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Message to students and apprentices

(Published Sunday 1 November 2020)

In announcing plans for new national restrictions in England from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night stated that schools, colleges and universities will remain open throughout this period.

While the rules state that people should only leave home for specific reasons, these do include accessing education.

The Government states “it remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians.”

The college will therefore continue to be open as usual.

However, as is currently the case, students should only come to college when timetabled to do so or if asked to attend for any other reason.

Please see announcement below (Published Thursday 29 October) for further advice on safety measures.

(Published Thursday 29 October 2020)

With Nottinghamshire entering the government’s new Tier 3 highest alert category from 12.01am on Friday 30 October, the college would like to reassure all students, apprentices, parents/carers and staff that we have a range of stringent safety measures in place to keep people safe while on our campuses.

The new Tier 3 restrictions, aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus, follow agreements between the Government and local authority leaders. They will remain in place for 28 days and will be kept under review.

The Government has stated that schools, colleges and universities remain open in Tier 3 areas.

As such, the college will be open as usual from Monday 2 November after the half-term break.

Tier 3 guidance states that “you may continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work, or to access education” but you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make. Therefore, please attend college only if you are timetabled to do so or have been asked to attend for any other reason.

Students are advised to follow the Government guidance on using public transport.

We understand these new ‘Very High’ alert measures for Nottinghamshire may cause concern amongst the college community.

Please be assured we are committed to making it as safe as possible for students and staff to be on site, while maintaining a high-quality teaching and learning experience.

Our measures include social distancing, the continued blend of on-campus and online learning, teaching students in ‘bubbles’, the requirement to wear face coverings (unless exempt) in communal areas, workshops and on college buses; installing hand-sanitisers in prominent locations, altering our air-movement systems to only draw-in fresh air, and increased cleaning and sanitisation across all sites.

These have worked well to keep cases very low and we go through a rigorous process of identifying who would need to self-isolate as a result of a positive test, based not only on guidance from the Department for Education and Public Health England but also information from individuals and our own enquiries.

It is more important than ever that everybody follows the guidance with regards to social distancing and wearing face masks where required.

If you are displaying any of the known symptoms of Covid-19 – a persistent cough, high temperature or a change in your sense of smell and/or taste – please stay at home and get a test.

Under no circumstances should anybody come in to college if they have been instructed to self-isolate.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our utmost priority and we will continue to update our website with further details of our Covid-secure measures as the situation evolves.

Full details of the Tier 3 ‘Very High’ alert restrictions can be found on the Government website or click here to see a poster that sets out the measures.

More information about what the Tier 3 measures means for people in Nottinghamshire can be found on the Nottinghamshire County Council website.

(Published Friday 11 September 2020)

It has been lovely to welcome you to college, whether you have joined us for the first time or returned to college for your first full week of teaching. It has been wonderful to see the college really come to life.

We have been reviewing our systems and processes to keep you safe in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and considering what action to take in response to the latest government announcements.

At the moment our approach to keeping you all safe is to put students in ‘bubbles’ and to ask you to remain in your bubble for the vast majority of your time at college. In addition, in many areas we are operating on a model of 50% of students being on campus and 50% learning from home at any one time. We have also asked you to wear a mask or face covering on our college buses, just like you would have to do if you were accessing public transport. We have also asked that if you have any COVID symptoms at all (such as a cough, temperature, loss of taste and/or smell) that you don’t attend college until you have had a test or self-isolated for ten days. If anyone in your household has symptoms then you will also need to 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 to remain in your bubble.

As a result, from Monday 14 September we will be making some further changes to make sure that you are as safe as you possibly can be while you are with us. From Monday you will be required to not only wear a mask or face covering on our buses but in all indoor public areas of the college. This is in addition to asking you to remain in your class bubble as much as possible. We ask you to provide your own face covering or mask but will have spare masks on reception points if you forget one. This change applies to everyone at college, including staff and visitors. You are also reminded to practice regular hand-washing or hand-sanitisation. Below is some further information:

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

  • When leaving your classroom and travelling/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 you are working in there, unless you want to wear one).
  • In the Create Hub (unless using it for a taught session).
  • In toilets.

I am exempt from wearing a mask or face covering – what do I need to do?

  • If you are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering and you already have a green sunflower lanyard, then please feel free to wear this alongside your college lanyard.
  • If you have an exemption card already on your phone please show this to staff.
  • If you don’t have a green sunflower lanyard or an existing exemption card the college can provide you with an exemption card. These can go inside the back of your lanyard-holder so you can show them to bus drivers and others. You can get one from support coaches or your support worker, if you have one in class.
  • We are looking at providing a more visible way of showing that you are exempt that will save you having to show your card all the time as soon as we have these in stock we will let you know.

What if I am a lip reader or will really struggle to understand someone if they are wearing a mask or face covering?

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

I don’t want to wear a mask or face covering – can I wear a clear face shield/visor?

  • Yes, you can.

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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