Covid-19 Updates

COVID-19 Operational Start of Term

General:

  • Hands
  • One way
  • Testing
  • It is no longer necessary to keep students in consistent groups (‘bubbles’)
  • Anyone with symptoms should not attend and get tested
  • Face coverings are no longer advised for students, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas
  • Students and staff should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed
  • It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted

Testing

  • Students should undertake two lateral flow tests 3 – 5 days apart before the start of term
  • Students and staff should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed by the DfE
  • Staff and students who receive a positive LFD test result should self-isolate. They also then need to get a PCR test
  • Whilst awaiting the PCR result the individual should continue to self-isolate
  • If the PCR test was taken within two days of the LFD test result, and is negative, then this overrides the LFD test result and the individual can return to college (as long as they are not displaying any symptoms)

Contact Tracing and Self Isolation

  • Close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing
  • You’re not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
  • You’re fully vaccinated
  • You’re below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • You’ve taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Contact Tracing and Self Isolation

  • Close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contract tracing
  • You’re not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
  • You’re fully vaccinated
  • You’re below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • You’ve taken part in or our currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
  • Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible. If you are symptomatic, you should stay home
  • Adults who do not need to isolate and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend an education or childcare setting, and who have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend the setting as normal
  • They do not need to wear a face covering within the setting, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport
  • If anyone in the college develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you should send them home and they should follow public health advice (generally this is obtaining a test)
  • For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a family member or household or walk
  • If a students or staff member is awaiting collection, they should be isolated in the first aid room. PPE should be worn if close contact is required

When to Self-Isolate

  • Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild:
  1. A high temperature
  2. A new, continuous cough
  3. A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You should also self-isolate straight away if:

  1. You’ve tested positive for COVID-19 – this means you have the virus
  2. Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate – see above)
  3. You’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

How long do I isolate for?

  • You should isolate for 10 days
  • Your 10 days start from the day after your symptoms started
  • If you have an asymptomatic positive test, your 10 days starts from the date of your test
  • You may need to isolate for longer if you still have symptoms or develop symptoms (if originally asymptomatic)

Classroom and other Activity instructions

  • Whilst we no longer have to track and trace close contacts, we may be asked to “assist” the NHS in doing so. Therefore, we still need to keep seating plans and details of any group work/activities undertaken – especially as students may not know the names of the classmates at first
  • No restrictions on social distancing, face masks, interactions etc are currently in force – but these may be re-introduced in College at any point depending on the circumstances
  • However, you can maintain some operational details from previous restrictions if you wish
  • If you wish to wear a face covering this should be a clear plastic covering and should fit securely around the nose and mouth. The main benefit from a transparent face covering is that they can aid communication, for example enabling lip-reading or allowing for the full visibility of facial expressions
  • Face visors or shields can be worn, but are not regarded equivalent or as effective protection
  • For students unable to attend on-site for COVID-19 related reasons, for example, because they need to self-isolate, it is expected that we provide remote education to minimize disruption to their learning
  • This is best done through on-line participation in live lessons

Ventilation

The Sixth Form has a fresh air ventilation system that extracts stale air from classrooms/rooms and replenishes with fresh air drawn from outside, this is a constant airflow system. The Sixth Form has an annual cycle of ventilation cleaning and maintenance provided by an external company, whereby all the air systems are cleaned and filters are replaced twice a year, main aspects concern:                                                                                                   

  • Air conditioning systems
  • Air handling units
  • Ceiling grills

This was last carried out during the summer break. Carbon Dioxide monitors will also be placed around The Sixth Form when they arrive from the DfE. Where possible windows can be opened if preferred, however, this is not necessary to meet required airflow standards and will compromise the system’s ability to effectively also regulate room temperature.