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Advice & Help Centre

We understand that with the amount of coverage in the media about Coronavirus, you may have some concerns. This page is kept regularly updated and designed to help you with clear information in relation to the College.

General updates

  • for Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers - 8 April 2022

    Dear Students, Parent, Carers and Guardians,

     

    I hope you are well.

     

    Over the last few months, it has been somewhat of a relief to have to share slightly less communication about Covid. The prudent approach that students and staff continue to take is helping us to restrict the number of positive cases in our immediate community, and this is having a very beneficial impact on reducing disruption to learning.

     

    That being said, over the last few weeks cases nationally have been at very significant levels and we have not been able to fully escape this trend. While restrictions in the community have all but gone, people are still feeling very unwell with the virus and having to take time away from our colleges.

     

    With the exam season approaching, I think it is fair to say that every day counts for our students. That is why we don’t feel that now is the right time to move away from an approach that is proving successful at reducing infection and absence rates. It is sensible for us to continue with the recommendations and guidance that we have already been following over recent months.

     

    As a result, until the end of the academic year, we will continue to encourage all students and staff to:

    • Wear face coverings across our colleges in all communal areas,particularly in enclosed or busy spaces such as on coaches for trips or in busy offices. If students and staff wish, they can also continue to wear these in learning spaces.
    • Keep maintaining social distancing, where possible, and maintain enhanced hand hygiene practices. This is effective in reducing the chances of catching a range of illnesses - not just Covid-19.
    • Consider visiting the NHS Vaccine Bus. These will continue to make regular visits to our colleges.

     

    In addition to this, we will be:

    • Continuing with extra touchpoint cleaning.
    • Tracking covid-related absence and applying additional mitigations as needed.
    • Working with local Public Health teams to discuss the picture at our colleges and the local picture.

     

    Finally, we thought it would be useful to reiterate the guidance if you do feel unwell and are showing symptoms linked to Covid 19.

     

    If you are suffering from any respiratory illness/Covid symptoms you should:

    • Stay at home until you are feeling well enough to attend and you are clear of any associated high temperature.
    • Continue to test to help us identify C19 cases and protect others around you. You will no longer be able to collect test kits from College, however, these are available through pharmacies, supermarkets and community providers.
    • If you do test positive, then in line with the government advice, all staff and students should stay at home (five days if you are over 18 years of age or 3 days for those under 18.)

     

    We all want to be in an environment where we no longer have to consider the virus. As long as it continues to impact learning, particularly at such a crucial time for our students, then we have to mitigate risk – just as we would for any cause of disruption or concern.

     

    Many thanks for your continued support.

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal – Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers - 21 March 2022

    Dear Students, Parents, Carers and Guardians,

     

    As many of you will be aware, the number of positive Covid-19 cases across the region is on the rise.

     

    While restrictions have been removed, we are very mindful that a significant number of people who have tested positive have become unwell. As a result, we are starting to see an increase in absence rates among staff and students.

     

    Attendance is obviously critical throughout the year, but with the exam season just a few weeks away it is more important than ever that we ensure we are doing everything to support one another to be fit and healthy.

     

    That is why we would encourage you to continue to:

     

    • Test twice a week until Easter (we have supplies of kits in stock at reception)
    • Get a PCR test if unwell with Covid-19 symptoms
    • Isolate if positive – you might feel okay but the next person might be very ill
    • Wait until your second negative Lateral Flow Test test result on consecutive days (after day five) before returning to site

     

    We also support and encourage the wearing of face coverings in shared spaces, and in class, if you feel more comfortable.

     

    Our current measures are paying a dividend and we continue to do incredibly well as a community to help and support one another.

     

    We have attached a more comprehensive guide sheet that you might find helpful.

    View Covid-19 Protocol
    Browse walk-in vaccine and booster clinics

    Warm wishes,

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers - 4 March 2022

    Dear Students, Parents, Carers and Guardians,

     

    We hope you are well.

     

    As you will have all seen, during the half-term break the Prime Minister announced that England would move into a new phase of managing Covid-19. He said that we as a country would now be dealing with the virus by "moving from government restrictions to personal responsibility, so we protect ourselves without losing our liberties." 


    Essentially, this places responsibility on the public, businesses and organisations to manage the spread of the disease in their communities by making sensible and pragmatic decisions, as you would with any infectious virus or communicable disease. Our mitigations have proved to be effective to date.

      

    The communities in our colleges are vibrant and dynamic environments where thousands of people from a large geographic area meet every day. While we share the excitement and relief that legal restrictions have been lifted, we are also acutely aware that we also have a responsibility to our students, our staff and their families to ensure that we minimise disruption to learning and, crucially, to keep us all safe and healthy.

