Students returning to College from 8 March – Parent/Guardian Update
We are delighted to welcome back your son or daughter to College for a phased return from next week. Please be assured that our commitment to your wellbeing and safety will not change throughout these next stages. We are, as we have done throughout this pandemic, continuing to strictly adhere to advice from:
– Public Health England
– the Department for Education
– Lancashire County Council
– the Education and Skills Funding Agency
– East Lancashire Health Care Trust
to implement significant safety controls and protective measures to keep everyone safe in our College.
Specific Safety Measures
We have a number of key safety measures in place for the phased return of students, including:
– Hand Sanitisers at all entrances and exits
– Hand Sanitisers at the start of each corridor
– Traffic management system to manage the flow of staff and students in the College building
– On site cleaners ensuring all contact surfaces are regularly cleaned
– Staff and students to wear masks whilst moving around the building and whilst in classes (the wearing of masks in classes is to be reviewed by the Government at the end of March)
As your son or daughter returns to College we understand that they may require the ability to purchase a bus pass. Information on the cost of the pass, and how to purchase it will be shared with them directly by their tutor as their timetable for face to face learning is shared. This means that they will be able to access the most suitable pass which will cover the period of time in which they are required to attend for face to face teaching.
In order to ensure that your son or daughter’s return to College can be managed as safely and effectively as possible each student will have their own individual timetable focussed on their on campus attendance for face to face teaching sessions. This will be shared on Google Classroom with your son or daughter by their tutor, and will be regularly reviewed in line with course requirements and Government guidelines.
It is vital that we can manage the return to face to face teaching as safely and effectively as possible and so we are working to bring each learner back in a measured approach. Until your son or daughter returns to campus for their teaching they will continue to be taught remotely through the same methods they have been using over the last half term. We are immensely proud of our online learning model and the work that our students, as well as our staff have put in to ensure they are continuing to exceed their educational goals, and are confident that this will continue throughout this next phase.
As a College we will follow the Government guidance regarding wearing face coverings whilst moving around the building as well as in classes. We recognise that some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This applies to those who:
- cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical impairment or disability, illness or mental health difficulties
- speak to or provide help to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate
If this is the case for your son or daughter they must inform their tutor of their need for an exemption in advance of their return to College. Once this is approved we will provide them with a new College pass, which they will be able to collect from Student Services on their return. This pass will discreetly identify their exemption to staff across College.
Lateral Flow Testing
You will no doubt have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is now in operation across the country using new, quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow devices. This letter is to help give you more information about the testing programme in our College.
Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. We are therefore strongly encouraging those returning to College take part in this testing programme.
Plan for testing
Your son or daughter must complete a consent form for testing before they can return to college. They have been sent a link to this form on their Google Classroom. For all learners that have provided consent, we will be looking to test all staff and students as they return to College, at least three times. Once the three tests have been completed students will then move to twice weekly home testing that students will complete themselves at home. Home testing kits will be provided to the College by the Department of Education where they will be distributed to students. We will provide a further update on this process as soon as we have confirmed details from the DfE as to the home testing process.
How the tests work
Students will have a lateral flow testing consent form distributed to them via Google Classroom. This form needs to be completed prior to any testing taking place, even if it is to decline consent. The first test will be undertaken prior to students returning to the classroom, and the second and third tests will take place during the College day across the students first weeks back. After completion of the third lateral flow test on campus students will move to home testing kits which will be distributed by College
Once consent has been given, those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers. 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, and confidentially, 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. Tests are free of charge.
What if my son or daughter tests positive?
If a pupil tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in College and resume their activities as normal. Students will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in College who tests positive?
The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the College and will need to self-isolate for 10 days in line with Government guidance.
What if my son or daughter develops symptoms?
This testing programme at College is for people with no symptoms. If your son or daughter develops symptoms at any time (including a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support our students and staff throughout this process, but please contact your son or daughters tutor if you have any questions.
Please remember the guidance has not changed should you experience any symptoms of Covid-19. Your son or daughter must get a test as soon as possible and stay at home whilst they await the results.
They must notify the College of a positive result, and follow all self-isolation guidelines to prevent possible spread of the virus.
– a high temperature
– a new, continuous cough
– a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Again, I would like to extend our delight at welcoming back your son or daughter to college. Thank you for understanding and please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] if you have any questions