COVID-19: a message from the Principal
2nd November 2020
At the start of the academic year, I said that we needed your help to ensure that this term is a success at Paston College. Thank you for all that you’ve done, I’m proud of the way that we have worked as a college community to make sure that we can all learn and work safely together.
We heard from the Prime Minister yesterday about further restrictions and a ‘four week stay at home’ order which will be implemented from Thursday 5th November. Colleges remain open however and we have been asked to continue delivering your lessons in the same way as we have in the first half-term. When we get any further guidance, I will update you by email. In the meantime, your lessons will continue as planned.
As we learn more about COVID-19, the rising rates of transmission and the effectiveness of our control measures, I have some key messages for you for this next half-term:
Protect your fellow students and our staff. Do not come to college if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19;
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you come to college with symptoms and later test positive for COVID-19, many more of your classmates and teachers will need to self-isolate and be at risk of getting the virus.
- Wear a face covering at all times when you are not in your classroom or workshop. This is non-negotiable unless you are exempt and have an exemption card with you. Make sure that you are wearing your face covering and student badge before you leave the classroom.
- Remember to ensure good hygiene by following the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ A minority of you have been challenged for spitting, particularly around the smoking shelters. This is completely unacceptable, and it will be dealt with under the student disciplinary process.
- Continue to wash your hands thoroughly and more often than usual, including on arrival, when you change rooms and before and after eating. Remember that using soap and water is better than using hand sanitiser.
- Clean your desk or work station using the wipes in each room at the beginning and end of every lesson. In specialist areas your teacher will tell you how this should be done.
- Walk around buildings rather than through them. Use the entrance or exit closest to where you are going, even if it is cold or raining.
- Minimise the number of people you come into contact with. This means:
- Only use your allocated eating outlet; and,
- Do not meet up with friends who are not in your group, even if you see them a lot out of college.
- Keep your distance from others wherever you can. Even if you can only socially distance for some of the time whilst in your lessons it will still help. Outside of your classroom you must socially distance from others all of the time to reduce the number of close contacts you have. Close contact is;
- Within 2m for more than 15 minutes;
- Within 1m for 1 minute; or,
- Skin to skin contact.
Please remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have symptoms, a positive test result or if you are self-isolating for any reason.
Do also keep checking your college emails. This is how we will contact you if we need you to self-isolate because you are the close contact of someone who has tested positive. The rules for self-isolation are quite complex and we will always let you know if you are identified as a close contact.
Once again, thank you for all that you are doing to make our college a safe place to learn and work and do get in touch if you have any queries or concerns.
Corrienne Peasgood OBE
CEO and Principal