The Principal's Statement regarding the coronavirus outbreak

COVID-19 update, 3rd  August 2020

We are looking forward to welcoming all returning and new students for the new academic year whether as part of the online community (MA or L6 FDL) or as part of the physical on-site community at Easneye. The College is continuing to monitor developments in the Covid-19 global pandemic and the UK government responses very carefully and is continuing to strengthen Covid-secure measures on site to minimise the risk of the transmission of Covid-19 infection. As we are seeing in the UK and around the world, situations and restrictions can change very quickly, but as of today’s date (Monday, 3rd August), this is what you need to know:

Will the College be open for students in September?

Yes, we are planning to open the Easneye site for all students and staff, however should there be a rise in the infection rate either locally or nationally we may be forced to change this plan. We will send out the next scheduled update at the start of September, but if we need to change our plan to reopen the College we will communicate this to you as soon as this decision is made.

What do I need to do before arriving at College?

ALL students who are planning to be part of the on-site community (physical attendance on site) MUST self-isolate for 2 weeks prior to arrival. This measure is a preventative step aimed at reducing the risk of anyone bringing the Covid-19 virus onto site. This means staying at home (apart from essential travel for food, medical reasons or daily exercise) and minimising contact with anyone outside your household. For UK-based students and students travelling from countries where a 14-day quarantine period is not a requirement, this period of self-isolation must start at least 14 days before you begin your journey to College. Should you experience ANY symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, new and persistent cough, breathing difficulties, loss of taste or smell) during your period of self-isolation then you MUST take a Covid-19 test and follow health advice. If you test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days in advance of your arrival at College you MUST inform your course administrator and your arrival will need to be delayed; you will still be able to access your course and other College events remotely until such time as you arrive in person.

I am travelling from overseas. Do I need to undertake a 14-day quarantine period as well as self-isolation at home?

Yes. Currently anyone travelling from certain countries (those not listed as a corridor country) MUST undertake a 14-day quarantine period on arrival in the UK. As an extra precaution, we ask that you undertake a 2-week self-isolation period (as described above) before you begin your journey to the UK. The current list of Corridor countries (subject to continual change) can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. If you are travelling from a country not on the list of Corridor countries (this includes any stop off as part of your journey or any holiday) we advise that you plan to arrive in the UK at least 2 weeks before the start of your course in order to undertake the 14-day quarantine period. You will need to undertake the 14-day quarantine period whenever you arrive in the UK, but by completing your quarantine before the start of your course you will be able to attend on-site activities in person from the beginning of the term. Whilst undertaking your 14-day quarantine period, you will NEED to undergo strict self-isolation measures which will prevent you from having any contact with other people. You may choose where you undertake your 14-day quarantine period – either at a private address not at College or at the College. If you are a Tier 4 visa student, you MUST inform the College where you will be staying in the UK prior to your arrival if undertaking your 14-day quarantine period at a private address. If you wish to undertake your 14-day quarantine period at College, you MUST inform your course administrator of this by 1st September (or 10 days before your arrival) at the latest. You will be provided with accommodation and food during this period and you will be allowed some limited access to the College grounds for exercise, but you will not be allowed to leave the College site during this period. Please note that additional accommodation and food charges will apply (£26 per night full board) if you undertake your quarantine period at College before the start of term.

My Visa is delayed because of Covid-19. What can I do?

Check with the Visa office to see if you can get an idea of if and when your visa is likely to be granted. Contact your course administrator about whether you can start your course remotely (and then travel to the UK once your visa is granted) or whether you might need to delay starting your course.

My home town is now subject to local lock down measures. Can I travel to College?

You will need to follow local requirements for the lock down measures including self-isolation requirements and any that restrict travel. You will not be able to travel to College if local measures (in place at the time of your intended journey to College) do not allow travel outside your local area. If you are subject to a local lock down, please inform your course administrator. You will still be able to access your course remotely until such time as you can travel to College.

Will lessons and College activities be happening as usual?

Yes, we are planning for all lessons and College activities to take place in person on the Easneye site. All College activities will be subject to Covid-19 secure measures (including social distancing, frequent hand washing, face coverings – as appropriate). However, all lessons, College events (including Kick Off, Community Worship, CIM, tutor groups) and community events will also be available via Zoom wherever possible. Some of the more practical activities may be moved to later in the College year in the hope that the risk of infection will have lowered. There may be some occasions when a lesson will need to be conducted outside, remotely or in some of flexible delivery mode (e.g. if a tutor needs to self-isolate and can only teach remotely). Please note, as with all of our plans, these arrangements will be subject to alteration, depending on changes to Covid-19 requirements at a national or local level.

How will my attendance be calculated?

You will be classed as attending a lesson if you are physically present in the classroom or are actively engaged as a remote learner.

How will Covid-19 affect my on-site accommodation and board?

