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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 email@example.com 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:
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
Teacher Assessed Grades – Summer 2021
This year students will receive grades awarded and determined by teaching staff (teacher assessed grade – ‘TAG’) where applicable. For summer 2021, exam boards have identified qualifications that will be eligible for TAG and have requested exam centres to generate, for each subject, teacher assessed grades for their students. These grades will be based on a range of evidence completed as part of the course, which demonstrates the student’s performance on the subject content they have been taught. Grades submitted to exam boards will be standardised and moderated through robust systems, ensuring judgements are objective and fair.
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.
To best support the needs of students, the most vulnerable students will be invited onto site first, followed by the plans as outlined below.
A planned calendar of scheduled return times and dates will be produced, that must be adhered to – and span across w/c 8th March to w/c 22nd March. Students will be invited in for a test, prior to any on-site classroom activities beginning – a schedule of further 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.
Students will continue to learn remotely until their scheduled on-site test/day – following their test, they will return to class and follow their normal timetables.
Timetabled remote sessions will continue as planned. We will endeavour to plan first days back on site on days where students do not have remote learning.
As of Monday 8th March, the Bridgnorth bus will be running as per it’s normal schedule.
Remote education: academic year 2020-2021:
What to expect if students need to isolate, or during periods of national or local restrictions
What remote education will be available?
During a national/local lockdown
During any periods of lockdown, for students working from home, they should follow their usual timetable. The vast majority of sessions will be live lessons, delivered through Teams. Teachers will be delivering content and setting tasks through these Teams sessions. In some cases, staff may set independent tasks through the course of the Teams calls, which will need to be completed as per the teacher’s instructions and within the allocated timeframe.
Apprentices are following the same process, they will have their planned timetabled sessions delivered as above by their course tutor. Assessors will also continue arranging 1:1 meetings via Teams with apprentices and employers to continue knowledge, skills and behaviours.
During a lockdown, the college will still be open for face to face delivery for vulnerable students, and children of keyworkers. Vulnerable students also include students who cannot access remote delivery from home, or do not have a quiet place to study Vulnerable students also includes students who cannot access remote delivery from home, or do not have a quiet place to study. Please see below link for the list of vulnerable students and definition of key workers.
For periods of self-isolation
Full time study programme students and apprentices should continue to follow their timetable, most sessions accommodate blended learning, and students can remote into their sessions through Microsoft Teams. Where this is the case, teachers will Teams call students into a session. Where this is not possible, students will be sent work to complete. If students require any clarification or support during their period of isolation, they can email their tutor or message through Teams, during college hours.
Currently, all adult delivery is either fully remote or blended learning. All adult students have access to remote sessions and can continue to follow their timetable remotely.
Expectations of students and apprentices
To ensure students achieve their highest possible grades throughout and at the end of the academic year, they must continue to adhere to the expected on-line learning conduct. This includes: regular attendance, participation in sessions and commitment to study, as well as acting professionally throughout the course of their sessions.
Non-attendance to sessions, or lack of participation in sessions will be followed up through the college’s supportive behaviour process.
Apprentice non-attendance to sessions, or lack of participation in sessions will be followed up through the colleges supportive disciplinary process and escalated to the employer as a joint supportive process.
Students with SEND
High Needs students and students with Educational Health Care Plans (EHC plans)
During a national/local lockdown
For students studying in vocational areas, the vast majority of sessions will be live lessons, delivered through Teams. Teachers will be delivering content and setting tasks through these Teams sessions. In some cases, staff may set independent tasks through the course of the Teams calls, which will need to be completed as per the teacher’s instructions and within the allocated timeframe. Students can also still access site for face to face delivery, to access remote sessions from site, and receive additional support.
For students studying in Foundation or The Willow Tree Centre, teachers will work with parents/guardians and students to find the best method of support. This may include: sending work home via email or post, regular telephone calls to set tasks and check on progress, live or recorded remote sessions, or continued face to face delivery on site.
Periods of isolation
Students studying in vocational areas should continue to follow their timetable, most sessions accommodate blended learning, and students can remote into their sessions through Microsoft Teams. Where this is the case, teachers will Teams call students into a session. Where this is not possible, students will be sent work to complete. If students require any clarification or support during their period of isolation, they can email their tutor or message through Teams, during college hours. Where possible, learning support assistants may be able to support students remoting into sessions.
For students studying in Foundation or The Willow Tree Centre, teachers will work with parents/guardians and students to find the best method of support. This may include: sending work home via email or post, regular telephone calls to set tasks and check on progress, students may also be able to access live sessions remotely.
Support for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning
During a national/local lockdown, students who may not be able to effectively work from home will still be able to access site to use college facilities and access support.
The college is working to provide equipment to students who need access to devices.
Periods of isolation
A large proportion of students now have access to equipment to help support working from home during any period of isolation, and we are continuing to secure further equipment. For students who do not yet have a device, hard copies of work can be sent home, and students can contact teachers and student services via telephone for any help and support needs.
Where possible, assessments can continue as planned, safely and within awarding body regulations. Where this is not possible, assessments may be delayed until students are back on site.
During periods of lockdown, it may be possible for students to still access site to complete assessments. If this is the case, we will notify students of the arrangements in place.
Students should not attend site for assessments if they are in a period of self-isolation.
Students should not attend site for assessments during periods of lockdown unless they have received communication asking them to do so, and they are not in any period of self-isolation.
Courses that require specialist equipment or facilities
Where possible, the college will seek to support students’ access to specialist equipment while working from home. However, this will not always be practical.
For shorter periods of isolation, the focus of delivery will switch to theory sessions, or adapted methods of delivery that do not require specialist equipment/facilities. Upon returning to site, more practical work will be completed.
During periods of sustained national or local lockdown, it may be possible for students to access site to complete assessments that require access to specific facilities or equipment. If this is the case, we will notify students of the arrangements in place.
Q- What remote education will be made available for different learner cohorts?
A- Your lecturers and personal tutors are working hard to make provisions to work remotely where possible. Please as them directly about any ideas you may have.
Q- Where can I access my timetable?
A – You can talk to your personal tutor if you don’t have access to your timetable.
Q – What are the expectations of students?
Q – What if my course requires me to have specialist equipment or facilities?
A – Your lecturer will facilitate learning and ensure you’re set tasks and challenges that reflect what most students have access to at home. Please speak to your personal tutor if you feel you need support.
Q – What if I’m a student without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning?
A – Speak to your tutor who will arrange IT provisions with our digital team.
Q- How does the college support for students with SEN?
A – Wherever possible we will ensure provisions to have SEN and vulnerable students here at college.
Examples of key workers include those in the NHS, armed forces, teaching and childcare, care home and social workers, police, community support and civilian staff, prison and probation officers, firefighters, local authority planners, environmental health officers, traffic officers, and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. A full list of critical sectors can be found here.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
We will be operating a normal college day, with lessons, access to student services, resources, and a limited number of exams.
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. A list of useful online resources can be found here: https://www.telfordcollege.ac.uk/remote-study-resources/
We are aware that many employers have had to cancel placements temporarily due to the current situation. We are keeping in touch, with a view to rescheduling them when the risk has been reduced.
Speak to our student services team, as we may be able to find other ways of getting coursework to you.
The Government has given schools and colleges the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals, if they are no longer attending, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating. We can provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Speak to our student services team for details.
Bursary payments will continue in the normal way.
The BeSafe team are available for any student who has a safeguarding concern, or are struggling with their mental health and need to access our mentoring and counselling service. You can learn more about who we are and how to access our services on Moodle here. You can also contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01952 642220. Click here for a list of key safeguarding contacts.
Our student services team is on hand to provide support and advice. Call 01952 642237, or email email@example.com