From 17 May students and staff should continue to wear face masks in Leicester College buildings. Take a look our COVID FAQs

Covid-19 FAQs

New Covid-19 variant areas

It has been confirmed that the guidance the Government issued in relation to Leicester having additional restrictions was incorrect.

You should continue to test using a lateral flow test regularly. Face coverings in our buildings will remain mandatory until the end of this term

 

Lateral flow tests

To make sure that you, your friends, staff and visitors are safe whilst on College premises, the government has said that all full-time study programme students should be tested for Covid-19, using lateral flow tests – which give results in under 30 minutes. Students have been given lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits from the college to take home. Students and staff should take a lateral flow test twice-weekly using the home test kit provided by the College. This should help to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by people who are asymptomatic (have Covid-19 but don’t have any symptoms).

With virus variants in circulation and the fact that we do not know yet the impact of relaxing restrictions we have decided that staff, students and visitors should continue to wear masks while in our buildings (unless exempt, in which case your should get an orange lanyard from an info centre).

Although many people have been vaccinated, there are lots who are still waiting for their vaccination. We have students and staff of all ages, and from a huge range of backgrounds and we want to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect everyone, so that we can stay open and keep everyone learning.

Remember that when you enter one of our campuses you should sanitise your hands immediately.

You can find out more about how we are keeping you safe on campus here.

We have put together the following FAQs. If your question hasn’t been addressed and your enquiry is urgent please contact us. 

Last updated 25 May 2021

Home testing kits

We have been supplied with a stock of home testing kits, that will be replenished as we use them. Please take a look at the FAQs below to find out whether you will receive these kits from the College, and how to obtain them if they are not yet available to you and you wish to test yourself at home.

What are home testing kits?

The lateral flow home testing kits provide a quick result to show if you have Covid-19. 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 do not have any symptoms, so it’s important to test regularly to keep you, your friends and family as safe as possible.

The tests are the same as the ones used by the College, and simply require a nose swab to get results.

Who will receive home testing kits and how?

Home testing kits are available from the College for all students returning to campuses. They will be distributed throughout our Curriculum areas and made available to students, with the tests being given out by tutors.

If you can’t get into College to get a supply of lateral flow tests, you can request them online or pick one up from your local test site.

If you have a had a positive Covid-19 test within the last 90 days you will probably have some immunity. If you have had a positive test in the last 90 days through NHS Track and Trace, and this has been recorded on the national system, you do not need to be tested again unless you display symptoms.

When should I use my home testing kit?

Students and Staff should take a lateral flow test twice-weekly. This should help to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by people who are asymptomatic (have Covid-19 but don’t have any symptoms).

How do I do the test?

The tests are the same as the ones used by the College. There are instructions in the box that explain how to do the test. You could also watch this video.

I’m struggling to do my test at home. Can you help?

If you are unable to do your test at home, you can do a test when you return to College. We will have a small number of testing stations at each campus.

Will testing continue in College?

We do not routinely carry out tests in College. You should test regularly (every 3-5 days) at home.

Lateral Flow Tests

You will be contacted by you tutor to invite you to come into College for your first test, so please check your student emails and class Microsoft Teams to make sure you don’t miss this information. You must only attend College on the day and time you are told to.

Who should come into college for testing? 

Initially only 16-18 year old full-time students and apprentices will be invited to come into college for testing (a small number of adult students who are studying on full-time study programmes will also be invited in for tests). We are doing our best to bring students in for the first tests when they are timetabled to be in College for teaching. Other students will be brought back into college as soon as possible. We will get in touch with these other groups of students directly.  

You will need to complete a consent form if you wish to have your test.  

You can read about what we do with this information on the student testing privacy notice.

What will happen when I come into College? 

When you arrive at the College you should go straight to your usual classroom on the day and time you are told to come in. You must wear a face covering and should sanitise your hands immediately when coming into the building. If you are exempt from wearing a mask you can request a face visor if you wish to at info centres/student services. 

Once everyone is in class, the whole group will go to testing station (at Freemen’s Park Campus that is in the GP Hall; at Abbey Park Campus it’s in the atrium; and at St Margaret’s in 0.04). You will be directed where to go once at the testing stations with instructions on how to complete the test.

