• COVID-19 Updates

Covid-19 Update: Wednesday 24th February 2021

I write further to the Government’s announcement and publication this week of the ‘roadmap out of Covid’ which included updates on attendance at schools and colleges and the return of school and Further Education students and staff to campus. Our Higher Education students are being kept informed of updates via University Centre South Devon (UCSD) direct.

We are currently looking closely at the information issued by the Department for Education and other guidelines that are in the process of being updated. These updates are informing our plans for a managed return to campus locations from Monday 8th March 2021 onwards.

Once we have more detailed information, updated plans and processes, we will share them with all members of our College community via our normal Covid-19 update routes.  These updates will also include details about the mass testing of students and staff, which are currently being looked at in more depth.

South Devon College very much looks forward to welcoming both staff and students back on or after Monday 8th March 2021, but in the meantime and until you have received further updates direct from College, it is essential that all students currently studying remotely, continue to do so, and do not return to campus locations until notified. 

Laurence Frewin

Principal and CEO  
South Devon College 

Update on Vocational Exams – 06/01/21

Please complete the form below to alert South Devon College of a POSITIVE test result for a current student or member of the student’s household if it is received in the evening or at the weekend. Please continue to contact the tutor if a result is received when the College is open. Thank you.

Previous updates

Please find all our previous COVID-19 updates in this archive.

NHS Test and Trace

Dear parents and guardians,

This is an important letter to share some information on how we can work together to make sure we can continue to give children and young people the best education in the safest way possible.

One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, parents and our communities is testing for coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to get tested at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with Covid-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.

Therefore, I ask that you all follow these principles:

  •  You should only book a test if your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms:
    1. a high temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature)
    2. a new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
    3. a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal
  • Your child does not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.
  • If you are unsure about whether to get a test, please check the official list of symptoms on the NHS website, which is reviewed regularly: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
  • Only the person with symptoms should get a test. You do not need to get a test for anyone else in the household unless they also have any of the three symptoms listed above. All members of the household need to self-isolate whilst waiting for the test result.
  • If the person with symptoms’ test comes back positive, other members of their household should continue self-isolating for 14 days and only get a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
  • If a pupil in a class or bubble tests positive for coronavirus, anyone who is advised to self-isolate does not require a test unless they subsequently develop symptoms.No one else in the same class or bubble as the symptomatic person needs to take any action unless advised by the school. Schools have detailed guidance and access to a Department for Education and Public Health England helpline for advice and support.Contacts of a person who has tested positive must follow the guidance carefully and in full, which means they must stay at home for 14 days. This is because it can take several days following contact with an infected person before an individual develops symptoms or the virus can be detected. Students should only book a test if they get symptoms.The NHS has produced some guidance to help parents understand when their child can and cannot attend school which you may find useful: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy- body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/It is vital for children’s learning and future opportunities that they are able to return to school and college. It is therefore vitally important that all we work together and do our bit to make this possible.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Viv Bennett CBE

Chief Nurse and Director Maternity and Early Years | Public Health England

Head of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery

Dr Susan Hopkins

Interim Chief Medical Officer | NHS Test & Trace

Deputy Director | Public Health England

Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology
Royal Free, London

Useful resources

Launch of NHS COVID-19 app 

The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free in England and Wales. The leaflet for parents and carers explaining how the app works is now available to download here.

Testing Advice for Schools & Parents/Carers

Who can ask for a test?You can ask for a test for a child who lives with you who has coronavirus symptoms, whatever their age.
These symptoms include one or more of the following:
– High temperature. This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
– A new continuous cough. This means coughing a lot more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have cough, it may be worse than usual)
– 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.
The test must be done in the first five days of having symptoms
How to ask for a testOption 1 (usual route)
Parents book a test online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/ or by calling 119.

Parents will need to provide details such as name, home address, mobile phone number and email address (where booking information / confirmation / results will be sent).
Parents will be asked how they want to get the test, either by;
driving to a local testing site where a tester will carry out the test (or the parent if the child is aged 11 or under)
getting a home test kit (can take up to 48hrs to arrive)
It is generally easier and quicker to use the drive through service but this depends on having access to a car. 
There are a limited number of home test kits and drive-through test appointments available at any one time. If the website says there are none left, advise parents to check again later as more tests become available every hour.  It is often easier to book later in the day or in the evening.
It is advised that you ask the parents to share the outcome of the test results.
A young person can apply for a test for themselves from the age of 16: 

Option 2
If parents or carers are unable to book a local slot then they can email
d-ccg.devon.urgenttesting@nhs.net making clear the test is for a child attending a Torbay school and they will be supported to access local testing.

Option 3
In the event that a child attending school cannot be supported to access local testing then schools should consider providing one of their 10 home testing kits to the parents or carers of the child. The kits include details of how to carry out the test and how to arrange for its return.  This option is limited to families who will have difficulty accessing option 1. 

What happens?
The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
Young people aged 12 or over can do the test themselves or have someone do it for them. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.
If there is a problem
If a parent has any questions about a test they’ve booked or are having trouble booking a test, they can call the customer contact centre from 7am to 11pm on 119 (free from mobiles and landlines)

For schools

Additional information for parents about what happens following the result can be found here www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/

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