We are currently awaiting updates from the government about when students will be able to return to College in the meantime you may find the following information useful:
All students are currently being taught by online learning. We currently envisage that this will continue until the end of this term, Friday 12 February 2021 however there is a possibility that it will continue after the February study week. We will keep students updated as quickly as possible.
All students should now have been contacted by their Course Managers to check that they have access to remote learning. If a student has difficulties due to lack of IT equipment or no wi-fi we will seek to find a solution to support them. Please get in touch with your Course Manager if you have any difficulties at all in accessing your lessons.
Bus pass payments
In line with the latest government guidance, we do not anticipate re-commencing our normal transport services until after the study week in February 2021, therefore the transport fee will be reduced to £100 for the Spring Term (reduction of £100). This fee should be paid prior to the end of February.
All of our residential accommodation is now closed until the College reopens to students. In terms of payments for residential accommodation we will look to reduce the amount charged in accordance with the number of weeks where accommodation was not available to students due to the lockdown. We will advise once this has been finalised prior to students returning to residential accommodation.
Support and Wellbeing
We totally understand that this new lockdown phase will be challenging for many people and we want to assure all our community that we are committed to providing support wherever we can. Students can find links to lots of useful resources on their Moodle page and our Student Support Team are still available if they need to speak to someone other than their course manager.
There is also some excellent advice and support available specifically for parents and guardians on the Mental Health UK website.
Contingency planning for remote learning
Throughout the autumn term we were able to safely deliver almost all of our lessons face to face with students on campus. Whilst we remain committed to continuing with this approach as soon as the the current lockdown passes, we have contingency plans in place to manage online learning or a mixture of online and face to face (also known as blended learning).
All students have already practised accessing lessons remotely with their teachers and reminders on how to do this would be issued if required. Any students with issues accessing either hardware or the internet would be supported with the issuing of laptops if required.
Lessons would be delivered either as live classes for students to dial into or through work set on learning technology platforms such as Century Tech. Tutors and pastoral support would continue to be available to provide support where needed.
Any students learning remotely will be routinely contacted to check that they are okay and if they need any support or equipment for learning. Tutorials and one to ones would also continue as normal.
We continue to keep up to date with the latest guidance from the government and we are ready to respond as and when necessary.
If a student has any of the symptoms of Covid-19 they should not attend College and self isolate along with members of their household. They should also contact the NHS Helpline to arrange for a test.
More information on what to do if you or a member of your family have symptoms of Covid can be found here.
If a student is self-isolating due to either themselves or a family member having symptoms you must let the College know by calling our absence line (01604 491131 Option 2) and clearly stating the reason for the absence.
If someone begins to self-isolate because they have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19) and they get a test which delivers a negative result, they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu, in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.
More information about who should get tested is contained in this letter from Public Health Northamptonshire.
Students who were in proximity (e.g. within the course bubble) with the student exhibiting symptoms can continue to attend College as normal unless:
- they develop symptoms themselves (in which case, they should arrange a test etc.)
- the symptomatic person subsequently tests positive or
- they have been requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace
If the test is positive, then the College will contact the Department for Education and follow their advice as to which students may need to also self-isolate.
According to the latest government guidance an outbreak is classified as two or more positive cases of Covid-19.
In this instance the College will contact the Department for Education to check what needs to happen next. If the advice is that students within the same study bubble need to self-isolate, students and their parents will be notified as soon as is practical.
If students on a course are required to self-isolate, the College will switch to online learning. All students will have already been trained in how to access online learning resources in case the College must switch to an online delivery method.
Depending on the severity of the local lock down we may need to move to a rota delivery where only some students are in at a time. We will notify students, parents and staff as quickly as possible.
Whether it is a partial or full lock down we are prepared to start delivering our courses online. All students will have already been trained in how to access online learning resources in case the College must switch to an online delivery method and we are able to draw on the experience gained during the lock down last academic year to ensure that this works as efficiently as possible.
Wherever possible we will try to cover your child’s lessons with another member of staff. If this is not possible, we will switch some learning to online until the tutor is able to return to College either having received a negative test result or at the end of the ten day isolation period.
If a tutor tests positive for Covid we will consult with the Department for Education immediately, but we do not anticipate that it will be necessary for students to self-isolate, unless they themselves exhibit symptoms. Tutors will have been maintaining a social distance during lessons to limit close contact with students as they move between classes. We have asked students and staff to stay 2m apart at all times to maintain bubbles.
Other useful links
You may find the following links to government advice useful