Coronavirus information for learners - Buckinghamshire Adult Learning

Coronavirus information for learners

Update: New government restrictions from 5 November 2020
Buckinghamshire Adult Learning remains open

Courses starting in November, December and January are now available to enrol via our website or by phone at 01296 382403.

Following the latest government announcement that we will be entering another lockdown from 5 November, we’d like to assure you that Buckinghamshire Adult Learning will remain open. Adult Learning is exempt from the new restrictions but the guidance advises that as much learning as possible should be delivered online. Where online learning is not possible, classes will continue to be delivered face-to-face within existing Covid secure guidelines.

If there are changes to the way your course will be delivered, we will notify you individually.

During this period:

  • Courses will continue in person or move to online learning where possible
  • We will follow government guidance and our provision remains open for support existing and new learners
  • Safety measures in our Covid secure centres will be followed 100% of the time
  • Learners, tutors and staff will be encouraged to wear face masks
  • Workbased Learning and Family Learning classes will be delivered 100% online
  • Initial assessments for Skills courses will continue online and face-to-face for learners wanting to enrol to courses.

Classroom delivery and Covid-19 prevention

Watch our video to find out what we’ve done to make our classrooms safe for your learning:

Classroom Safety video

Wearing of Face Coverings

Up to now when coming to class in any of our buildings it has been your choice to wear a face covering or not. Many of you are already doing this voluntarily, but from Thursday 5 November we will be actively encouraging everyone to wear one. This is an additional safety measure to protect us all whilst learning, and we ask that everyone shows support for each other and engages with this introduction.  Although I am sure you are all well versed in mask wearing by now, here is a quick reminder from the World Health Organisation (WHO) who have produced a short, informative video demonstrating the safe wearing of a face-mask.   

How to wear a face mask

Exemptions to face coverings:

Some people will be exempt from wearing face coverings and we encourage you to be sympathetic of this.

Generally this applies to those who:

  • cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability
  • speak to or provide assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate

Please do continue to be considerate to others and ensure that you do not attend classes if showing any symptoms of the virus or you have been knowingly in contact with anyone who has.

Thank you for your continued cooperation. 

New NHS Covid-19 app

The new NHS Covid-19 app is now live in Buckinghamshire and across England and it’s ready to download onto your phone from the Apple or Android app store. It is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from the virus. Every single person can play their part in helping to stop the spread of Covid in Buckinghamshire.  If you have been in a venue where there has been a confirmed COVID case, even though you may not have any symptoms, you may be carrying the virus and spreading it to the people you care most about. The app can alert you so that you can act quickly to protect your loved ones. As well as making it simple to check into venues through an in-built QR code scanner, the NHS Test and Trace app also has a number of other useful tools including contact tracing, searchable risk alerts by postcode, a symptom checker and test booking. It is now a legal requirement for the following businesses and venues across Buckinghamshire to display the new NHS Test and Trace QR code on special posters at the entrance to their premises:

  • Hospitality businesses –  pubs, bars, restaurants and café
  • Tourism and leisure venues –  hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • Close contact services, including hairdressers, barber shops and tailors
  • Facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres (Adult Learning is exempt as visit records are already kept)
  • Places of worship, including venues used for events and other community activities are also being encouraged to use the QR code posters. If you are visiting public venues you will have to ‘check in’ and one of the ways you can do this is by scanning the venue’s QR code on the poster using the new NHS test and trace app on your phone when you arrive.

Rule of Six

As an adult education provider, our courses are exempt from the new ‘rule of six’ that came into effect on Monday 14 September. All our classrooms have already been assessed to hold a maximum capacity of learners based on its size, and as we offer part-time learning provision and our learners are not together in social bubbles for majority of the week, we have maintained a two metre social distance for all staff and learners for maximum safety. As a result of this continual action all our class sizes are already small.

Our exercise classes are exempt as they are classed as organised sport or exercise classes or licensed outdoor physical activity. This does not include informal sport or fitness activity with family or friends – this must be limited to a group of 6.

For more information about what you can and can’t do, visit this government FAQ page.

Please see below a few things to be aware of:

  • Sanitising stations – you will find stations in classrooms and in corridors of Adult Learning Centres with hand sanitiser dispensers and wipes to keep furniture regularly cleaned. Sanitisers will also be available in all of our community venues.
  • Class times have been staggered to manage footfall through the centres and doors will be closed. Tutors will open doors when the class is about to start so please arrive as close to the start time as possible, and sanitize your hands as you enter the building.
  • We have reduced some class sizes to ensure that there will be two metre social distancing in all classes. Reduced classroom capacities will be displayed on the doors of each classroom in our centres.
  • Furniture may look a little different, this is to help us keep space in classrooms.  As we are ensuring a two metre distance,  you don’t need to wear a mask. (if you are accessing a community venue, please wear a mask just as you enter the premises, this can be taken off once you are in your classroom).
  • The drinks’ machines and coffee areas will be closed for the moment, please bring your own drink to have during your class. You may have a break during your session, however for the moment we ask that people remain in their classrooms.
  • Where possible we have reduced the number of handouts we distribute in class.
  • We are encouraging a “Catch-it, Bin-it, Kill-it” policy and tissues will be provided in all of our classrooms.

As this is a changing situation, there may be future amendments, please check our website for any updates. If you develop any signs or symptoms of CV-19 please keep yourself and others safe and stay at home.

Please see the information and Government advice below.

Information and advice – resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice 
Public Health Matters 
Public Health England 
NHS

Find out how to protect yourself or find out if you need medical help at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you are unsure you can seek further advice from the Department for Education’s dedicated helpline on 0800 046 8687 or Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk