the new variant (Omicron) of Covid 19, the following additional measures will be introduced with effect from tomorrow Thursday the 2nd December:
Face masks must be worn by students, staff and adult visitors when moving around the College site in all communal areas and whilst travelling on public transport and dedicated College transport, unless exempt. The option to wear a face mask in a classroom or practical environments remains a personal choice. This is a precautionary and temporary for the foreseeable future.
To stop the spread of this dreadful virus the simple actions have the greatest effect:
1) Washing our hands and use hand sanitiser
2) We will be increasing our cleaning regimes
3) Monitoring and maintenance of good ventilation in classrooms
4) Being clear and taking the appropriate advice in regard to Test & Trace
5) Getting the vaccination and the appropriately timed boosters still remains a paramount line of defence
All Students to do the same
The full guidance in respect of protecting yourself and others can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Tracing and Isolation
Close contacts of a confirmed or suspected case of the Omicron variant of Covid 19 will be contacted directly by NHS Test & Trace and required to self isolate immediately and book at PCR test. They will be informed directly by NHS of the fact that it is a close contact due to a confirmed or suspected case of the Omicron variant.
In some cases however, it will not be clear as to whether the contact is from a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant and in these cases, you should act with caution by self isolating and booking a PCR test, not coming on to the College site until the test returns a negative result.
In addition, if the College is advised directly by the Health Protection Team that there is a specific risk due to the investigation of a confirmed or suspected case then we will follow their instructions accordingly.
We must remain vigilant and committed to following the introduced measures to protect ourselves and others and it is so important that we educate each other and our students of the importance of this. As always we need to work as a team and deliver what we are here to do.
COVID 19: Temporary Precautionary Measures Announced by Government on 27 November
You will have seen over the weekend that new temporary and precautionary measures are in place in the UK with effect from 4am on Tuesday 30th November. These are:
All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
All contacts of suspected COVID cases of the new variant Omicron must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. This will become relevant if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport. All hospitality settings will be exempt.
You will also have seen that the vaccine remains the UK’s paramount line of defence and as a College we continue to fully encourage you all to take the vaccine and the boosters at the appropriate time.
Whilst we are aware that schools are currently being advised directly in respect of the reintroduction of mask wearing, as we have always done in order to remain cautious and entirely safe as a College population we will monitor the advice from the government and DfE closely in specific respect to FE Colleges in order to make decisions that have everyone’s health and safety at their heart.
You will by now be aware that yesterday, the Prime Minister confirmed that there will be a delay in proceeding to Step 4 of the roadmap that was announced earlier in the year in respect of the government’s response to Covid 19.
In light of this, the Department for Education have provided confirmation that the systems of control in place from 17th May 2021 therefore are to remain until any further announcements are made. The current status will remain until at least the 19th July.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we will proceed with caution and if plans do not meet the appropriate guidance protocols, we will take the path that minimises risk in order to keep our internal community safe and well.
Whilst the vaccination programme continues to progress, and many of our staff have now been vaccinated fully, it remains nevertheless important that we continue to be aware of our own responsibilities to stop the spread of the virus. The latest guidance can be found at:
You may be aware that as part of the government’s announced roadmap out of lockdown, on Monday 17 May further restrictions will be relaxed and the guidance to us as a College has also been updated as a result.
As a college we have decided not to rush into changing policy at short notice and so we are requesting that students, staff and visitors continue to wear a face covering while on site.
As we have always advertised, it remains so important for the health and safety of students, staff and visitors that we continue with the social distancing, regular handwashing and the wearing of a face covering, so that we help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19
We will of course monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes.
In addition, we must all ensure that we continue to carry out our lateral flow tests twice weekly, of students and staff, and record the results through the NHS Test and Trace App, and to CoronavirusFAQ@telfordcollege.ac.uk
All our vital safety measures will remain in place for Summer Term which starts on Monday, April 19.
Above all, this means you must not attend campus if you have any COVID-19 symptoms: which include a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, and a change to your sense of taste or smell.
Below is an update on our arrangements and what you need to know for Summer Term.
NOTE If you have any queries about your own situation, please contact your tutor or call 01952 642200
You must wear face coverings in buildings at all times on college site, unless you are exempt.
You must remain in your zones whenever possible, wash your hands regularly, use the hand sanitiser provided, which can be topped up at reception and you should not gather in corridors.
Regular testing remains important for keeping everyone safe.
We’re impressed with the take-up of Lateral Flow tests so far, but we need to ensure that we continue with the home tests.
You should test yourself twice a week using Home Testing kits which you were given prior to the Easter break, additional ones are available from Tutor.
Please complete a home test on the Sunday evening prior to returning to college on the Monday
You must report your results – by law – at: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
You must also report your results to CoronavirusFAQ@telfordcollege.ac.uk
If you test positive while taking a lateral flow test at home, you must get a polymer chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result. A PCR test is a standard COVID-19 test, which you can order at: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or alternatively you can book a test at a local symptomatic test centre.
