Weekly Update on Guidance and Measures

UK 16-19

Dear Itchen Student and Parents / Guardians

Welcome to our second weekly update as we now pass the midway point of the second national lockdown. I ended my last update by hoping this update would be shorter – I am pleased to report my hopes have been realised.

Cases at Itchen

Since last Thursday we have had three further cases reported, one of which has led to a group needing to self-isolate. Only one of the three has come through this week, although there has been a significant increase in cases in the wider community across the same period. With every case we continue to seek the advice of the Department for Education and Public Health England and follow their guidance, regardless of whether the students have been in College. We still have no cases involving transmission in College.

Preventative Action – College Centre

Compliance with face coverings continues to be good in classrooms and corridors, but the College Centre remains a concern. We understand that you need to eat and drink, but please restrict the amount of time you are not wearing your face-covering. Similarly, please try to adhere to the ‘rule of 6’ we are continuing to apply in the Centre.

All of the measures we have in place are for your benefit, and to keep your families and staff in good health. The excellent job you are doing in classrooms and corridors is being put at risk by some of you in the College Centre where you are not suddenly immune.

When we speak with representatives from Public Health England they want to know who you have been in close contact with for an extended period without mitigating actions like a face covering, and you are putting yourself and your friends (and your families and staff) at risk if you are socialising in close proximity for more than a few minutes without a mask or similar barrier.

We accept that this is more difficult on wet days as we have had this week, so please remember there is additional seating in the Hall for you, and study space in the LRC. A reminder as well to only be in College when you are being taught – make use of the lunchtime buses to take you home to study.

End of Term

I can confirm we will go ahead and deliver the last two teaching days of this term remotely. On Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th students will follow their normal timetables with attendance marked as usual, but will do so using a suitable device at home. College will remain open if there are difficulties with accessing a device or if you prefer to study remotely at College, but the bus service will not run on these days. 

As well as allowing us a further test of remote learning, particularly for those who were undertaking examinations at the start of this half term, it will also give us a clear break between the end of term and Christmas Day, reducing the possibility of a call from us asking you to self-isolate.

Finally, my thanks once again on following the measures we have in place. This is best put not by me, but by a resident who contacted the College last week. It is always with a degree of trepidation that I open a message from our neighbours, but in this case I need not have worried:

I am a local resident so see a lot of your students walking down our road.

I just wanted to feedback how well your students are adhering to covid safety measures.  I see them all walking down remembering to socially distance and all that get off the bus are wearing masks.  I have seen so much unfair criticism about young people not adhering to the rules, I just felt it important to feed back what a great example your students are setting.

It is such a hard time for young people, as a local resident please can I pass on my praise and thanks to your students and yourselves.

And further praise that has come in for you today – if you were involved please let me know:

I would just like to congratulate some of your students. Unfortunately I did not get their names. Whilst in Bitterne at around 4pm an elderly lady took a nasty fall. I believe there may have been around 5 of them. Each one took their coat off to cover her and keep her warm, I am so gutted that I did not take their names.

With best regards

Alex Scott