Update: From Monday 23rd March 2020, City of Westminster College will move the majority of teaching online with staff and students working remotely.
The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is paramount. We have therefore decided to suspend the face to face delivery of learning and teaching from Monday 23rd March to help reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus within our community.
This suspension will cover all classroom taught courses. You should therefore not attend any onsite classes (tutorials, laboratory classes, practical workshops, etc.) on Monday 23rd March 2020 and onwards, until notified otherwise, however learning will continue.
Transition to online teaching, learning and working
Students will all be emailed centrally, and will also be contacted by their teacher to inform them of next steps.
Students will continue to receive their Bursary payments and their Free School Meal allocation will be provided.
We will provide further information as soon as we can, and will keep our college websites and social feeds updated.
We know that some of you may have concerns or questions about the current outbreak of coronavirus. We want to reassure you that we are working hard to ensure everyone at the College is safe and as a result we are taking preventative measures to make sure that our staff, students and visitors are aware of any actions they can take.
Currently we are:
- Monitoring the situation within the UK and local area
- Following advice and guidance from Public Health England
- Keeping students and staff informed, in line with Public Health England guidance
- Enhancing College cleaning procedures
What students, staff, and visitors can do to stay healthy:
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of any used tissues in the bin and wash your hands afterwards
- Refrain from touching your face before thoroughly washing hands
- Maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.
- Follow the latest government advice, which is to stay at home for seven days (self-isolation) if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough or if somebody within your household has this.
The WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which includes hand and respiratory hygiene and general food safety practices:
- Frequently wash your hands using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
- When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
- If you have a fever, cough and are having difficulty breathing, seek medical help immediately and inform your health care provider.
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices
Self-IsolationIf you are a student who needs to self-isolate, it is essential you inform your tutor that you have been advised to take this action and you should keep your them updated on any change to your circumstances.
Where possible, you will be expected to continue to engage with your course requirements remotely, where you will be able to access key teaching materials and resources. Your tutor will be able to communicate with you and track your engagement. Your tutor will also be able to advise you on how to access resources.
What is the guidance on handwashing/hand sanitising?
Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective means of keeping hands clean. As long as hands are washed correctly, then either paper towels or hand driers can be used to dry hands. Avoid touching your face.
You might also find it helpful to watch this BBC video on how to wash your hands.
We have also increased the frequency of cleaning of regular contact surfaces such as door handles, lift buttons, handrails, and entrance doors to toilet facilities on all campuses.
As the situation is complex and may evolve, we also recommend using the following resources to stay up-to-date with the latest advice:
Take a look at the Public Health England poster on Advice on the coronavirus for places of education
Further advice and updates are also available on these sites: Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the World Health Organisation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
The government has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
NHS Coronavirus helpline
The NHS has comprehensive advice on their website about what to do if you think you may have the virus, precautionary measures, and self-isolation procedures. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111