Dear Student (and parent/carer where applicable),
As you may have heard over the weekend, the Prime Minister has announced a number of new temporary measures following the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK. The new measures will be introduced as a precaution to slow down the spread of the variant while the government and scientists gather more information. The government has also indicated that some of these measures will be introduced in education settings with immediate effect. At this stage, we understand these are temporary measures and will be reviewed before Christmas. Please can I therefore ask all students and staff to help play their part by following the below measures:
Face coverings should be worn in all communal areas by all staff, students and visitors unless they are exempt. This includes all corridors, the Learning Resource Centre and while queuing in the refectory. Face coverings are not required in classrooms or workshops; however, students or staff may choose to wear them if they wish to do so.
Students and staff should also wear face coverings on public transport, unless they are exempt.
All students and staff are encouraged to continue to test twice weekly at home using lateral flow device (LFD) tests. Test kits are available for students and staff from the main reception at both campuses. Test kits will also be available in curriculum areas. Please report your test result to the NHS Test and Trace Service and to the college via your tutor or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current guidance on contact tracing and isolation remains in place and students and staff should self-isolate and book a PCR test if they develop symptoms or test positive on a lateral flow device. Close contacts of anyone who tests positive after a PCR test will continue to be notified by the NHS Test and Trace Service and/or the college directly. As a close contact you will need to book a PCR test, however, you do not need to self-isolate unless you develop symptoms or test positive.
In addition to the above, any suspected or confirmed close contacts of the new Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age. You will be contacted directly by the NHS Test and Trace Service if the Omicron variant is detected in your sample, or the sample of a close contact and you will be told to isolate.
All eligible staff and students continue to be encouraged to take up the offer of the vaccine, including boosters.
The government has stated that vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people and adults, and benefit those around them. The vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.
To book a vaccination, please visit: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk). In addition to booking when eligible via the NHS, a number of dates will also shortly be available for students and staff to access a pop-up vaccination centre at the college and further details will be circulated soon.
Individuals arriving in England from red list countries must follow the red list rules. In addition, any staff or students arriving from abroad will shortly be required to self-isolate and to take a PCR test on their second day after arrival. If they receive a negative PCR result, then they can leave self-isolation straight away.
If students, parents or carers have any questions regarding the above information please contact email@example.com and we will be happy to help.
Debbie Lavin CBE, Principal
Further updates will be provided after the 16th August.
Statement from the Isle of Wight College
The college has received additional funding from the government to support students whose learning has been disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The college is using this funding to provide eligible students with additional support in small groups of up to five students, and in exceptional cases up to seven. Where deemed to be in a student’s best interest, one-to-one support may be provided. The support will be provided by suitably trained and experienced college staff, including teachers and learning support staff. The support will be based on an individual assessment of needs and may be in English and maths, and / or vocational subjects.
The college will prioritise support to those students who are potentially most disadvantaged. This will be students who have not yet achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths and/or English. As funds permit, support will also be provided for students from economically disadvantaged back ground (students from the 27% most economically deprived areas of the country based on the index of multiple deprivation) and who have achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths and/or English and who would benefit from additional catch-up support. The college will also take into account the needs of students who have a special education needs and disabilities (SEND).
We also continue to have a wide range of resources available to help support your health and well-being during the summer and into the Autumn. Full details of these resources can be found by clicking the relevant links below.