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Coronavirus

Welcome to our dedicated Coronavirus page. This is where we regularly update our students, apprentices, staff, parents and employers with the latest Coronavirus information and guidance in relation to the college and how it impacts them.

Latest Bulletin

Here is the South Staffordshire College guidance on reopening for both staff and students.

For South Staffordshire College’s COVID-19 risk assessment (September 2021), please click here.

  • General Information

    Students, please ensure you check your emails regularly and continue to have regular contact with your teachers, assessors and support staff. Our priority is to ensure that all our students have the best opportunity to successfully complete their studies and continue with their next steps and future plans. You can contact your tutors if you have any queries, their email address is their firstname.lastname@southstaffs.ac.uk.

    The IT helpdesk support can be contacted by emailing studentITsupport@southstaffs.ac.uk during the hours of 09.00 -16.30. The IT team will only be able to assist with password resets as they cannot support issues with personal devices.

    We will continue to work closely with students, parents, employers and key stakeholders to navigate through the pandemic, following government guidelines. Our key priority is the safety and well-being of all our students and staff as we continue to move forward in these challenging times.

    The college will will provide updates via the website, email and social media, so please ensure you follow us on:

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthStaffordshireCollege
    Twitter
    : www.twitter.com/southstaffs
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/South_Staffordshire_College

    Stay safe and well.

  • Face Coverings

    On Monday 10th May 2021, the Prime Minister made an announcement regarding Step 3 of the roadmap and on the 11th May, updated guidance from the Department of Education was released.

    A key element of the press release and guidance is the announcement on face coverings in education and that from Monday 17th May, “Face coverings will no longer be needed in classrooms or for students in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges”. Also face coverings are no longer recommended for staff rooms. Reception staff aren’t required to wear face coverings if there is a physical barrier such as a perspex screen in front of them.

    Face coverings are no longer advised for students, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas and whilst you may be exempt from self-isolation rules because of your vaccinations and no symptoms, if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus, we would ask you to take extra care whilst on our sites by wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces or when walking around the College site and maintain good social distancing where possible for 10 days. Staff and students may of course choose to wear face coverings where they consider it appropriate, in line with the national guidance.

  • Self-Testing

    Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within colleges.

    Students or staff who are unable to test themselves are advised to attend a test centre. Test centres are easily accessible and are found here.

    Students

    Lateral Flow Testing kits will be given to students at induction. Students are encouraged to ‘self-test’ at home twice weekly and report the results to the college, regardless of the outcome being positive or negative, by emailing enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk (as well as advising Gov.uk).

    Should you need more home test kits you can of course collect from any of the college hubs/receptions or order free online. Alternatively you can collect lateral flow home test kits from pharmacies or from test sites.

    If your lateral flow test result is positive you should book a confirmatory PCR test.

    Book a lateral flow test (if you have no symptoms)

    Book a PCR test (if you have symptoms)

    Also, advice from the NHS on booking tests is here.

    Here is some helpful information on testing and locations of pick up points from Staffordshire County Council.

    Reporting test results

    Once the self-test is complete students (and staff) report the result here.

    AND

    When you get the confirmation email or text (screenshot the text) email it to enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk

    Staff

    Staff also need to test twice weekly and report the results to enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk as well as to the NHS.

  • Self-Isolation

    If you test positive or develop symptoms yourself (or are required to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has), there is a legal duty to self-isolate for at least 10 days unless you are exempt. You must tell us via emailing our COVID-19@southstaffs.ac.uk email address and of course ensuring that your line manager is also aware. There is no need to email HR, as they have access to this email address. There is now no need to self-isolate if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, if you are 18 or under, or have been double vaccinated, unless you also test positive. Anyone who isn’t exempt under these rules will have to continue to self-isolate.

    In terms of vaccination status, you must have had your second COVID-19 jab at least two weeks before you came into close contact with the positive case. E.g. if you had your second jab on 10 August, you would still have to self-isolate until 24 August if you are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus during that period. If you are not exempt from self-isolation rules, you still have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.

    NHS Test and Trace will continue to notify people if they have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive and will recommend that you take a PCR test. You do not have to self-isolate whilst waiting for the results and if you test negative you do not have to retake the test unless you develop symptoms.

