Update in relation to the COVID-19 situation and University Centre Weston.

Since the 21st of February, the government guidance removed the requirement for staff and students in mainstream FE providers to continue taking part in regular asymptomatic testing. As a college we took the decision to continue with twice weekly testing for both students and staff.

As of the 1st of April 2022, the government will no longer provide free COVID-19 testing to the public within England. This decision will also apply to educational settings. We will therefore remove the requirement for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students and staff from the week commencing the 4th of April. The exception will be for staff and students within our SEND area who will be required to continue twice weekly testing. Our remaining stocks of COVID-19 tests will be prioritised for staff and learners within this provision.

There will be some exceptions where we may still require you to complete a Lateral Flow Test (LFT). These circumstances include:

  • In the event of a significant outbreak in the local area. In this situation we will be advised by the local health team or director of public health at the Local Authority.
  • Large events or gatherings organised by the College e.g., graduation, staff meetings, celebration events etc.
  • An outbreak in a particular area of the college

In the event of the above the college will provide tests to be used.

The above circumstances will be under ongoing review and dependent on available testing within  stock held by the College.

If you are required to work within a different establishment e.g., Partner organisation you should check their testing requirements and adhere to these accordingly.

The expectation from Monday 4th April outside of the exceptions outlined will be as follows:

  • If you are feeling unwell with any significant COVID-19 symptoms you should not attend college. You should follow the NHS guidance as outlined through the following link:  Get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
  • Following the guidance should you test positive for COVID-19 you must inform the College through its COVID-19 reporting email and follow the expected period of isolation. Learners should inform their Personal tutor or Faculty Office who will then be required to report it via the COVID-19 email.

Information and support

Where can I find the latest information about coronavirus?

This continues to be an evolving situation and staff and students are asked to continue to visit and regularly check the following websites for the latest updates and guidance:

Public Health England advice
NHS 111 coronavirus service
NHS coronavirus information

What precautions should I be taking?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw the used tissue away into a bin and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed (bent) elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who you know has Covid-19 symptoms and follow the latest lock down rules.

Where can I go for welfare support?

It's understandable that many of our students are feeling anxious at the moment! The UCW HEART student services is team is still available online and in the Winter Gardens from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 50m (4:30pm on Fridays) and you can contact them if you need welfare support! Please get in touch in the first instance by calling 01934 411 403 or by emailing HEART@ucw.ac.uk.

Additionally, there is so much out-of-hours support available.

If you want to talk, the Samaritans are always ready to listen - you can contact them on 116 123 or you can email jo@samaritans.org.  You can also use www.Togetherall.com to access a range of supportive advice and guidance.  

Further information

Principal updates