     

    That is why, our approach moving forward will be:

     

    1. We will continue encouraging face coverings in communal areas, and will continue supporting any colleague or student who chooses to wear face coverings in learning spaces. 
    2. While legal restrictions regarding self-isolation have now dropped, we will continue to strongly encourage our community to continue to follow Government guidance. As it stands this is:
      "Government has removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive are continued to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days, and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days." 
    3. Twice weekly testing to be encouraged, the College still has these available from receptions and kits can still be ordered by individuals free of charge until April from Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Reporting to college only now if a test is positive.
    4. We also believe that there have been great practices that have become embedded over the last few years that help reduce the spread of all viruses and infections – not just Covid. The focus on handwashing, for example, is beneficial, so we will continue to encourage that people take additional precautions to protect those around them.

     

    Finally, the guidance is about how we continue to live with Covid. Covid hasn’t gone and, realistically, will be here for the foreseeable future. To provide clarity, we are going to keep following the guidelines above until Easter, and will make further decisions at that point.

     

    Thank you for your continued support.

     

    Kind regards,

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers - 17 February 2022

    Dear Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers,

    I hope you are well.

    You may be aware that the Government is set to make some changes to the current COVID 19 guidance in the next week or so. Once we have received this information, we will then update you with those next steps, until then please refer to the current guidance in the link below:

    We have however, made the decision to strongly advise the wearing of facemasks in both classrooms and communal areas going forward into the next term and beyond.

    Currently the number of young people testing positive for coronavirus in Suffolk is still high among people aged up to 19 years old. Keeping you, your family and our staff healthy is our first priority. We must continue to be pragmatic; facemasks have been an incredibly effective measure for our community - particularly as we continue to see high infection rates locally. While it is right that restrictions are removed when it is correct to do so, we do need to move forward positively but sensibly given the challenges we face.

    We have managed to keep learning going largely because we have made decisions that we feel are ultimately right for us based on our own context and community. We continue to meet with local public health officials weekly which advise our next steps.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Many thanks,

    Colin Shaw

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students, Parents and Carers - 4 February 2022

    Dear all,

     

    As you will be aware, this year marks 70 years of the Queen’s reign.

     

    This is a significant event – and an additional bank holiday has been called for June 3rd to help the country mark the Platinum Jubilee. This date, however, falls in half term and the Department for Education has enabled all staff and students working in schools and colleges to enjoy an additional bank holiday in term time to mark the celebration.

     

    Suffolk County Council has been looking at the implications of this locally, and we will be following their recommendation to take a co-ordinated approach and take Friday 18th February 2022 as the additional bank holiday.

     

    The main reason for this additional bank holiday to be called is so that we can collectively acknowledge the Queen’s efforts, but also be with friends and family and such a difficult few years. Given that so many of our students’ siblings, children of our adult learners and staff etc. will not be in their schools on that day, it felt important that we mirrored the decisions to enable people to be together.   

     

    We have got through the last two years as a community, and it is right that when we get a unique opportunity to celebrate that we should do that as a community to.

     

    Warm regards,

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

    Thank you both

    Colin

    Colin Shaw

    Principal – Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students, Parents and Carers - 27 January 2022

    Dear Students, Parents, Guardians and Carers,

    I hope you are well.

    You may be aware that the Government has made some rapid decisions about facemasks no longer being mandated.

    We have, however, made the decision to strongly advise the wearing of facemasks in both classrooms and communal areas for the immediate future.

    The number of young people testing positive for coronavirus in a week in Suffolk has risen again. Figures released revealed there was an increase of 8,000 NEW cases of Covid-19 among people aged up to 19 years old in the week to January 24.

    Keeping you, your family and our staff healthy is our first priority. We must continue to be pragmatic; facemasks have been an incredibly effective measure for our community - particularly as we continue to see high infection rates locally. While it is right that restrictions are removed when it is correct to do so, we do need to move forward positively but sensibly given the challenges we face.

    We have managed to keep learning going largely because we have made decisions that we feel are ultimately right for us based on our own context and community. We are meeting local public health officials weekly and will let you know next Thursday what our next steps will be for the following week.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Many thanks,

    Colin Shaw

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students, Parents and Carers - 17 January 2022
  • for Students, Parents and Carers (10 January 2022)

    Dear Students / Parents / Carers:

     

    Get vaccinated while on campus

     

    We're delighted to be offering students the opportunity to get a Pfizer vaccine while on campus on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 January.

     

    There's no need to book - simply turn up from 9.30am in the old library area (E1.07), located up the stairs on the first floor of Edmund House between the Bistro and Conservatoire EAST. If you're not sure where this is, please ask any member of staff or your tutor.

