Latest Information Regarding COVID-19

An Important Update for Parents of Blackburn College Students

Dear Parent/Carer

25th September 2020

A small number of Blackburn College students have tested positive for COVID-19. I understand that the students concerned are recovering well at home.

Throughout this period, colleagues have worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) and the Local Authority to ensure our students and staff are safe and to continue to provide a safe learning environment and campus.

Students who have been asked to isolate will continue to learn from home - making use of online learning. Individual tutors will provide links and support throughout the period of isolation.

Throughout this pandemic, we have adhered to all of the guidelines from the Government, PHE and the Local Authority. Our robust risk assessment and the control measures embedded into our daily routines have enabled the College to remain open to students who have not been identified as close or proximity contact; providing they remain well and free of symptoms.

If you have not received a letter, or had a phone call, asking your child to isolate, your son/daughter must continue to come into College as normal. We will continue to monitor the situation and act upon the advice of PHE and the Health Protection Team at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

COVID Advice for parents/carers.

Testing for Coronavirus

One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, parents and our communities is testing for Coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to testing at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with COVID-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.

You should only book a test if your child has any of these three Coronavirus symptoms:

  • High temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature).
  • New continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
  • Loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal.

Your son/daughter does not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell, but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste. This is because these are not normally symptoms of Coronavirus.

If you are unsure about whether to get a test, please check the official list of symptoms on the NHS website, which is reviewed regularly.

Only the person with symptoms should get a test. You do not need to get a test for anyone else in the household unless they also have any of the three symptoms listed above. All members of the household need to self-isolate while waiting for the test result.

If the person with symptoms’ test comes back positive, other members of their household should continue self-isolating for 14 days and only get a test if they develop Coronavirus symptoms.

It is vital for children’s learning and future opportunities that they are able to return to College. It is therefore vitally important that all we work together and do our bit to make this possible. Thank you for your understanding.

17th September 2020

We are delighted to be back on campus and to welcome your son/daughter to Blackburn College for the new academic year.

It’s great to be able to provide safe, face-to-face education so that our students can maximise their learning experience. However, we do still live in uncertain times and we are writing to you to respectfully ask for your support to keep our campus, staff and students safe. Therefore, we ask that you help us keep our communities safe and protect the most vulnerable by:

  • Providing your son/daughter with a face covering (mask or shield/visor) – please encourage them to always wear in communal areas both in College and around the Town Centre
  • Reminding your son/daughter to use the hand sanitiser gel, which is provided upon entrance to and within College buildings. This includes areas such as our libraries and restaurants
  • Encouraging your son/daughter to use our one-way systems and to keep left in corridors and walkways. All College buildings have guidance to manage the flow of people and this information has been provided to students at their Induction – please remind them to follow the guidance
  • Reminding your son/daughter about respecting the Government’s guidance regarding Social Distancing and maintaining a 2-metre distance when on campus. This is crucial to reducing the spread of the virus

From Monday 14th September, the Government guidelines changed regarding the limits on the number of people that can socialise together. When meeting friends and family that do not live together, the groups cannot be more than six people - indoors and outdoors.

This means it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than six (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble). The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including issuing fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100; doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

Because of this, please can we ask all parents/carers to discuss this with your son/daughter and ask them not to congregate or socialise in groups of more than six outside of College.

Please could you also remind your son/daughter that the above expectations extend to public areas beyond the College. Therefore, Social Distancing, face coverings and use of hand sanitiser needs to be adhered to at lunchtimes and when travelling to and from College.

Blackburn College is working collaboratively with The Mall and the wider Town Centre areas to improve public safety and shopping experience for students when they travel in from campus.

We are including the standards, expectations and the Government guidance within tutorials, but we would appreciate your support in also informing and reminding of the rules for outside of College.

Please rest assured we are prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff on campus.

You may be aware some classes have returned to home and online learning due to Public Health England guidance associated with self-isolating due to some known positive COVID-19 test results.

Unless your son/daughter has been told that this affects themselves or their group/bubble, they should still attend College, as these positive results are all isolated incidents. However, when your son/daughter attends College, please encourage them to follow the guidelines mentioned above.

Together, we can provide a safe and positive learning environment for all – please help us to keep our staff, students and local communities safe and well.

Remember – Hands – Face – Space

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Pickles,

Assistant Principal - Student Support and Engagement,

Blackburn College Leadership Team

Support for Parents