Information for Students
What action is Heart of Worcestershire College taking?
We are following Public Health England advice and guidance and will ensure that we communicate regularly with our staff and students, parents and guardians and the general public via this website and other means of communication.
The College’s Emergency Response Team is meeting frequency to ensure we have the most up-to-date information and that risk is continually assessed to enable us to update staff and students and to take any appropriate action if required.
We continue to follow government guidance. In the event of a change to this guidance we continue to review our approach.
We do however want to take this opportunity to also reassure our students and staff that lots of our teams are continually working away in the background to provide everyone with a safe working environment.
Will the College be COVID-19 secure?
We have implemented a range of preventive measures and controls to ensure we that are COVID secure. These include:
Building Bubbles - limiting movement between buildings and groups where possible
Classroom adaptations - including rearranging layouts to allow more space for appropriate distancing and the installation of screens where necessary
Protective screening - Plexiglass protective screening has been installed for high footfall areas including cafeterias, learning centres and receptions. We have also purchased additional portable ‘sneeze’ screens.
Hand sanitizing - We have purchased highly visible hand sanitiser stations that will be placed in key areas. We will be actively promoting the following to all staff, students and visitors.
• Clean your hands thoroughly, more often than usual.
• Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
Cleaning Schedule - The College will have an enhanced contract cleaning schedule in place to include increased cleaning of touch points such as doors, push plates and handrails. In addition, our staff will be using a range of other measures such as fogging machines, antibacterial wipes and other cleaning materials.
Social distancing - Social distancing will be promoted and maintained where possible between people, reducing the amount of time they are in face to face contact to lower the risk of transmission. There will be clear signage indicating entrance and exits to be used and one way systems will be in place in some buildings.
For a full detailed guide please click here
Are lessons taking place online?
Each course will contain an element of remote or online learning. The number of hours will be dependent on which vocational area you are studying. You will receive more information from your curriculum area.
Staff and student remote access information
Information regarding remote access to HoW College systems for students can be found in the following guides:
Guidance for home working, IT access and risk assessing a homeworking environment are available on the College portal.
Do you require students and staff to wear masks?
Following the latest government announcement (Nov 2020) the guidance identifies new requirements concerning the wearing of face coverings in education and childcare settings.
At HoW College we expect our staff and students to act responsibly and considerately, to protect themselves and others. This involves wearing face coverings in communal areas such as receptions and corridors where these areas are likely to be busy. Face coverings are not mandatory in classrooms, although staff and students may continue to choose to wear them.
There may be circumstances when social distancing cannot be maintained in which case we may request that face coverings are worn in lessons. Please also remember that it is compulsory to wear face coverings in our cafeterias at all times. Face coverings should also be worn when travelling on public transport or on dedicated transport; this includes the College intercampus bus service.
These requirements also apply to those visiting the College campus including contractors and visitors.
Staff, students and visitors using face coverings should ensure these are appropriately worn, cleaned, stored or disposed of correctly. Bins will be provided in College.
We will be strictly enforcing the 2 metre social distancing rules and have multiple hand sanitisers around site, as well as hand washing facilities.
What if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus at the College?
Rest assured that a strict protocol is in place for a confirmed case. We have a duty to work closely with the Local Health Protection Team under Public Health England where a collaborative risk assessment will be undertaken which will inform all necessary actions.
I use the public transport / College buses to reach College, what will I need to do?
We are currently running our inter-campus bus service between Bromsgrove and Redditch campuses, but please note that social distancing arrangements will always be in place which means not as many people will be allowed on the bus. Please note that face coverings must also be worn at all times on our intercampus bus service between Redditch and Bromsgrove campus. Students using face coverings should ensure these are appropriately worn, cleaned, stored or disposed of correctly. Bins will be provided in College.
To avoid busy periods please make use of the earlier bus options as an alternative to waiting too long. Seats may be marked as not in use to keep to social distancing rules.
Are the College cafes open?
The College cafeteria facilities are currently offering a take-away only servoice. To adhere to Government Guidelines all customers will be expected to wear a face covering for the duration of time that they are in the cafeteria area.
Staff and students will be asked to use the cafeteria that is located closest to their work area and not to move between sites or buildings wherever possible.
There may be occasions where students are allowed to eat and drink in their allocated classroom during breaktimes. Where this is allowed students will be required to dispose of all rubbish appropriately and use cleaning materials provided to wipe
their desk area.
Students and staff, who are purchasing items from the cafeterias, are encouraged to use contactless payment. However, we will still accept cash at all sites if needed.
I have been asked to come into College, but I am ill – what should I do?
you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
you're waiting for a coronavirus test result
you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive
Anyone in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age can get tested.
You can access this via the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/
If you are due to come into College and you are ill with suspected or confirmed coronavirus or you live with someone who has then you must self-isolate. If this happens to you then please contact us to let us know via this email address: Studentcov19reporting@howcollege.ac.uk
What can I do to help reduce the spread of this virus?
Just like the common cold, the Coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person who has the infection or by touching contaminated surfaces if you do not wash your hands correctly. There are some simple things that you can do to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and look after yourself and those around you. Here are some guidelines to help you:
Frequently clean hands by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. You can see the correct way to clean your hands by clicking HERE.
Viruses love warm, moist environments so avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands. ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.
Further advice and guidance can be accessed using the following links:
How do I know if I have got the virus?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for 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)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of:
- high temperature
- new, continuous cough
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one. Use the 111 online coronavirus service
Where can I find the latest information about coronavirus?
We have a number of dedicated pages with further information in the following areas:
Information for Staff
Advice from Public Health England
Safety Measures and walk-throughs
I still have questions, not answered here – what should I do?
We understand that you may have more questions so we ask you to please contact us on this email and we will be back in touch as soon as possible to respond to your questions. Studentcov19enquiries@howcollege.ac.uk