Naturally, the basic guidance also still applies. The government guidance link on how to stop the spread of coronavirus is attached below:
- Wash your hands regularly, and for a longer time than you ordinarily would
- Ensure you maintain the appropriate social distance
- Wear a face covering
- Self-isolate if you have Covid 19 symptoms or a positive Covid 19 test result
Wearing of Masks
To ensure there is no confusion over the wearing of masks up until Easter, in line with Government advice, and our own internal decisions and risk assessments, please see clarification below:
• It is mandatory for staff and students to wear a mask in all communal areas and corridors. In the Haybridge and Rendezvous, masks can be removed for eating and drinking.
• In classrooms, it is mandatory for students to wear a mask, unless they have a medical exemption. For staff teaching in classrooms, masks should be worn, unless social distancing can be maintained – so, if remaining within the 2-meter exclusion zone at the front, the mask can then be removed, or a face shield can be worn, although under current Government guidance they are not considered a protective measure, so should not be worn as an alternative to a face mask. On moving around the classroom to teach more effectively, masks should be worn again.
• In practical workshops, it is mandatory for staff and students to wear masks at all times, unless medically exempt. As with classrooms, staff can only remove their masks for teaching purposes if they can maintain the social distancing parameter of 2 meters. Face shields are not advised.
• For sporting and physical activities, it is permitted for students to remove masks for the duration.
These measures will remain in place until Easter at the earliest, and will then be reviewed in light of any change in stance by the Government. If anyone has any concerns, or needs to discuss further, please contact Dave Candlin who is happy to advise.
Following the government announcement on Monday 22nd February, we can confirm the arrangements in place to enable students to return to college from the 8th March. This will be a phased return, to facilitate a mass asymptomatic testing programme of all students.
To enable a phased return, students will be emailed dates and times for their first day back on site, please ask your young person to check their emails regularly.
Students will have a lateral flow test on their first day back on site, before they commence classroom activities. It is vitally important that students arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before their test time, and no later than the time they have been allocated. On arrival to college, for their first day back, students should head straight to the Sports Centre to complete the test process.
The College has completed robust risk assessments to ensure that all areas are COVID secure. It is really important that students return to studying on site so that they are able to achieve their qualification.
Test process is as follows:
The test will be supervised by trained staff. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. The college will inform the student of a positive test result. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed. The student will also receive notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system.
Students must adhere to the following safety measures:
• Have the lateral flow test at their appointment time
• Sanitise their hands when entering the College building and frequently throughout their time spent on site
• Wear a face covering at all times, including lessons
• Keep a 2-meter distance
• To support our local community, students should remain in college through-out the period of their day, and not leave site, unless to travel home.
• Students should continue to adhere to social distancing measures once they have left site, and are journeying home.
• It is important that if a student does not feel well and has any COVID symptoms that they do not come to College. Instead they must contact the absence line on 01952 642244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to assure you that while your young person is on site Telford college has put in place all the required measure to ensure their safety. If you have any questions or would like further information then please contact student services on 01952 642327, email email@example.com
We look forward to welcoming our students back into college.
Yes. It is important for all students to be completing their assignments and coursework, and be sending in their work to their tutors to ensure they gain their achievements. Students also need to be continuing to fill their gaps in skills and knowledge, ready for their next progression steps.
Students may also have the opportunity to re-sit some exams later this year – including Maths/English GCSEs and A levels. Therefore, it is absolutely fundamental that they continue to develop their skills and knowledge.
Students need to be communicating and engaging with their tutors, student who do not complete their set tasks will be putting their achievement and place at college at risk.
Students are being emailed, by course tutors, to their student email accounts outlining what work needs to be completed and the resources available to them. Tutors and managers of areas are also available by email to offer further support.
We have a wide range of digital resources available to help support our students remotely.
Tutors are there to support all their students, they understand the needs and requirements of their students and will continue to support them in the best way possible remotely.
We are sending out hard copies of resources where we can, and where this is better suited to the individual student. Tutors are liaising with parents and guardians regarding the best way in which they can offer support also.
Our student services team are available by email or phone, and we are in regular contact with students who may require more support at this time.
Please ask your child to check their college email accounts, to see what work they are having to complete.
If your child is having any difficulties with accessing this information, or any other concerns please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01952 642200 and we will get back to you as soon as possible
All apprentices are continuing with their qualification using remote technology and Smart Assessor, their assessor will be communicating with them using their email address and Smart Assessor accounts.
During this period apprentices are being contacted on a weekly basis to ensure they have the support they need to work remotely and submit work as requested.
10 week reviews with employers and apprentices will continue using the remote technology so that progress, support and development can still continue.
The same support will continue and your child will have work issued from their assessor and support from their mentor or manager.
We can still continue to support your child whilst they are at home on furlough, we will ensure they have enough work to complete towards their apprenticeship. The most important thing is that your child continues their apprenticeship work during this time, once they are back in work they may find a backlog of tasks to complete during the time they have been away from their role. This is an ideal opportunity to complete as much as possible to ensure a timely achievement of their apprenticeship qualification.
If your child is having any difficulties with accessing this information, or you have any other concerns please email email@example.com or call 01952 642452 and we will get back to you as soon as possible
The following websites provide useful tips about internet safety for families and young people:
o Internet matters – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online https://www.internetmatters.org/
o Net-aware – for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
o Parent info – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online https://parentinfo.org/
o Thinkuknow – for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online o UK Safer Internet Centre – advice for parents and carers https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
Our student services team is on hand to provide support and advice. Call 01952 642237, or email firstname.lastname@example.org