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Coronavirus Updates

CHANGES TO CAMPUS ARRANGEMENTS FROM MONDAY, MAY 17

This means that from Monday, May 17 onwards there are changes to rules on-site at Oldham College about wearing face coverings (i.e. something which safely covers the nose and mouth).

Although these rules are being partially relaxed, face coverings will still be needed in certain circumstances which means you must continue to ensure you have one available at all times (unless exempt). 

Please take time to read the new face covering rules below.

You must ensure that you understand them – and are ready to follow them from May 17.

CAMPUS LOCATION
UPDATED RULE (from Monday, May 17 onwards)
OUTSIDE >> 
In external areas between buildings around our site, for example…
Nobody has to wear a face covering.
However, you may continue to do so, if you wish.
INSIDE >>
Classrooms and workspaces…
Staff and learners do not need to wear face coverings, but can opt to continue wearing them if they wish. 
 
In some areas the wearing of face masks will continue to be a requirement e.g. Hair and Beauty where we need to operate in line with relevant sector guidance. 
 
Corridors and Communal Spaces.  
When moving indoors between rooms – or in the Refectory – for example…
Learners do not have to wear a face covering.
However, you may continue to do so, if you wish.

(All staff and visitors must continue to wear a face covering)

FINALLY, please note that there are no changes to any other guidance at this stage.Whether you are indoors or outdoors on-site at Oldham College you must also continue to follow the current Social Distancing and Hygiene/Sanitisation rules at all times.

The following rules also remain in force – and you must continue to follow them without exception:

| Anyone with at least one of the three main symptoms of COVID-19 should NOT attend site. They must get tested at a symptomatic test centre, follow isolation guidelines and keep us informed.

 | Learners attending site must carry on taking home tests and reporting the results.

GOT A QUESTION? | Please ask your Tutor for any further advice or guidance.


12 APRIL | SUMMER TERM COVID-SAFE ARRANGEMENTS

All our vital safety measures will remain in place for Summer Term which starts on Monday, April 19.

Above all, this means you should still not attend campus if you have any COVID-19 symptoms: which include a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, and a change to your sense of taste or smell. 

You should book a test at a symptomatic test centre here, follow the national isolation guidelines here and keep your tutor informed about your status.  

Below is a full update on all our arrangements and what you need to know for Summer Term.

NOTE | If you have any queries about your own situation, please contact your tutor direct.

RETURN | 

Increasing numbers of learners will be returning to campus in the coming weeks.

You should check with your tutor if you are uncertain whether any of your lessons are taking place online or at Oldham College.

SAFETY | 

You must wear face coverings in buildings and outside at all times on campus, unless you are exempt.

You must remain in your buildings whenever possible, use sanitisation points regularly, and you should not gather or loiter in corridors.   

TESTING | 

Regular testing remains important for keeping everyone safe.

You should test yourself twice a week using Home Testing kits which are available from and distributed by the Safety Engagement Team (ext 4129).

You must report the results following the instructions in the accompanying leaflet.

ENTERING/LEAVING | 

You must enter and leave campus using the appropriate colour-coded entrance for where your lesson(s) are taking place.

These are in the table below:

Red Entrance – Entrance A

Yellow Entrance – Building B

Blue Entrance –   Building C

Purple Zone – Entrance P

Drop Off Zone – Entrance D

Main Reception

Side of Building

Between Building C and JT

Side of the Purple Building near to Building B

(Disabled drop off)

Access for: 

Building A 

(Also access to JT Hilton for Music students)

Access for: 

Building B 

Bellis 

Morris 

The Polytunnels

Access for: 

Building C

Access for: 

Purple Building (former UTC)

Access for: 

Students arriving by Ring & Ride or brought by carers etc. 

(These will need to go in their respective bubble once inside campus, so may need to travel through zones.)

INSIDE CLASSROOMS/WORKSHOPS | 

Each room has a clearly marked two-metre “teacher zone” which learners must not enter. Where a two-metre zone is not possible, markings will still be in place with protective glass and protection equipment for teachers.

Each classroom will have a large bin, a supply of tissues, hand sanitiser, wipes and a bottle of water for each student.You must wipe your desk/workstation at the start of the class, keep the wet wipe you have used on the corner of your desk, and put it in the bin at the end of the lesson.You should sanitise at the start and end of lessons.Learners must not rearrange furniture.Classrooms are marked out with social distancing stickers Students should sit at the relevant marked out desks and adhere to seating plans. You will socially distance whenever the number of students attending the lesson allows for it, however, this will not always be possible. .Students must wear face coverings unless they are exempt or where the tutor decides it will hinder learning.

