Covid-19 virus: Guidance for Parents and Students
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are updated FAQs effective from 9am on Wednesday 4th November 2020.
The following changes have been made from the previous FAQ document:
Additional questions and answers regarding the new Lockdown protocols
- College opening details under Lockdown protocols
- Information about students wearing face coverings on campus
- Why 16-18-year-old students are not socially distancing in class
Q. Will the College be open for students after Thursday 5th November?
A. Yes, we can confirm that all three campuses will continue to be open for students to attend classes physically throughout the Lockdown period.
The college has in place a series of measures to ensure the health and safety of students and staff during the time spent on campus and minimise the risk of infection. Please see relevant FAQ for the details of measures.
Q. Why is college continuing to open for face to face lessons?
A. Government policy is that all schools, colleges and universities should remain open.
We also know from the lockdown between March and August that whilst remote learning can be very effective, it is second best to face to face learning. Students on courses with practical work also need access to the specialist facilities in the college. We also know from work by organisations like MIND that there are significant benefits to student mental health from the routine, direction and focus of face to face learning on campus.
Q. What about transport arrangements? Public buses/trains and college organised coaches?
A. All college buses and public transport will continue to operate as normal. Please wear your college ID Badge and wear a face covering or display your college exemption card where appropriate.
Q. What about part-time adult students who attend evening classes?
A. These will continue as they are part of the college’s normal education provision. Universities remain open for their adult students.
Q.Will students travelling from Wales to Shrewsbury need to attend college physically after half term?
A. We have had confirmation that travelling to college from Wales will be allowed during the Welsh Lockdown (Friday 23rd October to Monday 9th November). This means that after half term it is expected that you will return to college and physically attend your classes as usual.
We have also had confirmation that the major transport arrangements for students travelling from Wales will continue as usual. This includes the college bus from Powys as well as the train lines into Shrewsbury.
We would recommend that all students using these means of transport to always have their student identification visible at all times and that you follow all guidelines appropriate for that mode of transportation.
Q. What measures have been put in place to safeguard my son/daughter while they’re at college?
A. The college has put in place a series of measures to ensure the health and safety of students and staff during the time spent on campus. Here are the main procedures that we have put in place:
- Students are being taught in subject/course bubbles with amended timetables to ensure that interactions with other students are minimised
- Break times are also staggered across the curriculum to minimise interaction across different student bubbles
- Students and staff are wearing face coverings or masks when moving between classrooms and offices
- Classrooms and other rooms at each of the three campuses display maximum room seating occupancy levels on doors
- We have added additional hand sanitiser units across all three campuses
- We have encouraged enhanced personal hygiene
- Each classroom has a teaching area marked out which allows for a 2m distance between the teacher and the students
- At each campus, we have implemented keep left and one-way systems to maximise the distance between students while travelling between classes
- Catering facilities have been limited to ’grab and go’ type services to minimise congregation of students in the cafés at each of the campuses
- The catering facilities have been supplemented by pop-up shops around the campuses
- We are accepting payments for food and beverages via contactless payment methods
- The Learning Resource Centres (LRC) will be open for students as a study space and additional cleaning processes have been introduced
Q. Why are students wearing face coverings on campus?
A. The college has required all staff and students to wear face coverings on campus from the start of term. This decision was taken once the government guidance allowed us to choose to implement the measure. The wearing of face coverings helps protect us all from the transmission of the airborne virus. It also helps prevent the inadvertent mixing of bubbles – see below.
Government guidance remains that students should not generally wear face coverings in class. This is because coverings can get saturated if worn for a long time, for example during a whole lesson, which damages the effectiveness. At the same time, there is a negative impact on learning because face coverings make communication between the teacher and the students much more difficult.
Q. Why are 16-18-year-old students not social distancing in class?
A. Government guidance is that students in schools and colleges should be taught in classes as normal and that there is no need for smaller classes. In many schools, pupils are in whole class or whole year bubbles. Students at college are in class bubbles, which limits the number of contacts to a low level. Wearing face coverings outside class helps prevent cross bubble transmission.
Q. What monitoring process has the college got for any potential outbreak of COVID-19?
A. We are closely monitoring any suspected cases of COVID-19 and we are maintaining a COVID-19 tracker.
Anyone who displays any COVID-19 symptoms must ensure that they self-isolate until they have either:
- Had a negative test result
- Been self-isolating in line with public guidance
We have dedicated facilities on site where anyone who feels ill with COVID-19 symptoms can use while on campus. Any suspected case will be reported and added to the college’s COVID-19 tracker.
Q. My son/daughter has got some symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
A. If your son/daughter or anyone in your household is displaying possible symptoms of COVID-19, then your son/daughter must not attend college. Please contact NHS111 (or use the NHS online symptom checker) to confirm if you need a test. If needed book a test and do not attend college until you have had the test result. If the NHS service indicates that your symptoms are not COVID related then you may attend college if you are well enough to do so.
Q. Do I need to wear a mask if I’m travelling on one of the college’s dedicated bus services?
A. Students will need to wear a face mask or covering during the journey. We would request that students respect and obey any instructions provided by the driver.
We would also encourage students to minimise the number of other students that they mix with on the bus.
Q. I have a medical condition which means that wearing a face mask/covering isn’t suitable for me, what can I do?
A. We are issuing passes for students who may have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face mask/covering. Please speak to your tutor or Student Services for more information.
Q. I’m worried about the impact COVID-19 is having on my mental health, what support is available?
A. Our Student Services and Emotional Health and Wellbeing teams are available to talk to you via phone, by email or face-to-face with an appointment. Teams such as our Safeguarding and Additional Learning Support will also be able to support you digitally as well as in person on the college campuses.
BBC has also written a helpful article regarding how to protect your mental health, you can access this here
Q. I’m self-isolating as I have developed some symptoms of COVID-19, how do I ensure I don’t fall behind in class?
A. If you are self-isolating due to developing symptoms, you should first inform the college via the absence email. Your teachers will be informed you are self-isolating and will contact you with set work to keep you on track.
The College COVID Tracker will also e-mail or call you to discuss the next steps required and to gather relevant information needed as part of the college’s COVID safety measures. The college will record that you are absent pending a test result and will send a text daily to remind you to let us know the outcome. If you need to self-isolate for 10 or 14 days the COVID tracker will advise you on when you will be able to return to college and ask you to confirm with the COVID tracker that you are well enough to do so prior to your return.
Q. I have been tested for COVID-19, my test results are negative, and I am ready to return to college, what do I do?
A. If have been self-isolating with symptoms and tested negative for COVID-19 you should first inform the college COVID tracker before returning. The COVID tracker will confirm a date with you when you should return to college