Covid-19 update to controls at 2nd June 2021 -Updated 2/06/2021
The following information summarises the changes which will be implemented from Wednesday 2nd June 2021.
This is in addition to our existing controls, as detailed in our Risk Assessment and displayed on information posters throughout College.
1. Asymptomatic Testing
From Wednesday 2nd June 2021 ALL staff and students will be required to undertake a home Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before returning after the holiday and then twice each week (at least every 3 days) thereafter. Tests are available freely from the college's reception areas in boxes of three. Full instructions of how to do the tests and report your results to the NHS are included in the box. You must also report your results to the College using the point and click QR code on the box, which takes you through to the form for reporting the test. You can do this using any smartphone or through our website. Our Health and Safety Manager, Kenny Scott, continues to manage a small team of trained testers who can assist and support you if required.
2. If you or a member of your family has symptoms, advice has now changed:
If you or a member of your family has symptoms, advice has now changed: If you or a member of your household is experiencing one of the three main COVID symptoms, (a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss or change to sense of smell or taste) you must all wait for the results of a PCR test, self-isolate with your whole household and let College know immediately. Please note that a PCR test is different to those supplied through College and must be booked through the NHS. Details of how to book are below.
You should book a PCR test from NHS link here: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You will be asked to identify whether you have COVID symptoms. If you are a member of the household but have no symptoms, select 'No' for this answer and proceed through the questions until you get to the question: Why are you asking for a test? Then select the box that says - I've been told to get a test by my local council, health protection team or healthcare professional...And then the option that states: My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms. You/they can then proceed to book the test. You/your household should NOT attend college/school/work and must remain in your home while the person with symptoms is awaiting the results. If it is a positive result, all members of the household have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.
LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH ADVICE
Our local Public Health team have issued the following statement: "COVID rates in Wirral remain very low and are currently the lowest across Cheshire and Merseyside. Thankfully, our cases in educational settings also remain extremely low. However, as predicted and expected (with the easing of lockdown restrictions), there are signs of increasing cases across Cheshire and Merseyside. You will also be very aware of the high rates in several areas across the North West. Across the UK, we currently have 5 Variants of Concern (VOCs) and 8 VUIs (Variants of Investigation), so managing variants will be an inevitable part of life as we go forward. You will be aware that the main VOC at present is that of the Indian Variant, which is now expected to become the dominant strain for many areas.
For Wirral, we currently have very low numbers of confirmed cases of the Indian Variant, but this is being closely monitored and there is also a delay of a few days between someone being confirmed positive via PCR and us knowing whether they have a VOC or not. Public Health England has confirmed that ALL COVID cases in the North West be considered as likely Indian Variant unless/until proven otherwise. Whilst otherwise being managed in exactly the same way as any other variant, the recommendation at this stage (and until further notice), is that all contacts of confirmed cases of COVID will need to be offered a PCR, whether they have symptoms or not. This is for the purpose of active case-finding. Any close contacts (all those who live in the household; also anyone who has been in close contact within 2 days of symptoms) will need to self-isolate and book a PCR home-testing kit via the self-booking NHS system, link here: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test."
Guidance from 17.5.21:
Masks - Students will only be required to wear a mask when they are moving around the College, in corridors or where their subject area makes it impossible for them to observe social distancing. From Monday 17th May, where social distancing can be maintained, there will be no requirement to wear a mask in a classroom, workshop or staff area, unless the sector regulations for that service requires this (e.g. Salons). Stations with free, disposable masks will continue to be available freely around the College for staff and students.
Social distancing of 1 metre plus - Social distancing will continue to operate throughout College until further notice and the Government are reviewing this at the end of June 2021.
One way systems - One way systems for moving around College will continue to be in place until further notice.
Sanitation stations - Sanitation stations are available on entry and around the College, and will continue to operate until further notice.
Hair and Beauty Salons
Every customer must fill in a health screening questionnaire and provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test – this test must be taken on same day of the treatment. Please note: testing cannot be accommodated in the College.
Salons will be by appointment only and times arranged will enable clients to remain socially distanced and reinforce the importance of attending on time, whilst avoiding the need to wait in reception areas. Booking information can be found here.
Face to face delivery at the College
From Monday 8th March, the College’s buildings reopened and the following approach has been 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.
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.
Adults studying Higher Education (HE)
Higher Education (HE) will remain mostly remote and online apart from any practical skills requirements that require College attendance. This is being kept under review.
Covid-19 testing for asymptomatic staff and students
The College has established Covid-19 Lateral Flow Testing Centres. This is entirely voluntary and requires consent. These 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.
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.
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?
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:
- Providing mandatory, detailed Covid-19 training for staff and students on social distancing and protective measures.
- Ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms (or who have someone in their household who does) do not attend College.
- 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.
- Restricting access to visitors to College who are not students or staff.
- Ensuring one direction of travel along corridors and stairways in each campus.
- Ensuring there is increased cleaning on all campuses across communal areas, classrooms, toilets and staff rooms.
- 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.
- 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
- Working with employers to support the safe working of apprentices in their workplace.
- Providing mandatory, detailed Covid-19 training for staff and students on social distancing and protective measures.
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
- 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.