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Message to parents and carers

(Published Friday 11 September 2020)

It has been lovely to welcome our students back to college this week for their first full week of teaching after almost six months, and to see the college really come back to life has been wonderful.

As expected of us, we have been keeping a really close eye on how well our safety measures are working in relation to COVID-19. At the moment our approach to keeping students safe is to put students in ‘bubbles’ and to ask them to remain in these for the vast majority of their time at college. In addition, in many areas we are operating on a model of 50% of student beings on campus and 50% learning from home at any one time. We have also asked students to wear a mask or face covering on our college buses, just like they would have to do if accessing public transport. We have also asked that if students have any COVID symptoms at all (such as a cough, temperature, loss of taste and/or smell) that they don’t attend college until they have had a test or self-isolated for ten days. If anyone in the student’s household shows symptoms, again they should get a test or self-isolate for 14 days.

We have noticed this week that while this has been working well in some areas, in corridors and canteen areas it is harder for students to remain in their bubbles.

As a result, from Monday 14 September we will be making some further changes to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can be. From Monday we are requiring students and staff to not only wear a mask or face covering on our buses but in indoor public areas of the college. This is in addition to asking students to remain in bubbles as much as possible and continue to practice regular hand-washing or hand-sanitisation. We are asking students to provide their own face covering or mask but will have spares on reception points if they forget one. This change applies to everyone at college, including staff and visitors and will mean that if you visit the college as a parent you will be asked to wear a face covering whilst in these common areas, unless you are exempt. Below is some further information:

Where will students have to wear a mask or face covering?

  • When circulating in corridors.
  • In canteens and diners.
  • In reception areas.
  • In workshop areas at Station Park and Oddicroft Lane.
  • When visiting the library (but not if students are working in there, as they will be socially distanced – however, they can still wear a mask if they choose to).
  • In the Create Hub (unless using it for a taught session).
  • In toilets.

What if my child is exempt from wearing one?

  • If they are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering and already have a green sunflower lanyard, they can wear this alongside their college lanyard.
  • If they have an exemption card already they can use this at college.
  • If they don’t have a green sunflower lanyard or an existing exemption card the college can provide them with one. These can go inside the back of their lanyard-holder. They are available from support coaches or in class support teams.

What if my child is a lip-reader or will really struggle to understand people wearing a mask or face covering?

  • Teachers in classrooms will not wear a mask but may wear clear plastic face shields/visors.
  • Message to parents and carers We will have badges that students can put on their lanyards that will let someone know they are struggling to understand and ask them to temporarily remove their mask when talking to them. These will be available from reception points from Monday.

What can I do to help as a parent?

We hope you understand the need for these new measures and are willing to support us to keep all of our students as safe as they possibly can be. Please encourage your child to comply with the new ways of working. We have had some issues on the buses this week with some young people removing their face coverings as soon they get on the bus; please encourage them to comply to keep themselves and their friends at college safe.

Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2020

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Best A Level provider in Mansfield and Ashfield for student progress*

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction**

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

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£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
**Learner Exit Survey 2017/18
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