We know the past 18 months have been very different for everyone as we have lived, worked and studied through the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, the college has closely monitored and followed government guidance, and we continue to do so. Government guidance has changed over the summer break, so we wanted to give you an update on the current COVID-19 procedures to avoid any confusion for when you come in to college at the start of term. Please do take the time to read through and familiarise yourself with this guidance.
Things may look and feel a bit different to what you were used to in school/college last year. The main updates from government are:
- Class bubbles are no longer required.
- Schools and colleges will no longer need to stagger start and finish times.
- Social distancing will no longer be necessary, although we recommend observing social distancing where possible.
- NHS Test and Trace will handle notification of Covid cases in education settings. Those who need to isolate/get tested will be contacted by the NHS directly.
- Those under the age of 18 (or fully vaccinated adults over the age of 18) no longer have to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as having been in close contact with someone with coronavirus. They will instead be instructed to get a PCR test. They will only have to isolate if this test is positive.
- Face coverings will no longer be compulsory, however, we recognise this will remain a personal choice and some students/staff may wish to continue to wear face coverings, something we fully support.
Information for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)
Students who are CEV can continue to attend college. Unless you are one of the very small number of students who are under paediatric or other specialist care and advised by their clinician or other specialist not to attend. CEV people are advised, as a minimum, to follow the same guidance as everyone else. It is important that everyone adheres to this guidance, but CEV people may wish to think particularly carefully about the additional precautions they can continue to take.
Further information can be found in the guidance on protecting people who are CEV from COVID-19.
To ensure we keep our campuses as safe as possible for everyone at the start of term, we are asking everyone to take two at-home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Tests, three days apart, in the week before you come into college for the start of term.
Tests can be ordered online or collected from local community testing centres.
If your tests come back negative, you can carry on as normal. If you return a positive result, you should follow government guidance.
The government has announced 16 & 17-year olds are now being contacted to get their first COVID-19 vaccination. Some vaccination centres are offering walk in appointments.
At this time, 16 & 17-year-olds are unable to book a vaccination through the national booking service.
If you develop a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or have a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), you must follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
This sets out that you must:
Positive test results
Should you return a positive test at any time you should immediately follow government guidelines.
You must also let the college know by filling in the following online form. You must not come into college.
Home Test: POSITIVE RESULT ONLY (Online form)
You should also inform your tutor as a courtesy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A member of staff will be in contact with you to discuss.
In line with government guidance, we have returned to on-site delivery of our programmes. Should a situation arise whereby staff members are required to isolate through Test & Trace, and sessions cannot be delivered in-person, students will be contacted to advise them of alternative arrangements. Any incidents will be assessed and guidance issued on an individual basis.
The college is following government guidance and has put measures in place to keep everyone safe in college, however we ALL have a duty to keep ourselves, and others, safe in our wider community.
Many public transport providers are still recommending the wearing of face coverings (unless you are exempt) on their services, especially during peak times. We ask you to observe their guidelines and act in a responsible manner.
It’s also important to remember that your lanyard identifies you as a student of the college. While wearing your lanyard you are representing the college in and around our community, so we expect everyone to behave and act responsibly at all times.
While a lot of restrictions that have been imposed over the past 18 months have been lifted, the government has urged people to maintain a ‘common sense approach’.
Certain things such as the wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance may no longer be a legal requirement, they may still be a personal choice for some people. Please respect others at this time. It’s also important to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene, such as regularly washing hands.
Please note, all information contained here is correct at the time of writing. We understand that the situation can often change at short notice. We will post any updates to our main COVID-19 page.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for you patience and understanding during this time. By working together we can make everyone’s experience at South Essex College as safe and enjoyable as possible.