Coronavirus Guidance

Updated January 2022

Our number one priority continues to be the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, learners and stakeholders. 

As with all educational facilities across the UK, we continue to receive updates and advice from the Department for Education (DfE) and will continue to follow the advice they provide. 

In response to the latest Government guidance, you are required to wear a face covering within communal areas and on transport, unless exempt. 

Asymptomatic testing 

The College will continue to provide all learners with LFD home testing kits. It is essential that learners test regularly over the Christmas period, including the evening before or the morning of the day they return to College. 

Testing is voluntary, however we encourage everyone to take part. 

Exams

Exams are scheduled to take place as planned for the remainder of the year. However, the government has released guidance on contingency plans for summer assessment 2022. These contingency plans state that in the event of teacher assessed grades being required, all graded work may contribute to any alternative exam arrangements. Please therefore reiterate with your son/daughter the importance of submitting high-quality work and attending all lessons. 

Guidance around assessments for A Level learners following the contingency TAG Guidance from the DfE

As A Level mock exams take place following the release of the guidance around the potential for Teacher Assessed Grades, learners should be aware of how this and future assessments could be used in the event of TAGs being awarded. Further guidance for GCSE and vocational learners will be released in February 2022.

  • Learners will be given prior notice when an assessment could form part of the evidence for TAGs, if exams are cancelled and do not go ahead.
  • The mock exams will be used as evidence for TAGs, if exams are cancelled and do not go ahead.
  • Mock exams will be going ahead as normal. However, teachers will ensure that learners are aware of the topics that will be covered in the mock exams. Students will be told which parts of the subject content will be covered by the assessment, but they will not be told the questions in advance or be able to predict the questions from information given to them.
  • Learners will be unable to re-sit the same mock paper.
  • Learners are expected to continue to make progress during the year in response to feedback; this will be reflected in later assessments 
  • Mock papers will be quality assured before the sitting. This will ensure that the paper is rigorous and is reflective of a real exam.
  • Teachers will use exam board grade boundaries to mark and grade the papers.
  • A grade awarded on the mock is not a TAG. It will not be possible for a teacher to determine a TAG unless and until the College receives specific guidance on the determination of TAGs for 2022, which will only happen if exams are cancelled.
  • Original copies of learner work must be retained by the College. Learners will be given a copy of their work as part of the feedback process.
  • Teachers will consider the content of the mock exam in context of future assessments. For example, assessments throughout the year should be a fair reflection of all the specification content. Teachers will also ensure that assessments do not follow a predictable pattern which gives learners an advantage. For example, assessments will not all be made up of past papers from the same exam year.
  • If a learner is absent, they will sit a different assessment to ensure fairness for all.

Risk Assessment 

In line with the national lifting of restrictions and government guidance, we continue to review the risk assessments already in place, to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to reduce the risks from COVID-19.

Outbreak Management Plans 

The College has a contingency plan (or outbreak management plan) in place, describing what would happen if a learner or staff member tested positive, or how we would operate if we were advised to reintroduce any additional safety measures.

We will continue to communicate with learners via their College email account. It is essential that learners check their emails frequently. 

FAQs

What if I receive a positive test results from a LFD?  

If you receive a positive LFD test result you will be required to self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. You will also need to complete a PCR test to confirm that you have COVID-19. Whilst awaiting the PCR result, you will need to continue to self-isolate.

What if I have received a positive LFD, and then a negative PCR test?  

If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive LFD test, and is negative, it overrides the LFD test result and the learner can return to their setting, as long as the individual does not have COVID-19 symptoms. Those with a negative LFD test result can continue to attend College.

What if I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive?  

From 16 August, you will not be required to self-isolate if you are notified you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated 
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months 
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial 
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons 

The government has issued advice on guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of the virus, a link can be found here.  

What is I live with someone who has tested positive?

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 are fully vaccinated 
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months 
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial 
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons 

The government has issued advice on guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of the virus, a link can be found here.  

I have been notified by NHS test and trace that I am a close contact, but do not need to isolate, can I still attend College?  

You should continue to attend as normal, you will not be required to wear a face covering within the College, as this is now a personal choice, but it is expected and recommended to wear a face covering on public transport.

Please check this page regularly for the latest updates. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.