I write with an update and information about how we are working to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all members of the community during the on-going international situation.
1. UK Government Advice
· The UK Chief Medical Officer continues to categorise the level of risk as ‘moderate’. · Daily updates on the situation in the UK can be seen on the UK Government website. · The UK Government has produced an Action Plan which is available to read here. We advise that you all take the time to read it to gain a greater understanding of how the UK is currently managing the situation. · The current strategy of the UK Government is:
Contain: detect early cases, follow up close contacts, and prevent the disease taking hold in this country for as long as is reasonably possible
Delay: slow the spread in this country, if it does take hold, lowering the peak impact and pushing it away from the winter season
Research: better understand the virus and the actions that will lessen its effect on the UK population; innovate responses including diagnostics, drugs and vaccines; use the evidence to inform the development of the most effective models of care
Mitigate: provide the best care possible for people who become ill, support hospitals to maintain essential services and ensure ongoing support for people ill in the community to minimise the overall impact of the disease on society, public services and on the economy
The UK Government also advises that everyone can support the UK’s response by:
Checking and following the latest FCO travel advice when travelling and planning to travel Ensuring you and your family’s vaccinations are up to date as this will help reduce the pressure on the NHS/HSCNI through reducing vaccine-preventable diseases
Checking on elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours
Using NHS 111 (NHS Direct Wales) (including online, where possible), pharmacies and GPs responsibly, and go to the hospital only when you really need to. This is further explained on the NHS website: When to go to A&E and Choose Well Wales
Being understanding of the pressures the health and social care systems may be under, and receptive to changes that may be needed to the provision of care to you and your family.
Accepting that the advice for managing COVID-19 for most people will be self-isolation at home and simple over-the-counter medicines
Checking for new advice as the situation changes
1.The Situation in Wales
Wales has two confirmed cases of Coronavirus, the lowest rate in the UK.
One case is in the Cardiff area. There is absolutely no connection to Cardiff Sixth Form College. 500+ people have been tested in Wales.
2.The Situation at Cardiff Sixth Form College
No students or staff have needed to be tested for COVID-19.
All students and staff who have experienced flu-like symptoms have followed our policy of self-isolation followed by immediate medical advice. All have been given clearance to return to CSFC once their symptoms (in most cases a common cold) have gone.
Five students and two staff who visited an affected region are currently completing a period of self- isolation away from CSFC. None of them have reported any symptoms. All will return to CSFC once they have received medical clearance to do so.
Cardiff Sixth Form College’s Coronavirus Policy
In order to safeguard the entire community, are policy is:
Students and staff must not travel to the regions identified by the UK Government as being most ‘at risk’. CSFC reserves the right to interpret a region of a country to apply to the entire country.
All travel plans, including those already approved, must be discussed with a student’s Head of House prior to any travel.
A student or staff member who visits one of these regions or any region which is subsequently added to the list, is expected to self-isolate, away from CSFC, for 14 days and seek clearance to return to Cardiff before returning.
Cardiff Sixth Form College advises against all non-urgent foreign travel.
Students and staff must avoid all contact with any individuals who have recently visited a region identified by the UK Government as being most ‘at risk’.
All plans to see friends and relatives, outside CSFC, including those already approved, must be discussed with a student’s Head of House.
A student or staff member who has contact with an individual who has recently visited an affected area is expected to self-isolate, away from CSFC, for 14 days and seek clearance to return to Cardiff before returning. Cardiff Sixth Form College advises that all students remain under supervision of CSFC and avoid leaving college supervision unless absolutely essential.
iii. Prevention of Infection
All students and staff are reminded that they must:
Wash their hands regularly, with soap and water. Use of an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol) is also recommended. Hands should always be washed before leaving home or the boarding accommodation; on arrival at school; after using the toilet; after breaks and activities; before eating or preparing food; before leaving school.
Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue in a bin.
