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Weekly COVID-19 Update 22/01/21

Update Covid-19: Advice to all students, parents and carers 22/01/21

Dear students, parents and carers

Further to my last communication to you on 15th January 2021, I would like to update you on the current COVID-19 situation in the College. 


The table below gives the most up-to-date picture of COVID-19 infections at South Devon College in all areas.  

Weekly cases: 7 (Total cases reported in the last week – this gives an indication of the number of current cases)   
Total cases: 63  (A running total of positive/presumed positive cases reported to the College by students and staff since the first case was reported on Wednesday 7th October 2020)   

COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing Programme at South Devon College

From Monday 11th January 2021, we have been conducting Lateral Flow tests for students and staff that have been present onsite for various reasons during the current lockdown.

The following principles apply to the current Lateral Flow Testing programme:

  1. Staff who are going to be onsite each week will be booking themselves in for a lateral flow test using the booking system link. If they are onsite for more than one day in the week, they will schedule two tests that week.
  2. Any students who are returning to College for the first time for authorised activities need to have two tests each ideally between three and five days apart. If tutors have agreed that students will be on site next week, it is likely that the student will be asked to conduct a lateral flow test. Tutors will advise students of their allocated time for testing.

A letter explaining the lateral flow testing process is available here. Prior to undertaking the lateral flow test, students need to provide consent. The online consent form is available here.

For students younger than 16 years – this online consent form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. For any student who does not have the capacity to provide informed consent, this form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Please complete one consent form for each child you wish to participate in testing.

The testing process takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes and results are sent to test subjects via text or email approximately 30 minutes after swabbing.

Students should bring their mobile phone to the test facility to undertake the NHS Test and Trace registration process.

The testing facility is currently open on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. Opening hours are dependent on demand.

At present asymptomatic Lateral Flow testing is not required before students or staff can access the College. 

Teaching and Learning

All teaching and learning (with the exception of supported sessions for vulnerable students and a small number of Higher Education students) will continue to be conducted remotely until the end of this half term on Friday 12th February 2021.  Please note that Spring Half Term runs from Monday 15th to Friday 19th February 2021 inclusive, and there will be no scheduled teaching during that week.  We are hoping that teaching and learning will commence again onsite from Monday 22nd February 2021, the week directly after the half term break. However, this will be subject to Government approval and guidance which we should receive in due course and we will update you as necessary in a timely way. 

This online delivery or supported home learning will be formally timetabled for all students. The College will remain open to support our vulnerable learners.

Exams and Assessment

Whilst we await definitive guidance from qualification awarding organisations relating to final arrangements for exams and assessments this year, we expect all students to fully engage in their scheduled remote teaching, learning and assessment activities to ensure they develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for them to achieve and progress.  We expect that College information relating to individual student progress and attainment will be used to inform some final grades and so we stress the importance of keeping a strong focus on learning and completing the work and assignments set during this period of lockdown.

Reporting positive Covid 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  

Continued communication

As promised, we will continue to issue a weekly update of the number of confirmed cases within the College. The next update of this academic year will be provided at 2pm on Friday 29th January 2021.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support.

Yours sincerely,  

Laurence Frewin  

Principal and CEO  
South Devon College 

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