End of Year Message from Russ
To all of #TeamHaringey6, current students, families, staff, prospective new students, new staff, new families plus all our friends and of course the board of trustees.
The first thing to say is that we are all absolutely delighted the government has said that all students can come back in September.
We have learnt a lot in lockdown about how to deliver virtual education, and families and staff have been outstanding, but we all need, especially students, the routine of normal college life and students also need to see their friends and teachers.
It is vital that we get everyone back to college in September; attendance is compulsory unless there is a statutory reason for anyone to be absent. I hope that message is crystal clear!
There has been, to put it mildly, a lot of detailed guidance throughout this period, and so I will give you my strong view: this is only guidance for schools and is not relevant for our college. Equally, each college setting and context is unique. For example our students do not take anywhere near the same number of subjects as those in a school setting, they do not move across the building or site in the same way, all areas of the college are already suited and students occupy those curriculum specific areas of the building.
The only way to get everyone back, which as I have said we definitely will do, is to say we go about business as normal with a common sense approach to social distancing wherever possible.
We have already assessed the risks during a more challenging period as the site has remained open since March, plus welcoming more learners back in June.
We have implemented proportionate control measures to limit the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) for a limited number of learners.
I also don’t want to insult our staff and students; they will wash their hands regularly, including before and after they eat, and whenever they change rooms or return from a break. They will also, if you want to use the DFE language, already be in a bubble with the rest of their group they follow the same timetable every day. We have outstanding staff, so we can ensure the needs of each cohort are thoroughly met.
But we are not complacent and we will be following a system of controls.
These controls are grouped into ‘prevention’ and ‘response to any infection’ and are outlined in more detail in the sections below.
1) Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend the setting.
2) Clean hands thoroughly, more often than usual.
3) Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
4) Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often.
We are taking the following steps :
- putting in place a cleaning schedule that ensures cleaning is generally enhanced and includes:
- more frequent cleaning of rooms / shared areas that are used by different groups
- frequently touched surfaces being cleaned more often than normal
5) Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distance, where possible. Please see my comments below.
Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools or further education settings. This evidence will be kept under review. Face coverings are required at all times on public transport (for children, over the age of 11) or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient. They are not required in further education settings as learners and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.
Numbers 1 to 4 will be in place all the time. Number 5 will be properly considered as above and if required we will put in place measures that suit any particular circumstances.
Response to any infection
7) we will engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. Please see my comments below.
8) We will if required, manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the college community.
9) Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.
Track and Trace
We will, of course, also need your help and support to keep college safe. Obviously if anyone is unwell they should not attend college under any circumstance. The additional thing to note regarding Covid 19 is if somebody else in your household has the coronavirus symptoms then students should stay at home until that person is tested. Likewise, the government guidance says that if there is a confirmed case at college, then we will work with the relevant health authorities to ensure that everyone who was in close contact with them when they were infectious is notified and self-isolates for fourteen days – in reality what does this mean? We will be guided but at the moment this looks like it will be that those students they have been in a classroom in a their bubble.
So what you can do to help?
Everyone will need to play a part in keeping the virus out of college. We request that students avoid going into shops on the way into college and that they walk or cycle if they can, bring a bike lock we have the bikes shed. If they have to use public transport, they should wear a face covering while travelling, this is in line with government advice.
Thank you – you have been amazing!
The period since March has been long and tiring for families and staff, but it has also been inspiring and uplifting. The whole community has pulled together to ensure we all felt safe and supported, and we have shown just how much can be achieved in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances. No matter what your experience of lockdown, most in #TeamHaringey6 have been terrific: on behalf of all, I want to thank you for everything you have done to support the students over this period, and to support our wonderful college.
We will continue to be in touch over the summer to keep you informed about our plans, and to remind you of the key information you need to know regarding enrolment and start of term.