Last Updated: 28/05/2020 10:00
The College is following instructions from the Government and will close for ALL teaching and learning activities. The College will close on Friday 20th March 2020.
Is the College closing because of the Virus?
Yes, the College is following instructions from the Government and will close for ALL teaching and learning activities. The College will close on Friday 20th March.
What is the College doing about visitors into the College?
With the College closure, there will be no access to the building for external visitors or stakeholders. All events or meetings planned to be held in the College have been postponed for the time being.
What is the College doing about Trips and Visits?
The College will no longer undertake any trips or visits between now and the end of July 2020. Where these have been booked, the College has informed venues we will be postponing visits. You should not come to College expecting your trip to still be taking place.
I was offered a place at the College for September 2020, is this still the case?
Yes - if you have applied and been offered a place either in person at interview, verbally over the telephone, by email in a letter, all offers remain valid. You will receive regular updates from us. We look forward to seeing you for our main enrolment from August 2020 onwards.
Can I still apply for a place for September 2020?
Yes - we're accepting applications in the normal manner through our website. Once you've submitted your application our admissions team will be in contact to arrange your online interview. You will receive regular updates from us. We look forward to seeing you for our main enrolment from August 2020 onwards.
What is happening with enrolling for Adult Courses?
At the moment we are not enrolling adults, however, you can continue to apply and enquire for courses through our website. We will then be in touch regarding future enrolment dates.
What is Coronavirus?
Corona is a type of virus. As a group, Coronaviruses are common across the world. Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed Coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
There is no evidence that children and young people are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children.
How is it spread?
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how Coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 2 metres).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
How can I avoid catching or spreading the virus?
The chance of being in contact with the virus is currently low in the UK.
You can only catch it if; you have been close to a person who has the virus (less than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) or by touching a contaminated surface, then touching your mouth or eyes without washing your hands first.
Public Health England recommends using good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene.
Coughing and sneezing should be into tissues that are promptly disposed of in bins.
Hands should be washed frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, even if hands are visibly clean.
The NHS has guidance on the best way to wash your hands.
What should I do if I think I have the virus?
If YOU (or ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD) have any of the symptoms associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19):
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A 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
- A 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 from normal
Then you (or that household member) MUST stay at home and isolate; then book a test online at NHS/coronavirus or dial 119. If you test positive, you’ll be contacted by the NHS test and trace service with 24 hours.
(After 14 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine).
A cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the Coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 14 days.
Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered (stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible)
You can get more information on looking after your mental health during this time here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Read our advice about staying at home.
There is currently no specific treatment for Coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 14 days use the NHS 111 website. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency, dial 999.
What's the latest government advice?
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
For more information on what you can and can’t do go to: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
How long should I self-isolate?
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, self-isolate for 7 days.
After 7 days:
You can stop self-isolating if your symptoms have gone, or if you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these symptoms can last for weeks after the infection has gone.
Keep self-isolating if you have any other symptoms (such as a high temperature, runny nose, feeling sick or diarrhoea) – you can stop self-isolating when your symptoms have gone.
IF YOU LIVE WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS SYMPTOMS
If you live with someone who has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms. If you get symptoms while self-isolating – you should self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started, even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days. If you do not get symptoms while self-isolating – you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.
Are bus passes being renewed?
The College remains closed until further notice, and because of this situation there is no mechanism for bus or metro pass renewal for Term 3.
The Bus Pass is provided as a result of College attendance and to support your attendance at College - the pass may have additional social and work benefits to you outside of College but we do not supply passes simply for ongoing activities outside College.
Government advice is to stay at home and only make a journey that is absolutely necessary, this include limiting use of public transport wherever possible. The College is following this advice and is advising all students to do the same.
If this present a specific welfare problem during this time, please let us know by emailing [email protected]
Should I still attend classes?
The College is closed for the time being. Therefore, you will not be able to attend classes or gain access to the building. We would also advise you to have regard to the advice on reducing the spread of the virus.
What if I attend classes in a Community Venue that is not a main College Campus?
All teaching and learning undertaken by the College in any venue will no longer take place. In particular, Adult Learners that attend venues in the Community or courses at Terry Duffy House should no longer attend these courses. If you have been asked to attend such courses by a referral agency such as Job Centre Plus, then the College will be working with those agencies so they are aware of the actions we are taking.
How can I still carry on with my studies if I cannot come to College?
The College will keep in regular contact with you, tutors will be in touch and work will be made available via Moodle and VLE. We would encourage you to continue to undertake work as set and to think about progression and your options for when College returns.
When is the College reopening?
At the moment, there is no set return date for classes to restart. We will be in touch as soon as the situation changes. We will also be posting regular information via our Social Media.
Do I have to sit exams I know are coming up?
No - You will not be required to come to College or anywhere else to sit an exam during this period of closure.
Our advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal and make the best use of your time.
We continue to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education and will keep you updated with the latest information.
My course doesn't have any exams but is based on assignments do I still need to complete these?
Yes, please continue to work on your assignments. Once we have further information from awarding organisations we will be in touch further. If you have any further questions contact your course tutor. The College will keep in regular contact with you, tutors will be in touch and work will be made available via Moodle and VLE. Make sure you access your college email account and Moodle pages regularly.
How will I get my certificates?
Your certificates will be posted to you once the College.
What happens if I get a 16-18 bursary/student support?
We have identified all those students who currently get support and will be contacting you directly.
I am on a work experience placement or industrial placement outside College what should I do?
You will not be required to attend any placement, this will ensure that you are able to comply with the Government's instructions to reduce unnecessary travel and reduce social contact. The College will inform your placement of this.
If I have questions whilst the College is closed who do I send these to?
The College will answer any emails you send, to ensure this is the cast please direct all emails to [email protected]
I'm worried about what all this will mean for my place at College or whether I can progress next year?
We understand this is a challenging and uncertain time, but please do not worry. You will always have a place at Sandwell College. Tutors will be in touch about what will happen and also your options for next year - but in short when the College returns you should return and we will support you in getting your qualifications and ensuring you can progress with us.
Will I get exam grades or a chance to sit an exam eventually?
The Government's exam regulator has released a letter to all students undertaking GCSEs, AS and A levels which can be found here. Information on vocational subjects will follow.
The latest information and guidance can be found at the following sites: