Covid-19 and testing update

Firstly, thank you for your support and understanding, these are challenging and potentially worrying times for us all.

Following on from my letter to you of 31st December, the announcements by the Prime Minister last night and the new government guidelines, I am writing to you to confirm that College will re-open for learners as planned on Monday 11th January 2021, with education being provided in College and online for learning at home, or a blend of the two.

There are now three main issues:

  1. Leaders in College have already read, digested, and are now implementing hundreds of pages of DfE and NHS guidance and protocols and we are confident that we will be in a position to safely re-open College to those who wish to attend from Monday 11th January 2021.As the attached letter explains, we are participating in the national testing programme for schools and colleges.  All our staff have willingly shown their commitment and already come forward to volunteer for the additional roles required. There are seven key roles (plus “reserves”) in the testing process, and I am very pleased to let you know that all our volunteers are from our own staff, all of whom have had Safeguarding training, relevant DBS checks and NHS online testing training. We will not be using external volunteers or agency staff. We have now rearranged some of our rooms and space to carry out testing as safely and securely as possible and we are training staff at all levels about the testing during this week.   Please note that, although we urge every learner who is in College to join in with the testing as it helps us all in so many ways, testing is not compulsory.  If a person shows any symptoms of Covid-19 at all however, it does then become necessary to self-isolate straight away and not come into College as this would put other young people and our staff at risk. The information at the top of this page hopefully gives you all that you need.
  2. However, with a national lockdown in place and everyone being urged and also required by law to remain at home except for essential matters, if it is your choice that your son or daughter would be safer at home at the present time and not attend College in person, we fully understand and respect that choice. All learners who remain at home to stay safe will benefit from our well established home learning via Microsoft Teams.  We will re-start this online provision on Monday 11th January 2021.
  3. Everyone recognises that the situation with Covid-19 is serious and is fast changing. Consequently, we will continue with our rigorous, ongoing risk assessment of all aspects of our provision as we need to keep all our learners and all our staff as safe as humanly possible.

Risk of further infection, greater impact of Covid-19, shortage of staff or PPE, further Government guidance, or many other factors out of our control may well lead to the need to vary our provision, possibly at short notice, based on the local situation and the individual circumstances of young people.

Please be prepared for this eventuality – any steps taken will not be taken without due consideration of all factors and will be taken in the best long-term interests of everyone in our College community.

Our staff all have their own families, relatives, and pressures. They all remain hardworking, resourceful, resilient, and all-round amazing and will remain so during the weeks ahead.

It is clear that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” and we all look forward to the time when the days are longer, the weather warmer and, most importantly, College is fully open and safe for all to attend.

To help us plan please email office@oakley.ac.uk as soon as you and your daughter or son have discussed the situation and have made your choice and no later than 4pm on Wednesday 6th January indicate your preference:

 

I wish my son or daughter [confirm their name] to attend college if possible, from Monday 11th January 2021.

 

My son or daughter will/ will not* participate in the voluntary testing programme in College.

 

  1. My son or daughter [confirm their name] will remain at home and engage in learning at home from 11th January 2021 until further notice.

There is additional advice for (young) people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. This states those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time spent outside the home, only going out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

We will, of course, be in regular contact with you throughout the next few days and coming weeks.

Thank you again for your understanding and patience.

Yours sincerely

*Please tell us if they will join the testing programme or not.  If yes, then please complete the consent form at return to the college office. Thank you.

The “Guide to living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty” has been useful for some people and is now on our website at:  Coronavirus – Information – Oakley College. Please have a look to see if it may be of use or interest to you.

The activity menu has many suggestions that are possible – even in a national lockdown.

Covid-19 and testing update

Firstly, thank you for your support and understanding, these are challenging and potentially worrying times for us all.

Following on from my letter to you of 31st December, the announcements by the Prime Minister last night and the new government guidelines, I am writing to you to confirm that College will re-open for learners as planned on Monday 11th January 2021, with education being provided in College and online for learning at home, or a blend of the two.

There are now three main issues:

  1. Leaders in College have already read, digested, and are now implementing hundreds of pages of DfE and NHS guidance and protocols and we are confident that we will be in a position to safely re-open College to those who wish to attend from Monday 11th January 2021.As the attached letter explains, we are participating in the national testing programme for schools and colleges.  All our staff have willingly shown their commitment and already come forward to volunteer for the additional roles required. There are seven key roles (plus “reserves”) in the testing process, and I am very pleased to let you know that all our volunteers are from our own staff, all of whom have had Safeguarding training, relevant DBS checks and NHS online testing training. We will not be using external volunteers or agency staff. We have now rearranged some of our rooms and space to carry out testing as safely and securely as possible and we are training staff at all levels about the testing during this week.   Please note that, although we urge every learner who is in College to join in with the testing as it helps us all in so many ways, testing is not compulsory.  If a person shows any symptoms of Covid-19 at all however, it does then become necessary to self-isolate straight away and not come into College as this would put other young people and our staff at risk. The information at the top of this page hopefully gives you all that you need.
  2. However, with a national lockdown in place and everyone being urged and also required by law to remain at home except for essential matters, if it is your choice that your son or daughter would be safer at home at the present time and not attend College in person, we fully understand and respect that choice. All learners who remain at home to stay safe will benefit from our well established home learning via Microsoft Teams.  We will re-start this online provision on Monday 11th January 2021.
  3. Everyone recognises that the situation with Covid-19 is serious and is fast changing. Consequently, we will continue with our rigorous, ongoing risk assessment of all aspects of our provision as we need to keep all our learners and all our staff as safe as humanly possible.

Risk of further infection, greater impact of Covid-19, shortage of staff or PPE, further Government guidance, or many other factors out of our control may well lead to the need to vary our provision, possibly at short notice, based on the local situation and the individual circumstances of young people.

Please be prepared for this eventuality – any steps taken will not be taken without due consideration of all factors and will be taken in the best long-term interests of everyone in our College community.

Our staff all have their own families, relatives, and pressures. They all remain hardworking, resourceful, resilient, and all-round amazing and will remain so during the weeks ahead.

It is clear that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” and we all look forward to the time when the days are longer, the weather warmer and, most importantly, College is fully open and safe for all to attend.

To help us plan please email office@oakley.ac.uk as soon as you and your daughter or son have discussed the situation and have made your choice and no later than 4pm on Wednesday 6th January indicate your preference:

 

I wish my son or daughter [confirm their name] to attend college if possible, from Monday 11th January 2021.

 

My son or daughter will/ will not* participate in the voluntary testing programme in College.

 

  1. My son or daughter [confirm their name] will remain at home and engage in learning at home from 11th January 2021 until further notice.

There is additional advice for (young) people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. This states those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time spent outside the home, only going out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

We will, of course, be in regular contact with you throughout the next few days and coming weeks.

Thank you again for your understanding and patience.

Yours sincerely

*Please tell us if they will join the testing programme or not.  If yes, then please download our consent form and return to office@oakley.ac.uk.  Thank you.

The “Guide to living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty” has been useful for some people and is now on our website at:  Coronavirus – Information – Oakley College. Please have a look to see if it may be of use or interest to you.

The activity menu has many suggestions that are possible – even in a national lockdown.