If you have applied for and have been allocated College accommodation, you will be able to access this from when you arrive at College. Your accommodation will have been thoroughly cleaned before you arrive. All residents will be expected to help maintain very high standards of cleanliness and hygiene particularly in shared areas, such as shared kitchenettes and bathrooms. Cleaning products will be available for use and you will be expected to arrange rotas for cleaning in shared areas. You will only be allowed to use the bathroom/shower in your accommodation or wing. In some cases, it may be necessary to allocate bathrooms to particular students or groups of students.

If you are in full board accommodation, meals will be available as usual in the College dining room. Please ensure that you follow the Covid-secure measures in place in the dining room. You may choose to eat your meals in the dining room, outside or in your own room (subject to dining room requirements). If you are undertaking a 14-day quarantine period, you will NOT be allowed to enter the dining room and arrangements will be put in place to deliver your meals to your accommodation.

On arrival, you will be provided with your tenancy / room agreement which will cover the academic year or the term (enroute students only). As usual practice, you will be required to sign the agreement and pay a deposit (specific information about accommodation will be sent out separately). Should a rise in infection mean that the College needs to cease onsite accommodation, or you need to leave the College owing to a rise in infection rates, the College will be flexible in making adjustments to your agreement to respond to these unique circumstances.

Will I be expected to wear a face covering in College?

At the time of writing, there is no expectation that you will have to wear a face covering in College but this may become necessary as part of our wider Covid-secure measures. If you wish to wear a face covering, you are very welcome to do so and the College will have a supply of disposable face masks.

What is happening about Ministry placements?

Our Ministry Placement tutor is working closely with placement organisations to determine how a placement with them may be possible. Where a physical placement with an organisation is not possible, alternative arrangements are being considered e.g. some form of online placement. On-site placements are also being considered and work is still in progress. Further information about placements will be communicated once plans are more definite. However, please note that any placement involving working with children or vulnerable adults will mean that you will need to obtain an enhanced Disclosure and Debarring Service (DBS) certificate which will list any relevant unspent criminal convictions. As the DBS certificate only applies to the UK, if you are from outside the UK, you will need to obtain a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ from your home country. If you have any queries about any aspect of Ministry Placements, please contact the Ministry Placements tutor on arrival.

Will College facilities be open and available to use?

Yes, wherever it is deemed safe to do so College facilities will be open and in use. This includes the library, Games room, sports field, laundry, lounges, family room and the student shop. Each facility will have its own set of Covid-secure measures in place to limit the risk of viral transmission.

Will my children be able to attend school or nursery locally?

Yes, children will be able to attend school or nursery in the local area subject to the measures put in place by the school or nursery. On their return from school / nursery each day, children will need to change their clothes and wash their hands. Should a local lock down be put in place, families will need to follow local restrictions relating to social interaction with other households.

Will I be able to attend a local church or access local facilities and services?

Up until the end of Week 2 travel off site must only be for essential purposes (essential food, medical purposes, taking children to school or limited daily exercise) – this measure is so that we can build up some form a community bubble. After the end of Week 2, we will review the situation and this will be dependent on the current local and national situations. Whilst we do not want to contain everyone unnecessarily, the first few weeks of term will be critical ones for getting things right for the health and safety of all members of the College community and everyone is expected to cooperate with the measures that are in place. We encourage everyone to get involved with a local church during their time at ANCC, but this may still need to be via some virtual means rather than in person for the time being. At the time of writing, on-site Sunday evening worship will continue to take place and possibly there may also be a Sunday morning service for those living on site (please note that this is not yet confirmed).

What will happen if I develop Covid-19 symptoms when at College?

As soon as you think you may have ANY symptom of Covid-19 (high temperature, new and persistent cough, breathing difficulties, loss of taste or smell), you MUST:

  • Inform the Head of Facilities (Steve Tompkins) without delay by emailing s.tompkins@allnations.ac.uk and follow the information given
  • Inform your personal tutor and course administrator
  • Stay in your room or accommodation. If part of a couple or family, you must all self-isolate for 14 days from the start of the first person developing symptoms or until a Covid-19 test provides a negative test result. Children must not go to school or nursery during this time or have any contact with any other family or other students. If you are a single student, all other students sharing your wing (Oak House) or corridor (Easneye House) will be classed as part of your household and EVERYONE will need to self-isolate for 14 days or until you get a negative Covid test result
  • Book and take a Covid-19 test as soon as possible (see this link for information about how to book a Covid test https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19) and follow the medical advice provided. You (and your household – see above) must continue to self-isolate until you get a negative Covid test result. If you are well enough, you can access your lessons remotely via Zoom
  • Inform the Head of Facilities of the outcome of your Covid test result without delay
  • If you test positive, you and your household MUST continue to self-isolate and seek professional medical advice (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or call 111 or 999 (for emergencies). All those in your household MUST also book and take a Covid-19 test. You MUST keep the Head of Facilities informed of the situation
  • You (and anyone in your household) may only return to normal activities once you are fully recovered (as confirmed by a test) or once you have obtained a negative Covid test result.

We will be continuing to monitor the situation and will prepare a further update for the start of September.

In Jesus’ Name,

Andy

Andy Dipper

Principal and CEO, All Nations Christian College
info@allnations.ac.uk
01920 443500

 

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