Important information about returning to College week beginning 12th April

In line with Government guidance, we are planning a further phased return to our normal college life after the Easter break.

The majority of students and apprentices, whose learning would have taken place in a classroom on campus or in a community venue, will return to their full timetable from 13th April (please remember Monday 12th April is a College staff CPD day) . A very small number of you will continue with some online learning. Your college tutor/assessor will contact you directly with what this means for you. They will also keep you informed of any further changes moving forward, in line with Government guidance.

There is a lot of information in this letter, please take time to read it as it is very important for your safety and the safety of others that you are aware of all the changes that have been made and the expectations of you as a student/apprentice.

Clinically extremely vulnerable students and apprentices: Guidance is changing from 1 April 2021: 

The Government previously recommended that clinically extremely vulnerable students should not return to College until at least 31st March 2021 and therefore students/apprentices who fall into this category have been supported to access all learning remotely.

However, as of 1st April 2021 the government has announced that clinically extremely vulnerable students can return to on-site learning and should therefore attend College when invited to do so after the Easter break.

For further detailed guidance in relation to return to learning for clinically extremely vulnerable students please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 

Alternatively, if you have any College related questions about this matter, please email: Deborah.Walmsley@nelsongroup.ac.uk 

Your health and safety on campus and in community venues

The health and safety of our staff, students and apprentices remains our number one priority. We have taken stringent measures to ensure your safety on campus and in community venues.

For more information, please visit our FAQs page on our websites:

Nelson and Colne Collegehttps://www.nelson.ac.uk/news/coronavirus-advice/covid-19-faqs/ 

Accrington and Rossendale Collegehttps://www.accross.ac.uk/news/coronavirus-advice/covid-faqs/ 

Lancashire Adult Learninghttps://www.lal.ac.uk/news-and-events/advice-for-staff-and-students-about-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus/

 

Asymptomatic home testing  

For students/apprentices returning to study at our Nelson and Accrington campuses during the day 

On return from the Easter break, the government has asked colleges to stop on-site testing and support students/apprentices to take part in home testing. The success relies on as many students/apprentices as possible being involved in testing. Over the past two weeks we have been distributing home testing kits to those who have expressed an interest in participating.

Taking a test is voluntary and students/apprentices not undergoing testing will be able to attend College, however, we would encourage everyone to participate in the asymptomatic testing programme to help break transmission links by identifying those who may be carrying the virus unknowingly, to keep everyone safe. We would like to encourage all eligible students to collect kits and test themselves regularly.

Please note, that for adult learners attending a College campus in the evening or one of our community venues, home testing facilities are not currently available. However, we are expecting further guidance from the Department for Education at the end of March. Further information will be provided after the Easter break.

Here is some useful information on home testing.

Collecting the test kits

You can collect home testing kits from either the Nelson or Accrington Student Services desks, which are both open Monday to Friday during and after the Easter break. 

Taking the test 

You should take the test, before coming into College twice a week. It is recommended that, if possible, you continue to test twice a week during the Easter holidays. You should take a test either the night before, or morning of, your first day back after Easter. This will help to find and then isolate any positive cases before coming back onto the College site.

When collecting your test kits, you will be given a leaflet with instructions on how to do the test. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test which can be viewed here. There is also a website which includes instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results www.gov.uk/covid19-self-test-help.

There is no need to keep used test equipment after the test result has been reported. You can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

The lateral flow tests do not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms, you should self- isolate immediately and book a PCR test using this link https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

 

After taking every test

  • You should report the result of each test taken to the NHS Test and Trace (page 15 of the instruction booklet provided / website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result)
    TIP: When registering students will need to create an account, this will save time when reporting future tests. 
  • When asking who the test is for, you will choose the option ‘A school (including nursery), college or other education provider’. You will be asked to give the name of the school/college, and here you should type in Nelson and Colne College (the Group name was allocated so there isn’t an option for Accrington and Rossendale College).
  • You should also report test results to the College by emailing health@nelsongroup.ac.uk with the result of your test. They should include the following information:

Student Name

Student ID no.

Date test taken

Test result (positive/negative/void)

Put the test result in the subject header e.g. if you return a negative result, type ‘HOME TEST NEGATIVE’. If you have a positive result, type ‘HOME TEST POSITIVE’.

Understanding test results:

Negative Result

If you return a negative test result then you should continue with your day and attend College as normal.