After the test you should return straight away to your classroom. If your test is positive a member of staff will let you know. It is expected that some people will have positive tests. 

What will happen if I have a positive test result? 

If you have a positive test you will be sent home and should isolate until you are able to book a further PCR test. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are sent to a lab to check whether you have Covid-19, or not. If this is positive you and anyone you live with must self-isolate to avoid spreading the infection to other people for 10 days.

How do lateral flow tests work?  

We have employed health care professionals to carry out the tests for you. A swab sample will be taken from your nose and/or mouth, and the test looks for evidence of covid. You can watch a video about how they work.  

I’ve had covid-19 recently. Do I need a test? 

If you have a had a positive Covid-19 test within the last 90 days you will probably have some immunity. If you have had a positive test in the last 90 days through NHS Track and Trace, and this has been recorded on the national system, you do not need to be tested again unless you display symptoms.

Can I do the tests at home? 

We have been asked by the government to make sure that the first three tests are done in College. After this you will be asked to continue regular testing at home. As soon as we have more details about how these will be given out we will let you know.  

16 to 19 tuition fund in 2020 to 2021 academic year

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has allocated Leicester College a part of this fund to support and develop knowledge, skills, experiences and training during 2020/21 so that disadvantaged students have a greater opportunity of completing and achieving their educational targets.

Please read more about our statement in our Course Fees Financial Support under 16 to 19 tuition fund in 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Keeping you safe on campus - our covid-19 measures

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back on campus, we have put together this video which showcases what safety measures we have put in place.

You should continue to use hand sanitise when entering a building and regularly throughout your time. When washing your hands make sure to follow hand washing guidance and when you use the toilet remember to put the lid down before you flush the toilet.

Remote learning

What remote education will be made available for different learner cohorts (14 to 16, 16 to 19, apprentices, adult learners)?

The College’s 16 to 19 Study Programme provision has transitioned to online remote learning. Students have been provided with guidance on using MS Teams and where online learning is not possible students are being provided with workbooks.

The delivery of adult learning is differentiated and dependent on the type and level of the qualification. For adults on GCSE programmes and Access to HE Diplomas, the course is delivered entirely online. Teachers are available to provide ongoing support as and when needed. Remote learning for adults on basic skills programmes comprises of a blend of online and study utilising workbooks, the balance depends on individual circumstances.

Apprenticeship provision has moved entirely to online. Paper-based resources are also being issued to apprentices who may not have access to the internet. Moodle and MS Teams is the platform for the delivery theory.

Delivery arrangements, such as timetabling, virtual learning environments and assessment arrangements

Delivery arrangements remain remote during the national lockdown and is differentiated depending on the type and level of qualification.  Course timetables are unchanged to minimise disruption to learning times and to ensure students are given every opportunity to access learning as set out in their learning agreement.

Moodle is the College’s Virtual Learning platform and in the case of online learning MS Teams is used.

Formative assessments are continuing to be used and students receive regular feedback on their work. GCSE assessment will be in the form of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs), the College will implement the guidance on assessment arrangements from the Department of Education and Awarding Bodies once it is published. The College is also awaiting assessment guidance for vocational qualifications but in the meantime students are required to complete any set assessments.

Expectations of students

During this unprecedented time, the College will endeavour to meet the expectations of students. The College has equipped many students with IT resources in order to access remote learning. Teachers maintain contact with their students and provide feedback on the progress they are making. In the practical areas videos of demonstrations are being uploaded to Moodle and You Tube. Additional learning support is available and supplementary support is being provided by learning coaches and learning mentors. It is expected that students will continue to follow their timetable, engage with online lessons, check their emails and complete assessments etc.

Arrangements for students studying courses that require specialist equipment or facilities

During lockdown course teams have adapted their schemes of work to focus on the theory aspects of the qualification. Practical demonstrations have been videoed and are available on line. The College has made available specialist software to students on creative and technical courses. When the Leicester comes out of lockdown the College will review its opening times to ensure students are given the required amount of time to access specialist equipment and facilities.

