As the new term begins on Tuesday 1 September this update provides information on how the College will operate next week and over the next few weeks.
COVID Campus risk assessments
Please find the COVID risk assessments for all campuses.
Please familiarise yourselves with the necessary measures – the key measures required have already been communicated as part of the staff and students information packs shared with you earlier this week. The measures adopted on all three are broadly similar, but as each campus has unique layouts there are variations in each to take these into account.
- These Risk Assessments set out the additional measures that have been put in place to make our campuses COVID secure and also include the behavioural changes that will be required by staff and students. These Risk Assessments have been review from an independent Health & Safety specialist and have been discussed, shared and consulted on with all union representatives throughout the summer. These Risk Assessments will be kept under constant review and updated as events and guidance evolves. Changes will be circulated and re-published as needed.
- Specific activity-based risk assessments have been undertaken for those curriculum areas which have COVID specific issues as part of their delivery. If you consider that you have not either received or need to complete a COVID risk assessment for a curriculum specific activity please contact Brett Davies-Wareing.
Where there are improvements that can be made please discuss this with the Estates Coordinator for your campus who will do what they can to help. Brett Davies-Wareing our health and safety officer will be available around the campuses next week and thereafter and can advise where needed.
The key principles that we all need to remember in all that the key measures to observe in what we do and plan to do are:
- Hygiene – cleaning and washing hands or sanitising to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Social Distancing – Minimising where it is not possible to maintain distance and using Face-coverings or Visors when in communal areas or when closing distance if required.
Ensuring College is COVID secure
This has been achieved through adopting preventative measures and through developing clear processes for dealing with any suspected cases. These measures have been developed following risk assessments for each campus and for specific activities. These risk assessments have been endorsed by an external specialist consultant.
These measures are set out in Staff Returning to College information September 2020 which can be viewed here. Please can all staff read the information booklet which will ensure you are clear about how we are operating and should answer most questions you may have.
Students will not be socially distancing within lessons, in line with guidance and the approach being adopted in schools. Staff will social distance from students, as well as from other members of staff.
Following revised guidance published this week, face coverings will provide a further level of enhanced protection in college.
Students will need to wear face coverings in communal areas and whilst travelling around buildings and around the campus. Staff can either wear a face covering or a visor based on personal preference when they are in a communal area or whilst travelling around buildings or around the campus.
Instructions on how to safely put on and remove, store and dispose of face coverings are set out in both the staff information booklet and in the student guidance. A visor has been purchased for all members of staff and can be collected from the Estates Office on each campus or from your line manager.
Supporting individual staff
The majority of staff are now back working in college, including teaching staff who are supporting the enrolment process. All staff are due to return to college on site working if they haven’t done so already on Tuesday 1 September 2020. Tuesday is a Directed Development Day ahead of students starting on Wednesday. James Staniforth will speak to all staff at 10.00am through a Microsoft Teams meeting.
We have asked all staff to complete a survey before returning to work so we can ensure that staff are correctly supported and are safe. So far almost 350 staff have completed the questionnaire. Those declaring significant concerns or health conditions are being contacted to discuss their requirements for working during the new term. If you have not yet completed the survey you can do so here.
College managers are overseeing the details of individual staff return to work including workspace and working hours, so please ensure you have spoken to your line manager about your own arrangements.
After careful consideration we have decided that we will revert to face to face delivery with adaptations to the timetable to limit student contact. This is in addition to the range of other measures which have been put in place to prevent transmission.
At English and Welsh bridge campuses we have adopted a revised timetable. The main features are half-day blocks, with three half days per subject delivered over two weeks. At London Road campus curriculum areas already operate individual timetables. These will be adapted to stagger start and end times of the college day, and we will also stagger breaks and lunchtimes. Additional food outlets will be provided to reduce the numbers of students who are wanting to use the Hub. Students will be remaining within their curriculum areas as far as possible.
Communication to students
We emailed all students initial information regarding how we were enhancing safety as part of the invitation to enrolment. Following enrolment students will receive an email detailing the steps we have taken to ensure their safety. They will receive a Welcome Pack, which includes a copy of Guidance for Students Attending Campus which can be viewed here.
Year 1 students will be emailed explaining how they can access Pro-Portal. Students studying at English and Welsh bridges will then be able to access timetables for both their induction and their full year timetable from midday on Monday 31 August. Students studying at London Road will be emailed their timetables on Friday 28 August.
Principal and CEO
Shrewsbury Colleges Group