Buckinghamshire College Group would like to reassure all staff, students, parents and business partners that it is following the Public Health guidance issued by the Government and its agencies.
Update: Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Dear students and Parents
I hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well.
I wanted to write to update you on the College’s plans following the Government’s announcement on 24th May in relation to the phased opening of colleges. The Prime Minister announced that colleges should plan to broaden the number of 16-19 students attending on-site delivery from 15th June 2020. The full information is in this link:
The College’s approach is to begin to widen our opening, week commencing 15th June until the end of the student term on Friday July 3rd. We look forward to welcoming some of you back, but only when we are satisfied that there are protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 fully in place to accommodate students and staff safely.
The College has completed a full risk assessment aligned to government guidance and preventative measures are now in place to have a limited opening from Tuesday June 16th. The College COVID-19 Risk Assessment covering this period is available on the College website under the Coronavirus section.
The majority of students will continue to study remotely from home. The aim for the three weeks left of the academic year is to keep staff and student numbers low on the College campuses. We do not expect any students who are shielding or living with someone who is shielding to attend.
The College campuses at Aylesbury, Amersham and Wycombe will be open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for invited students only. Please do not attend or come to the College campuses if you have not received an invitation as you will be turned away.
Following the government guidance, we will invite some students from the following groups to attend:
- Students who fall within vulnerable categories
- Level 3 students finishing the first year of a 2-year programme
- Level 3 students progressing to a separate qualification, for example a diploma to extended diploma
- Students of all levels that have occupationally competence based/license to practice practical assessments to complete where safe to do so
Students not undertaking practical assessments will be invited to one 2-hour session during this time to meet with their teacher to focus on outstanding work, progression, preparing for next year, and support for any concerns. The group size will be 5 students to one teacher to reduce contact and mixing with other groups. The teacher will only be permitted to work with their allocated group. Attendance is not compulsory to these sessions and students can choose to attend or continue to work remotely. Please respond to the invitation to inform us that you will/will not be attending so that we can plan for who is on campus.
Students undertaking practical sessions including Construction trades and Motor vehicle will be invited to attend the necessary sessions required to complete their qualifications. We would encourage students to attend these sessions. For any concerns, please contact your tutor remotely. Students will work in small groups of 8-10 with the same tutor. Currently we are not able to invite Hair, Beauty or Sport students who have outstanding assessments, in line with government advice for these industries. Please respond to the invitation to inform us that you will/will not be attending so that we can plan for who is on campus.
The session(s) that may be allocated to you are:
- 9.30-12.00 (Practical Assessment)
We recognise that you may feel anxious about returning to College, so we will have a Safeguarding Officer present if you require any support on the day.
For those of you invited to attend we would encourage you to walk or cycle if possible or to travel in a car with a family member. You should, where possible avoid public transport and follow the government’s guidance. College transport will not be running during this time. We have planned and staggered the sessions outside of busy travel times.
The College has put in place a number of preventative measures for your safety and you will notice some changes around the College. It is very important that you keep to these measures and take responsibility for your safety and the safety of others seriously while you are on the campuses. We will ask students to leave if this is not the case.
Managing the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19
- There is a one way system for entering and exiting the building which is clearly marked and there will be people there to guide you. Please do not congregate in the entrance but allow 2m’s between you and the next person (similar to queuing at supermarkets)
- The College campuses have been marked out with 2m social distancing and you must stay 2m’s distance of people at all times
- There is a one-way system around the College and where this is not possible a Give Way system. Please ensure that you follow the floor markings and instructions
- Receptions now have screens in place and a 2m box
- Classrooms and workshops have been rearranged to allow 2m social distancing and the furniture removed. Please do not move chairs or tables
- Cleaning materials have been put in place in classrooms and workshops to allow hard surfaces to be wiped down after use including equipment used. We are asking everyone to do this.
- There are a number of hand sanitiser stations on all campuses. Please ensure that you are washing your hands properly and regularly
- Please ensure that you use tissues for coughing and sneezing – ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’
- Single occupancy toilets are open only
- Common areas, the refectory, outside social spaces and the smoking areas are all closed
- You will only be able to access the College campus 10 minutes before your session and you must leave the campus as soon as you have finished your session. This is for your and others safety
- You will be met by your teacher and must stay with them while you are on campus and until you leave
- The government advises that face coverings should not be worn in schools and other educational settings unless required as part of a risk assessment (for example, practical assessments). https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings However, we do recognise that during this initial time some students and staff would prefer the choice and the College will allow this outside of classrooms, subject to the advice in the link being read as it is not appropriate for all students to wear. The College will not provide face coverings outside the requirements of risk assessments
- We have COVID-19 procedures in place should someone become ill with symptoms at College. Please do not attend College if you have a temperature, a new cough or a new loss of smell taste, or living with someone that has these symptoms
- We have revised cleaning arrangements in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
Please read the risk assessment on the website for the full measures
We are continuing our planning for the new academic year and we will share these with you in due course, if you are returning next year.
It’s a very difficult time for us all and I hope that you have been managing at home and in your studies. Our College is going to look and feel different for a while and I want to thank you for your help to support everyone to work and learn safely.
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact your tutor or curriculum manager who will be able to help.
All invitations will be sent via email by the end of this week. Please check your emails and don’t forget to reply.
I hope to see some of you on your return. For all others keep up the good work remotely, and I hope you all have a good summer.
With best wishes
Principal and CEO - Buckinghamshire College Group
For further information please refer to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public which is updated daily at 14:00.