Support for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning

​The College has purchased laptops that can be loaned to students who require this support. Please speak to your tutor or learning coach who can refer you for one of these devices. Wi-Fi hubs can also be provided for students who require this support – again approach your tutor or learning coach to refer you.

  • Support for students with SEND

All students with SEND who have been assessed as requiring additional support are receiving this remotely. Some students who require more specialist support are being taught on campus. All students who have an EHCP have been prioritised for a laptop if they require one. If you need a laptop but haven’t received one please contact your support worker, tutor or learning coach.

 

General questions and answers

What should I do if I test positive for Covid-19  

If you have a test and the result is positive you should contact us by calling 0116 224 2240 option 2, including the following information:

  • the date your symptoms started
  • the date you get the positive test result
  • who you have been in close contact with in college for 2 days before you started to have symptoms or tested positive. Examples of close contact include:
    • close face to face contact (under 1 metre) for any length of time – including talking to them or coughing on them
    • being within 1 to 2 metres of each other for more than 15 minutes – including travelling in a small vehicle

You should them follow national rules on self-isolating.

What happens if there is a confirmed case among staff or students on site? 

Where an individual tests positive who have been in College during the previous 7 days we will send the rest of their class/group home and they should self-isolate for 10 days. If you are told to self-isolate you should not come into College for any reason.

Other wider household members of people sent home do not need to self-isolate, unless the person they live develops symptoms.  

As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the individual’s cohort or in the College, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure. 

It will not generally be necessary for the whole college to close 

I am clinically vulnerable and can’t come into College. What should I do?

The NHS has a list of who is at high risk from Coronavirus, and the Government has issued guidance on what people who are shielding should do.

For young people, the evidence shows there is a very low risk of becoming very unwell from coronavirus (COVID-19), even for young people with existing health conditions. Evidence now shows that young people under 18 who were originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable should speak to their GP or specialist clinician if they have not already done so, to understand whether they should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Those young people whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend education whilst the national restrictions are in place. Further education colleges will need to make appropriate arrangements to enable them to continue their education at home.

Young people who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend education.

Students who are over 18 and who receive a letter confirming that they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend education whilst the national restrictions are in place. Colleges will need to make appropriate arrangements to enable them to continue their education at home.

Students who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend education.

What guidance has been issued to Leicester College about the new restrictions?

We are following guidance issued by the Department for Education for education and childcare settings.

Can I contact you with a query?  

Yes absolutely – you can use our contact form for general enquiries. 

Business that work with us should email their business partner or contact us. 

Students should contact their tutor if they have any specific queries.

I need some advice about what course to apply for. Is there anyone I can talk to? 

The College’s award-winning and independent careers team for people under 19, and the National Careers Service for adults 19 and over are still able to give advice and guidance – just not in person. 

Get in contact with the careers team. 

What steps is the College taking to maintain safeguarding measures?  

Whilst many of our students are now being supported to learn remotely safeguarding is still an absolute priority. If you have any concerns about the safety of one of our students, please contact us on 07825 175729 and 0791 7370304. 

What should I do if I am contacted by track and trace? 

If you’re told you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus: 

  • stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear 
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home 
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care 
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible 
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms.

If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 10 days. 

If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with. 

I’m struggling being at home and away from College and my family and/or friends? Where can I get some help? 

There are lot of places that are still offering help and support for people. Even though they may not be able to offer face-to-face help you can still talk to them on the phone or online. There is advice available on the NHS’s every mind matters website. You can also contact the organisations below. 

  • Samaritans. Call free any time, from any phone 116 123. 
  • StayAlive. Suicide prevention. 
  • Turning Point. Free 24/7 mental health crisis helpline for over 18s in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Telephone 808 8003302. 
  • The Mix. Essential support for under 25s. Telephone 0808 808 4994. 
  • Kooth. Online support for young people. 
  • ChatHealth. NHS free and confidential text messaging service.

We know that being at home for long periods of time can be stressful and relationships may become strained. If you are concerned about your safety you can contact any of the below. In an emergency call 999. 

Prospective students questions and answers

Can I still apply to the College?  

Yes absolutely you can apply for part-time courses that are still enrolling for this academic year, and you can apply for full time courses starting in September 2021.

