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Covid-19 Guidance and support

 

Principal’s update

As the Principal, I wanted to welcome you back to the autumn term and update you on the latest key government information with regard to continuing to offer an outstanding Weston College experience:

  • As per the government guidance released on the 5th Nov, the College continues to offer a full on site learning experience, backed up with seamless virtual learning should the need arise
  • Your timetables will reflect your current study programme. Apprentices will follow the plan agreed with your employer and the College. Learners with SEND will be contacted by their tutors to confirm any changes to their study programme. We also have a Remote Learning Plan in place , this explains what happens regarding learning if a learner has to isolate, or a teacher has to self-isolate – you can view this document here
  • All areas of the College have been configured with additional cleaning and sanitation to ensure that the health and safety of learners/staff is paramount, incorporating good ventilation with risk assessments in place to cover all campus buildings
  • Facemasks are already mandatory in communal areas (please note not within teaching areas and not for students who have a recognised exemption) - with students and staff being asked to bring in their own masks and sanitiser. The use of PPE will be directed by tutors if deemed necessary to either meet sector requirements or specific employer requirements if students are in work-based learning programmes
  • Additional signage, directional walkways, hand sanitisers, temperature checks (if needed) bubble timetables, socially distanced teaching, hand washing encouragement and communal IT sanitisation are all enhanced measures, the College has put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19
  • To keep everyone as safe as possible only necessary staff and students are permitted on campus at present. All other external visitors are unable to attend under the current restrictions, all external meetings will be held virtually, on Teams, at present.
  • The use of the Track and Trace App is encouraged and you can find some useful guidance here, if you receive an alert - do not panic, please contact your tutor and your employer if you are an apprentice or on work experience) when this happens who will report this information to Health & Safety. This is the same process for reporting a COVID absence (report it in the first instance to your tutor and your employer if you are an apprentice or on work experience). All learners will need to keep the College updated on their situation, including new symptoms and most importantly learners cannot return to site until authorised to do so.

Key update messages from the 5th Nov 2020 update from the Government include.

  • A request for staff and students to continue to engage with the Track and Trace App
  • The latest information is that exams will go ahead next summer, with most AS, A levels and GCSEs held 3 weeks later to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic
  • Students/staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to study/work from home and not to go into their education setting
  • Individuals in this group will have been identified through a letter from the NHS or from their GP
  • Students/staff who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend education. Students can continue to engage in sport but not league/competitive teamwork with other organisations

Thank you to all our parents/carers, employers and stakeholders who are working together with staff to ensure that students continue to achieve at the highest level – please take a moment to read our news stories – both helping students achieve their goals and employers to recruit the talent they need at this time. Please remember, our welfare team is committed to supporting learners with outstanding personalised support. If you have any questions please email us on enquiries@weston.ac.uk with anything you would like to discuss further.

Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive

 

How will I be protected?

Weston College opened it’s doors back up in June so we have had the opportunity to effectively implement and trial a robust approach to campus health, safety, wellbeing plans to ensure you are safe when onsite.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Every teaching space and communal area is set-up to ensure you can learn, study and socialise safely
  • Additional cleaning, extra hand-washing and sanitising facilities have been added
  • More staff are on hand to make sure everyone understands and follows the rules
  • Access to the building is through each main reception of the campus only – we are tracking and tracing all staff and students through the scanning of ID badges at barriers
  • Clear signage for a new directional system is displayed to enable safe movement around campuses
  • We have curriculum pods and dedicated zones to limit contact with others onsite
  • Face masks are mandatory in communal spaces and corridors onsite
  • Teachers will wear PPE where there is a requirement for them to work in close proximity to learners to check their work
  • Timetables have been constructed to ensure that you are in for set blocks of time - free periods have been removed where possible to reduce unnecessary movement of students
  • Blended learning (face to face and online) form part of study programmes.
  • Online resources can be accessed through Microsoft Teams, which is the platform that the College uses as its virtual learning environment.

What we will encourage you to do when you are on campus:

  • If you need to cough or sneeze, remember - Catch it! Bin it! Kill it!
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Limit your movement around the campus and any unnecessary contact where possible
  • Stay in your assigned curriculum pod and learning zone
  • You will be expected to return home following any block of learning
  • Bring and use your own laptop and tablets at College (loan and bursary support is available)
  • Wear your ID badge at all times.

