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Covid-19 Updates

Covid-19 Updates

Published: 26 January 2021

Update - Testing Centre - Tuesday 26 January, 15:45

The Testing Centre at the College is operating twice weekly and we are now inviting both staff and students, who have been authorised to be onsite, to attend for a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Test.  At the current time we only have minimal staff and students onsite, and our Testing Centre is in place to support them.

Any students aged 16+ are able to provide their own consent, but we recommend that you discuss the testing with your parents/carers.

Whilst we have low numbers onsite a booking system, for both staff and students, is in place at Reception.  In order to monitor numbers and ease the flow of visitors to the Centre we would ask that no-one turns up at the Centre without a booking.

Anyone wishing to have a test will need to complete the relevant consent forms prior to arriving for their test.  By completing these forms in advance it will make the whole process much quicker for you.

  • Before your first test at the College you will need to complete the College consent form https://bit.ly/39pOQhQ. The consent will then follow through to all additional tests so only needs to be completed once.
  • In addition you will need to complete the Government registration form for a test which can be accessed https://test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/register-kit
    • It is advisable to use the ‘NHS Register Using a NHS login’ option when prompted to do so in order to create an NHS Login using your email address and UK mobile phone number.  By doing this it will enable a quicker login process for any subsequent tests. 
    • When asked for the Test Site ID, enter ESCF
    • When asked for the LFD bar code – This is as far as you can go prior to attending the Centre.  When you register at the Centre you will be provided with your LFD code to enter at this point
    • Please ensure you bring your mobile phone with you as you will need it to complete your registration

You will receive notification of your test result via text within 30-40 minutes of completing the process, so please keep your phone with you.  Our team of experienced staff will be on-hand to support anyone that receives a positive test, and our Health and Safety teams will immediately carry out risk assessments and all necessary checks to ensure the welfare of everyone at the College.

We are only able to offer this Testing Centre facility with the support of our volunteers, which includes College staff and volunteers from the local community, and would like to thank them for their continued support.

Update Friday 15 January, 12:45

We are pleased to confirm that this week has seen the roll-out of the Testing Centre at the College, and testing has begun. 

At the current time we only have minimal staff and students onsite to provide provision to vulnerable learners, with the testing being introduced to support them whilst onsite at College. 

As we start to roll-out the testing programme we will be inviting students/staff to attend via their College email, so would request that they do not just turn up, which will then allow us to monitor numbers at any given time and ensure consents are completed prior to arriving for your test.  Going forward when more people are allowed to return to College then details of the online booking system will be circulated to staff and students. (Please do not visit the College unless you are already scheduled to attend, and have permission to do so).

We are very grateful to volunteers who came forward from our College staff teams and the local community to be trained in order to support us with this important initiative.

 

Update Wednesday 6 January 2021, 17:20

CANCELLATION OF BTEC JANUARY SERIES EXAMINATIONS LEVEL 2 AND LEVEL 3

Late yesterday 5 January, the Department for Education announced that it was up to schools and colleges whether to continue with vocational exams, with no guidance on how those not taking exams could achieve their qualification.   At this very late stage, we made the decision to continue with exams that were already planned in recognition that students had spent considerable time preparing for these and that they would be offered within a safe environment.  We also recognised that some families would prefer their sons or daughters not to attend - which was their decision to make - but were unable to give any surety about how this would affect their qualification award as no information was available from the Department for Education nor from awarding bodies.

We have received many positive comments from students and families that we continued to hold exams and that students felt well supported.  We are, however, also aware that an increasing number of families and students hold concerns in view of the very high escalation of the Covid-19 virus locally and the fact that so many of our students travel from a wide area, many on public transport.   We have had to consider these anxieties, the position of the Association of Colleges and other local colleges and the fact that Pearson (BTEC) has now put out a statement that offers some guidance on how assessment will take place.  

Specifically, BTEC have stated:

'If your college or school decides not to offer vocational exams, we have agreed the following with Ofqual and the DfE to ensure that no learner is disadvantaged.  Learners unable to take their assessments this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date.  If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure no learner is disadvantaged'.

We know that our decision to cease exams will be disappointing to many students, however for others it brings relief that the decision has been made for them rather than having to themselves weigh up the risks of attending within a fast-developing environment.  

In the absence of examinations and in expectation of more information about how qualifications will be awarded, it is ESSENTIAL that students continue to access online learning as stated on their timetable, that work set by tutors - on which centre assessed grades may be based - is completed to the highest quality possible and that engagement with their tutor is frequent.  Students in 'vulnerable' categories are invited into the College where they are learning in large, safe areas.  

The website remains the key mechanism for general messages.  We will continue to provide regular updates as information is received.

