6th November 2020
May we take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support during these challenging times.
Everyone has worked incredibly hard to mitigate the spread of COVID by adhering to Government guidance whilst in College and outside in the community and it has been reassuring that we have been able to keep disruption to a minimum during the first half term of this academic year. In addition, your understanding and co-operation when students have been asked to self-isolate has been greatly appreciated; we are aware that this does create a challenge for families.
The announcement that from Thursday 5 November a number of national lockdown restrictions will be in place until 2 December at the earliest has very little effect on the way the College operates. It does, however, present an ideal opportunity to reiterate the importance of everyone continuing to be vigilant in their efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Students will continue to wear face coverings when moving around the premises, including in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot be easily maintained. This, along with our well ventilated classrooms, staggered breaks/lunchtimes, increased hygiene protocols and designated social areas/classrooms/curriculum bubbles is something that the College already has in operation. Should any further actions be required following the move to a national measure of restrictions, then we will react accordingly and keep you informed.
One key change in the new Government rules that may impact on some students during their College day centres on social gatherings and the mixing of people from different households in public spaces – this is no longer permitted indoors or outdoors (except for the purpose of education and a small number of other purposes). This will affect students who currently go off site at lunch times with peers so we ask that everyone plays their part in keeping the local community safe by adhering to these rules.
Ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone, whilst maintaining a consistent education for our students with minimal disruption, has been, and continues to be, our absolute priority for this academic year. Students are at the centre of any decisions made by the College.
The Government has stressed that educational settings must remain open and operational throughout the new restrictions and we are closely following all local and national guidance. In conjunction with our robust contingency planning we will remain agile and ready to appropriately respond to a range of scenarios relating to any local or national restrictions should the Government’s instructions change.
Following the lifting of national restrictions, we are currently told that all areas will revert to the local tier arrangements. If we are made aware of any changes or updates then we will contact you immediately. Until such time we will remain fully open.
Please continue to support us by…
- Ensuring your son/daughter attends College with a suitable face covering (unless medically exempt)
- Ensuring that they wear a face covering on local transport
- Continuing to promote the importance of hand hygiene, with regular handwashing and sanitisation
- Not visiting the site unless by prior arrangement
- Encouraging your son/daughter to leave promptly at the end of the day and not to congregate at the College or in the town centre
- Informing us promptly if your son/daughter is absent and identifying the reason for their absence
- Engaging with the test and trace programme should your son/daughter or members of your household develop COVID symptoms
- Ensuring that the rules around self-isolation are adhered to if your son/daughter is asked to do so.
- Informing the College if you have recently returned from an overseas destination, adhering to any restrictions imposed by the Foreign Office.
Following an extraordinary period over the summer, the College implemented significant changes to ensure that students all had the best possible start to the new academic year. We are grateful to you for your continuing support which helps us in our efforts to keep everyone safe.
If you have any queries whatsoever please do not hesitate to contact the College.