COVID-19: Re-Opening Update For All Staff And Students

Dumfries & Galloway College

Update 22/04/2021 - As we continue with our restricted-blended learning delivery approach in line with Scottish Government guidance, from 26th April, we’re introducing rapid self-testing for COVID-19 at our Dumfries and Stranraer campuses for selected staff and students.

We are introducing rapid self testing as part of a collective national effort to open society while breaking the chain of transmission of COVID-19.  We believe this will allow us to continue to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff required to be on site. Further details are available below.

In line with the position previously, do not attend our campuses unless you have been contacted by your curriculum area to notify you that you’re required to attend college.

Restricted-blended learning means online delivery as standard mixed with on-campus delivery of practical and time-sensitive learning, assessments and work placements that cannot be delivered online or remotely.  If you have not been contacted please continue to attend classes online following your current timetable.

What re-opening means for you

Pupils who are part of our College Academy programme should not attend our college campuses at this time. Instead, College Academy learning will continue to be delivered online. Teaching staff will contact students directly via Teams groups to communicate arrangements.

College Academy pupils are part of a COVID-19 testing programme through their own schools and therefore will not be required to be part of the COVID-19 testing at college. Normal rules apply though – if any pupils show signs of symptoms, they must stay at home and isolate.

If you’ve been advised by your personal tutor/lecturer/curriculum manager to come onto campus, you should come as notified.

It should be noted that, in line with Scottish Government guidance, we’re not bringing all students onto campus.

Only very limited practical based teaching will take place.

Students should only be on campus for the duration of the practical work.

If you are coming onto campus on a regular basis for your course, from April 26th you will be asked to take part in the rapid self-testing for COVID-19 and we strongly recommend you do this. The testing will require you to conduct a self-test at home twice a week before coming to college. Self-testing will only be available at this stage for students in the mainstream curriculum areas who are attending college on a regular basis to complete their course. You will receive an email and/or text message to ask you to pick up your self testing kits from either The Point at Dumfries or Reception at Stranraer.

Lessons will also be continuing remotely.

If you have any questions, you should get in touch with your personal tutor/lecturer/curriculum manager or with a student advisor.

Staff members should continue to work remotely unless you are delivering face-to-face lessons and have been advised from your manager.

From April 26th, we are introducing rapid self-testing kits for COVID-19 which will require you to conduct a self-test at home twice a week before coming to college. The self-testing kits will be made available for staff who are in a student-facing role and we strongly recommend staff take part. The kits can be collected from either The Point at Dumfries or Reception at Stranraer. Your line manager will make you aware if you have been asked to take part in the rapid self-testing programme.

Staff members not required to be on campus should not attempt to visit our college campuses unless advised to do so by the Business Continuity Team or with prior authorisation to collect any belongings from the buildings.

If you need to collect any belongings from our buildings, please direct your request through your line manager.

You should continue to work from home until further notice with classes being delivered online.

All suppliers must reach out your designated college contact and in line with approval process, seek approval to access the college campuses in line with the established process.

Approval will only be granted in exceptional business critical circumstances.

Business critical is considered to be providing a service deemed essential to the learning, teaching or achievement of students.

Visitors should not visit the college campuses unless for essential purposes. Prior approval must be sought before visiting.

Essential purposes are those deemed critical to the learning, teaching or achievement of students.

What we’re doing to make the campus safe

In light of the restrictions put in place due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the college has put together a guide on how a day on campus will look. In addition, we’ve conducted a thorough risk assessment to ensure we’re making the learning and teaching environment as safe as we can.

In line with government guidance within a local area that’s been designated as at Protection Level 3 or 4, we’ve implemented enhanced protective measures. This means all students and staff must wear a face covering in indoor learning and teaching settings at our campuses, even where 2-metre distancing can be maintained.

There may be circumstances where face coverings need to be temporarily removed during learning or teaching activities for safety or practical reasons, for example, close proximity to an open flame in a laboratory or workshop setting or while playing a wind instrument. In these instances, physical distancing and other mitigations appropriate to the circumstances should be in place.

As of April 26th, we are also introducing rapid self-testing in the form of kits that can be taken home for you to conduct self-tests at home twice a week. You can find more detail on this below.

Risk Assessment

Access to college campus

Download PDF

An Introduction to Rapid Self-Testing for COVID-19

Rapid Self-Testing

Download PDF

Covid-19 Self Testing Step By Step Guide

Guidance provided by the NHS 

Download the PDF

How to Do a Rapid COVID-19 Self-Test

Guidance provided by the NHS

Download the PDF

As of April 26th, we are introducing rapid self-testing kits for COVID-19. This is part of a collective national effort in order to open society while breaking the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

The kits will be made available for students in the mainstream curriculum who are regularly attending college and staff members who are also regularly attending college and working in a student-facing role. You will be notified by email and/or text message if you fall into this category and you will be able to pick up a self-testing kit from either The Point at Dumfries or Reception at Stranraer.

The self-testing kits will require you to conduct a self-test at home twice a week prior to attending college and you will also be asked to record your results as part of the track and trace system. You will be notified of how to record your results when you pick up your testing kits.

We strongly recommend you take part in the rapid-self testing if you are invited to do so. If you haven’t been invited to take part but you think you should be included, please speak to your lecturer or line manager.

You will have been given a timetable of attendance in advance of your return. Please note that on that timetable you will have a start time. Please arrive to the college no earlier than 15 minutes prior to that start time and no later than 5 minutes before to allow for the safe passage through the college’s one-way system.

It is important to note that, in line with Public Health Guidance, you are not to attend college if you have COVID Symptoms or are isolating due to being in contact with someone who has symptoms. Please ensure you follow the college absence reporting procedures and be clear as to the reason you are not in.

We will add a walkthrough video shortly for you to help along with this guidance. Please check back later to view.

Please remember that from April 26th you may be asked to take part in the rapid self-testing which will require you to conduct a self-test at home twice a week prior to attending campus. This is primarily for students in mainstream curriculum attending college regularly and staff who are in student-facing roles attending campus regularly.

For those travelling by public transport the college is served directly by Service 5 from Dumfries Town centre.

To enable you to plan your travel the college has uploaded key local bus routes onto our website and intranet sites. Find out more

For those using their own transport, the campuses are served by private car parks. When using the carpark, you must ensure you leave 1 space free between cars to allow for social distancing.

For those who wish to use bikes the college has a cycle friendly infrastructure in place including secure storage.

On your arrival to the campus you will notice a one-way system is in operation. The entrance to the campus is clearly signposted using banners and fixed signage.

You are advised that face coverings will be worn in all public areas of the college unless you have an exemption from wearing one. The college will keep spare face coverings at reception so please feel free to ask for one if you haven’t brought one with you. We ask that you use a reusable mask where possible.

Please make your way through the queueing systems to the doors, observing a 2m social distancing throughout.

Once inside, please sanitise your hands using the automatic sanitiser then swipe in using your card. You will need to swipe your card every time you enter and exit the building.

The card swipe is essential as part of the colleges COVID 19 contact tracing system so you must comply with this. Swipe points are clearly marked at entrance and exit points.

You will then have your temperature taken by the fixed thermal imaging camera. This is all automatic and clearly signposted along with the talking screen to give instruction.

If there is any issue with your temperature you will be asked some further questions to determine whether you need to be treated for COVID symptoms.

Once you are beyond the temperature scanning please make your way immediately to your designated work area/classroom using the one-way system. Given the current restrictions there can be no loitering on the corridors at any time.

To avoid any large gatherings, break times have been allocated on a staggered basis. It is recommended that you stay on the college site during your breaks.

Costa Coffee will be open to serve food and limited seating in the canteen is available, to allow for 2m social distancing. You can bring your own food onto the college if you wish.

For smaller breaks these will be accommodated using smaller groups. If you need to go outside for a smoking break then you will need to go through the one way system out via the exit at the sports hall then follow the path down to the car park then along to the smoking shelter. Note that smoking is only permitted in these designated shelters. Please remember you must adhere to the 2 meter social distancing rules even outside.

At the end of your day you will leave the building via the designated one-way system, swipe out at the card reader and make your way directly back to your mode of transport. Please do not be tempted to wait on corridors or external walkways as this will cause issues for others trying to get through.

To enable the college to operate safely we are asking everyone to remain vigilant, comply with the measures and systems in place, be open to challenge should you see anyone or be spotted yourself not complying and treat all campus users with dignity and respect throughout.

Remember

Ensuring the safety of our students and staff while serving our students in their academic pursuits is our number one priority. Everyone on the campus has a role to play to help achieve this.

Please take note of the guidance above and also make sure to follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces you touch regularly
  • Maintain two-meter distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have Covid-19 symptoms

Please stay safe and adhere to the government social distancing measures and guidelines as we progress through the COVID-19 lockdown situation.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Best Wishes
Dumfries & Galloway College