    If you come into work after receiving a notice to self-isolate, you are confirming that you are legally exempt from the duty to self-isolate and have taken a PCR test which is negative. If you do come into work when you should be self-isolating, in order to maintain our sites as safe working environments, we will treat this as a serious disciplinary offence. In order to assist us and you to ensure that we do not breach the rules, we will be asking staff to confirm the dates of their vaccinations so that we can support your decision making. If you have not already informed HR, please send an email with your vaccination dates on to the COVID-19@southstaffs.ac.uk email address.

  • NHS Track and Trace App

    The NHS launched its COVID-19 app to help support the contact track and trace system in England and Wales and to prevent further spreading of the virus.

    The app helps to notify users if they have come into contact with someone who they may not know personally, who may later test positive for Coronavirus. People can also use the app to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test and check into venues by scanning a QR code all whilst remaining anonymous. The app does not track you or your location, but instead your postcode district (the first part of your postcode e.g ST).

    This will provide vital data to the NHS to help work out where the virus is spreading and allow local authorities to respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives.

    South Staffordshire College would like to support the NHS by encouraging all staff and students to download the Covid-19 app to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and to save lives.

    To find out more visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54250736 or view this document which introduces the app.

  • Information for Staff

    If staff members need COVID PPE replacing i.e. wipes, masks etc. please contact Estates on each campus.

    Staff can contact the IT helpdesk for support using IT-Support@southstaffs.ac.uk during the hours of 09.00-16.30.

    To report a staff absence please email Absence.helpdesk@southstaffs.ac.uk and notify your line manager.

    For enquires to our Finance department please email finance.helpdesk@southstaffs.ac.uk

    For general enquiries to our HR department please email Hr.helpdesk@southstaffs.ac.uk

    For recruitment queries, please direct your enquiry to recruitment@southstaffs.ac.uk

    For enquiries to our Business Development and Apprenticeships department, please email apprenticeships@southstaffs.ac.uk

    Any other queries should be emailed to enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk

  • General Information

    Students, please ensure you check your emails regularly and continue to have regular contact with your teachers, assessors and support staff. Our priority is to ensure that all our students have the best opportunity to successfully complete their studies and continue with their next steps and future plans. You can contact your tutors if you have any queries, their email address is their firstname.lastname@southstaffs.ac.uk.

    The IT helpdesk support can be contacted by emailing studentITsupport@southstaffs.ac.uk during the hours of 09.00 -16.30. The IT team will only be able to assist with password resets as they cannot support issues with personal devices.

    We will continue to work closely with students, parents, employers and key stakeholders to navigate through the pandemic, following government guidelines. Our key priority is the safety and well-being of all our students and staff as we continue to move forward in these challenging times.

    The college will will provide updates via the website, email and social media, so please ensure you follow us on:

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthStaffordshireCollege
    Twitter
    : www.twitter.com/southstaffs
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/South_Staffordshire_College

    Stay safe and well.

  • Face Coverings

    On Monday 10th May 2021, the Prime Minister made an announcement regarding Step 3 of the roadmap and on the 11th May, updated guidance from the Department of Education was released.

    A key element of the press release and guidance is the announcement on face coverings in education and that from Monday 17th May, “Face coverings will no longer be needed in classrooms or for students in communal areas in secondary schools and colleges”. Also face coverings are no longer recommended for staff rooms. Reception staff aren’t required to wear face coverings if there is a physical barrier such as a perspex screen in front of them.

    Face coverings are no longer advised for students, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas and whilst you may be exempt from self-isolation rules because of your vaccinations and no symptoms, if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus, we would ask you to take extra care whilst on our sites by wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces or when walking around the College site and maintain good social distancing where possible for 10 days. Staff and students may of course choose to wear face coverings where they consider it appropriate, in line with the national guidance.

  • Self-Testing

    Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within colleges.

    Students or staff who are unable to test themselves are advised to attend a test centre. Test centres are easily accessible and are found here.

    Students

    Lateral Flow Testing kits will be given to students at induction. Students are encouraged to ‘self-test’ at home twice weekly and report the results to the college, regardless of the outcome being positive or negative, by emailing enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk (as well as advising Gov.uk).

    Should you need more home test kits you can of course collect from any of the college hubs/receptions or order free online. Alternatively you can collect lateral flow home test kits from pharmacies or from test sites.

    If your lateral flow test result is positive you should book a confirmatory PCR test.

    Book a lateral flow test (if you have no symptoms)

    Book a PCR test (if you have symptoms)

    Also, advice from the NHS on booking tests is here.

