Our new normal
*UPDATE following 27th November Government Announcement*
In order to continue to do our best to keep each other safe, with immediate effect, we have updated our guidance to reflect the current government position. Face coverings will now be required in communal areas for all students, staff and visitors unless you are exempt.
We continue to encourage all students and staff to carry out regular testing using lateral flow device tests and to take up the offer of vaccines and boosters.
Teaching is back to normal and face to face, the open spaces for learning are now open once more and services such as the library and canteens are back to normal service.
But we are still being safe;
- Sanitiser stations remain in place across our campuses
- You don't have to wear a mask, but you are welcome to if you want to
- Home testing kits are available from our reception desks
- Pre term start testing will take place for all 16-19 year olds prior to the new term starting
COVID-19 symptoms guidance for students
When to self-isolate
You should self-isolate if you have the following symptoms:
- a high temperature - this means you feel hot or cold to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or smell or taste different to normal.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result - only leave your home to have a test
- Please notify us via your course leader or SPM if you are self-isolating
If someone in your household has covid symptoms or a positive and you are under 18 years and 6 months, or if you are over 18 and have had both vaccinations, you are not legally required to isolate yourself, however we would ask that you inform your Student Performance Manager or Course Leader so that they can go through the rules with you as the Government guidance can be confusing.
Support for students
We understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone and we want to as much as we can to ease those worries. Our support services for students are fully operational, however we are asking for students to make appointments wherever possible. If you need to speak to someone in the Student Engagement Team and do not have an appointment, please visit Reception, who help you to organise this.
Students and staff who are unwell on campus
It goes without saying, if you feel unwell with COVID symptoms, please stay at home.
However, if you start feeling unwell after you have arrived at college, please alert your tutor or the nearest staff member asap. We have a clear process for staff to follow, which will include making sure you are safe, and getting you home as quickly as possible. Our staff will decide on the best approach depending on your symptoms and other factors such as your age and where you live. Our staff will use additional PPE during this time and will provide you with appropriate equipment too, in order to limit the spread of the virus – please follow all instructions given to you at this time.
Students who have received a positive COVID-19 test result
If you receive notification of a positive test result for COVID-19, you should immediately contact Student Services on firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are an Abingdon student please call 01235 216228 or for Witney and Common Leys students please call 01993 208500, so that we can take the necessary advice to ensure the safety of staff and students.
We recognise that this remains an uncertain time and we continue to review our plans regularly and closely following advice from the Department of Education and as a result, our approach might change throughout the year, but we will let you know if and when that happens.
Update on Summer 2021 Assessments
"Lockdown": A film by Mollie Leivars
Witney-based filmmaker and Gateway student at the College, Mollie Leivars, has made a short film from home about the effect that COVID-19 can have on the mental health of young people, whilst showing that we are not alone in our feelings about the situation and we all stand together in this fight against the virus.