Please note that this cancellation notice applies to BTEC January series examinations only.  Exams for other qualifications are currently scheduled to continue.  If this changes, this website will be updated and tutors will be in direct contact with students.

 

Update Wednesday 6 January 2021, 16:00

EXAMS UPDATE – CANCELLATION OF BTEC EXAMS

We recognise that the last few weeks has seen constant changes from the Government in connection with the delivery of the January BTEC exam series.

Given the announcement from BTEC that “Learners unable to take their assessments this January may be able to take their assessment at a later date. If that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure no learner is disadvantaged” we have taken the difficult decision that from tomorrow, Thursday 7 January, all BTEC exams are cancelled until further notice.  We are currently contacting all students affected by these cancellations and will provide further updates as soon as we receive them from the awarding bodies.

Please continue to use this website as the primary source for any other College updates during this time.

Update Tuesday 5 January 2021, 20:10
 
At 18.42 this evening, the DfE made the following statement in reference to technical exams (including BTECs) which are scheduled to take place this week:
 
“In light of the evolving public health measures, schools and colleges can continue with the vocational and technical exams that are due to take place in January, where they judge it right to do so.

We understand this is a difficult time but we want to support schools and colleges whose students have worked hard to prepare for assessments and exams where necessary. This may be particularly important for VTQs which require a ‘license to practice’ which can only be fulfilled through practical assessment, such as an electrician.”

Schools and colleges have already implemented extensive protective measures to make them as safe as possible. We will continue to work with Ofqual, awarding organisations and other stakeholders to discuss the next steps and provide more detail on the way forward, including ensuring other students have a way to progress with as little disruption as possible.”

At this very late stage, our position is that we have planned very carefully for exams and have implemented a number of strategies to keep our students and staff safe. This includes continuing to ensure that the exam environment is maintained to strict health and safety regulations which includes invigilators wearing masks at all time, sanitisation of equipment and rooms, both pre and post exam sessions; which has been our practice since we restarted exams in Summer 2020.

We therefore welcome students to come in to take exams this week as planned and as many students have stated they wish to do.  However, if parents/guardians do not wish their son/daughter/young person to take their exam, then please contact our exams department on the relevant email address below, so that we have a record of this. At this point, we have received no information on how or if qualifications will be assessed if a student does not sit their exam.

East Surrey College - EMailbox@esc.ac.uk
John Ruskin College - exams@johnruskin.ac.uk

We understand that this may be a difficult decision for you to make but do hope this gives you some more information on which to make it.

Update Tuesday 5 January 2021, 12:45

At this time, the Department for Education have advised that public exams and vocational assessments that are scheduled to take place in January are to proceed as planned.

We continue to ensure that the exam environment is maintained to strict health and safety regulations which includes invigilators wearing masks at all time, sanitisation of equipment and rooms, both pre and post exam sessions; which has been our practice since we restarted exams in Summer 2020.

We are constantly checking with awarding bodies and are fully aware that the situation for exams may change within a fast-changing environment.   If the DfE position changes, then we will respond accordingly; and this website will continue to be updated as the primary source of information for students.

Update Monday 4 January 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s earlier announcement we can confirm that remote learning lessons will continue to operate for all Full-time students except for the following ‘vulnerable’ student groups who should continue to attend college for their usual timetabled days/times:

  • those with EHCPs, those who are looked after (CLA), those with High needs funding, young carers (if they are able), those who have a live safeguarding case
  • Springboard (East Surrey College) and KS4 (John Ruskin College) students who fall into the above categories

Delivery will also be online for Apprentices, Higher Education and adult Part-time students (unless they have been previously notified that lessons are being postponed). 

Any students due to sit exams on Tuesday 5 January and for the remainder of this week are advised that these will still take place onsite as planned, as per the following schedules.

East Surrey College Exams List

John Ruskin College Exams List

We will continue to update this page with any further updates/announcements as they happen.

Update 1 January 2021

Updated information on reopening week commencing 4 January 2021

On 30 December, the Government announced a series of new measures and expectations for schools and colleges.  

As a result, please see below revised arrangements for term start.  We are aware that this is a fast-changing position with potential for more changes to be announced over the coming days and weeks, therefore please do keep looking at this website for further general updates.  Tutors will provide additional specific information and guidance to their students from 4 January. 

Week commencing 4 January

Remote learning lessons will operate for all students except for the following 'vulnerable' students who should attend for their usual days/times:

  • those with EHCPs, those who are looked after (CLA), those with High needs funding, young carers (if they are able), those who have a live safeguarding case
  • Springboard (East Surrey College) and KS4 (John Ruskin College) students who fall into the above categories

For the above students, please contact your tutor on arrival at College or, if you are unsure, please check in with Reception when you come in.