     

    Anyone is able to drop by for a vaccine, and nurses will be offering first, second and booster doses. The vaccination team are happy to talk through any queries students may have about receiving the vaccine too. Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 within 28 days cannot receive a vaccine and the vaccination team will have details of the gaps required between each dose.

     

    Lateral Flow Tests

      • Please continue to take twice weekly Lateral Flow Tests. Kits are available for students to collect from reception, but additional tests can also be obtained from your local pharmacy or from the NHS website.
      • Please report the outcome to both the NHS at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and to the College by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Face covering rules

     

    Students must wear face coverings in both communal areas and classrooms in the college, unless exempt for medical reasons. This does not include outdoor areas unless in such circumstances that distancing cannot be maintained.

     

    Once again, thank you for your support and please spread the word to other students about the drop-in vaccination centre.

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Colin Shaw

     

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

     
  • for Students, Parents and Carers (10 December 2021)

    Dear students, parents and carers,

    I hope you are all well.

    Over the last 18 months there has been an incredible effort to keep education going while keeping everyone safe. This has been as result not just of what happens in our colleges, but also the amazing support we have received from our wider community.

    As Omicron starts rearing its head however, we want to keep things as safe as possible while the scientific community assesses the impact of this new strain. That is why we are enhancing our existing plans and measures.

    As you will be aware, we recently introduced facemasks for all non-exempt staff and students in communal areas around the site. We are going to strengthen them further and, for a limited period, we have made the decision to bring back face coverings in lessons.

    At present, this will start on the 13/12/2021 and go through until the end of the first week of the Spring term, 7/1/2022. Every member of our community, unless they have a GP issued exemption lanyard, will be required to wear a face covering. We will reassess the situation on the 5/1/2022 and set out instructions at that point for the subsequent two weeks.

    This is a preventative measure, but one that we think is sensible while people enjoy the festivities and we await data from the Government on infection rates of the new strains etc.

    In addition, the vaccine buses will continue to visit our campuses, and I would encourage you all to follow the recommendations on lateral flow tests.

    Finally, by Thursday of next week we will be writing to you about the testing procedures that the Government has set out when students return from the Christmas break. Please keep an eye out for this.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Warmest wishes,

    Colin Shaw
    Principal Sixth Form Provision
    West Suffolk College

  • for Parents and Carers (23 November 2021)

    Dear Parents and Carers,

     

    As you will be aware, we have been receiving regular guidance from the Local Authority about the measures we should put into place to manage Covid. We have received the latest update and wanted to share with you what this means for you and our students

     

    The new guidance builds on all that we have been doing over the last few weeks, but give us greater flexibility to add to these measures in the event that there is a significant number of cases in a small group, or specific part, of our community.

     

    For the foreseeable future you should assume, unless otherwise told, that you are in Level One. This is the default level, and no staff member or student (unless medically exempt) should move away from these guidelines. The levels are:

     

    Level 1

    In essence, the existing measures will remain in place. This means:

     

    • All routine measures must be adhered to: e.g., hand washing, ventilation is classrooms, enhanced cleaning and LFD testing for staff.
    • All students and staff, unless medically exempt, must wear face coverings in communal areas.
    • Only essential visitors are allowed onsite.
    • All staff and students are encouraged to commit to taking twice-weekly LFD home-testing and report results in the usual way.

     

    The only addition is if someone tests positive in your household or an individual has been identified as a close contact, then they must undertake daily LFT until a negative PCR result IS received. The PCR test should be taken at day 5 from close contact.

     

    Open events will still continue, as we appreciate how important these are for our future students and are essential to helping them plan for their futures. We will ensure that robust measures are in place to mitigate the risk of any spread. We understand that further guidance is expected imminently, we may need to revise our approach at short notice as a result of this.

     

    Level 2

    If a certain number of cases is reached, defined as between 5-14 individuals who have mixed in a group and all tested positive in a 10 day period or 10% - 29% of a cohort or staff group have tested positive.

     

    In this case, our Incident Management Team will be informed and they have the opportunity to bring in a number of measures to enhance the Level One measures. These will not be for the whole College, but will be targeted and could include:

     

    • Face-coverings for staff and students in classrooms linked to increasing cases.
    • Daily group/cohort LFD testing for Level 2 groups and LFD testing for staff and students at home until a negative PCR result is received. PCR tests should be taken at day 5 from close contact.
    • Evidence of test results must be sent to the college, and, in the absence of a PCR test, the individual must continue LFD minimum of 10 day.

     

    Level 3

    If the Level 2 thresholds have been exceeded, then specific groups may be asked to move to remote/blended learning for a short period of time. We will consult with the Local Authority.

     

    We all want to move to an environment where every student and colleague can simply focus on their learning and letters linked to Covid are no longer needed. The reality is, however, that we need to take pragmatic steps to do everything we can to ensure that we don’t reach Level 3, and we take our responsibility to keep our students and staff as safe as possible seriously – because, in turn, this helps to protect our wider community.

     

    We will continue to keep you updated as we are able and thank you all for your continued support.

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Richard Stevenson

    Group Operations Director

  • for Students (23 November 2021)

    As you will be aware, we have been receiving regular guidance from the Local Authority about the measures we should put into place to manage Covid. We have received the latest update and wanted to share with our students what this means for you.

     

    The new guidance builds on all that we have been doing over the last few weeks - but give us greater flexibility to add to these measures in the event that there is a significant number of cases in a small group, or a specific part of our community.

     

    For the foreseeable future you should assume, unless otherwise told, that you are in Level One. The levels are:

     

    Level 1 – the current level for ALL students

     

    • All routine measures must be adhered to: e.g., hand washing, ventilation is classrooms, enhanced cleaning and LFD testing for staff.
    • All students and staff, unless medically exempt, must wear face coverings in communal areas.
    • Only essential visitors are allowed onsite.
    • All staff and students are encouraged to commit to taking twice-weekly LFD home-testing and report results in the usual way.

     

    The only addition is if someone tests positive in your household or an individual has been identified as a close contact, then they must undertake daily LFT until a negative PCR result IS received. The PCR test should be taken at day 5 from close contact.

     

    Open events will still continue, as we appreciate how important these are for our future students and are essential to helping them plan for their futures. We will ensure that robust measures are in place to mitigate the risk of any spread. We understand that further guidance is expected imminently, we may need to revise our approach at short notice as a result of this.

     

    Level 2

    If a certain number of cases is reached, defined as between 5-14 individuals who have mixed in a group and all tested positive in a 10 day period or 10% - 29% of a group of people have tested positive.

     

    In this case, our Incident Management Team will be informed and they have the opportunity to bring in a number of measures to enhance the Level One. These will not be for the whole College, but will be targeted and could include:

     

    • Face-coverings for staff and students in classrooms linked to increasing cases.
    • Daily group/cohort LFD testing for Level 2 groups and LFD testing for staff and students at home until a negative PCR result is received. PCR tests should be taken at day 5 from close contact.
    • Evidence of test results must be sent to the college, and, in the absence of a PCR test, the individual must continue LFD minimum of 10 day.

     

    Level 3

    If the Level 2 thresholds have been exceeded, then specific groups may be asked to move to remote/blended learning for a short period of time. We will consult with the Local Authority.

     

    We all want to move to an environment where every student and colleague can simply focus on their learning and letters linked to Covid are no longer needed. The reality is, however, that we need to take pragmatic steps to do everything we can to ensure that we don’t reach Level 3, and we take our responsibility to keep our students and staff as safe as possible seriously – because, in turn, this helps to protect our wider community.

     

    We will continue to keep you updated as we are able and thank you all for your continued support.

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Richard Stevenson

    Group Operations Director

  • for Students, Parents and Carers (Wednesday 3 November 2021)

    Dear Parents, Students and Carers,

     

    I hope you are well.

     

    Further to our previous COVID email update, we will continue with the additional measures introduced by the local authority to protect our internal and wider communities. As a reminder, the following measures are in place and will remain in place until at least Monday 15 November 2021.

     

    • All staff and students, unless exempt for medical reasons, are required to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom.
    • We must restrict entry to our sites to essential visitors only. All essential visitors allowed on site are required to wear face coverings, this includes adults collecting students.

      
    What does this mean for you?

     

    In practical terms, this means:

     

    • All students, unless medically exempt, need to have a supply of masks with them at the start of the next half term.  Students will have to wear them in all communal indoor areas and will be encouraged to wear them in lessons and during the GCSE re-sit exams.
    • Students will also be encouraged to wear face coverings on public transport to and from their college.
    • The requirements for students to undertake regular Lateral Flow Tests has not changed since the start of term, but we also recognise that in some cases testing is much less frequent. It is ESSENTIAL that all students complete a Lateral Flow Test prior to coming back after the half term, and then at regular intervals after that.
    • Any trips to other educational establishments in the county are temporarily paused. Trips to other venues, and to colleges outside of Suffolk, may still go ahead dependent on a risk assessment and rules for their sector/area.
    • We will continue to have a strong focus on hand hygiene.
    • Finally, all parents and carers coming to drop-off or collect students will need to wear a face covering when on the college’s site.

     
    We will keep you updated as further guidance is received.

     

    Thank you for your continued support.

