Coronavirus Update - 03 December 2020

The current active coronavirus cases across all Dudley College campuses are as follows:

  • ADC - 2 Students and 0 Staff Members
  • Advance I - 1 Students and 0 Staff Members
  • Advance II - 1 Students and 0 Staff Members
  • Aspire - 2 Student and 0 Staff Members
  • Broadway - 21 Students and 6 Staff Members
  • CAT - 7 Students and 1 Staff Members
  • Dudley Sixth - 1 Students and 0 Staff Members
  • Evolve - 10 Students and 0 Staff Member
  • Wolverhampton Street - 2 Students and 1 Staff Member

We are following daily advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education in regards to isolating contacts of positive cases and ensuring any symptomatic and positive learners or staff members are following the correct government guidance.

Dudley College of Technology has over 12,000 learners and 900 staff operating across fourteen sites and therefore it is to be expected that we will have some individuals who are impacted by Coronavirus. We are reporting all cases to Public Health England who have confirmed to us that they are happy with all of the arrangements we have in place for infection control and they believe all cases we are reporting are as a result of contact in private households not as a result of transmission at College.

We feel it is our public duty to accurately communicate the situation but are mindful not to cause undue alarm as the number of individual cases is well below the general infection rate in the Dudley area.

We will remain vigilant and continue to accurately report all matters in a transparent way to all stakeholders.

Information for Students and Parents

  • No student should attend college if they have COVID-19 symptoms or their household has been asked to self-isolate. Students should report their absence to the personal tutor.

  • Any student who displays symptoms whilst at college will be immediately isolated until they can be taken home

  • If we become aware of any positive cases of COVID-19 in staff or students we will immediately inform Public Health England. They then work with the college to determine any associated individuals at risk and what action we need to take to inform those individuals.

  • Key to minimising the risk for our students is that they follow our safety procedures. As a reminder the campus safety video can be found here. Students should ensure they avoid as much contact as possible outside of their class ‘bubble, maintain good hygiene, and adhere to the use of face coverings and social distancing as instructed around campus.

  • We will update our website daily so that everyone understands the current situation.

  • If any students are asked to self-isolate or work from home as precautionary measure due to advice from Public Health England, they will be able to access online lessons and activities. The course tutor will provide details within 24 hours if this is the case. 

Clinically Vulnerable learners

Following government guidance updated on 4th November 2020, any learners who are deemed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend education settings. If you fall into this category, please contact your personal tutor or Tammy Haycock, Inclusion Manager, tammy.haycock@dudleycol.ac.uk, 01384 363706, who will make arrangements for your education to continue virtually. All students irrespective of age must notify the college if they fall into this category, the college cannot accept responsibility for learners who do not disclose their condition, so it is critical that you notify us if any of the following applies to you.

The guidance defines adults with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • those with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • pregnant women with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions.

To read the full guidance please see this government webpage.

What are COVID-19 symptoms

Following the return of schools colleges after a prolonged break, it is common for colds and similar viral infections to circulate. Below is some important information on how COVID-19 symptoms differ from those of other infections that we normally see circulating at this time of year. However, we advise that in all matters it is best to err on the side of caution and if you believe you have a heavy cold you  may need to take a day or two off to recover and to prevent  spreading it  to your peers.

If you are unsure of your condition check your symptoms against this easy comparison:

COVID-19 symptoms. The main symptoms to be aware of are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour at a time, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

  • 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.

If you should develop any of the above symptoms, you should self-isolate and you should book them a test as soon as possible at www.nhs.uk or via 119. Please let your tutor know you are off sick and also please let us know as soon as you have the results of your test. Upper respiratory symptoms, like stuffed up/runny nose and sinus congestion, are very uncommon in COVID-19.

Cold-like symptoms. Cold symptoms come on gradually and can include:

  • a blocked or runny nose usually with a sore throat

  • headaches and muscle aches

  • spasmodic coughs and sneezing

  • a raised temperature

  • pressure in the ears and face

  • loss of taste and smell (generally as a result of a blocked up nose)

We thank you for your co-operation at this time.  We can assure you the College is taking all measures to provide a safe Covid secure environment and responding to all matters in line with national guidelines.

Essential enrolment information

16-18 year old learners

All enrolment this year is online as part of our measures to ensure we comply with social distancing requirements.  For all new students joining the college you will receive an email on Monday 31st August that tells you your first day information. If you have enrolled after this date your tutor will contact you directly.

Travelling to College

We all know that travelling to college will be a little different this year; so that you can plan your journey better visit the Travel West Midlands Network site to get the latest transport advice. Please remember that you must wear a face covering on all public transport, at stations and at interchanges.

WM Travel : www.networkwestmidlands.com/plan-your-journey/back-to-school and college

All enrolled learners

Before you attend your first day you will need to do a couple of things. Follow these instructions carefully and you’ll be ready to go: The first task is to activate your college account by following these instructions www.dudleycol.ac.uk/Support/Accessing-Your-Account You will need a username in order to use college computers and systems.

Your username is your student ID on your learning agreement e.g. 00461826 Your initial password is your date of birth in the format ddmmyyyy. For example, if your date of birth was 29/12/1978, you would enter 29121978. The college provides you an email account via Microsoft Office 365.

Your email address is studentid@dudleylearners.ac.uk for example 00461826@dudleylearners.ac.uk

Once you have activated your college account you will be able to access all college systems through our student dashboard; MyDay. From here you will see all the links to your Microsoft Office Account, college email account, attendance records, course material within Blackboard and library links to name just a few. The username for MyDay is your student email address from above and the password is the new password you set when activating your account. Please note: when activating your account please ensure you type Students\ before your college computer username.

Student finance support

All information for student regarding financial support can be found at www.dudleycol.ac.uk/support/student-finance We look forward to seeing you in September

 

Neil Thomas
Chief Executive and Principal, Dudley College of Technology

Frequently Asked Questions