May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families ‘Happy New Year’ and I hope that you have all had an enjoyable break.

Yesterday, the Education Secretary wrote to all education and childcare providers to outline what the return to education in 2022 will look like, and I thought it important to share this with you in advance of the start of term tomorrow.

The College is continuing to implement a series of measures to help keep students in face-to-face environments. This includes maintaining social distancing around the College estate, hand cleansing and the additional cleaning routine that is currently in place. The College had reintroduced the recommendation of wearing face coverings in communal areas prior to the end of term. However, from 4th January 2022, we will be requesting that face coverings should be worn in all teaching and learning spaces. Face coverings continue to be mandatory on journeys to and from college if using public or college transport.

Testing continues to remain a priority. All students and staff are being asked to self-test at home before they return to college this week and will continue to be encouraged to test twice a week using an Lateral Flow Test and report all results to the NHS and to the College. Students should only return to college following a negative test result. Students should not present at college if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. If students are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 then a Lateral Flow Test should be undertaken. If this is positive, a PCR test should be booked via the normal NHS route. Please note that if any students or their families have travelled internationally, their return will require a PCR test and some level of post-travel isolation. You can find the current guidance here.

For many students, examinations and assessments will be taking place early into the new term. The College is continuing to prepare for all examinations to go ahead as scheduled. Please continue to check emails and social media channels for further information.

Many thanks for your ongoing patience and support. We look forward to welcoming all students back tomorrow.

Best wishes

Lucy Reed

Deputy Principal