If you’re 16-18 you can apply to courses through the College website or if your school uses Positive Steps @ 16 (PS16) application system. 

If you’re 19+ you can apply to courses on the College website by searching for the course of your choice and then clicking ‘Apply Now’. 

I’ve applied to the College but haven’t had an offer yet. What should I do? 

We are working to issue offers to all applicants, but this is taking longer than in usual circumstances. 

I cannot afford to pay the tuition fees for my course. Can I get help to pay my fees? 

If you are under 19 on 31 August 2020 and starting a full-time course you do not have to pay tuition fees.

If you are 19 or over whether you have to pay fees depends on a number of factors.

If you have to pay tuition fees you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. You will not be able to apply for this until we send you the loan offer letter, with information about how to apply.This will be sent out during May. 

If you have to pay your fees yourself you may be able to pay by instalments if the fee is more than £150. 

I can’t afford to pay for travel to College, childcare, meals or material fees. Is there any help available? 

We have two learner support funds to help people on low incomes: one for students aged 16-18, and another for adults aged 19 and older to help towards the costs of travel, childcare, essential kit, and meals in College. The amount of money we have for these funds is limited. It is allocated on a first come, first served basis so you should apply as early as possible. 

How do I get a reference added to my application now that the schools are closed?  

Your school should still have access to your records and will be able to provide a reference for your application before your submit it. 

If you apply without a reference, your application will be returned to you and you will need to get in touch with your school before you resubmit it. 

Can I apply for more than one course?  

You can apply for more than one course, however only one offer will be made which means if you meet the entry requirements for the first choice this will more than likely to the course you will be offered. 

I need some advice about what course to apply for. Is there anyone I can talk to? 

The College’s award-winning and independent careers team for people under 19, and the National Careers Service for adults 19 and over are still able to give advice and guidance – just not in person. 

Get in contact with the careers team. 

Higher education questions and answers

How are you getting HE students back into College? 

As a first step, the Government will allow the return of students who are studying practice-based (including creative arts) subjects or require specialist equipment and facilities to resume in-person learning from 8 March 2021. The return to ‘on campus’ study will be phased and will prioritise studio and workshop based HE courses first. To meet COVID-19 public health guidelines, lateral flow testing will be in place and we ask that you follow guidance provided to you. Please assume that online learning will continue unless you are specifically invited to attend college. Keep an eye on Teams and your College email for updates from your HE Programme Leader.

We are delighted with the prospect of seeing you back on campus again and I’m sure you will be looking forward to it too. The pandemic has inevitably resulted in changes to how your course has been delivered but we believe we have done everything possible to provide you with broadly equivalent teaching and assessment in a way that you could access. Many different approaches have been used to ensure that you have not been disadvantaged including using different ways of delivering teaching and changes to assessment and regulations. We will continue to consider rearranging or extending elements of learning or access to resources so that any opportunities lost due to the pandemic can be recovered allowing to achieve your qualification.

My contact details have changed.

If your contact information has changed please let us know, as we will keep our current and prospective students up-to-date with information either by post, text messages, emails or social media communications from Leicester College. 

I’m interested in studying Higher Education at Leicester College – how can I apply? 

It depends on whether you want to apply for a full or part-time course.

I am on a DMU accredited course, what advice is there for me?   

Information is available from DMU for all their students, including information on student accommodation and what facilities remain open.   

Even if the College is not fully open – will I still receive my student loan? 

Returning and new students should apply for 2020-21 student loans as normal. New applicants should apply as soon as an offer is received onto your course. Returning students should apply immediately for 2020-21 if you have not already, even if you are unsure of your academic results for 2019-20. Please visit Student Finance for guidance on how to apply.

Fee liability, tuition and maintenance loans will be processed as usual for 2020-21, with your registration being confirmed upon enrolment, and the College confirming your attendance termly. Although you may not be asked to attend all lessons physically, as long as you are still engaged in the programme, you will continue to receive support and funding.  If you have any queries about your student finance, please contact our welfare team.

I’m in receipt of Disability Student Allowance – how can I have my needs assessed? 

In response to the Coronavirus, Student Finance England has announced that it is possible for students to access their DSA needs assessment remotely. They will need to contact their local access centre to find out availability.