A negative result does not guarantee that someone is not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing by visiting the following website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

Positive Result

If you return a positive test result, it is essential that you email health@nelsongroup.ac.uk as soon as possible. You should stay at home and should not come into College. You along with anyone else from the same household or support bubble must self-isolate and follow the instructions given to you once the result has been reported to the NHS. You should arrange to take a PCR test through the following web address:  https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Void Result

If the result of the test is unclear (void) students should do another test from the home test kit.  Negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test and Trace as well as College.

Why take part? 

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all students you will be able to attend College whether you take part in testing or not.

As a College we are strongly encouraging all students/apprentices to take part. Testing at home will allow you to attend College as safely as possible and keep those around you safe.

Please contact health@nelsongroup.ac.uk, if you have any questions or concerns about home testing or visits the College website to view frequently asked questions Covid-19 testing scheme (accross.ac.uk)

Face masks – mandatory on campus

All students/apprentices must continue to bring a suitable face mask to College, and also those learners in community venues. As previously, these must be worn on College transport, while moving around corridors and in the classroom and/or workshops. Unlike before, the wearing of face visors or shields should not routinely be worn as an alternative to face coverings. They may protect against droplet spread in specific circumstances but are unlikely to be effective in preventing aerosol transmission. In an education setting environment they are unlikely to offer appropriate protection to the wearer and should only be used after carrying out a risk assessment for the specific situation.

The responsibility for providing masks lies with the student/apprentice/parent and not the College. Although a small supply will be available for instances where an individual may have forgotten their face covering, be struggling to access a face covering or are unable to use their face covering as it has become damp, soiled or unsafe.

We appreciate that a small number of students/apprentices may be medically exempt from wearing a face covering. This only applies to those who:

• cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical impairment or disability, illness or mental health difficulties

• speak to or provide help to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate

Please contact als.ncc@nelsongroup.ac.uk if you fall into this category and have not previously applied for this, so that the relevant support can be provided.

Preventing the spread of COVID – behaviours and expectations

In addition to the wearing of face coverings and lateral flow testing, there are a number of other steps all students/apprentices and staff need to take to help prevent the spread of COVID 19:

  • If a student/apprentice is experiencing one or more symptoms of coronavirus, they must not come into College. Symptoms of coronavirus are:
    • A new, continuous cough
    • A high temperature
    • A loss/change of smell/taste

Arrange to book a test with a government test site https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 111 if a test cannot be booked online. Inform College of the absence by ringing 01282 440293 or emailing absence@nelsongroup.ac.uk. Once a test has been taken individuals must not come into College until a negative result has been received.

Students/apprentices attending the College site displaying coronavirus symptoms will be required to return home to self-isolate and arrange a test.

  • Students/apprentices receiving a positive test result, must inform College as soon as possible. Email health@nelsongroup.ac.uk and a follow up call will be made.
  • If a student/apprentice has been asked to self-isolate, either because a family member has coronavirus symptoms or received a positive test, they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case or informed by NHS Test and Trace, College must be notified. Ring 01282 440293 or email absence@nelsongroup.ac.uk
  • Clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual with either soap and water or hand sanitiser. There are plenty of sanitising stations throughout the College. Students/apprentices should clean hands on arrival, when entering classrooms, returning from breaks and before/after eating.
  • Catch it bin it kill it’. Tissues are provided in classrooms and students/apprentices should make sure they put used tissues in one of the many bins in College.
  • Learning Bubbles. All students/apprentices should remain within their designated learning bubble. You should not mix with other students/apprentices outside your bubble, even during break periods.
  • Social distancing – all students/apprentices and staff should aim to keep 2m apart while on campus. Social distancing includes not congregating in any public spaces, hugging other people, shaking hands or any physical contact.  Students/apprentices and staff should keep to the left-hand side when walking through corridors and up and down stairs as indicated by Covid safe signage throughout the campus. 
  • Maintain enhanced cleaning, including frequently touched surfaces. Disinfectant wipes are available in all classrooms. Students/apprentices must use the disinfectant wipes available to clean down their desk before and after lessons or as instructed by a member of staff.
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated. Windows must remain open to allow for fresh air to circulate throughout the day and therefore students/apprentices may wish to wear additional layers of clothing.

Students/apprentices who have been issued with a College laptop

Students/apprentices who have been issued with a College laptop are encouraged to bring these into College with them on the days they are timetabled to attend classes so that they can be used in classrooms to support with learning as required. Please note the safety of laptops would remain the responsibility of the individual during this time.

The safety of our staff, students and apprentices remains our number one priority and we thank you for your cooperation with our onsite guidance. We look forward to welcoming you safely back to College shortly.

If you have any further queries, please contact your tutor.