Updated:

Thursday 19 March 2020 - 4:48pm

We know that many of our students, staff and the wider community will be feeling anxious about Coronavirus. We are in regular contact with Public Health England (PHE) and are following their advice, along with guidance from the NHS.

Please read our frequently asked questions below. We will continue to provide updates as and when we have them.

Our main priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our staff, students and visitors and to be as supportive as we can.

Our main priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of all of our staff, students and visitors and to be as supportive as we can.

The college will be acting upon government direction, face to face classroom learning will cease for the majority students on at 5pm on Friday 20 March. As of yet we are unsure of when the college will reopen again fully but during this crisis our colleges will play a key role in supporting front line staff.

Some 16-18 year old students will continue to be supported as per government advice, along with our most vulnerable children. Individual groups of students will be communicated to directly and a full student briefing will be issued in the coming days.

Whilst the college will be ‘closed’ to the majority we will continue to function as a business. We will also be reviewing our remote learning provision for adult and higher education students and will confirm this in coming days.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will continually update our website and social media channels. Key updates will also be emailed to students and staff. These will be sent to your college email address so please ensure you check this regularly.

Our colleges are open and we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst staff or students.

We have no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A number of staff are working from home whilst they are self isolating because they (or a member of their family) have a mild cough or other seasonal symptoms as a precautionary measure.

Our colleges are also adopting a dispersal model for key staff to ensure business critical functions are protected.

Our colleges will be acting upon government direction, face to face classroom learning will cease for the majority students on at 5pm on Friday 20 March. As of yet we are unsure of when the colleges will reopen again fully but during this crisis our colleges will play a key role in supporting front line staff.

Some 16-18 year old students will continue to be supported as per government advice, along with our most vulnerable children. Individual groups of students will be communicated to directly and a full student briefing will be issued in the coming days.

Whilst our colleges will be ‘closed’ to the majority we will continue to function as a business. We will also be reviewing our remote learning provision for adult and higher education students and will confirm this in coming days.

There are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus at any of our campuses. Staff and students should attend college as normal.

Public Health England advises that there is very little benefit from use of face masks outside clinical settings where they form part of a range of measures to prevent transmission of infection.

If you are concerned about the transmission of novel coronavirus, Public Health England guidance recommends good personal, respiratory and hand hygiene, as follows:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitiser
  • Good personal hygiene
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough

It is important that we recognise and respect that some students and staff may wish to use face masks.

We would encourage all members of our community to be inclusive and supportive of what is a personal choice.

We are continuing to follow advice from the Government and Public Health England in regards to safeguarding our staff, students and visitors from the risk of Coronavirus.

We care deeply about our colleagues and our students; and understand that a person does not have to be self-isolating in order for coronavirus concerns to have an impact on mental health.

Recognising that students and staff might find they are feeling worried, and that self-isolating or social distancing may bring its own stresses, we would like to remind everyone that these feelings are completely normal. 

A number of organisations have published guidance on mental health considerations relating to the coronavirus outbreak, including: MindThe Mental Health Foundation and Young Minds. I do ask that during this challenging time, you take time to read these links, and share them with each other, family and friends.

The NHS Inform website is an excellent source of information providing the latest updates and advice in regards to the Coronavirus.

Staff and students should check this regularly for the latest guidance.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Eating food on campus is perfectly safe. General everyday hygiene rules apply; such as regular hand washing and hygiene rules for food preparation in line with the Food Standards Agency.

Our Hospitality team will take the necessary precautions as advised by the relevant bodies and the Government.

Education Partnership North East College's will inform all students and staff through our official channels and will take any necessary action, as advised by Public Health England and the Government.

Current NHS advice is to stay at home if you have Coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

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.

How long to stay at home:

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

For more information or guidance, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Individuals who have or are in regular contact with someone with an existing long-term condition and are concerned about the Coronavirus should continue to take their normal precautions and should discuss any concerns with their GP.

Students: Please call the absence line on 0191 5116000 (Option 1).

Staff: Please call 0191 5116371.

Arrangements are being put in place to ensure students who receive welfare support continue to receive assistance during any potential college closures.

If a student is forced to self-isolate because they, or someone they are close to, are showing symptoms of Coronavirus, their bursary payments will not be affected.

Until more information is published by the Department of Education on their proposed voucher system for free college meals we will be making direct payments into student bank accounts.  We will be contacting all students who we do not hold this information for and will be sending them details to provide this information via a secure portal.  

For those who receive a bursary we will make payments to students who are engaging with learning through remote methods following the existing payment dates.  We will be circulating more information both free college meals and bursaries next week.

We have reviewed our risk assessment procedure and approach on how we can safeguard our staff, students and visitors from the risk of COVD-19 (Coronavirus).

All non-essential events have been cancelled.

At a time when our healthcare system and employers are under pressure to sustain business continuity, we have decided to postpone all placements and work experience with immediate effect from all settings.

This measure will ensure that our students are protected from unnecessary risk and placement providers are able to concentrate on core business.

We are working closely with our placement providers and continually monitoring the situation.

Students should continue to develop their wider employability skills through internal activities with progress against employability skills.

In light of the Government's announcement regarding exams, we will be contacting our students about this in the coming days.