FOOD AND DRINKS | 

The canteen facility is reopening on April 19 with a full menu – plus the shop – for all learners. Socially-distanced seating areas are provided indoors and in new marquees which have been put up on-site. You can also use the College Store to order and pay for lunch and to have it delivered to your classroom.

You must observe two-metre social distancing at all times in these environments. If you have brought lunch with you, you should generally be able to each this in your classroom.  

REMEMBER | Oldham College is a community. Each and every one of has a duty to play our part in helping to keep campus safe for all learners and staff.


25 MARCH | IMPORTANT | KEEP TAKING HOME TESTS TO FIGHT COVID-19

Getting tested regularly for COVID-19 helps to keep all staff and learners safe at Oldham College – and is part of your contribution to our campus community.

This week our Safety Engagement team began issuing home testing kits with Lateral Flow tests for all learners on site.

We’re impressed with the take-up of Lateral Flow tests by some learners so far, but know we can do better. By taking a COVID-19 home testing kit please note that: 

  • By opening a lateral flow test, you are giving informed consent to share the results with us
  • You must also report your results – by law – at: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
  • If you test positive while taking a lateral flow test at home, you must get a polymer chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result. A PCR test is a standard COVID-19 test, which you can order at: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or alternatively you can book a test at a local symptomatic test centre. 

If you need more home testing kits for Easter half-term break you can collect one from the Futsal arena from 8am-12pm, Monday to Friday. (Excluding Good Friday and Easter Monday)

LEARN MORE | Read our FAQs about COVID-19 testing


5 MARCH | THE RESTART OF FACE-TO-FACE LEARNING AT OLDHAM COLLEGE

Oldham College will restart and increase face-to-face learning from Monday 8 March onwards. 

The number of learners attending campus will grow from that date onwards as we prioritise certain groups but blended learning  – a mixture of on-site and remote learning – will continue for most learners. This means not all learners will immediately be returning to site. 

Please do not assume you will back on-site on 8 March – and please do not attend Oldham College uninvited.Your tutor will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your arrangements and return with you, if they have not already done so. 

Learner Testing

Our focus now is to ensure as many learners as possible take Lateral Flow tests for COVID-19. You can get tested at Oldham Leisure Centre, which is just across the road from our Main Reception entrance. We began sending SMS messages on 2 March to all learners about getting a test appointment. You will also receive a text number to share your results with us. When you go for a test you will be shown how to self-administer COVID-19 tests from home. If you have any questions about any of the above, please contact your tutor ASAP.Student testing for COVID-19 is vitally important to help keep everyone on campus – learners and staff – as safe as possible.

Alongside all our on-site HANDS | FACE | SPACE safety measures, your regular testing and the national rollout of the vaccine is going to play a key role in helping us to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

Taking part in regular testing will enable us to minimise the risk of transmission on and off campus, keep everyone safe and enable us to gradually lift restrictions.

After taking your initial three tests learners will then be issued with home testing kits. Full instructions on how to administer these yourself will be provided. You can also watch this NHS video showing how to do this here.

Frequently Asked Questions: Student Testing

Q: Where will COVID tests be carried out?

A: Most tests will be carried out at Oldham Leisure Centre, which is located just across the road from Oldham College Reception – but some may take place on our campus.


Q: Who will carry out the COVID tests?

A: Appropriately trained personnel will deliver these tests in accordance with Government guidelines.


Q: I get tested every week in work for COVID. Do I still need to get tested in college as well– and how do I share my results with Oldham College?  

A: Any student who is tested as part of their workplace COVID measures does not need to get tested at the college as well. However, please text us the results confirmation after each test to 07912 485439 


Q: I have a test centre in my local area – can I have a test there?

A: Yes. Anyone who would prefer to use their local test centre can do so. Please forward your result confirmation text after each test to 07912 485439. You can find a list of testing centres in the Oldham area here


Q: I cannot attend for a test at the date and time I have been given: Who do I contact to change my appointment time?

A: If you‘re unable to attend at your allocated appointment time, please attend Oldham Leisure Centre as soon as possible after your scheduled date/time between 0730 and 5pm (Monday to Friday) to drop in for a test. No pre-booking is necessary, and you should forward your result confirmation text to 07912 485439. 


Q: What do I do if I haven’t had a text from Oldham College?