    Here is some helpful information on testing and locations of pick up points from Staffordshire County Council.

    Reporting test results

    Once the self-test is complete students (and staff) report the result here.

    AND

    When you get the confirmation email or text (screenshot the text) email it to enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk

    Staff

    Staff also need to test twice weekly and report the results to enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk as well as to the NHS.

  • Self-Isolation

    If you test positive or develop symptoms yourself (or are required to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has), there is a legal duty to self-isolate for at least 10 days unless you are exempt. You must tell us via emailing our COVID-19@southstaffs.ac.uk email address and of course ensuring that your line manager is also aware. There is no need to email HR, as they have access to this email address. There is now no need to self-isolate if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, if you are 18 or under, or have been double vaccinated, unless you also test positive. Anyone who isn’t exempt under these rules will have to continue to self-isolate.

    In terms of vaccination status, you must have had your second COVID-19 jab at least two weeks before you came into close contact with the positive case. E.g. if you had your second jab on 10 August, you would still have to self-isolate until 24 August if you are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus during that period. If you are not exempt from self-isolation rules, you still have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.

    NHS Test and Trace will continue to notify people if they have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive and will recommend that you take a PCR test. You do not have to self-isolate whilst waiting for the results and if you test negative you do not have to retake the test unless you develop symptoms.

    If you come into work after receiving a notice to self-isolate, you are confirming that you are legally exempt from the duty to self-isolate and have taken a PCR test which is negative. If you do come into work when you should be self-isolating, in order to maintain our sites as safe working environments, we will treat this as a serious disciplinary offence. In order to assist us and you to ensure that we do not breach the rules, we will be asking staff to confirm the dates of their vaccinations so that we can support your decision making. If you have not already informed HR, please send an email with your vaccination dates on to the COVID-19@southstaffs.ac.uk email address.

  • NHS Track and Trace App

    The NHS launched its COVID-19 app to help support the contact track and trace system in England and Wales and to prevent further spreading of the virus.

    The app helps to notify users if they have come into contact with someone who they may not know personally, who may later test positive for Coronavirus. People can also use the app to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test and check into venues by scanning a QR code all whilst remaining anonymous. The app does not track you or your location, but instead your postcode district (the first part of your postcode e.g ST).

    This will provide vital data to the NHS to help work out where the virus is spreading and allow local authorities to respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives.

    South Staffordshire College would like to support the NHS by encouraging all staff and students to download the Covid-19 app to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and to save lives.

    To find out more visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54250736 or view this document which introduces the app.

  • Information for Staff

    If staff members need COVID PPE replacing i.e. wipes, masks etc. please contact Estates on each campus.

    Staff can contact the IT helpdesk for support using IT-Support@southstaffs.ac.uk during the hours of 09.00-16.30.

    To report a staff absence please email Absence.helpdesk@southstaffs.ac.uk and notify your line manager.

    For enquires to our Finance department please email finance.helpdesk@southstaffs.ac.uk

    For general enquiries to our HR department please email Hr.helpdesk@southstaffs.ac.uk

    For recruitment queries, please direct your enquiry to recruitment@southstaffs.ac.uk

    For enquiries to our Business Development and Apprenticeships department, please email apprenticeships@southstaffs.ac.uk

    Any other queries should be emailed to enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do the tests work?

    Along with the other protective measures we are using, testing will allow us to take further measures to help keep our students and staff safe and reduce the spread in College settings through asymptomatic transmission.

    The testing is voluntary, but we encourage students to consent to take part in the programme. The ‘lateral’ flow tests are quick and easy using a swab of the nose and mouth. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the student.

  • What happens if a student tests positive?

    If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ to confirm the result. This should be on the same day or as soon as possible afterwards. During the time while waiting for the PCR result (via text/email) they will need to self-isolate. If the PCR test returns a positive result they will have to continue to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.

  • What happens if the test is negative?

    While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in college and resume their activities as normal. Students will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.

  • What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in college who tests positive?

    The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the college. There may be instances where close contacts are also contacted by NHS Test and Trace. In this instance they should notify NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact through school/college and are participating in daily contact testing. If they do not want to take the tests, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. The option of daily testing does not apply to household members or close contacts of a positive case outside of college, who will still need to self-isolate.

  • What if I develop symptoms?

    This testing programme at college is for people with no symptoms. If you develop symptoms at any time you must immediately self-isolate and book a test. We will support our staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions by emailing enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk..