News Article

Covid-19 Policy Update

Following a small number of isolated cases in different curriculum areas, and resulting queries we have received from some learners and parents, we wanted to reiterate Bishop Auckland College’s response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


Keeping you safe in college 


The college continues to follow national public health guidelines for further education providers to keep our staff and students safe. Measures include: 

  • One-way systems where possible
  • Two metre distance floor markings
  • Installation of hand sanitiser dispensers throughout the site
  • Enhanced cleaning regime
  • Blended learning, with a mix of days in college and remote learning, to reduce learner numbers in college each day
  • Reduced class sizes to ensure social distancing
  • Staggered timetables to facilitate social distancing and avoid busy corridors, entrances and exits during break and lunch periods
  • Removal of social gathering areas
  • All meals purchased at the college café are consumed in classrooms/base rooms adhering to 2m social distancing; no one is allowed to eat their food within the dining area
  • Only essential visitors permitted. 

The guidance we give all students, staff and visitors is as follows:

Arriving at college 

  • Wear a face covering if you use public transport 
  • Maintain a two-metre social distance at all times whilst travelling
  • Arrive at college in time for your lesson – not too early or late.  

Entering and moving around the building

  • All students, staff and visitors must wear a face covering when entering and moving around the building, unless exempted on medical grounds 
  • You must sanitise your hands upon entry
  • Wash and sanitise your hands on a regular basis – ensure your hands are dry after you wash them
  • Always try to maintain two metres’ distance from others – respect others’ personal space
  • Observe and follow all designated circulation routes and keep left where possible
  • Passenger lifts should only be used by those who cannot use the stairs, or those transporting large items
  • Social distancing must be maintained at the smoking area; there are no two metre markings at the smoking area so please use common sense and respect others’ personal space. 

Cleaning and hygiene 

  • The college is following the COVID-19: Cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance
  • The college will ensure adequate supply and distribution of hand sanitiser across the site
  • Hand washing or sanitising hands must be done on a regular basis; this is important to prevent and limit the spread of the virus. This should be done:
  1. Upon arrival at the college
  2. Break periods
  3. Before and after eating
  4. After coughing or sneezing
  5. When you change rooms
  6. When handling shared materials or equipment. 
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, eye and face. Sneeze or cough hygienically. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Bin the tissue and then sanitise your hands (Catch it, bin it, kill it). Follow social distancing rules in toilets and whilst washing hands. There may be a need to leave and re-enter a toilet area if is busy.
  • Wipe down any equipment you may use that will be used by others where practical
  • Desks and workstations must be kept tidy and cleaned after use
  • Always follow any cleaning procedure set by your tutor

Showing symptoms of COVID-19?

  • The college requires you to stay at home and self-isolate for at least 10 days as per Government guidance if you test positive for the virus. 
  • Please do not attend college if you or anyone in your household are showing Covid-19 symptoms: 
  1. A high temperature over 37.5ºC – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  2. A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  3. A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
  4. You or anyone you live with are self-isolating with symptoms*.
  5. If you or anyone in your household have tested positive for COVID-19 you must not attend and follow government guidance: households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection 
  • In the event of starting to develop symptoms whilst onsite, you must do the following:
  1. Inform your tutor who will then inform student support services
  2. If you have a face covering/mask, put this on as soon as possible
  3. Leave the building and go home as soon as possible, limiting contact with people, equipment and surfaces i.e. do not stop to talk to friends or try to finish off any work
  4. If it is not possible to leave immediately i.e. no access to personal vehicle, you will be moved to a room, preferably with a window for ventilation and where a two-metre distance can be maintained.
  5. Where maintaining a two metre social distance cannot be achieved, i.e. close personal care required or emergency situations, that person will be provided with the required personal protective equipment
  6. Your next of kin must be informed so that the appropriate transport arrangements can be made. Please ensure you provide next of kin details and inform us of any changes to these details.
  7. You must arrange a Covid-19 test  
  • The college engages with the NHS test and trace process to manage and contain any outbreaks within the community by following local health protection team advice.
  • In the event of any outbreak you must be ready and willing to:
  1. Arrange a test if you are displaying symptoms
  2. Provide details of anyone you have been in close contact with if you were to test positive for coronavirus (Covid-19)
  3. Self-isolate if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) 
  • Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. Essential workers, which includes anyone involved in education or childcare, have priority access to testing.
  • If you test negative, feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (Covid-19), you can stop self-isolating. However you could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until you are better. Other members of your household can stop self-isolating.

Visitors and contractors

Only visitors essential to the college operations are permitted to attend the campus. Contractors will only attend site with prior permission and with approval of paperwork i.e. risk assessment and method statements (RAMS) in relation to COVID-19. Read the full guidance for visitors and contractors here.

When will I be told if there is a Covid case at college?

When the college is informed about a positive case we will contact all students, parents/guardians/carers and members of staff affected to advise on self-isolating. If you are not contacted you should attend college as normal.

What if I still have concerns about coming to college because I – or a member of my immediate family – is in a high risk group? 

If you have any concerns about attending college because you – or someone you live with – is in a high risk group or for another reason, please raise these with your tutor in the first instance. 

We will do everything we can to accommodate your needs whilst ensuring you fulfil the obligations of your course programme or apprenticeship. 

Any parents who have concerns are invited to contact the college at start@bacoll.ac.uk or (01388) 443000 for a confidential discussion. 

Who decides whether the college stays open or closes during local or national outbreaks?

All decisions relating to education provision in any area will be made at a national level by the Secretary of State for Education. The Department for Education (DfE) and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will support appropriate authorities and individual settings to follow the health advice. In the event of local restrictions being implemented which affect education, guidance will be published outlining the steps that colleges may need to take.  

You can read the full guidance that all further education providers have been given in relation to Covid-19, including all actions we have to take, here


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