Adult/Part Time FAQs

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.

Testing
It is clear that testing will remain crucial through the autumn term. The continued reporting of data through NHS Test and Trace will allow the local Health Protection Teams and more widely the Council to act and advise accordingly. Data from the reporting of tests is one of the main ways in which outbreak management action plans are determined and we all therefore have a personal responsibility to ensure that we act in line with the guidelines in this respect.

Testing – Students
All 16-18 students will be required to carry out a lateral flow test before starting the course. All students will be offered an opportunity to book a slot to take a test on site on Friday 3rd September, prior to any of the cohorts return for day 1 of induction. The communication has been despatched to students with a link to the booking system. In the event that a student does not book an on-site test, on day 1 of induction, they are required to bring a declaration form with them to confirm that they have taken a lateral flow test at home on the morning of day 1 and that that has returned a negative result, alongside a view of the NHS Test and Trace application screen so that we have verification of the registration. In the event that a student is unable to provide a declaration and proof of test, there will be a bank of desks set up for lateral flow testing to the side of induction and they will be required to take a test and await the result. In the event that the student does not wish to take a test, they cannot remain on site.

Vaccinations
We have been advised of a number of walk in and pop up clinics where those above the age of 16 can now attend and receive the Covid vaccination.

Face Coverings
It is very apparent in society that there are different perspectives on wearing a face covering. You will be aware that the wearing of a face covering in any setting is no longer enforceable legally. However, the College position will remain that whilst it is an individual choice to continue to wear a face covering, we fully encourage the use of face coverings in all settings whilst at College. We will continue to encourage but not enforce and keep a watching brief on the guidance in this respect.

Social Distancing
In line with the government guidance, we have moved to Step 4 of the roadmap out of Covid19 and as such the restrictions on staying 2 metres apart are no longer a legal requirement. However, it is also explicit within the guidelines, and a position we adopt as a College that you should minimise risk by limiting your level of social contact within a 2 metre parameter.

Signage
You will notice that the signage around the College that reminds us all of a 2 metre distance will remain for the foreseeable future and we will continue to ensure that the messages on the digital screens are current and change regularly to drive home the key messages of safety.

Self-Isolation
To avoid confusion in respect of the current position of self isolation:
– Anyone with a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately
– Anyone with Covid 19 symptoms should arrange a PCR test immediately and self-isolate until the test result is known. This still applies even if you have received one or more doses of the vaccine
– Self-isolation does NOT apply to those that are a close contact of someone with Covid 19 as long as at least one of the criteria listed below is met. Please note that you must however strictly adhere to the wearing of a face covering, social distancing and handwashing whilst at college:
– you are fully vaccinated
– you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
– you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
– you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Reporting
We continue to be required to report our Covid data to the Department for Education. It is imperative that your test results are recorded as mentioned earlier, and that positive cases are notified immediately to coronavirusfaq@telfordcollege.ac.uk so that we can ensure we are giving an accurate picture that feeds in to the overall picture of the area.

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

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:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

  • 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.

Adult students on HE/ACCESS courses and professional vocational areas which can still be supported through fully on-line teaching (such as AAT/CIPD) will continue to receive remote learning and will be reviewed in Easter.

However, where students have practical elements to their course – such as Engineering, Music, Hair – have been scheduled to return to site.

Students on lower level courses, where further support from face to face learning is required to support students – STL L2 and Entry level maths and English – students will be invited to attend site, with elements of blended learning for students in this category who may not be able to fully attend sessions on site.

Apprentices in Engineering, Construction and Automotive are schedule to return to site form w/c 8th March onwards.

A schedule of adult students returning to site will be planned. Students will be invited in for a test prior to any on-site classroom activities beginning – a schedule of home testing will take place after the initial test. 

It will also be mandatory for students and staff to wear a face covering in classrooms as well as around communal areas of the campus. 

From Monday 5th January the college is only open for students who are most vulnerable, or those whose parents or carers are classified as ‘key workers’. To ensure the health and safety of staff and students, we need to keep social mobility to a minimum – which means everyone else should now be studying or working from home

Since the college is not closed – simply working in a different way – we still have tutors on hand to work remotely with our students, by telephone, email and website portals, to ensure they are working effectively and efficiently towards their assignments and achieve during this academic year.

Staff and students 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. Extra online resources will be added over the coming weeks.

This is unknown. We will be guided by the advice of the Government, and its team of experts.

The Government has announced there will be no exams taking place in schools or colleges this year, for any qualification (this includes GCSE, A level and all other vocational and technical qualifications)

The government have said ‘we recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they have not been able to sit their exams. If they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. 

For some part time and Higher Education courses, this means that some exam elements have now been changed to assessments and assignments instead. Your tutor would have notified you If this relates to your course.

It is important for students to continue to study, submit work, and develop their skills.

Exams watchdogs are working on alternative arrangements for cancelled exams, which will be decided by a range of factors including, non-exam assessments, mock exams, and teachers’ assessment as well as any previous prior attainment. The Government has announced that it wouldn’t be fair to base grades purely on predicted results, which is why there will be a range of methods used to give a final overall grade. It is important to note, that grades will not be based just on teachers’ assessment, but the awarding bodies will look at prior achievements too, and it will be awarding bodies that calculate the final grade.

This doesn’t just apply to GCSEs and A levels; awarding bodies are looking at ways – similar to above – to give overall grades for all vocational courses. The exam boards will be working on this during the coming weeks

More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020

For Higher Education courses, you need to continue to work with your tutor and submit all of the assignments and coursework due to ensure you complete your course. Please contact your tutor if you require any support.

We will contact students when we know more about how grades will be calculated

Our student services team is on hand to provide support and advice. Call 01952 642237, or email info@telfordcollege.ac.uk