Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates, Advice and Guidance

Latest Statement from the College

2 October 2020:

On 1 October 2020 it was confirmed Merseyside will now adhere to a further series of new local measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

These local lockdown restrictions are designed to limit social interaction between households, and as previously, these measures do not apply to education settings (schools and colleges), and therefore learning on campus will continue.

The safety of our students, staff and visitors is our top priority and we continue to work hard to ensure our campuses and buildings are safe places to work and learn. Learning areas and communal spaces are set out to ensure social distancing is adhered to, signage and guidance is clearly displayed, additional hand cleaning and sanitising stations are available, enhanced cleaning schedules are in place and face coverings are compulsory in all communal areas of the College.

Our safety measures will continue to be updated in line with the latest Government guidance.

Keeping you safe is our top priority

A message from Hugh Baird College Principal, Rachael Hennigan:

Attending College

The information below was last updated: 2 October 2020.

Yes, you will still be able to attend classes that are scheduled to be onsite, and access College services. We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, so we have social distancing markings in place throughout the College and a requirement to wear face coverings in communal areas. We continue to follow all government requirements and advice from Public Health England (PHE), and currently education is exempt from the local lockdown measures.

No. From September the College will offer you a carefully designed programme of blended learning that means you will study online, as well as attending classes at the College and being given written work to complete at home. All learners will attend lessons in the College for a proportion of their time and this will include both theory and practical sessions. We are particularly keen to ensure that learners can attend onsite to complete practical sessions and to access other resources that are only available at the College.

Yes. You are required to wear a face mask in all communal areas in College (eg; Learning Resource Centres, Receptions, corridors and on staircases). In classrooms, workshops and other teaching spaces, you will be expected to comply with the social distancing measures which are in place, and so you will not need to wear a mask in these areas.

Please remember a face covering must also be worn if you are travelling to College using public transport. If you are not travelling by public transport, please ensure you bring with you a face covering. If you have any concerns about wearing or obtaining a face covering, please speak to a member of Learner Support or The POD Student Services.

There are exemptions that apply to learners who are unable to wear a facemask whilst either in college or travelling on college transport. These exemptions include:

  • Underlying chronic breathing conditions (demonstrate medical exemption)
  • Physical or mental illness, disability or impairment
  • Accompanying someone who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate.

There will be exceptions to the guidelines and each learner will be treated fairly and on an individual basis.

This will vary depending on your course. We do expect that, on average, learners will attend onsite for at least one day per week but you may be asked to attend more or less than this depending on which course you are on.

Yes. We take your health and safety and the wellbeing of all our learners and staff very seriously. Our plans to reopen the College involve detailed planning to ensure social distancing can be maintained and that all appropriate health and safety measures will be in place in line with the national guidance at the time. We will control the number of people on campus every day, introduce aspects such as one way systems to minimise the chances of contact with others and enhance cleaning systems. We will also reduce class sizes by splitting most classes into two which will mean you being in a class of 10 learners onsite whilst another 10 of your classmates complete work at home. There will also be times when you are completing work at home whilst the other half of your group attend onsite. We will also arrange for you to join your class remotely at times through Microsoft Teams.

We have placed a number of images and videos on our website of how we have set up the College and we will continue to do this over the next few months.

Although this will vary depending on your course, we would anticipate that your average week may look like this:

  • Specific times when you will attend theory and practical lessons onsite as part of your group of 10. Some of these classes may also have the other half of your group joining you remotely through Microsoft Teams (we are calling this the “split classroom”);
  • Specific times when you will be expected to attend Microsoft Teams sessions at home that may mean, for example, you join a class remotely that is taking place in the College or that you are completing work on Microsoft Teams whilst your tutor is available online to support you;
  • Specific times when you will attend a tutorial session, both onsite or remotely, to meet with your Progress Coach or other member of staff;
  • You will have work to complete at home and you will then email this to your tutors every week;
  • If you are studying maths and English then there will also be specific times when you will attend these, both onsite and remotely;

Firstly, please don’t worry. As part of your induction to the College in September you will receive clear and simple training onsite that will support you to learn online. During the last few months, we found that all learners quickly grasped what they needed to do to engage with their teachers online and we are confident that this will be the case for you, too. Please be assured that your staff will support you throughout your course and this includes ensuring that you gain the skills to access what you need to online.

Firstly, please don’t worry. As part of our application processes this year, we will be finding out about whether you have the necessary computer equipment and internet connection to be able to work from home as we would wish, and we will support you in whatever way we can to ensure you have what you need to be able to work from home.

The College will continue to be guided by government requirements and advice from Public Health England (PHE). You can be sure that when we are able to open to more learners and you are able to attend onsite more regularly, we will ensure that you can do so. We do anticipate, however, that most courses will continue with an element of online learning in the future. We have learned so much over the last few months about what makes for great online learning and we are keen that you continue to be able to experience this in some form.

All learners will meet some, and probably all, of their classmates in person throughout the next year and we are committed to ensuring that you will meet in your group of 10 on a regular basis. Our blended learning plans will also ensure that you interact with many other learners online.

Yes, but we would ask that, if possible, you plan ahead and make an appointment. Whilst we will be making many of our Student Support services available online, we recognise the importance of maintaining a face-to-face service and all learners will continue to be able to access all of the support we offer in person at the College.

Yes. All of our catering facilities will be available from September.

We will be operating a Click and Collect service for all books, and you will be able to make requests via email, on Microsoft Teams and via our website and you will be notified when to can come to collect them. Books will be returned using the Return Bins onsite and there will be no fines to pay for overdue items. The library also has 24/7 access to over 3,000 e-books and e-journals.

Being concerned about the current situation is natural. If you need support/advice with your mental health/wellbeing, you can access external services via our Mental Health Support Portal. Access the Portal here http://bit.ly/38NGVtD.

Social Distancing Measures

Below you can watch videos that show you the social distancing and safety measures we have in place around our campuses.

NHS Advice

Find out how to protect yourself or check if you need medical help via the NHS website:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19