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Return of students to College campuses from w.c Monday 8th March 2021 - Updated 03/03/2021

As you know, the Government has announced the return of Colleges and Schools from Monday 8th March 2021. The information below confirms the College’s approach to this. Please note that these changes are in addition to the Covid-19 restrictions operated at the start of the academic year.

When will students return to face to face delivery at the College?

From Monday 8th March, the College’s buildings will all reopen and the following approach will be implemented for return to College based learning:

ALL 16-18 year olds and students with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

  • Some students have been attending throughout lockdown and they will continue to attend as timetabled.
  • Other students in this age group will undertake most of their learning in College  as well as continuing with some blended, online learning.
  • When you are expected to be in college and online will be confirmed by your Tutor and this is likely to reflect the planned timetable that was scheduled for you from January, which continues to observe staggered start times and blended learning. You should have details of when you are expected to attend, confirmed by Friday 5th March.

Adults in Further Education - aged 19 plus with NO EHCP

We will continue remote learning as appropriate and prioritise your return based on Government guidance. Details of when you are expected to return and your timetable will be provided by Friday 5th March.

Adults studying Higher Education (HE)

Higher Education (HE) will remain mostly remote and online apart from any practical skills requirements that require College attendance. Details of when you are expected to return and your timetable will be provided by by Friday 5th March. This is being kept under review.


Are there any additional requirements or differences, to mitigate the risk of Covid19?

Yes – in addition to existing regulations, provided in training, the following changes have been introduced in line with Government Guidance: 

Masks (face coverings) must be worn in all areas when attending College where more than one person is in the room. 

This is an additional safety precaution recommended that is likely to be reviewed in mid-April. When wearing masks for extended periods, it is important to ensure they are changed if they become damp and local guidance suggests that is around 2 hours. Please note that a visor is not an acceptable alternative during this time because it does not afford the same level of protection. We will have additional bins placed around the College so that used, disposable masks can be placed in them.

What if I cannot wear a mask?

Anyone unable to wear a mask for medical reasons must ensure the Additional Learning Support Team (ask your Tutor to advise if this relates to you) is made aware of this, so they can update your personal risk assessment as appropriate and provide the necessary lanyard sticker to signify your exemption.

Does social distancing still apply?

Yes, Absolutely! Social distancing of 2 metres plus should be observed at all times in staff rooms, office areas, classrooms, workshops and around the College.


Covid-19 testing for asymptomatic staff and students

The College has established Covid-19 Lateral Flow Testing Centres. This is entirely voluntary and requires consentThese are for people with no symptoms to undertake tests to check if they have contracted the virus. This is voluntary and you must provide your consent, using the official NHS consent form made available. It is understood that one in every three people may have the virus without displaying any symptoms and could therefore, be inadvertently spreading it to others. Staff and students who attend on site will be able to have 2 tests each week and this will be arranged as follows:

16-18 year olds and 19-24s with an EHCP who are attending College for any part of their learning

These students have received an email providing them with an opportunity to start testing from Monday 1st March 2021, at our Conway Park Testing Centre. They have been provided with the information and a number to call to make an appointment (0151 551 7777). These students will have three tests in College and thereafter they will be provided with home tests. 

Adult students attending College for any part of their learning - who are aged 19 and over and do not have an EHCP.

For adult students who are physically attending on campus, home tests will be available (2 per week). Although the guidance with the tests is very clear, if you would like to have the first test in our centre, you can book an appointment (0151 551 7777). The trained staff will provide you with any advice and assistance to give confidence to administer home testing. 

Staff or students who cannot undertake home testing

We will retain a small testing facility to support any students who require assistance and prefer to have the tests administered in the Centre. On campus testing and home testing is designed to make this convenient for students, so we would recommend this is used. As previously stated, testing is voluntary and requires formal consent.

Important links

A series of short videos on how the testing will work

Covid-19 Testing Consent Form

Home Test Result Form


Vaccinations

The College will be pro-actively promoting vaccination and the UK is doing very well in the vaccination programme. Beyond our pro-active approach to this, the College has no influence over the order vaccinations are confirmed, so please stay aware of how the national programme is unfolding and if you have any concerns for your personal position, you should follow the general online guidance, provided by the NHS.

Students who are advised by the NHS to shield or who have symptoms of Covid-19

If you have received a formal letter advising you to shield, please provide a copy to your Tutor and we will update your personal risk assessment. The College will not permit students required to shield to return to College, for the duration of their period of advised shielding. In this situation, we will continue to support you with remote, online and home-based learning until it is deemed safe for you to return and no longer shield.

If you become symptomatic or are required to isolate in accordance with guidance OR advised by NHS track and trace, you should not come into College; remain at home and follow Government guidance. In addition to continuing to follow the reporting regulations that we have had in place since June, you must let your Tutor know immediately and our Health and Safety Manager, Kenny Scott may contact you to confirm details of when you were last in College. Every case confirmed is then followed up with Public Health for advice and action.

Sue Higginson
Principal

Read our Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Email sent to students on Wednesday 3rd March 2021


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should I travel to College?

    If possible, please travel to College by walking, cycling or by car, to avoid using public transport. If you do need to use public transport, please remember it is now mandatory to wear a face covering during your journey.

    Please ensure that you wear your College ID badge with the photo facing forwards whenever you are on campus and that it can be seen at all times.

    Students should only attend College on the days and times confirmed on their course timetables. Students who turn up to College, who have not been asked to do so will be sent home immediately.

    Once your lessons have finished, you must leave the campus immediately, as directed by your tutor.

  • How can I access support for mental health, wellbeing or personal problems?

    There are lots of other ways we can continue to support you:

    Pastoral Support Mentors

    Pastoral Support Mentors can support you with:

    • Problems relating to finance, childcare, or accommodation
    • Personal issues
    • Any other issues you feel are affecting your college course


    You can find their contact details and more information on the Virtual Campus here.

    Additional Learning Support

    The ALS team are here to support students with any kind of disability, learning difficulty or special educational need.

    They can provide you with guidance and support on all aspects of your learning. You can find their contact details and more information on the Virtual Campus here.

    Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

    Our Mental Health and Wellbeing team are still available to support you while you are studying from home.

    You can find more information, including lots of helpful advice, on the Virtual Campus here. If you wish to be referred to this service, please contact the Additional Learning Support team above.

    If you are already working with anyone on the ALS, Mental Health and Wellbeing, or Pastoral Support teams, they will be keeping in regular contact with you throughout this period of studying from home.

    The following websites and helplines are still available to you:

    • Kooth (for young people up to age 18)
    • Quell (for 18+)
    • Samaritans - Telephone 116 123
    • Anxiety UK - 0344 775774
    • The Open Door (wellbeing support for age 15-30) - 0151 639 4545
    • Papyrus - Confidential suicide prevention advice on 0800 068 4141 
    • Response - Advice and support on all matters regarding your wellbeing on 0151 666 4123
    • Teen Wirral 
  • What should I do if I have any concerns?

    If you feel worried or anxious at any time talk to your tutor or Personal Support Mentor. If you see someone not adhering to the social distancing rules, you must report this in confidence to your tutor or the curriculum manager.

  • What about PPE?

    Masks are required in College when moving around the campus. Each vocational setting has a specific risk assessment in place to determine PPE requirements.

  • What is Wirral Met doing to keep staff and students safe?

    Covid-19 FAQs - Keeping You Safe

    Wirral Met College is committed to doing its utmost to protect students and staff and to keep them safe. The College is taking a number of protective measures which include:

    1. Providing mandatory, detailed Covid-19 training for staff and students on social distancing and protective measures.

    2. Ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms (or who have someone in their household who does) do not attend College.

    3. Providing guidance and reminders to students and staff on washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and the use of hand sanitiser gel: hand sanitiser gel dispensers are available on every floor of each campus.

    4. Restricting access to visitors to College who are not students or staff.

    5. Ensuring one direction of travel along corridors and stairways in each campus.

    6. Ensuring there is increased cleaning on all campuses across communal areas, classrooms, toilets and staff rooms.

    7. Updating our ways of supporting teaching and learning:
      a. Reduced numbers of students on campus to facilitate social distancing. 
      b. New timetables will include staggered start and finish times with staggered breaks.
      c. Blended learning will include practical sessions in College, online/remote learning from home including tutorials, resources on the student virtual campus, and book-able places in the College library for those students who do not have access to wifi at home.
      d. Development of students’ digital skills to help them study safely and effectively online.
      e. Staff to use personal protective equipment (PPE) for students with special educational needs or disabilities, as appropriate.

    8. Providing mental health support via:
      i. Access to Pastoral Support Mentors
      ii. Online resources and links through the student virtual campus
      iii. Encouraging young people to identify their own self-care strategies

    9. Working with employers to support the safe working of apprentices in their workplace.
  • Can I still apply for a course?

    Yes, you can apply for courses online – visit www.wmc.ac.uk/our-courses/browse-by-subject to choose your course, click on the course title to see full details of the course and then you click on Apply Now.

    Our Advisory Service will be available for Information, Advice and Guidance for the public online via our online enquiry form and live chat facility.

  • Microsoft Teams Support for Students 

    Microsoft Teams Support for Students 

    Students, please read and download the PDFs below to learn how to access teams. You will require your Teams username and password which you can receive from your tutor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and your Password (DOB 08112002 or your changed password).

    How to Install Microsoft Teams

    Quick Start Guide for Students 

    Further Support:

    • Web Browser Login

    Teams can be installed as an app or can be used as a webpage. If you have an old PC sometimes your video will appear sideways. This is because the app is struggling on your PC, in this situation please use the Team Web Browser Software login.

    • What is Microsoft Teams?

    You can visit Microsoft's website to learn more about Teams and you do not need a log in to access help. 

      • Virtual Campus

    Visit our Virtual Campus for help on Teams. You will need to log in using your student ID number as your username and your DOB as your password eg: 08012021. 

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