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Frequently asked questions for current students - Coronavirus

Students Outside Beeston

In line with Government advice the College is now closed to all but those who have been identified as the most vulnerable students and those whose parents are key workers. All students who have not been told they can attend College should stay away and follow the Government’s guidelines on social distancing.

The College is now implementing remote learning from Monday 23rd March 2020.

We have published new processes which all staff and students should engage in online learning are required to follow. You can read more about this here.

Please find below frequently asked questions about remote learning and other college areas during this period.

Frequently asked questions

Is Nottingham College open as usual now?

No. We are beginning to re-open some key buildings on designated college campus from 15 June, in line with the Government’s latest measures, but many of the college’s facilities remain closed. You should not come to college unless you are specifically asked to do so. In the meantime, students are expected to continue with their studies remotely.

When will I know if I should be returning to college?

Your tutor will ask you to return when it is appropriate for you to do so. We have also sent a letter to you parent/carer. We will continue to monitor the guidance and will provide updates to all colleagues as often as appropriate. If you are not required to come back to college you should continue to study at home.

My tutor has asked me to come back to college – is it safe for me to do so?

To make sure that no one is put at risk, a detailed risk assessment has been underway for the last few weeks. All areas of the college have a range of checks and procedures to put in place in their facilities, including marking out spaces to enable effective social distancing. You should also continue to follow the existing advice from the NHS to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene:

  • Frequently clean your hands, for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially when you arrive and leave a site.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, throw it in the bin and then immediately wash your hands.

What measures are being put in place to protect me?

Visible social distancing measures are being implemented. For example, in some areas temporary barriers will prevent coming too close to each other Appropriate queueing arrangements will be clearly laid out to ensure social distancing.

Do I need to continue with socially distancing when I come back to college?

You will need to ensure that you maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from others, both within buildings and outside. You may be asked to study in a particular way to maintain social distancing, for example there may be one-way systems in place or limits to the number of people who can study in any area.

What is being done to make shared spaces such as toilets, etc, safe?

A ‘one in, one out’ procedure could be implemented within communal areas. It is also advised that everyone washes their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, in line with Government guidance, on entering and leaving the refectory.

Multi-occupancy toilet facilities will change to a ‘one in, one out’ system, with knock and call signs on the outer doors. You should also ensure you maintain good hand hygiene, in line with Government guidance.

Is the college going to provide face coverings and other PPE for everyone on site?

The college has conducted a series of risk assessments for activities across College and it may have identified a requirement for PPE in certain circumstances for example personal care or where social distancing cannot be achieve over long periods of time.

However, the hierarchy of controls places PPE at the bottom of controls. Other measures such as social/physical distancing of 2m in conjunction with hygiene measures including regular hand washing/sanitising and cleaning of touch points are the key parts of controlling the spread of the COVID virus.

Social distancing of at least 2 metres remains the primary method of reducing the spread of the virus.

The college will not be providing face coverings as standard as supplies are difficult to obtain and rightly prioritised for the NHS. The present guidance for the wearing of personal protective equipment from Public Health England is: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. 

Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. 

On 4 June the Government advised that anyone travelling on public transport from 15 June needs to use a facemask or covering.

I do not feel well – should I continue to stay away from college?

If you have a high temperature and/or a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste (the main symptoms of coronavirus), you should self-isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of the symptoms. If you live with someone who displays these symptoms, you should not leave your home for 14 days. Further information, including an online coronavirus service, is available on the NHS website.

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

I am considered to be in a vulnerable group – should I come to college?

Those in vulnerable groups should continue studying from home where possible for the time-being. Those in an extremely vulnerable group, as defined by Government guidance, should definitely remain at home.

The classification and guidance changes but at time of writing these groups are:

Clinically extremely vulnerable people may include the following people. Disease severity, history or treatment levels will also affect who is in this group.

  • Solid organ transplant recipients.
  • People with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD).
  • People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell).
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

People in this group should have been contacted to tell them they are clinically extremely vulnerable.

I am worried about contracting coronavirus and do not feel safe returning to college – can I continue studying from home?

The norm should be that people continue to study at home if they can and only come to college if they have been asked to return by their tutor. Shielded individuals should not be asked to return physically to college in any form until further notice.

