As you will be aware, guidance around Coronavirus safety measures for secondary schools and colleges was updated at the start of the term. Please see below for further information.
Students are required to wear face coverings in classrooms through January, unless exempt. This is in addition to the earlier requirement to wear them in communal areas and therefore means that face coverings are always required indoors. Students should ensure they have a face mask with them, as the college has a limited number available. Staff and visitors are also required to wear masks indoors. Teachers are not required to wear masks during lessons but should wear them when moving between rooms.
We will be continuing with existing covid measures onsite, including the enhanced cleaning regime. Please do a Lateral Flow Test before returning to college and wear a face covering when indoors.
Staff and students should continue to notify us of absence using the online form on our website and should not attend college if they are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus or are awaiting a PCR test result.
We are expecting delivery of more Lateral Flow Test kits and will be distributing these to staff and students from the first day back. Please make sure you obtain test kits if you need them and continue to test regularly. If you do not have a testing kit at home, you can attend college as normal and collect one from the Student Hub at our Whittingham Road Campus, or reception at all campuses. You should test as soon as possible; if you test positive you should go home and organise a PCR test. Please notify the college using the online absence form.
A number of vaccination sites across the Black Country and West Birmingham are offering walk-in vaccines to young people aged between 16 and 17.
This follows recent guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to extend the vaccination roll out to 16 and 17-year-olds.
Young people aged between 16 and 17 are now eligible for the vaccine, which they can get now get at a number of walk-in vaccination sites.
You can book your first dose online now or use a local walk-in centre, with second doses available after eight weeks, and boosters also available after that.
You can find a list of all the sites that are able to vaccinate those aged 16-18 across the Black Country and West Birmingham here.
We would ask Students and staff to please report positive cases to the college as normal using the online absence system at the bottom of the page so monitoring and reporting can take place
Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing we will help to reduce the spread in the college setting through asymptomatic transmission. The College therefore strongly encourages those returning to college to be tested.
The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the throat and/or nose. Results take around half an hour from testing. You should inform the college of a positive test result and register all results on the NHS reporting portal (details are included in the kits). You will also receive a text/email confirmation of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system when you register your result. Tests are free of charge.
This testing programme at college is for people with no symptoms. If you develop symptoms at any time (including a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) you must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting Book a Test.
Information regarding the data collected is included in a document at the top right of this page.
Students showing any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change in their sense of smell or taste) should not attend College or attempt to travel to College.
If you are are living with someone who is displaying these symptoms, you will need to isolate unless the following applies:
If you are not required to isolate you should test daily with a lateral flow test for 7 days.
If a student displays any symptoms during the College day, they will need to leave the College site.
Students will be taken to a designated room to wait for parents/carers or a taxi to collect them.
An enhanced cleaning regime is in place and this will be deployed after the student has left the site.
Students will not be able to return until they are free from symptoms and the proper period of self-isolation has passed, or they are free from symptoms and have had a negative test result.
Tests can be booked on Book a Test. or by calling NHS 119. The College must be informed of a positive or negative result.
Soap in toilets will be checked and replenished throughout the day. Any issues can be reported through QR codes in the toilets.
Hand sanitiser stations are in place at the entrance to campuses
There is hand sanitiser at the entrance to each block.
Ensuring Good Respiratory Hygiene by Promoting “Catch it, kill it, bin it”
Posters will promote the message around the College.
Students should bring in their own tissues to College, but bins are available around the College.
Cleaning “Frequently Touched Surfaces” using products known to kill coronavirus
Cleaning staff are scheduled throughout the day to clean frequently touched surfaces and toilets.
Students are taught in distinct groups and the groups will be kept separate as much as possible.
Wherever possible, classrooms will be arranged so that desks are in rows with students facing forward.
Students should bring their own equipment and not share it.
Students within the same group can share College equipment but it will be cleaned regularly as part of the new cleaning routine.
Students will be required to wear face coverings on College coaches, communal areas and in classrooms.
The College’s B63 Bistro, Elliott’s and Starbucks will be open in line with government guidance for retail and hospitality .
Please wear a face covering when buying food and drinks. When you are seated to eat/drink you may remove your face covering.
Sanitise your hands before eating.
Dispose of your own litter.
Wipe down your table using the sanitiser/wipes provided.
Please pay contactless wherever possible using your College ID Card or a debit/credit card.
We have updated our guidance on the wearing of face coverings, which apply to students, staff and visitors
Staff and students should bring their own face covering into College as we cannot provide these on an ongoing basis.
When wearing face coverings, it is essential they are worn safely, and students are discouraged from touching their face and wearing a mask that is not clean. When removing a mask, students should wash their hands first then place the mask in a sealable, plastic bag for storage, reversing the process when putting it back on. Students should ensure they have a suitable bag to store it in for times when it is not in use.
Halesowen College continues to support its vulnerable students. The College’s leads for Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have identified some key websites and resources which they believe may be useful to our vulnerable students and their families.
If you have any questions or queries, please contact us using the Submit a question option below.
Information for students who would have been working as part of their college course, useful information about your job and support whilst the business is unable to support you in work.
Books beyond words have produced some books without words to explain some of the confusion surrounding the coronavirus for student with a learning disability or communication difficulties.
Guidance about the coronavirus in an easy to read format for students with learning disabilities.
A website that includes links to support the rights of students with disabilities and their families during the current pandemic.
Supporting resources for people with autism and their families, some great case studies of autistic peoples experience during the lockdown.
It is normal to feel stressed and anxious during such difficult times. Below is our advice for protecting your mental health and well-being while the world navigates this ever-changing situation:
If you need someone to talk to, and know your personal coach’s email address, contact them directly. If not, contact a member of the safeguarding team:
Please take care of yourselves and those around you.
If you have any concerns about your health you should use the NHS 111 website initially, or if you have no internet access then contact the free NHS 111 telephone helpline. Check the NHS website for the latest official advice.
To see our previous responses and guidance, please refer to our archive pages available here: https://www.halesowen.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-update-archive/
https://www.halesowen.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-update-archive-2/ https://www.halesowen.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-update-archive-3/ https://www.halesowen.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-update-archive-4/ https://www.halesowen.ac.uk/home/coronavirus-update-archive-5/