5 March 2020
Dear students and families
Corona Virus (Covid-19) – update 05.03.20
I’m writing to update you on the position among our Colleges in respect of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 risk.
At present we have no confirmed cases among our students and staff.
We have had one external guest at Kingston College who attended the site one evening last week and was well. They subsequently fell ill and have tested positive. We have contacted Public Health England, who have advised us that there is minimal risk of infection as the guest had no symptoms when at the College. As an additional precaution, however, we have chosen to deep clean the relevant space.
Public Health England have advised us that the risk of further infection is low and that we should continue to operate as normal.
We are taking further precautions and have briefed our staff to sustain a high level of vigilance at all times. We have a set of protocols in place, based on Public Health England’s guidance and are ready for almost all eventualities. We have clear instructions to remain open and to continue to operate as normal.
To help us manage this risk, it is essential that students and their families keep up to date with Government advice, accessible via the website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
We have installed hand sanitizer dispensers throughout all of our Colleges and expect our students and staff to follow the official advice on practical hygiene measures:
- wash your hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitiser if available regularly particularly on arriving at college and before eating;
- avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands; use a tissue and dispose of it carefully or catch the cough or sneeze on your sleeve
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially if you have not washed your hands
- avoid sharing items such as drinks
It is essential that everyone understands the Government’s expectations and that you do not come to College if you feel unwell. The symptoms associated with Covid-19/ corona virus are:
- difficulty in breathing.
If you have travelled to any of the affected areas in Category 1 and are well or unwell: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid- 19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors- arriving-in-the-uk, you should self-isolate at home and call NHS 111 to find out what to do next.
If you believe you have had contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19/corona virus, you should self-isolate at home and call NHS 111 to find out what to do next.
If you have travelled to any of the affected areas/countries in Category 2 and are unwell: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid- 19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors- arriving-in-the-uk, you should self-isolate and contract NHS 111 to find out what to do next.
If you have travelled to any of the affected areas/countries in Category 2 and are well https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid- 19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors- arriving-in-the-uk, you should continue as normal. You should self-isolate and call NHS 111 only if you develop symptoms.
Please be assured that we continue to operate the highest level of vigilance and we are closely in touch with the health authorities on a regular basis to help manage our response to this situation. We will comply with all of the Government’s guidance at all times and put the safety of our students and staff first.
We will continue to update you as the situation progresses. Yours,
Group Principal and CEO
2 March 2020
Dear students and families
Corona Virus (Covid-19)
The Colleges in our Group have been monitoring Coronavirus (Covid-19) developments very closely.
We are also taking measures to ensure that everyone is clear about their and our responsibilities during this time of growing uncertainty.
Our Colleges will remain open for learning until we are asked to close. Please attend all lessons on time and ready for your studies. We have followed Public Health England’s advice and are offering additional hygiene facilities and measures on our sites.
We will make sure you are kept up to date with any changes and will remain in close contact with the relevant authorities throughout this time.
Although the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk of contracting this virus from low to moderate, the risk remains quite low in our area and most diagnosed cases in the UK are mild. Symptoms are similar to flu symptoms and include:
- Shortness of breath
If you have returned from any of the following areas since 19 February, even if you do not have any of the above symptoms, you are advised to stay indoors and contact NHS 111:
- Specific care zones in South Korea (Daegu and Cheongdo)
- Hubei Province in China
- The quarantined towns in Northern Italy: Bertonico, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgerundo, Castiglione d'Adda, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, San Fiorano, Somaglia, Terranova dei Passerini - all in Lodi province in Lombard y - and Vo' Euganeo in Padova province, Veneto.
If, however, you have recently returned from any of the following areas in the last 14 days and present the above symptoms the government advice is to stay indoors for a period of 14 consecutive days and to contact the NHS helpline (111) or your GP. You should not go to your GP practice in person and should avoid any contact with other people.
- Mainland China
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
This advice has also been applied to individuals who have spent time in and have returned from the following areas since 19 February 2020:
- Northern Italy (see above for guidance for quarantined towns) • Cambodia
The government has clearly advised against closing colleges and we are following this advice. We will let you know if this advice changes. If you would like more information, the following website is regularly updated: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19- information-for-the-public
All students and visitors to the college are advised to use hand sanitisers or wash their hands on arrival and follow PHE advice set out below.
If you become unwell at College, please tell a member of staff and let them know if you have travelled to any other countries in the last 14 days. If a member of staff thinks you have symptoms of coronavirus, they will call NHS 111 for advice. If you become unwell at home and have reason to believe you may be at risk you and/or your parent / guardian should call HNS 111 for advice and inform the College.
Group Principal and CEO
Following some press coverage of the Government’s introduction of T Levels over the next few years, we would like to reassure current and future applicants that our vocational courses will run as normal in September 2020. We are proud of our course offer and the outcomes our learners achieve, allowing them to fulfil their educational and career aspirations.
Nearly a quarter of a million learners nationwide were awarded vocational qualifications in 2019.
What are Vocational Qualifications?
Vocational Qualifications are specialist work-related qualifications. They combine practical learning with subject and theory content. Many awarding bodies run these qualifications from BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council), City and Guilds, NVQs to CACHE. For example, there are over 2,000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors – they are available from entry level through to professional qualifications at level 7 (equivalent to postgraduate study).
In FE colleges, schools and universities across the world, hundreds of thousands of students take these qualifications. They do so because these diplomas get you directly into a career, or alternatively into university and then into a career. For those already at college or university, a BTEC Higher National Diploma is the stepping stone to a full degree or again, directly into that career.