 

Update for employers with apprentices

Given the recent announcement from the Government regarding a second national lockdown, we wanted to outline the College position and support mechanisms that have been put in place at Weston College to support the continuation of learning following our successful return to all our College campuses in September.

With the health and safety of all our staff, apprentices and visitors of the up most importance to us, it is vital at this stage to outline the College expectation that face to face classes will continue as per an apprentice’s normal timetable, with some blended delivery being delivered online through ‘Microsoft Teams’ and its virtual classroom functionality in line with Government guidance. The specific controls we have implemented to reduce the potential of spread and transmission of COVID-19 virus have proved to be effective to date due to the cooperation of your apprentices. We are continually monitoring and reviewing these controls and will continue to ensure the health and safety of all is our priority whilst we all navigate our way through the next stages of national lockdown.

We recognise that it may not be practical for your apprentice to attend your business premises for employment with the new restrictions imposed, apprentices being furloughed or that your apprentice may be expected to self-isolate as per the Government guidelines, however if you are still operating, we would encourage apprentices to continue to attend their place of work as per their employment contact with yourselves, and continue in their learning and progression. We will continue to access your place of work, to review and meet apprentices, in line with your health and safety procedures however where an apprentice is furloughed they are still able to continue their learning and we would strongly encourage all furloughed apprentices to remain on their learning programme.

If you have any specific questions please contact your Account Manager, or Tracie Leahy Head of Apprenticeship Sales and Recruitment: tracie.leahy@weston.ac.uk.

 

Update for employers with students on industry placements

Given the recent announcement from the Government regarding a second national lockdown, here are the updates in regard to the industry placements.

It is important at this stage to outline the College expectation that face to face classes will continue as per a student’s normal timetable, with some blended delivery being delivered online through Microsoft Teams and its virtual classroom functionality, in line with Government guidance.

We recognise that it may not be practical for our learners to attend your business premises for their industry placement with the new restrictions imposed, or that our students, or your staff, may be expected to self-isolate as per the Government guidelines, which may mean that placements are unable to continue. Where you are still operating however, and our students are able to, we would encourage students to continue to attend their placements as per the agreed schedule with yourselves, in line with the Government and college guidance and updates.

To this effect we propose three options for you as follows:

  1. Placement continuation - If you are continuing to operate in line with Government guidelines and you feel that the student’s industry placement can continue, as long as all parties consent, we will continue as per the agreed plan for that placement.
  2. Virtual/online placement - If a placement is being undertaken/or could potentially be undertaken remotely/virtually, these placements can continue in line with pre agreed plans, with the student being supported remotely by the business and college.
  3. Suspension of placement - If a placement cannot continue due to the temporary closure of a business through lockdown, we will move to suspend that placement, with the hope that we can reengage the placement in January 2021 in line with your operational requirements and business need.

We have contacted all employers that host an industry placement and have asked them to confirm their preferred option above to us. For learners where key assessment and monitoring visits are due, we will conduct these remotely where practicable. These will be communicated to the relevant contact in your organisation through our work placement team. Our learners will also be expected to continue to complete their online logbook tracking of their placements. If you have any further queries please either contact your Account Manager or email workplacementteam@weston.ac.uk

 

Health and wellbeing support

Welfare and Pastoral Support Services includes Welfare and Retention Officers and Counsellors providing confidential, non-judgmental support and guidance regarding a wide range of issues.

Click the buttons below to find out more about our services and how to get in touch.

Welfare worries:
Counselling service:

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Travelling to college

We are in regular communication with both our transport partners, First Bus and Bakers Dolphin, currently services are operate with a few adjustments and guidelines:

At the time of writing, both First and Bakers Dolphin services are operating at 50% capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. First Bus services will run more frequently to meet demand and the First Bus app has live data on the number of seats available on a service.

You must wear a mask on all services. Without a mask, you will not be permitted to travel.

All information including timetables, how to buy passes can be found at https://www.weston.ac.uk/travelling-to-college.

For further information including the requirements for other forms of public transport, please refer to government guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.

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