I am caring for someone who is recovering from coronavirus – do I need to come into college

If you live with, or have been caring for, someone who displays coronavirus symptoms, you should follow the Government guidance on self-isolation. Further guidance for those providing care and households with coronavirus cases is available on the Government website.

I have childcare responsibilities due to the closure of schools – what should I do?

You should discuss your personal circumstances with your tutor so that they are aware of your situation. They can then factor this in when making plans for work to be carried out on campus. The college will seek to ensure that any studying arrangements accommodate childcare responsibilities due to the current closure of schools.

I do not have an underlying health condition or caring responsibilities, but I am nervous about returning to college – what should I do?

It is important to remember that the college is very safe. The risk comes with large numbers of people returning to our sites which is why we are managing this extremely carefully. It’s understandable to feel apprehensive about returning to college at this stage, but you can be assured that a huge amount of work is taking place before people are being asked to return to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place. For example, buildings are being reconfigured to ensure social distancing rules can be maintained, e.g. one-way systems for communal areas. You should speak with your tutor about your specific concerns as they will be able to reassure you and support you.

Am I allowed to move around campus at lunchtimes etc?

Yes, but you must remain at least 2 metres apart from others at all times - including at e.g smoking shelters. Please be aware that some areas of the buildings will be restricted, to allow our cleaning teams to concentrate on occupied areas more efficiently.

Do I have to maintain 2m social distancing an emergency evacuation?

Where it is reasonably practicable maintain 2m distance, especially at assembly points. But the key priority is to quickly and calmly to make your way out of the nearest fire exit and to the designate fire assembly point.

The Government advice seems to change daily – how will we kept informed of how this affects the college?

We agree, the guidance changes regularly and we are waiting for specific guidance for colleges to be published. We will update these FAQs as regularly as possible as the guidance is updated and also to answer, where possible, any questions you may raise.

Will there be a senior manager on site taking overall charge/responsibility?

Yes, there will be a designated senior manager on each site that is open. You can contact them throughout the day if there is a problem or you have a concern.

I do not have access to a computer and or the internet, how can I learn from home?

If you inform your subject tutor that you do not have access to the internet and/or a computer, your tutor will prepare a resource pack for you so that you can still learn from home. Your tutor will explain the work that has been set and the expectations for returning the work so that it can be marked and collecting further work where appropriate.

I am having problems logging in/accessing my learning materials on Interact, who can I contact?

If you experience any difficulties logging in or engaging in learning on Interact, please email and a colleague will be able to support you. This email should only be used where you experience difficulties in accessing the materials on Interact. If you have any questions regarding the materials, please contact your subject tutor.

Who do I contact if have questions about some of the resources online/in my pack or I need help with my assignment?

You can find your tutor contact details are listed at the top of your Interact page. Using Interact, you can also message your tutor directly and collaborate with your peers using the ‘forum’ function. If you do not have access to Interact, you should send your tutor an email with your question. If you do not have an email account, call the college on 0115 9 100 100 who will be able to get a message to your tutor, so that they can support you.

How do I submit work?

Your tutor will confirm how and when work should be submitted, and the focus will be on helping you to submit work to help you achieve your qualification. Where possible, your teacher will ask you to submit work via Interact.

How will I receive feedback?

For each of your subjects / sessions, teachers will be providing feedback on session activities through the ‘comments’ feature of Interact. You will receive constructive feedback to highlight what you have done well, or what you need to do to improve. You may also receive feedback on performance and progress via the ‘messaging’ feature of Interact. This will help you to stay on track with your studies. If you have handed in your work at a college library, you will receive a receipt for your work and will be asked how you can be contacted when your feedback is ready for collection. Your tutor will mark your work and provide you with written feedback in the usual manner and we will confirm when this feedback will be available for collection (via the method that you advised us of when you submitted your work). Feedback will normally be provided within three weeks.

What support will I receive to keep me on track?

Your Subject Tutor will provide you with work (either on Interact or paper based) to ensure that you have the learning opportunities that you need to keep you on track and will keep in touch to let you know what work is available, what needs to be completed, and to provide guidance, support and feedback. Where you are on a full time programme, your Personal Tutor will also touch base with you on a weekly basis to give you feedback and guidance on your progress overall, considering the progress that you are making in your online activities and course assessments.

How will I continue to be supported by my Achievement Coach?

Where you currently work with an Achievement Coach (AC), your AC will continue to support you and will contact you at your normal scheduled time. Your AC will send you an email or text to check that they have your current contact details and agree how they will continue to support you.

How will my progress be monitored?

Your online attendance will be monitored and your subject tutors and personal tutor will continue to review the progress that you are making with your work and assessments whilst you are learning remotely. Where there are concerns regarding the hours that you have participated in learning or the quality of work that you have submitted, your Personal Tutor and Achievement Coach will discuss this with you and will set targets in the eILP where appropriate.

Do I need to continue with my formal assessments now that the college is closed?

Ofqual and the UK government provided an update on exams on 3rd April, providing guidance on GCSE, AS and A Level exams for teachers, students and parents/carers. You can find the Ofqual update and guidance information on the exams and grades page.

I have exams booked will these still go ahead?

It is with regret that we have been required to cancel all examinations for the foreseeable future. As you will all be aware, the government has made the decision to cancel this year's GCSE and A Level exams, but that students will receive their qualifications.

Why do I need to continue to study and engage in learning if my examinations or formal assessments are cancelled?

The government has recently provided further information regarding exams, you can find more information about examinations and assessments on our exams and grades page.

Where should I go to for updates about COVID-19 and the college closure?

The college updates its website on a regular basis, you can also check on social media channels, these can be found at the bottom of the footer on our website or by using the links below:

Alternatively, you can log on to StudentNet.

Who do I contact if I have a concern?

The College’s teachers and support staff are still available to support. If you have any questions or concerns, you should continue to discuss this with your teachers, your Achievement Coach or your Faculty Area Manager who will be able to support you.

Can I do video chats with my tutor?

This is something that we are currently working on across the College. Whilst we may collaborate with you online, or have live discussions, at present we do not facilitate video chats.

Will I be able to access the college sites that are open?

Following government guidance the college campuses are closed to most students, with exception of facilitated learning for agreed learner groups and if you have been specifically asked to come in, in accordance with government guidelines. Students are however permitted on college premises for the purposes of picking up and submitting work.

I’ve borrowed items from a college library and can’t return them, will I get fined?

If your library books are due to be renewed you can login to your Library account to renew them yourself, or contact your site library and ask them to renew items for you.

All fines that accrue during the period college is closed will be waived from your account, but do keep in touch with the library and renew your items.

Contact details for each library can be found on our libraries page.

What happens if I receive free school meals?

The College will be issuing Co-op supermarket vouchers to students previously identified as eligible for free school meals. Further information can be found on our free school meals section.

I am a key worker, how can I arrange for my children to attend?

If you are a key worker and would like your children to attend, you should contact us on 0115 9 100 100 so we can discuss how we can support you.

I have a child in the college nursery will this remain open?

The nursery at Clarendon is currently remaining open to the children of support key workers and college staff.

I’m a Higher Education student at Nottingham College, what does this all mean for me?

At the moment your tutors and course leaders are doing their very best to ensure you can continue to study in a productive way through online learning and staying on contact with you by email or phone where possible.

We are committed to support you to achieve the very best grades irrespective of the circumstances of your learning and will do all we can to help you complete necessary modules and assignments. Where some of you have practical demonstrations, these will happen, even if in a slightly different way from planned. It may be that as part of your continued study, once we have determined how long the College is closed for, course leaders create more appropriate ways to assess you and to ensure you do complete the necessary components of your modules or course to succeed. It is our intention that we will still be able to present everyone’s full and recorded achievement to HE exam boards in July, as usual, where we can ratify all your grades and achievement. If you have any specific concerns please contact your course tutors or course leaders.

For further information regarding your HE study at Nottingham College, please see our Higher Education student information page.

Childcare Providers:

The college has been closed to students since the end of March. We continued to make payments at the start of April and May. There will be no further payments for June and July as the students have not been attending college.

There will be a small amount of students who may need to attend some practical lessons in order to complete their qualifications. We will work with these students on an individual basis in order to support with childcare costs. If any students want to use their previous settings we will get in touch to discuss payment.