Coronavirus Update

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Coronavirus Updates

Update 05/11/2020 - COVID-19 update

Dear all,
We hope that you are well and that you were able to take some time to relax over the October half term.

We wanted to reach out to our students and parents to update you on how MK College will continue to operate after the re-introduction of lockdown later this week.

The headline news is that not much will change from how we have been operating since the start of term. We always prioritised safety when bringing students back and we have thankfully had very few positive cases so far, especially compared to other schools and colleges in the region.

Our measures to create a mix of online and face to face learning, ensuring masks are worn in communal areas and frequent cleaning have all worked to create a learning environment which students have consistently said makes them feel safe.

We will continue to explore ways in which we can increase safety even further and we will now be encouraging students to wear masks in the classroom if they would prefer to do so, students may also be asked to wear masks in some sessions.

The government have prioritised keeping schools, colleges and universities open as they understand the huge impact that not attending education settings has on both student wellbeing and on succeeding within your programme. We would therefore hope all our students continue to feel confident and able to access our campuses safely throughout the next few weeks and beyond.

We would encourage students with any concerns to speak to their tutors and also remind everyone that if you feel unwell, have a temperature, persistent cough or lose your sense of taste and or smell to isolate and book a test. Please also notify us on covid19.student@mkcollege.ac.uk

We will be here throughout this period and will continue to work with you all to get through this pandemic together and ensure that our students continue to access and benefit from their learning and all the opportunities it will bring.

Update 14/10/2020 - COVID-19 update

Dear students and parents,

Firstly, a huge thanks to all of you for working with us as we have been implementing new processes for enrolment and induction to the College. It has been a huge undertaking to ensure that over 2,000 students were able to be welcomed to the college in a safe way. We know not everything was perfect, but we hope you are now settling in to your studies.

We always said that our approach to welcoming students back to campus would be done in a gradual way and that safety would be our number one priority. We have additional cleaning, processes around bubbles and social distancing, virtual learning and Keeping Safe Supervisors at both our campus sites to ensure rules are being followed.

Masks are being worn by all staff and students (unless there is a medical reason not to do so) in public areas and we continue to provide an array of outside food trucks should students not be able to bring lunch with them to College.

To date, these measures have meant that we have had only one instance where a bubble involving students has had to isolate and within that bubble, no students tested positive for Coronavirus.

Now is clearly not the time to ease up on our efforts, the local infection rates (whilst lower than rates nationally) are slowly climbing and so it is important we all continue to work together to avoid disruptions in learning.

We do however appreciate the value our students place on being able to access our classes and facilities in person as well as the value in forming friendship groups and enjoying the social aspects of working directly with classmates. Over the coming weeks we will be working hard to increase the time students spend on campus – this won’t be all areas right away, however by the end of the October half term we hope to be able to welcome students in most areas back to the college campus on a more frequent basis – particularly in those areas with lesser time on campus at the moment.

Thank you again for your support and we hope you continue to stay well.

Coronavirus Updates

Update 17/09/2020 - Inclusive Learning COVID-19 ‘bubble’ update

We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Inclusive Learning School of Milton Keynes College.

The positive case is a member of our Inclusive Learning management team and whilst the risk of exposure to students is very minimal, in line with Public Health England guidance, and with our own safety-first approach to the pandemic, we are advising all members of our Inclusive Learning bubble to self-isolate until Thursday 24th September 2020 as this will represent 14 days from the point the member of our team was last in College.

All impacted staff and students have been notified this afternoon, however, if you have any specific concerns please email covid19.student@mkcollege.ac.uk 

Milton Keynes College has taken a safety-first approach to students returning to college, with additional cleaning, masks in communal areas, and social distancing promoted throughout our campuses. In addition, we are working hard to develop a mixture of on-campus and virtual learning, allowing us to keep students in bubbles to ensure that any positive coronavirus cases are limited to a particular subject school rather than the whole college.

We look forward to welcoming our inclusive learning students back to our campuses as soon as the period of self-isolation is complete.

Update 06/07/2020 - Higher Education

Higher Education Covid 19 Statement

Update 05/06/2020 - Five Stage Phased Reopening

In light of the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have established a five stage phased reopening plan. Please see the reopening document for further information.

Update 01/04/2020 - Update from Dr Julie Mills OBE, CEO & Group Principal

I wanted to take the time to reassure you about the steps Milton Keynes College is taking to ensure that no existing student, or potential future student will miss out because of the restrictions currently in place due to Covid-19.