     

    Regards,

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students (Friday 22 October 2021)

    Dear Student,

     

    I hope you are well.

     

    We have some important information that we wanted to share with you regarding the college reintroducing some Covid-19 measures.

     

    As you might be aware, Covid cases are on the rise in Suffolk. As a result, the Local Authority has set new guidance to help the county’s schools and colleges protect our wider communities.

     

    I have attached the letter that the LA has issued, but for clarity the key points to note are:

     

    • All staff and students, unless exempt for medical reasons, are to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom.
    • We must restrict entry to our sites to essential visitors only. Any visitors allowed on site are to wear face coverings, this includes adults collecting students.

     

    These measures will start from November 1 2021.

     

    What does this mean for you?

     

    In practical terms, this means:

    • All students, unless medically exempt, need to have a supply of masks with them at the start of the next half term. Students will have to wear them in all communal indoor areas and will be encouraged to wear them in lessons and during the GCSE re-sit exams.
    • Students will also be encouraged to wear face coverings on public transport to and from their college.
    • The requirements for students to undertake regular Lateral Flow Tests has not changed since the start of term, but we also recognise that in some cases testing is much less frequent. It is ESSENTIAL that all students complete a Lateral Flow Test prior to coming back after the half term, and then at regular intervals after that.
    • Any trips to other educational establishments in the county are temporarily paused. Trips to other venues, and to colleges outside of Suffolk, may still go ahead dependent on a risk assessment and rules for their sector/area.
    • We will continue to have a strong focus on hand hygiene.
    • Finally, all parents/carers coming to drop-off/collect students will need to wear a face covering when the college’s site.

     

    We are disappointed that we find ourselves having to reintroduce these measures, but ensuring the safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance. We will keep you updated as further guidance is received.

     

    Thank you for your continued support.

     

    Regards

     

     

     

    Colin Shaw

     

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

  • for Parents and Carers (Friday 22 October 2021)

    Dear Parent/Carer,

     

    I hope you are well.

     

    We have some important information that we wanted to share with you regarding the college reintroducing some Covid-19 measures.

     

    As you might be aware, Covid cases are on the rise in Suffolk. As a result, the Local Authority has set new guidance to help the county’s schools and colleges protect our wider communities.

     

    I have attached the letter that the Local Authority has issued, but for clarity the key points to note are:

     

    • All staff and students, unless exempt for medical reasons, are to wear face coverings in communal areas outside of the classroom.
    • We must restrict entry to our sites to essential visitors only. Any visitors allowed on site are to wear face coverings, this includes adults collecting students.

     

    These measures will start from November 1 2021.

     

    What does this mean for our students?

     

    In practical terms, this means:

    • All students, unless medically exempt, need to have a supply of masks with them at the start of the next half term. They will have to wear them in all communal indoor areas and will be encouraged to wear them in lessons and during the GCSE re-sit exams.
    • Students will also be encouraged to wear face coverings on public transport to and from college.
    • The requirements for students to undertake regular Lateral Flow Tests has not changed since the start of term, but we also recognise that in some cases testing is much less frequent. It is ESSENTIAL that all students complete a Lateral Flow Test prior to coming back after the half term, and then at regular intervals after that.
    • Any trips to other educational establishments in the county are temporarily paused. Trips to other venues, and to colleges outside of Suffolk, may still go ahead dependent on a risk assessment and rules for their sector/area.
    • We will continue to have a strong focus on hand hygiene.
    • Finally, all parents coming to drop-off/collect their young person will need to wear a face covering when the college’s site.

     

    We are disappointed that we find ourselves having to reintroduce these measures, but ensuring the safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance. We will keep you updated as further guidance is received.

     

    Thank you for your continued support.

     

    Regards

     

    Colin Shaw

     

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

Lateral flow test updates

Consent form for onsite Covid-19 testing (Word Document)

  • for Students, Parents and Carers (24 August 2021)

    Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,

     

    We hope you had a good summer break and are looking forward to starting college in the coming weeks.

     

    The guidance for colleges with respect to COVID-19 has changed, and a separate communication with details of how our colleges are now operating control measures will be sent to you. Please look out for this as it will make your transition to college easier and more familiar for you.

     

    A significant emphasis is still being given to regular lateral flow testing and we expect this to last for some time. To keep the college as safe as possible it is important that students and staff continue with this routine to reduce the chance of an outbreak that could lead to tighter restrictions or a lockdown closure.

     

    The NHS has taken over all track and trace for testing so once a test is complete all individuals need to do is log their result REPORT HERE and in the event of a positive result only, e-mail the college at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to keep us informed.

     

    Individuals testing positive will be contacted and directed by the NHS and be required to isolate.

