Coronavirus: advice and guidance

College updates for staff, students and visitors

Last updated: 18 January

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 4 January 2021 about the new national lockdown in England, Newham College will undertake the following measures effective immediately: 

  • Children of key workers, those considered vulnerable, students leaving social care and high needs students will resume lessons on campus from 4 January. Additional support will be available for students in these categories. The College will be open from 9 am-4 pm for these students to study online, access the LRCs and have remote support from staff.
  • For all other students, the Christmas break will be extended by one week to 8 January. The Spring term will commence from 11 January with remote learning for the full timetable. There will be no face-to-face teaching until after the February half term (15-19 February) at the earliest but this may change pending further government guidance. Students must not attend any College site unless they fall in one of the priority groups described above or have been specifically asked to do so.
  • BTEC exams scheduled to take place in January have been postponed until further notice. Alternate arrangements will be communicated to affected students by their teachers and the exams department in due course.
  • We are awaiting further advice from the DfE regarding staff and student COVID-19 testing and we will update this page once we have further information.

In all cases, you should not attend college if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, persistent cough and loss of taste and smell). Advice about what to do in the event you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are outlined below.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are of the utmost importance. The College will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus situation and will refine its approach in response to the latest developments and any change in advice from the government and Public Health England.

Remote learning during lockdown

Timetables are continuing as normal with teachers delivering online lessons and supporting learners remotely via Microsoft Teams, including learners on part-time courses and apprenticeships.

All enrolled learners have a free Microsoft 365 account to facilitate remote learning via Teams and are expected to log on and participate in these sessions according to their individual timetable. All Teams lessons are scheduled in line with course timetables. Recorded sessions are available outside class time via the relevant course page on VLE Moodle (Evolve).

VLE Moodle (Evolve), shared documents on OneDrive and Microsoft apps associated with Teams are also used as required to support and engage students. All students also have access to online academic and subject-specific reading via EBSCO on the LRC online system based on VLE Moodle (Evolve).

All learners should have access to a digital device – a PC or laptop is more suitable than a phone or tablet – to access online remote learning. Access to college systems is also possible via gaming equipment and we have published a guide to using this platform.

The College will endeavour to support remote learning by loaning IT equipment where resources and funds allow, in line with existing Department for Education support.

Full details of the College's plans for remote learning are available here.

Exams during lockdown

Most formal exams remain postponed for the majority of learners while we await further government guidance and Ofqual announcements. 

A number of external exams for adult learners coming to the end of study in semester one will go ahead by appointment in agreement with Heads of School and college leaders. These include AAT, Ascentis ESOL and adult functional skills and apprentices approaching their End Point Assessment. 

Learners should await individual guidance from their Head of School as these plans progress. Learners studying on vocational and Access to HE diplomas should continue to submit course work and assignments via Turnitin online for marking and grading.

Safeguarding support

Safeguarding support remains available for all students during lockdown. Our Safeguarding team can be contacted during normal college hours – Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5pm at 0753 583 0817 or safeguardingteam@newham.ac.uk. Please see our safeguarding page for further information.

Mental health and wellbeing

The mental health and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance, especially during these unprecedented times. If you need someone to talk to during lockdown, our mental health and wellbeing team are here to support you.

Find out more about the services we offer and how to contact us.

Safety measures on campus

We have taken steps to maintain a COVID-secure environment on campus and the College is working closely with Public Health England to minimise any further risk, stringently following government guidelines as outlined in the latest risk assessment.

We urge all staff and students to maintain the safety measures while on campus, particularly the wearing of face coverings in common areas, maintaining social distancing, respecting the one-way system in force and frequent hand washing and/or use of hand sanitiser.

For students, there is a regularly updated guidance procedure which you should adhere to. We also expect our students to adhere to the student COVID-19 charter, which summarises key actions they should commit to while on campus.

I've developed symptoms of COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10-day isolation from the day you developed symptoms.

From 28 September, you could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19 or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate.

After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

In the event that you need to self-isolate or have received a positive test for COVID-19, you must inform your teacher so that we can take appropriate action to inform staff and students, deep clean areas where necessary and put arrangements in place for you to be taught remotely while you're quarantined.

For further information, check Public Health England’s staying at home guidance.

Applications

Applications are being processed as normal and the College will be in touch regularly regarding its progress.