Lessons for our existing students have carried on remotely where possible, as per student timetables. This is something that our teachers have had to be very creative with, particularly when we offer such hands-on subjects from bricklaying to barbering. However early feedback has been positive, attendance has been good and we will continue to evolve our digital teaching over the Easter period.

Students are expected to be regularly logging on to attend lessons and tutorials remotely. We have also redeployed some staff to act as Progress Mentors and they are calling students individually to make sure they are keeping up and getting the support they need.

We are actively working with awarding bodies to ensure that all of our students who deserve to complete their qualification this year are able to do so and we are encouraging students to stay engaged with their college work.

Decisions around progression on to the next level of courses from September will be taken with the current situation in mind and we will support students to study the next level of their course wherever there is an opportunity to do so.

For those students who were planning to sit their GCSEs this summer, again I can only imagine the frustration in not being able to complete these qualifications in the normal way. My clear message is that Milton Keynes College will continue to hold a place for you. We will take each student on their individual merits and I encourage you to work hard to develop skills as much as possible and to continue through our admissions process as normal.

We will be continuing with course interviews, remotely, in-line with government restrictions on social interactions, after the Easter break and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students in September.

The College is also playing its part in supporting the community. We are actively working with Milton Keynes Council to see how our kitchens might be able to be used to prepare food for those who need it whilst we continue to welcome students whose parents are key workers and vital to the effort to combat the virus.

If any members of your household have time on their hands over the coming weeks you might be interested in the College’s Distance Learning provision. We offer a number of short courses across a range of vocational areas.

Finally, please continue to stay safe, our social media channels are a great way of staying connected with us and get the latest information. They are available at:

@mkcollege on Twitter and facebook.com/mkcollege

Stay safe,

Dr Julie Mills OBE
CEO & Group Principal

 

Update 18/03/20 - College campuses to close for most students

In line with the updated advice from the government today we can confirm that Milton Keynes College campus buildings will close to most students from Monday.

Friday will also be an inset day meaning that students need not attend classes.

We await further detail from government on what the advice to ‘look after children of key workers’ might mean for us and further information will be communicated as soon as we have it.

We will be working hard to maintain education services during this period. Our lecturers will be supported to share lessons via our Virtual Learning Environment- Moodle and lessons should continue remotely from Monday morning as timetabled.

Students will receive communication to set expectations from working and learning at home from Monday morning. Any exams/assessments planned before Easter will not be going ahead, with more information on future examination arrangements as we have it.

We will also continue to maintain our enquiry and admissions telephone lines and emails.

We would like to be clear to students who have applied to college or who are considering applying for courses starting in September and who are nervous of what cancelled exams might mean. We will have a place for you. Please apply via the website as normal and we will be in touch with you as we have more information.

We will work closely with our employer partners and apprentice employers to aim to limit disruption and provide as much support as possible.

As this is an evolving situation we would like to remind you of our official channels where we will share any updates as they occur.

We will post all updates to  www.mkcollege.ac.uk/coronavirus  -  whilst we will also share updates via our official social media channels on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mkcollege) and Twitter (@mkcollege).
Advice to reduce exposure to and transmission of the virus include:

-Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water

-Follow basic hygiene rules – covering your mouth when coughing/sneezing

-Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough

If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early - in the UK call 111 - and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

Note:

This advice is derived from The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice here.
Supplementary Q&A for individuals wishing to know more around how the UK is managing the risk can be found here.

The government is advocating social distancing measures, particularly for those aged 70+ or with underlying health conditions.

Additionally, those with the following symptoms:

  • A temperature
  • A persistent dry cough

Should now self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 day isolation is also in place if anyone in your household also has these symptoms.

A table with more detail on the latest social distancing advice is below:

* if one member of your family or household has a new continuous cough or high temperature
** if you live alone and you have a new continuous cough or high temperature
*** if you live alone and you have a new continuous cough or high temperature
**** for example via telephone or internet
1 ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year

More detail on the pre-existing medical conditions covered by this advice can also be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Useful Information

The Five Staged Phased Reopening Plan

Download Reopening Plan document

View the video update below for further information on the measures have put in place.

What to expect when you come to college

It's important to us that we all follow the safety measures to keep each other safe, here's what you can expect.

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