CoronaVirus & College Coping Update
Tuesday, 15th September
1.Prime Minister’s Announcements Today (22nd September)
Boris Johnson made two announcements today, one in the House of Commons and a broadcast to the nation. These introduced more stringent measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including encouraging people to work from home if possible. There were no details about schools, except to say that the intention is that schools would stay open.
It is not clear yet whether this major announcement will be followed by any further guidance for schools, or whether schools will be again put in the position of making their own decisions.
We need a day or two to assimilate the new information, and await clarity on guidance for schools, so there will be no immediate changes to our practices or expectations.
2.Public Health Advice on Covid testing for Schoolchildren
I have been asked by Devon County Council to bring to your attention a letter and information leaflet for schools and parents produced by the local Public Health team.
The information can be found here: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/children-education/covid19-school-absence/
We continue to be in dialogue with Stagecoach.
Stagecoach tell us that the scheduling issues have now been resolved:
In the mornings, there is one “M11” bus out of Exeter, a double decker, exclusively for school students. In addition, the Stagecoach 1 buses run as per the public timetable. The Stagecoach 1 bus should drop CVCC students at Clyst Vale, not on the main road.
After school, we are currently having more buses arrive than we need. One is a “M11” while others follow the Stagecoach 1 route into town. A later bus from Cullompton also swings into the College.
Students heading to Bradninch or Cullompton should, for now, catch the bus at the main road bus stop. There is some confusion about this, and it might change. We had a Stagecoach 1 to Bradninch come into the College on Monday evening, but this might have been a mistake.
We are also experiencing isolated incidents whereby bus drivers are interpreting public transport regulations very strictly, to the extent of not allowing students to board. There are very few of these incidents, but we take them extremely seriously and follow every one up.
The vast majority of our students have been incredibly sensible and mature about the regulations and rules we have put in place, even when some of the rules don’t work perfectly or need a bit of common sense. However, there are a few that have not been so sensible, and there are one or two behaviours creeping in which would have been acceptable before lockdown but aren’t now. So, in assemblies this week, I have reminded students about the following:
- On Stagecoach buses, face coverings must be worn (unless there are medical reasons).
- On school transport, everyone wants students to wear face coverings, including many students themselves, and it is the right thing to do, but it is not compulsory.
- Ball games on the field. Must be tame, not competitive, no contact.
- Physical or rough play. Needs to stop to minimise contact.
- Sadly, perhaps, this also needs to stop.
- Sitting tightly in groups. This is quite common: ten students squash into a seat for eight, or sit closely in a jumbled heap on the field. Students sit closely in class, but not in constant contact, and sit in rows facing forward. So the message is to spread out where you can.
- Chewing gum. Has never been allowed. If students chew gum, they should stop. If they keep chewing gum and get away with it, it must be disposed of properly, in paper in a bin. It’s as revolting as ever, but now carries an additional health risk.
- Litter also can carry an additional health risk and students must do better at throwing it away or taking it home.