A: If you haven’t received a text from us, please attend Oldham Leisure Centre for a test as soon as possible (between 0730 and 5pm (Monday to Friday)) and forward your result confirmation text to 07912 485439. You should also check with Oldham College that we have your up-to-date contact number and details. 


Q: I’ve been for a test but I haven’t received my result – what should I do?

A: Unfortunately, there is no way of retrieving your test results so you will need to return to Oldham Leisure Centre between 0730 and 1700 on a weekday and undertake another test.Please make sure you give the staff at the testing centre your correct mobile number to ensure that this is where the results will be sent. 


Q: My consent form email isn’t working – even after refreshing it. What can I do?

A: You don’t need to give prior consent if you attend the testing centre at Oldham Leisure Centre. You can simply attend there and get tested between 0730 and 1700 on a weekday. 


Q: Can I come to my first lesson if I haven’t yet had a test?

A: Having a test is important because it helps to protect both yourself and others, so we strongly advise you to get a test. You can just go and get one at Oldham Leisure Centre (between 0730 and 5pm (Monday to Friday)) and forward your result confirmation text to 07912 485439. However, if you do not have a testyou can still attend your first lesson but you must strictly observe all other measures including safe distancing, the wearing of a face covering, regularly washing/sanitising your hands etc. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you must not attend college: you should isolate and book yourself into an NHS symptomatic test centre. A list of Oldham venues can be found here, and you should also notify your Tutor ASAP.


Q: Where and when do I have to wear face coverings/masks?

A: At Oldham College we require face coverings to be worn to help prevent the spread of the virus. We also require social distancing to be maintained, wherever possible, and for everyone to regularly wash/sanitise their hands. This is in line with Government guidance. However, where learners are exempt from wearing face coverings for medical reasons then they do not need to wear them. If a tutor decides that the wearing of face coverings impacts on learning they also have the discretion to adopt the approach that works best for that particular class or session. 


Q: How many tests do I need to do at Oldham College?

A: You should have 3 tests at Oldham Leisure Centre, taken between 3to 5 days apart. Please forward your result confirmation text after each test to 07912 485439. Once you have completed these 3 tests you will be given home testing kits so you can test yourself twice a week at home. You will be given instructions on how to use the kits and these will also tell you how to report your results. 


Q: What do I need to take with me when I go for a test?

A:You must take a face covering and wear this inside the test centre. You should also take your mobile phone so that you can register for the test. You will then receive the test results on that number.


Q: Will someone at Oldham Leisure Centre be able to help me swab

A: The purpose of having three tests at the testing centre is to get you used to being able to use the self-test kits you are going to be given to use at home. You should therefore swab yourself at Oldham Leisure Centre. The staff there will help and guide you through the process, but you need to get used to doing it yourself. 


Q: I have had one test at Oldham Leisure Centre, so when should I attend for tests 2 and 3?

A: Once you have had your first test you should attend for your second test between 3 and 5 days later, and attend for your third test between 3 and 5 days after that. You can go to Oldham Leisure Centre from 0730 – 1700 Monday to Friday, or from 10am to 4pm on a Saturday – and you do not need an appointment. However, don’t forget to forward your result confirmation text to 07912 485439 each time. Once you have completed your third test we can issue you with home testing kits. 


Q: How do I report my home testing results?

A: You will be given instructions on how to do this with the home kits – and these will also tell you how to report your results. 


Q: How often do I need to do the home testing?

A: Twice a week. 


Q: Following a positive test, do students stay at home until negative? 

A: If a student tests positive they must isolate in line with government guidance. Once they have tested negative they should share the test result with us and they can then attend Oldham College for face–to-face learning when asked to do so. If a student has any symptoms of COVID they must not attend campus. They can attend lessons remotely while waiting for the test result, but must inform your tutor immediately, stay and home and isolate. 


Q: Has Oldham College undertaken their due diligence/risk assessments regarding mask wearing and any associated health issues

A: Yes. We have undertaken COVID risk assessments in line with Government and HSE guidance. We are following their guidance on the wearing of face coverings. 


Q: What are Oldham College’s guidelines on ‘informed consent?

A: We are following Government guidance on consent in regards to COVID testing. 


Q: What happens if a learner or parent does not give their consent for COVID testing?

A: In line with Government guidance, if a student doesn’t give consent for testing then we can’t and will not test them. However, for the safety of themselves and those around them in the Oldham College community we strongly recommend and advise that that they do get tested.


24 FEBRUARY UPDATE | PLANNED RETURN TO COLLEGE

Oldham College is set to resume face-to-face learning from Monday 8th March.

