Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance: Get the latest information about our updated measures to ensure the safety of staff and students.
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Ensuring the safety and welfare of our staff and students is our priority. The latest on how we are supporting staff, students and visitors.

Last updated: 21 January

COVID-19 control measures

With a sharp increase in COVID cases due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, the following measures will be in place from the start of the new term:

  • Teaching will continue face to face in line with student timetables. Students should only attend for timetabled sessions from 4 January 2022.
  • The wearing of face coverings in communal areas remains in place in line with guidelines from local public health officials – this is being reviewed regularly. Wearing face coverings for staff and students in classrooms is now a personal choice
  • Students and staff should sanitise hands on arrival at College and regularly throughout the day. Sanitiser dispensers will be placed in communal areas throughout the College.
  • Always use fresh tissues when coughing/sneezing and dispose into a bin immediately.
  • There will be a maximum limit of 2 people in lifts.
  • Staff and students are expected to continue home testing using the free Lateral Flow Tests available in foyers and common rooms at least twice a week and report positive tests to NHS Test and Trace after taking a PCR test.
  • Incidents of positive COVID tests should be reported to the college via

  • Existing college measures such as ventilated rooms and regular anti-viral spraying of interiors remain in place.
  • Meetings are preferred online rather than face to face. Visitors to the college are expected to self-test before attending planned meetings and may be asked to produce evidence of a negative lateral flow test.

Keeping safe

We are committed to keeping our staff, students and visitors safe. We are encouraging staff and students to undertake lateral flow tests in line with government guidance. These can either be ordered online or collected from the reception areas at East Ham or Stratford.

Testing and self-isolation

You should not attend college if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, persistent cough and loss of taste and smell). You should self-isolate at home immediately and order a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10 days regardless of your vaccination status.

  • If you are double vaccinated and have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive, you do not need to self-isolate but should have a PCR test and then must self-isolate if positive.
  • If you are unvaccinated, you must self-isolate for 10 days if you come into close contact with a person who has tested positive.
  • You must self-isolate for 10 days if you have been in contact with a person with the Omicron variant, whether or not you are vaccinated.
  • You will be identified by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate if you come into close contact with someone who is Omicron infected.
  • If you have financial issues caused by self-isolation, you may be entitled to a £500 Test and Trace support payment from your local council (see Self-Isolation Support Payment for Newham residents).

Learn more about when to self-isolate and what to do.

Keeping safe when not in college

  • Wearing of face masks in shops and on public transport is again a legal requirement.
  • Avoid large crowds, go shopping in quieter periods.
  • Consider limiting numbers at social gatherings and meet outdoors.
  • Keep rooms at home well ventilated.
  • Carry out a lateral flow test before going to any parties and consider reporting the result to the NHS through the app.
  • Sanitise and/or wash hands frequently.
  • Always use fresh tissues when coughing/sneezing and dispose into a bin immediately.

Exams & assessment

The college continues to operate in line with up-to-date guidance from Ofqual (the exams regulator) and the Department for Education. Learn more about the latest plans in place for exams, grading and assessments of GCSEs, vocational (e.g. BTECs) and technical qualifications (e.g. T Levels).

There is specialist guidance for Access to HE learners and a full set of documents and information from QAA on their website.

Teaching, learning and assessment will, by and large, continue face-to-face to enable learners to gain the most from their time in college. However, under exceptional circumstances, a very small number of classes may switch to online or blended learning if Covid infections are high.

For candidates studying GCSEs, the college follows the guidance from JCQ, which includes the use of in-year formal assessments to support Teachers Assessed Grades if summer GCSE exams are cancelled.

All learners have access to their learning via Moodle Evolve VLE and free access to MS Teams and its applications. Online learning resources are supported through online reading and e-books via the Learning Resource Section on Evolve VLE. Learners studying English and maths can access independent learning from Century Tech under my ILP section of Moodle Evolve VLE.