Monday 1 March 2021, 17:00
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
RETURN TO COLLEGE
Following the most recent government guidance, we are delighted to begin a phased return to face to face learning from the week commencing 8 March. We will be taking an individualised approach to courses and groups of students in terms of patterns of face to face attendance and some students will continue to work remotely for part of their timetabled time. We will be prioritising a full return for those on practical courses as well as groups and individuals who have struggled with remote learning. Details as to what your return to face to face learning will look like will be communicated to your young person over the next week.
In order to bring all students and staff back to College as safely as possible, we need to coordinate our return arrangements with the Mass Testing programme. We will be offering asymptomatic testing to all students to support the identification of otherwise undetected positive cases. These lateral flow tests are self-administered, and each student will initially be offered opportunities to take this test with support, 3-5 days apart. Following this, self-testing kits will be made available for all students to administer from home. Further guidance on testing from home will be communicated in the coming week.
For students, in terms of your testing in College, please read the attachments carefully, perhaps with your parent or guardian, and ensure that you have followed the 3 steps to register for testing before returning to College.
Being tested is not a condition of return, but we strongly encourage it as a key way in which we can keep our students and our College safe. We are therefore expecting that the overwhelming majority of students will participate in the testing programme. Students aged 16+ are able to give their consent, however, parents or guardians may wish to discuss this with them at home. Once consent has been registered, this does not need to be done again. Students will be given appointment times during their first week of attendance and will need to complete a gov.uk form on the day of the test to register the test bar code and the results.
The Health and Safety guidance and restrictions that were in place in term 1 continue to apply- students are to maintain at least 1 metre distance from each other and a 2 metre distance from staff wherever possible. Students and staff will continue to wear masks in communal spaces and students will now be required to wear masks in the classroom, workshops and other learning settings. We will ask students who have a purple lanyard (indicating exemption) to carefully consider whether they need to continue with this exemption. As we have previously enforced, students who repeatedly forget their mask or refuse to wear a mask with no exemption will be subject to disciplinary procedures and suspension from College. Students and staff will continue to be encouraged to wash and sanitise their hands frequently.
As has been the case throughout this pandemic, wearing a mask over the mouth and nose, maintaining distance, and washing hands frequently are the most effective ways to minimise transmission in any setting.
We are aware that for some parents, guardians and students, a return to face to face learning may cause anxiety and that for some students, their well-being has been impacted adversely throughout this pandemic for a variety of reasons. Our students’ well-being has always been the College’s priority and we will continue to work closely to ensure students receive as much support as possible. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the student support team via the course tutor if you have any concerns. The well-being hub on the College website is also a good resource to find further guidance and support: www.esc.ac.uk/wellbeing-hub
Vice Principal - Curriculum & Standards
OSC Privacy Notice
ESC Consent Information
Tuesday 23 February 11:30
Following the announcement on the gradual lifting of the lockdown from the Prime Minister last night, we are now able to complete our planning for the return to onsite learning for our students.
Over the next few days we will be working to finalise the phased return of our students, starting from Monday 8 March. As soon as details are finalised our course tutors will keep students up-to-date with information relating to their individual course.
More general information such as details of our onsite Test Centre and the timetable for rapid flow tests, along with information on our continuing health and safety requirements throughout the campus will be provided on this site.
We really look forward to welcoming our students back to College, and are keen to support them with their transition back to onsite learning.