• 0114 260 2600
The Sheffield College

Coronavirus FAQs: Keeping safe at college

Updated: 10/09/2020

Our frequently asked questions page provides information about the College’s latest safety measures to help keep students and staff Covid-19 secure. Please keep checking this page, which will be reviewed and updated in line with public health guidance.

Coronavirus FAQs: Keeping safe at college

The Sheffield College has a range of safety measures in place to help keep students and staff Covid-19 secure.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new virus that has not been seen in humans before, so there is currently no vaccination.

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the following symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and / or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.

For some people, coronavirus is a mild illness that passes. For others, such as those with underlying health conditions, it can be more serious.

How do I protect myself? 

Please continue to follow official advice and watch our safety video.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

What safety measures are in place for the new academic year 2020/21?

We are doing everything we can to support you and your future career ambitions whilst keeping you, our staff and the wider community safe.

Every step has been taken to ensure that students are able to attend college safely based on a thorough Covid-19 risk assessment.

Please watch our 'welcome back' video to find out more.

The safety measures include cleaning, handwashing, hygiene and social distancing procedures. All steps are being taken to implement two-metre social distancing.

Where students and staff cannot be two metres apart, we have done everything practical to reduce the possibility of transmission.

Please see more details below:

  • Timetables have been planned to ensure that students are on campus for the necessary time only.
  • Students will stay within an allocated zone and be expected to leave college immediately after their classes or work day has finished.
  • These steps mean that we can manage the number of learners on site at any point in the day and avoid large gatherings outside of classrooms, for example, by the lift areas and in the refectories.
  • Campuses have marked specific entry and exit points. One-way systems have been introduced, marked with signs.
  • Face masks must be worn by students and staff in communal areas as they move around the campus, unless there is a medical reason not to wear one.
  • Face masks are not mandatory during lessons on campus however, students and staff can wear them if they choose.
  • Classrooms will be opened in advance to avoid unnecessary queuing or gathering.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers are in receptions, classrooms and refectory areas.
  • Communal areas and classrooms are being cleaned before each teaching session and regularly throughout the day.
  • Floors and surfaces are regularly being cleaned, and bins emptied. In classrooms, specialist wipes will be available to clean IT equipment.
  • Lifts are restricted to one person at a time. Priority will be given to those who have limited mobility. Students are encouraged to use the stairs if they are able to do so. 
  • Toilets are restricted to one person at a time.

We are continuing to assess the situation and review our plans and safety steps, according to the latest government guidance.

What will students need to do differently from September 2020? 

We’ve introduced Covid-19 Student Guidance that clarifies our expectations of students so that we can work together and follow social distancing rules.

This includes guidance on staying two metres away from others at all times, regularly using hand sanitiser in college, staying in your allocated zone and classroom.

You’ll need to wear face masks in communal areas, unless you have a medical condition prohibiting you from doing so, leave campus immediately after classes, use the stairs rather than lifts and make sure tables and surfaces are left clear.

What should I do if I have suspected Coronavirus symptoms? 

  • If you develop suspected symptoms you should stay at home, self isolate for at least 10 days and get a test as soon as possible. 
  • Please do not come into college. Please stay at home, and try to keep a social distance, where possible, from others within your household.
  • You should keep self isolating after 10 days if you continue to have symptoms and / or have tested positive for having coronavirus.
  • If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.
  • Use the NHS 111 online service if symptoms become difficult to cope with, get worse or do not go after seven days.
  • The NHS 111 telephone service is available for people who are not online. Only call 111 if you cannot get help via the online service.
  • In an emergency (a life threatening) situation, dial 999.

How will teaching and learning be delivered in 2020/21?

Every step is being taken to ensure that our campuses are as safe as possible, based on a thorough college-wide risk assessment. Consequently, things will be different this academic year 2020/21

From September to December 2020, to help keep everyone safe, there will be fewer face-to-face and more online learning sessions in addition to independent study, including virtual learning.

All of our programmes will have some lessons on college campuses, to ensure that you have met your teachers and the other students in your group and to help you feel part of our vibrant college community.

During the first term, from September to December 2020, the majority of our programmes will be based on blended learning to ensure that we provide a safe environment.

This means that our teaching will be a combination of three approaches: 

  1. Face-to-face lessons on campus
  2. Face-to-face lessons delivered remotely, for example, using a video chat function
  3. Self-directed, independent study and learning

The balance will depend on the subject that you study.

For example, programmes with a higher level of technical skills such a construction trade, dentistry, hair and beauty, and performing arts, will require more face-to-face learning sessions to develop those skills.

Programmes of study that are more knowledge based, such as A Levels, will have more face-to-face online learning sessions and independent study.

We will continue to review the College’s next steps for the second term, in line with public health guidance, and keep you updated on any changes to the way that we plan to deliver learning.

Other aspects of what we do will be provided using these different approaches. For example, tutorial support will be provided online during the first term.

In terms of work related experience and activity, we are currently unable to send students into the workplace for industry placements or industry tasters.

However, it is vital to keep building skills to make you employable. Therefore, we will deliver an employability skills package through face-to-face online learning sessions and virtual content.

We are continuing to assess the situation and review our plans and safety steps, according to the latest government guidance.

Are course places still available for this September?

Yes, the College offers a wide range of courses from entry through to including university level qualifications, and is still accepting applications for this September 2020.

If you've not already applied, then please read our guidance on how to apply.

Please be aware that the way we will enrol for this September will be different as we continue to put your safety, and that of the general public’s, first.

To reduce the number of people on campus at any one time, whilst continuing to offer an excellent student experience, enrolment and induction is taking place online this year. 

If you have any questions or difficulties accessing the online system, please contact admissions@sheffcol.ac.uk so they can support you through the process.

How can we travel to the College safely?

Where possible, we are encouraging students to walk, cycle or drive to our campuses.

If this is not possible, and you need to use public transport, please ensure that you follow the latest government guidelines.

This includes wearing a face covering and maintaining a safe distance between you and other passengers.

I am having problems accessing financial support - what should I do?

If you are eligible for financial support from the College and have any questions or concerns about accessing that, then please email financial-support@sheffcol.ac.uk.

I have a safeguarding concern - what should I do?

If you have a safeguarding concern, please email safeguarding@sheffcol.ac.uk immediately.

Where can I get more mental health information and support?

Where can I find more general information? 

NHS health advice.

Public Health England.

Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline: Telephone 0800 046 8687. Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

The helpline is for students, staff, and parents and carers, who have questions about Covid-19 relating to education.