Last Updated: 06/04/2020 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:
• Difficulty in breathing
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 that you live with have symptoms of Coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild:
• a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
• a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Stay at home and do not leave your house for 14 days from when your symptoms started. (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.
Testing for Coronavirus is not needed if 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?
You should stay at home.
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
These reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
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: