Dear Parents and Carers

Covid-19 Update 2, 2021

I am very pleased to be able to report that we successfully hosted nineteen learners in College last week and that our learning at home offer goes from strength to strength. While still no substitute for face to face learning, we can see that what we are doing with remote education now has built on what we learned in Lockdown 1, with resulting development of our provision and learning offer.
To help our teachers and learning support staff, please make sure if you can that your son or daughter have their camera on when they participate in online sessions – it helps with monitoring the learning and giving good feedback to learners.

Our Admin. team stepped up admirably last week with really efficient and caring administration of lateral flow tests (LFTs) for all learners and staff. All of which returned negative results.
There has been some debate amongst the “scientific community” and in the media about the wisdom of using these tests so widely in schools and colleges for asymptomatic learners and staff, especially when the tests are being given by staff who are not trained healthcare professionals.
We completely understand and agree with concerns raised and know full well that our testing is not a perfect guard against Covid infection in College. However, we can only do what we can do, and our staff are committed, careful and caring. They have been trained and practiced as much as possible and are now adept at giving the LFTs carefully and efficiently. We will continue with LFTs as, in our view, this testing is better than no testing at all and does help with our continuing striving to keep the College open for as many as possible at any given time. It is really important though that everyone continues with the “Hands, Face, Space” discipline and actions. Also keep your son or daughter at home immediately if they display any of the four main
symptoms of Covid-19: high temperature, new dry cough, fatigue/tiredness or loss of taste/smell.

Great news today is that all of our learners who are clinically extremely vulnerable will shortly be getting a letter inviting them to have the Covid vaccination. That’s really positive!
Other good news is that it is reported that infection rates in five areas of Kent are well below the current national average for England, including Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks.
Despite the welcome bits of good news today, we know we are still in for a long haul and I pay tribute to the dedication and resilience of all of our staff. And, as I said previously, if you feel that the safest and best thing for your son or daughter at present is to stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives and
engage with learning online, we fully respect and understand that decision.

We continue with our rigorous, ongoing risk assessment of all aspects of our provision as we need to stay vigilant and keep all our learners and all our staff as safe as humanly possible in the circumstances.

Stay safe and well, best wishes

Gordon Tillman, CEO