Report to the College Nurse, if they feel unwell, for further advice. Local students should remain at home and seek advice from their own doctor or from NHS Direct.
Avoid touching their eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Greet each other with a raised hand, not a hand-shake.
iv. When flu-like symptoms are present
Any student or member of staff who experience a fever, cough or shortness of breath (however mild) should:
Stay at home, in the medical centre or their bedroom in college accommodation.
Seek immediate advice from NHS Wales on 111 or 08454647
Separate themselves from other people.
Contact CSFC, immediately.
Cardiff Sixth Form College reserves the right to ask any member of the community to self-isolate for 14 days if they knowingly act against the current policy.
In addition to the published policy, the following additional measures are in place:
i. Education when away from College
A student who is in self-isolation can expect to continue to be educated by staff at CSFC. Students, parents, guardians and agents will be sent a copy of the remote education strategy, when necessary. In order to ensure that this is possible, they must:
Check emails regularly and at the start of every lesson time.
Ensure that they have access to Google Classroom.
Ensure that they have the equipment that they need to learn in isolation.
ii. Additional hygiene measures
We have increased the regularity and intensity of our cleaning.
Door handles and other surfaces where hands may have contact, are regularly being sterilised.
The College has a ‘no hand shake’ policy in place. We are greeting people with a raised hand, instead.
Students, staff and visitors who wish to wear a face mask may do so. Further advice on Coronavirus is available on the NHS website.
All visitors to CSFC are being sent a letter (or presented a letter on arrival) outlining our policy and asking them to adhere to it.
Any visitor who has visited or had any contact with an individual who has recently visited an affected region, will be denied access to college.
ii. Forthcoming events, trips and activities
We currently plan to proceed with Glee, Parents’ Evening, Cultural Event and Eisteddfod and reserve the right to cancel these events at late notice.
Our current policy applies to the above events. Visitors who do not meet the criteria of our policy are politely asked to not attend.
Trips, activities and events away from CSFC will be cancelled if they do not meet our current policy standards.
Large-scale trips (such as summer ICE trips) are currently under review.
i. Preparations for a worsening situation
CSFC has a Coronavirus Response Team (CRT) which has prepared for four levels of intensity. At all stages, clear, accurate and detailed information will be sent (via email) to all students, parents, guardians and agents:
Stage 1 - The current situation. No suspected or confirmed cases at CSFC
Follow current policy.
Continued, regular communication to all parents, guardians and agents.
Daily monitoring of government and health service websites and other information sources.
Stage 2 - Suspected cases at Cardiff Sixth Form College
Notify local health service and local authorities.
Follow all guidance.
Communicate with all parents, guardians and agents.
Self-isolation for anyone considered to be at risk.
Deep cleaning of all affected areas. Temporary closure if necessary. Restricted leave.
Stage 3 - Confirmed cases at Cardiff Sixth Form College
Lock-down of CSFC (no boarders to leave college or boarding accommodation; local students not to commute on public transport).
Closure if necessary and move to remote education plan.
Stage 4 - Cardiff Sixth Form College unable to continue to operate as normal, due to number of cases
Evacuation of all local students and boarders who are able to return to UK guardian.
Full isolation of boarders who are at risk, in pre-prepared isolation zones.
Partial isolation of all boarders who are considered to be low-risk. Everyone to remain in boarding accommodation.
Deep cleaning and catering plans are in place.
The support that we have received from the wider community has been overwhelmingly positive. Our position is robust and our single stated purpose is to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of the community. With everyone’s continued support and cooperation, we are confident of achieving this and if the situation deteriorates due to matters beyond our control, we are confident that we are prepared to continue to educate and care for the students at Cardiff Sixth Form College.
Parents, guardians and agents may have further questions and we welcome these. We ask that they are directed to your son or daughter’s Head of House and that care is taken to read this and previous correspondence from the College, prior to making contact.
As ever, we thank you all for your support throughout a complicated international situation.