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COVID-19 Update 31/12/20

Update Covid-19: Advice to all students, parents and carers  – 31/12/2020  

(for Higher Education (UCSD) students please refer to a separate email from Alastair Wilson from the University email account sent on 31st December 2020)

Dear students, parents, and carers   

Further to my last communication to you on 18th December 2020, I would like to update you on our position following the Government announcements yesterday.

Torbay moves to Tier 3 COVID restrictions

The Government announced yesterday that Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay has now moved to Tier 3 of the local COVID restrictions. This is to help tackle the spread of coronavirus in Torbay. Further information can be found here: Local restriction tiers: what you need to know – GOV.UKhttp://www.gov.uk(www.gov.uk)

COVID-19 National Testing Programme for Schools & Colleges

We are expecting to undertake Lateral Flow testing of students and staff week commencing 11th January 2021. More information to follow pending detailed guidance and further updates from Department for Education.

Changes to Teaching and Learning for all students from 5th January to 8th January2021 

Following the government announcement yesterday about a staggered return to teaching in January 2021, all lessons for students will be online or via set work for supported home learning from the first day of the new term, Tuesday 5th January 2021 to Friday 8th January 2021 (inclusive).

During this first week of term we will operate a staggered return, tailoring this to reflect the needs and priorities for students. For the majority, this will be full-time remote education, as close as possible to that which students would get in class. However, some students will still be asked to attend College as normal from the start of the new term on Tuesday 5th January 2021 where this is in their best interests, for example our vulnerable learners or those students with exams or formal assessments this week. Other reasons will also apply.

Tutors will contact students, parents, and carers directly on Monday 4th January 2021 to confirm individual arrangements for this week. If you have not heard from your tutor by 3pm on Monday 4th January 2021, please contact them directly to ensure you know the arrangements which apply.

Changes to Teaching and Learning for all students from 11th January to 15th January 2021 

Following the government announcement yesterday about a staggered return to teaching in January 2021, all lessons for students will be online this week with the exception of vulnerable learners and South Devon High School Year 11, A-Level Year 13, plus any scheduled formal face to face assessments and students taking their BTEC exams on scheduled examination days during that week.

18th January to 22nd January 2021

The College will be fully open to all students this week except Higher Education (UCSD) students who should refer to the separate email from Alastair Wilson from the University email account sent on 31st December 2020.

I hope you will understand that we are still receiving updated guidance from the Government and Department for Education at the last minute and the arrangements may change at short notice. Please do keep an eye on the South Devon College website news feed and social media channels for further updates.

Reporting positive Covid test results

Please remember to complete the ‘out of hours Notification of a POSTIVE COVID-19 test result’ form to alert us if you, a member of your household or other close contact identified through Track & Trace, receive a positive test result whilst the College is closed. This online form is available via our main website www.southdevon.ac.uk  

I would like to remind and reassure students, parents, and carers that each time we are alerted to a positive, or presumed positive case, we undertake a forensic risk assessment process.

Continued communication

As promised, we will continue to issue a weekly update of the number of confirmed cases within the College when we return in the new year. The next update of this academic year will be provided at 2pm on Friday 8th January 2021.

Thank you very much for your continuing support and I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

Yours sincerely,  

Laurence Frewin  

Principal and CEO  
South Devon College