     

    Close contacts will be contacted by the NHS and required to either undertake daily lateral flow tests for an advised number of days, or self-isolate.

     

    All students will be required to take two lateral flow tests, spaced three to four days apart, at the beginning of term. To assist with this process the college will have a limited on-site Lateral Flow Test (LFT) site available. At the bottom of this message is a grid showing the days it is open. Please note the first day that tests are available is the 2nd not the 1st of September.

     

    The on-site LFT site is available for all however, home test kits are available at all our colleges (and pharmacies etc.) for you to take away, this may be more convenient for you, choosing this option will really help the college staff manage your experience in the first days back.

     

    For those of you who would like to use the on-site testing facility and have not previously undertaken a LFT or feel that you require assistance / guidance we would ask you to use the booking system HERE after completing a consent form HERE by the 31st August - please print this consent form and bring to your test.

     

    As we all return from the summer break it’s really important that anyone with COVID-19 is identified before coming to college – as such we would really encourage you all to collect a pack of test kits and commence testing before visiting and then continue until further notice.

     

    On-site lateral flow testing facility dates:

    Date

    On-site testing for Year 12

    On-site testing for Year 13

    Home testing kits

    Weds 1st September

    DEMO ONLY

    N/A

    Available to take away

    Thurs 2nd September

    First test

    N/A

    Available to take away

    Fri 3rd September

    First test

    First test

    Available to take away

    Sat 4th September

     

     

     

    Sun 5th September

     

     

     

    Mon 6th September

    First + Second test

     

    Available to take away

    Tues 7th September

    Second test

    First + Second test

    Available to take away

    Weds 8th September

    Second test

    Second test

    Available to take away

    Thurs 9th September

    Second test

    Second test

    Available to take away

    Fri 10th September

    Second test

    Second test

    Available to take away

    We look forward to seeing you all soon

     

    Richard Stevenson

    Group Operations Director

    Eastern Colleges Group - Abbeygate, One and West Suffolk College

  • for Students (7 April 2021)

    Dear Students,

     

     

    I hope you have had a restful Easter break and we look forward to welcoming back to college.

     

    During the break and on your return, we ask you to remain vigilant with Hand-Face-Space and thank you for the commitment you have shown to your studies.

     

    As a continuation of our Lateral Flow Test kits for home use, we will be replenishing Home Test kits on your return to college in the following way.

     

    • Test Kits will be issued during your normal attendance at college from Monday 12th April

    • You will be issued with your Home Test kit as part of your course director/tutorial time

    • Your course director, tutor and PST will be on hand to support you

    • Please have a pen available for your personal use only

     

    If you have not already done so, you will need to have activated your registration with the SchoolScreener site open in Chrome or on a smartphone on the following link:

     

    https://app.schoolscreener.com/Portal/#/Covidmanager/p/CovidSelf/130818

     

    Please continue to carry out a test every Sunday and Wednesday with the final test of your Easter break being completed on Sunday 11th April, prior to your return to college.

     

    You must always report your results (Positive, Negative, Void) carried out at home to the NHS Test and Trace link in your instructions and to SchoolScreener each time you complete a test. If you take a PCR or Lateral Flow test at any other location, please still report any outcome via your SchoolScreener login.

     

    For anyone without Home Test Kits you can get a PCR or LFD test completed in community settings, but you must report a positive result to the Covid-19 Reporting mailbox This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can offer support as required and take appropriate action.

     

    As always, if you test positive or have any Covid-19 symptoms then you should self-isolate in accordance with government guidance.

     

    Thank you again for your continued support.

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students (26 March 2021)

    Dear Student,

     

    We understand that some of you are having difficulties with the schoolscreener software when recording your lateral flow test results.  

     

    It appears that the issue is due to a naming discrepancy.  As an example, if your College records have you registered as Robert but in the registration software, you enter Rob, you will not be able to enter a result for your test.

     

    If you encounter an issue, please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will check your record and let you know how your details have been recorded on the College system.  Once we have this information, we will let you know so that you can re-register with a different e-mail address at https://app.schoolscreener.com/Portal/#/Covidmanager/p/CovidSelf/130818

     

    If you do not have another email address available, we can request a record update, but this will take a while to process.

     

    Once registered you should then be able to upload test results.

     

    As a reminder, if you test positive you need to:

     

    1: Report this on the NHS site as per the test kit instructions

    2: Upload on the school screener

    3: Send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    Thanks for your patience and please continue with the tests on Wednesdays and Sundays even if you can only report to the NHS and the e-mail address.

     

    Please keep an eye on your emails over the break. More home test kits will be distributed when you return to college.

