2 January 2022

Principal's Update - Start of Spring Term

In light of recent government announcements regarding the pandemic, I am pleased to confirm that the College will re-open to all students for face to face teaching from Tuesday 4th January, with face coverings required at all times in College or on the College bus network unless exempt.

Please therefore continue to follow your normal timetable. All examinations scheduled for January will also go ahead as planned, and if you are not able to attend in accordance with the guidelines set out below, alternative examination arrangements will be made for you in due course. 

All College buses will run as per their normal schedules and all residential students should have received details of your return to College from Monday 3rd January.

The College’s safety protocols have been revised in accordance with the expectations set out by the Government and specifically the Department for Education, and are as follows:

  1. All new and returning students should take a lateral flow test at home on the evening before or the morning of your first day back at College this week. Testing kits are still available from the College reception or via your curriculum area and all students are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly.
  2. If you test positive on your lateral flow test or have Covid symptoms, you should book a PCR test immediately and stop attending College. If the PCR test is positive, you will need to inform the College and the NHS Test and Trace site and self-isolate for ten days. You should take a lateral flow test on day 6 of your isolation and 24hrs later on day 7. If both are negative and you do not have a high temperature, you can end your self-isolation period and return to College on day 8. If these are positive, you should complete your 10-day isolation before returning to College.
  3. If you are a close contact of someone with Covid and are fully vaccinated (14 days have passed since receiving your second vaccination), you should take a lateral flow test every day for 7 days and continue to attend College. If you test positive or develop symptoms, you should follow point 2 above.

If you are not yet fully vaccinated and live in the same household as someone with Covid, you are required to stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days.

Upon returning to College:

  1. All students are required to wear face coverings at all times when travelling to and from College on our bus network.
  2. All students are required to wear face coverings when entering any College building, when walking through the corridors or when sat in communal areas, such as commons rooms or the library.
  3. All students are now required to wear face coverings during all lessons, including theory and practical, unless outside.
  4. If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you should wear your College exemption lanyard at all times. If you are a new student, please share details of your exemption status with your tutor who will signpost you to our Student Safeguarding and Wellbeing team.

Every one of us has a responsibility to play our part in limiting the transmission of Covid and therefore doing all we can to keep ourselves and our families safe. Whilst compliance with these protocols was fairly high across the College last term, far too many students needed reminding to wear their face coverings when in College buildings.

It is unfair on the majority of other students who are taking responsibility, and on College staff to have to keep reminding students who are ignoring these protocols. I would therefore ask for the support of all parents in ensuring their sons and daughters understand these expectations and the need for them to be followed before they return to College this week. I will also be enforcing far stronger interventions, including disciplinary measures, for students who are persistent or disrespectful in their disregard for these protocols.

In addition to the above measures, we will continue to ensure that all internal spaces across the College remain well ventilated and that we maintain enhanced cleaning procedures.

We have seen very low levels of transmission of Covid at Plumpton throughout the past two years and with everyone continuing to play their part, I remain hopeful that we will be able to keep the College open through the coming weeks.

All students should ensure you are familiar with and frequently accessing your Microsoft Teams page for your course anyway, but this will prove even more valuable to you to be able to access lesson resources and assignments should you need to self-isolate. It will also be the means by which we deliver online lessons should we have to at any point in the future.

We are currently seeking to increase our pool of bank teaching and support staff whom we might be able to call on at short notice to help provide support or cover lessons. If any parents or guardians have a teaching or support background that you think may be of use and you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with our HR team hr@plumpton.ac.uk.

Finally, I recognise that Christmas may not have been an easy or enjoyable a time for some of you and as always, we are here to listen and support you as much as we can. If you need any emotional support and advice, or just want to talk, please contact our Student Safeguarding and Wellbeing Team via the Student Wellbeing WhatsApp (from Tuesday) on 07387 411834 or email studentwellbeing@plumpton.ac.uk.

As always, if you have any queries about returning to College or any other aspect of your studies, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly Jeremy.kerswell@plumpton.ac.uk. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you all back in College over the coming week.

Very best wishes and Happy New Year,

Jeremy Kerswell

Principal

Categories: College News, Updates from the Principal, Covid-19

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