Over the past almost 4 months, our learners, apprentices and staff have shown an extraordinary commitment to continuing their learning remotely and real determination in ensuring they can complete their course in a timely fashion.
We have digested the Government advice from the past month, and have made the decision to begin welcoming back a small number of learners, apprentices and staff to our Spire Campus from Monday 6th July 2020.
We’ve prioritised learners and apprentices who will benefit most from additional face-to-face support on campus because, for example, they need to complete practical tasks to finish qualifications and progress. They are attending on a restricted timetable and we are keeping the number of people in college to an absolute minimum.
The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone is our number one priority. Our Safety & Facilities team have worked tirelessly with an external contractor to ensure our campus is ready and we’d like to say a big thank you to our fantastic staff for the work they have done. We’ve put a number of safety and social distancing measures in place to provide a safe and compliant environment that minimises any risk to learners, apprentices and staff.
Some of the features we have put in place include:
- Maintaining at least 2 metres distancing at all times from other people – we’re not dropping to 1 metre to ensure you’re safe.
- We’ve adopted a one-way route system, marked clearly with signs – please ensure you follow this.
- Only sitting at a workstation or desk where there is enough space to maintain social distancing.
- At least 6 feet space between all desks. No desks are to be placed near doorways and all walk ways must be clear.
- Masks to be worn when moving around campus as you may not be able to maintain social distancing in some areas.
- We’ve closed our café and breakout areas – you’re encouraged to eat at your desk and bring your own food rather than visiting nearby shops and takeaways.
- You must wash your hands thoroughly and frequently – there have been plenty of hand sanitising points installed around the campus.
- Hands must also be washed particularly when going into the toilets and coming out. Dry your hands with paper towels and use paper towels to exit the toilets before disposing of them in the bins provided.
- Any shared equipment must be cleaned before and after using the wipes provided, especially where multiple users have access (i.e. copiers/scanners etc.).
At the moment, we are working towards a full reopening of our campus in September. The autumn term is due to begin on Monday 7th September 2020 and it is our intention that campus will be open by this date. We will provide you with more detail over the summer to ensure you know exactly what is happening in September.
It is impossible to know at this stage what safety measures may be required by September, but we are monitoring all of the guidance and we do expect that our first term back may be a blend of online and face-to-face practical and workshop sessions. This will mean that students are likely to be spending less time on campus than they are used to, allowing us to create a safer space for them when they come onto campus to complete vital practical work and assessments.
To ensure that we can reopen safely, we are busy putting measures in place across campus which will allow us to comply with physical distancing requirements. This will help us to offer students as much face-to-face and practical learning as possible, as well as provide access to student support services across campus.