     

    I hope you all take a well-deserved break over the Easter holiday and I look forward to welcoming you all back to college next term

     

    Kind regards,

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal Sixth Form Provision

  • for Students (19 March 2021)

    Dear Students,

     

    Thank you for your continued support and for responding in the brilliant way you always do.

     

    The following information outlines how you will receive your Home Test kits (a bundle of 6 Lateral Flow Test Kits for you to perform at home). These will be issued during your normal attendance at college from Monday 22nd March. You will be issued with your home test kit as part of your course director/tutorial time, during which you will be asked to confirm you have completed the confirmation form which can be found here:

     

    https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=-r7XeKBlLkOmcY3_3FANdISrRlXLzWNHtlnvPK3N7VhUOUlNWlEyWk0zMzc4Q0pIMkxSMExUVjBMVS4u

     

    In addition, prior to receiving your Home Test kits, you will asked to confirm you have activated your registration with the SchoolScreener site open in Chrome or on a smartphone on the following link:

     

    https://app.schoolscreener.com/Portal/#/Covidmanager/p/CovidSelf/130818

     

    Your course director, tutor and PST will be on hand to support you and please have a pen for your personal use only.

     

    After you have collected your Home Test Kit please carry out a test every Sunday and Wednesday ensuring that you have enough to complete a test on Sunday 11th April, prior to your return to college after the Easter break.

     

    You must always report your results (Positive, Negative, Void) carried out at home to the NHS Test and Trace link in your instructions and to SchoolScreener each time. If you take a PCR or Lateral Flow test at any other location, please still report any outcome via your SchoolScreener login.

     

    For anyone without Home Kits you can get a PCR or LFD test completed in community settings, but you must report a positive result to the Covid-19 Reporting mailbox This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can offer support as required and take appropriate action.

     

    As always, if you test positive or have any Covid-19 symptoms then you should self-isolate in accordance with government guidance.

     

    Colin Shaw

    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students (18 March 2021)

    Dear Student,

    I hope you are well.

    The use of Lateral Flow Tests (LFT’s) has been a valuable part of our approach to Covid-19 Secure measures. Our students and staff have brilliantly adapted to the regular testing regime. This offer will remain in place from us and locally until further notice and all other covid secure measures will also remain such as HANDS-FACE-SPACE.

    We continue to follow the government advice and will start issuing home test kits from Monday 22nd March. Following this initial roll out, for which you will receive clear guidance by the end of the week, we plan to move to a collection service for home testing.

    If you are choosing to use home test kits you do not need to give medical consent (written or otherwise). However, you will be able to read our privacy notice on the college website, the link will be shared with you shortly.

    To ensure we can support you during this process an additional system to track your home testing and results is available. Once you have completed the first form please use the link below to our system to track your testing regime. This will need to be completed prior to receiving your test kits.

    It is vital that you complete this system as well as the NHS system with results.

    https://app.schoolscreener.com/Portal/#/Covidmanager/p/CovidSelf/130818

    It is important to assert that these tests are exclusively for your use but if you or your family require further tests you can collect one from a local centre or order online at the link below.

    Schools, nurseries and colleges testing: order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow home test kits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    Each test pack will contain 7 tests, we are requesting you complete a test on Sunday and Wednesday ensuring you save one test to use on Sunday 11th April prior to your return to college.

    If you have a positive result, we ask that you inform the college straight away and that the requisite 10-day isolation begins. For all home lateral flow test positive results a following up PCR test is required at your local test centre.

    Many thanks for your continued support.

    Colin Shaw

    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

  • for Students (4 February 2021)

    Dear Student,

    I hope you are well. I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on our lateral flow testing service here at the college.

    I am pleased to say that after working successfully in conjunction with Suffolk County Council and Public Health England, we are now in a position to be able to offer a lateral flow testing service to all staff, students and the general public. This facility will be based in the third hangar of the University Studies building on Western Way and is now open for bookings. There is signage in place to direct people to the correct entrance. If you wish to be tested, please follow this link to create a profile and book a slot.

    Our temporary lateral flow testing service based in The Gateway building is now closed and we must thank our brilliant team of volunteers for working so hard to deliver this service, along with students who utilised this and demonstrated an exemplary attitude in the process. Moving forwards, all students wishing to be tested will need to go to the new facility at the University Studies building. This is with the exception of any Minden House based students and staff members only who can be tested on site at Minden House in their usual environment.

    For security reasons, the main University Studies student entrance is now locked to avoid members of the public entering the building this way.

    We are extremely pleased to be in a position to offer this service and we look forward to this going some way in protecting our students, staff and wider community.

    Best wishes,

    Richard Stevenson
    Group Operations Director

  • for Students (11 January 2021)

    Dear student,

    I hope you are keeping well.

    Now that we have had some time to put in plans for our lateral flow testing facility, I would like to take the opportunity to give you some detail on the latest developments around this and what this means for you.

    The college, like all education establishments that support young people over the age of 11, will be operating a lateral flow testing facility to help us further support you as our students, our colleagues and our community in containing the virus.

    Our lateral flow testing will be up and running from Monday 11 January for those students and staff present on site. Whilst we know the majority of you are currently studying from home, we will still have some students and staff on site w/c 11 January 2021 who will be able to be tested. This will be held in the main reception of The Gateway building.

    For students on site to sit exams over the coming weeks, you will be offered the opportunity to take a Lateral Flow Test depending on capacity at the time you arrive at college. If testing is not readily available at point of arrival, this will not prevent you from entering the site and taking your exams. This week (w/c 11 January 2021), we will be prioritising any identified vulnerable students and staff.

    Whilst participating in testing is voluntary, we are strongly encouraging our students and staff to take part so we can better ensure not only the safety of our students and colleagues, but also our families at home. To this end, we would like to advise all students to register for a test using this link. where you will be asked to create an NHS log in. Even if you are remote learning currently and not back on site, we would like to ask you to register for a test so that if the lateral testing facility is still operating when you are back in college, you can readily access this.

    Once registered, we would also like to ask you to complete a consent form either electronically available here. Or you can print, complete and hand in to the testing team when you are next on campus. The consent form is downloadable by clicking here. If you have challenges with this, there will be consent forms available on site for you to complete but we do encourage you to complete a form beforehand.

    An accompanying letter to give you some further information on the lateral testing which we would recommend you read before consenting is downloadable by clicking here.

    We appreciate this is a lot of information for you to process but it is vital that we must now remain as vigilant as ever to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, colleagues and wider community. If you do have any immediate concerns please contact your PST directly or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. where a team will be happy to assist.

    Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding at this time, we continue to be proud and humbled by the way in which you as our students show continued dedication, resilience and optimism in these circumstances.

    Best wishes,

    Colin Shaw

    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

     

  • for Parents and Carers (11 January 2021)

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    I hope you are keeping well.

    Now that we have had some time to put in plans for our lateral flow testing facility, I would like to take the opportunity to give you some detail on the latest developments around this and what this means for our students. Students have been sent this communication directly.

    The college, like all education establishments that support young people over the age of 11, will be operating a lateral flow testing facility to help us further support our students, our colleagues and our community in containing the virus.

    Our lateral flow testing will be up and running from Monday 11 January for those students and staff present on site. Whilst we know the majority of students will be currently studying from home, we will still have some students and staff on site w/c 11 January 2021 who will be able to be tested. This will be held in the main reception of The Gateway building.

    For students on site to sit exams over the coming weeks, they will be offered the opportunity to take a Lateral Flow Test depending on capacity at the time they arrive at college. If testing is not readily available at point of arrival, this will not prevent them from entering the site and taking their exams. Over the coming weeks, we will be prioritising any identified vulnerable students and staff.

    Whilst participating in testing is voluntary, we are strongly encouraging our students and staff to take part so we can better ensure not only the safety of our students and colleagues, but also our families at home. To this end, we would like to advise all students to register for a test using this link, where they will be asked to create an NHS log in. Even if they are remote learning currently and not back on site, we would like to ask students to register for a test so that if the lateral testing facility is still operating when they are back in college they can readily access this.

    Once registered, we are also asking students to complete a consent form either electronically available here. Or they can print, complete and hand in to the testing team when they are next on campus. The consent form can be downloaded by clicking here. If students have challenges with this, there will be consent forms available on site for them to complete but we do encourage them to complete a form beforehand.

    An accompanying letter, which is downloadable by clicking here, will give you some further information on the lateral testing which we have recommended that students also read before consenting.

    We appreciate this is a lot of information for you to process but it is vital that we must now remain as vigilant as ever to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, colleagues and wider community. If you or your child/dependent does have any immediate concerns please ask them to contact their PST directly or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. where a team will be happy to assist.

    Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding, we continue to be proud and humbled by the way our students show continued dedication, resilience and optimism at this time.

    Best wishes,

    Colin Shaw

    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

    West Suffolk College

     

Covid-19 Privacy Statement

BTEC vocational examinations

Remote Education Offer

This information has been provided to support understanding of what students, parents and carers should expect during periods of college closure or student isolation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). West Suffolk College has taken a number of measures to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission and will remain open for students as far as reasonably possible and while it is safe to do so.  In the event of a local or national lockdown, the College will continue to remain open for vulnerable students, but this will remain under review. Please click the link below for full details about our Remote Education Offer.

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