This announcement follows the new national Roadmap – the Government’s plans for lifting COVID-19 restrictions – published on Monday afternoon.

We’ve evaluated the Roadmap and have put together our own action plan to ensure that we can implement these guidelines on-site smoothly and safely.

The first stage of this plan has been to contact learners via SMS to gain their consent for on-site COVID testing. Once we have received this consent, we will be able to confirm with learners their exact return date to campus.

LEARNERS – Please respond to this SMS as quickly as possible.

Alun Francis, Principal and Chief Executive says: “The national roadmap to easing the lockdown is great news for everyone at Oldham College.

“National progress towards the full lifting of all restrictions will obviously need to be cautious – and dependent on what the data and science tells us after each step – but this is a big and positive moment.

“If we implement our action plan successfully it will mean huge benefits to all our staff and learners in terms of teaching, attainment and mental health.

“We’re currently working through the detailed planning to implement an updated safety regime on campus, but I’m totally confident we can achieve this.

Since the pandemic began we’ve had had no known cases of transmission take place here and that is testament to how Oldham College has collectively risen to this once-in-a-lifetime challenge.”

We will be issuing full advice on our plans in the coming days.

CONTACT | Please contact your tutor in the first instance if you have any questions or concerns.


JANUARY 15 UPDATE | REMOTE LEARNING FAQ SECTION

A comprehensive section of frequently asked questions is now available to help you with any queries during this remote learning period.


JANUARY 11 UPDATE | REMOTE LEARNING TO START ON MONDAY

Dear Oldham College Learner, Parent, Carer or Guardian,

I’M WRITING to update you further about our plans following last night’s announcement that England is to enter into a national lockdown.

Firstly, I want to say that we understand that this is a very difficult time for you – and to reassure you that Oldham College is here to help with any questions, concerns or worries that you may have.

Your tutors will write to you with any details relating to your course, so please check your email account regularly and, if you need extra help, please contact your tutor direct.   

As previously stated, your courses are all moving to Remote Learning.

Those lessons will now start next Monday, January 11.

We expect this to last until at least February half term – but we do not know for certain yet.

Tutors will be writing to explain how you can make progress during this time. 

We are determined to help you to achieve your best, and to advise and help you advance in time for next year.  

It’s very important that you attend all your remote lessons, and that you complete all of the work that your tutors set – and do it to your highest standards. 

It may be that this work forms a major part of your grade for this year, so every lesson and every piece of work counts. Exams and Assessment

THE vast majority of learners will not be attending the campus site for the next few weeks – and you should only do that if you are contacted and invited to do so by a member of staff.

We are still awaiting confirmation from Government about the exams that are due to take place this week.

We expect to get this later today and will contact all affected learners direct to inform them of the next steps. For now, however, you should continue to prepare as if these will go ahead as planned.

Finally, we are expecting further news tomorrow from Government about how all learners with cancelled exams will be assessed and graded later this year.

I will write to you as soon as we have this information and explain how this affects you.

Please prepare yourself for the start of Remote Learning next Monday – and make sure you contact your tutor before then if you need any additional help or equipment.

Remember: Wash HANDS | Cover FACE | Make SPACE

Alun Francis
Oldham College, Principal and Chief Executive


Bursary Payments 

If you need help with the costs of coming to Oldham College then you could be entitled to our Bursary. 

You can find out more here – or contact the team for help by calling 0161 785 4147 or by emailing bursaryteam@oldham.ac.uk

NOTE: The Bursary Team are contactable as follows: 
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8.30 to 6pm 
Wednesday and Friday: 8.30am to 5pm 

Catch up funding

Supporting young people to catch up with their learning if they have fallen behind over the summer term is a priority for us. We have been allocated additional funding from the government that specifically supports those students who have not yet achieved a grade 4 in maths and/or English. The fund supports both catch up opportunities for English and maths and vocational courses.  

All students in scope for the funding will be provided with an opportunity to attend a variety of different catch up sessions. These will be booster sessions, small group sessions with a dedicated tutor and one to one sessions which will either be face to face or online. We have robust progress monitoring systems in place that can identify if students are falling behind or require additional support very quickly and our intention is that no student should be disadvantaged by the disruptions of the last 9 months and go on to achieve in their chosen course as they would in a normal year.


Useful Coronavirus information links


NHS health guidance can be found at: http://bit.ly/38LjEHx


The Department for Education (DfE) has a COVID-19 helpline for students, parents and staff. Call 0800 046 8687or email DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk (The helpline is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).The link to the full guidance for Educational Settings is: http://bit.ly/3aIMpG2