COVID-19

COVID-19

Last updated: 02 March 2022

The Prime Minister has announced that all COVID restrictions have been lifted.

Although legal requirements have changed, we are still following NHS and DfE guidance. Please read this page to find out what this means for you.

Getting the COVID vaccine and booster jab

Getting the vaccine is the single biggest thing you can do in the fight against COVID. All of the vaccines that you can get in the UK help protect against COVID. Having a COVID vaccine is optional, but we recommend that you get one if you are offered it, as they help protect you, those around you and our wider community.

If you are over 18 and it’s been at least three months since your second dose of the COVID vaccine you are eligible for a booster jab. You can have a first, second or booster jab at a walk-in centre or wait for the NHS to invite you for an appointment.

Find out more from the NHS by clicking here.

Unsure about COVID and the vaccines? We urge you to do your own research to educate yourself. Don’t just ask your friends or check social media, but look more widely, for example on reputable news websites too – like the BBC, ITV, Sky News and newspapers like The Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail, Telegraph.

Contact tracing and self-isolation 

Although it is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate, please do not come into college if you test positive for COVID. You can return when after six days provided you have negative COVID Lateral Flow Tests on day five (at the earliest) and then a consecutive test 24 hours later. If the day five test is positive, further tests can be taken on subsequent days, always adhering to the same criteria – that you must receive two negative tests, 24 hours apart.

Managing and reporting symptoms

If you have COVID you must contact your Safeguarding team on 020 7697 1717 to let them know.

If you have any COVID symptoms while in college:

  • Tell your teacher immediately. They will send you straight home. If you can’t leave straight away, you will be moved to another room where you can stay apart from other students until you can leave. 
  • Please avoid contact with others on your way out, and go directly home.
  • Take a Lateral Flow Test as soon as possible. If the result is positive you should stay at home and not return to college. If you have COVID symptoms you must take a PCR test. If it is negative, you may return to college.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If someone in your household tests positive for COVID you no longer need to self-isolate. Do not come into college if you have symptoms and take a lateral flow test.

Teaching and face-to-face classes will continue as normal. We will manage any outbreak of COVID cases at our centres in the normal way. If you’re a current student you can find out more on the COVID intranet page.

​​​​​​Lateral Flow Testing (LFT)

We will continue to make free testing kits available to staff and students.

What is a LFT?
A LFT is a quick swab test in your throat and nose, which you do yourself. Within 30 minutes you will get a positive or negative test result.

If you test positive 
Whether you feel OK or not, you must stay at home (or go home straight away if you’re in college). You no longer need to take a follow-up PCR test if you do not have COVID symptoms. If you have symptoms you must still take a PCR test. 

If you test negative
You can return to college if your LFT is negative.

Clinically extremely vulnerable
Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people are no longer advised to shield but may wish to take extra precautions to protect themselves, and follow the practical steps set out in the CEV guidance to minimise their risk. If you are a student under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by your GP or clinician not to attend college, please follow their advice.

If you are pregnant
Please follow the advice laid out in the COVID advice for pregnant employees. Although written for employees, students should follow the same guidance.

Our pledge to you

We want to reduce any further disruption to your education whilst ensuring that you and our staff remain safe. Every adult has now been offered the vaccine. 

Please be rest assured that we will be working closely and following guidance from Public Health England. We will be monitoring our sites closely and if necessary, we’ll reintroduce measures to limit transmission. We have an Outbreak Management Plan to ensure this would be for the shortest amount of time and affecting as few people as possible. 

Face coverings

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It is no longer a requirement to wear face coverings whilst on site. Staff and students should follow wider advice on face coverings outside of college, including on public transport.

Catch it, bin it, kill it

  • When you cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately.
  • Continue to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser.

NHS Track and Trace app

The NHS Test and Trace contact tracing service has now closed. The NHS COVID-19 app is due to be updated.

If the app advises you to self-isolate, you should still take steps to help reduce the chance of passing coronavirus (COVID-19) on to others.

For more information please visit the NHS website.