Any students unable to access remote learning are invited to come into the LRC to use one of the computers.  Please contact your tutor if this applies to you.

Exams 

Many students have exams scheduled for w/c 4 January.  These will continue as planned (confirmed by awarding bodies) and students should come into College to take these.  Please contact your tutor for any further information.  The full list of exams taking place is given below.  The only exception is ESOL exams at John Ruskin College which will be rearranged.  

East Surrey College Exams List

John Ruskin College Exams List

If you have any queries in relation to Exams then they should be directed to the relevant email address listed below.  (If any student misses a scheduled exam then they will need to provide evidence as to the reason eg Drs note, evidence of Track & Trace notification to self isolate etc):

East Surrey College - EMailbox@esc.ac.uk

John Ruskin College - exams@johnruskin.ac.uk

Adult Learning courses

Where possible, these will take place through remote delivery week commencing 4 January.  This includes Accountancy, Teacher Training, Counselling, CIPD, ESOL and English and Maths courses for adults which will all take place through remote delivery.  Where this is not possible, the start date will be delayed, and additional weeks/hours added later in the term.  Further information will be posted on this website.  We will do our best to contact community learning students individually to confirm arrangements for 'leisure' classes which includes languages but please also keep checking this website.

Higher Education

Week commencing 4 January - these will be delivered as remote learning.  Please contact your tutor if you have difficulties with this.

Apprentices

If you attend courses in College, then the information stated above for w/c 4 January applies in the same way ie learning will be remotely delivered unless you fall into a 'vulnerable' category.  Please contact your tutor or assessor if you are unsure whether this applies to you or have questions about this.  We also aim to contact employers individually to keep you up to date, however, as this is a long task, please continue to check this website.

Testing

The Government has an expectation that colleges and schools will be able to offer rapid flow testing from 11 January.  We are working to implement this and will be providing further information to students about how this will operate and if necessary, which groups will be prioritised.  

 

Update 30 December 2020

By now you may have heard that the Government has announced some important changes to term starts for secondary schools and colleges.

We are now assessing these changes and will be providing updates to this location over the next couple of days.

Please keep checking here for further updates.

Update 18 December 2020

Important message: January 2021 return to College

On 17 December, the Government announced a staggered return to schools and colleges for w/c 4 January 2021.

They also announced priority groups who should continue to attend college as planned.  These included:

  • Year 11 and Year 13 students
  • Those due to take exams and assessments in January 2021
  • Those preparing for upcoming assessments or exams, for example vocational and technical qualifications during this academic year
  • Those on technical programmes who need to access specialised equipment
  • Vulnerable young people

As this covers all students at East Surrey College and John Ruskin College and as a high proportion of our students already attend College on a blended model basis with remote learning a part of their study programme, students should return to College as planned and as already informed by their tutor w/c 4 January. 

We recognise that this is a fast moving situation, therefore please continue to check this website for any further updates over the Christmas break.  In particular, we are following emerging guidance about student testing for the virus and will update students and parents via this website as more information becomes available to us.

In the meantime, to reiterate, students should attend College as planned w/c 4 January.  Should a student test positive for the virus over the holiday period or receive information via Track and Trace that they need to self-isolate, the information in the post below should be followed.

Update 17 December 2020

Step-by-step guide to reporting potential cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We ask all our students, apprentices and staff to notify us of any changes to their personal circumstances linked to coronavirus that may occur during the Christmas break.  It is essential that we have this information before returning to College in January so that we are aware of and are able to support students, apprentices and staff through any changes, to ensure that they follow current Government guidance prior to returning to College. 

Although a student/apprentice may not be onsite at the College, if any of the following apply then we ask that they notify us immediately by completing the coronavirus notification form below. It is imperative that the form is completed as soon as any changes occur. All forms will be monitored on a daily basis during the holiday period, with a member of our team contacting the student/apprentice upon receipt of a completed form if it requires action by the sender:

  • If you have tested positive for coronavirus
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus
  • If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and need to self-isolate, or need to self-isolate for other reasons

In order to report symptoms or self-isolation please complete the online Covid-19 form using the link or QR code below: 

https://bit.ly/3ppRyec

We are relying on all our staff, students and apprentices to continue the good work that has taken place this term, with timely communication of any changes to their personal circumstances linked to coronavirus.  By ensuring that anyone affected does not come into College, then we can have a strong start to the New Year and continue to offer a managed educational environment in which to safely learn and work.

 

Address: East Surrey College, Gatton Point, London Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 2JX

Main Switchboard: 01737 772611 / Client Services: 01737 788444 / Email: clientservices@esc.ac.uk