Coronavirus - College updates

We’ve put in place a 7-point plan to staying safe:

All of our classrooms, workshops and social spaces have already been arranged to make sure we meet social distancing guidelines.

Everyone must wear face coverings in communal areas of campuses including corridors and break out spaces, unless you are eating and drinking. You can also wear them in classrooms if you want to. We're also providing all of our staff with reusable face shields to be worn as an extra precaution when a 2m distance can’t be maintained - this applies in all classrooms, workshops and offices.

We recognise that some of you may not yet feel confident being around others, so we’ve introduced a red wristband scheme. If you see anyone wearing a red wristband please respect their wishes and keep your distance.

We’re really lucky to have such spacious campuses so that we can spread out and limit the numbers of people in each space, ensuring we can be together safely.

To help you move around our buildings at a safe distance, we’ve introduced one-way systems which are clearly marked.

We’ve tweaked our timetables, to avoid overcrowding in our entrances, cafes and social spaces. There’ll also be restrictions on how many people can use facilities like the toilets at any one time.

No matter where you are in the campus, you’ll never be far away from being able to sanitise your hands, with sanitiser at every entrance and in every classroom and workshop.

Our brilliant cleaning team always work hard to make sure our college buildings are sparkly clean. They’ve taken this up a notch with a focus on extra cleaning and sanitisation of surfaces.

We’ve introduced additional signs to remind everyone how they can do their bit to help reduce the risk.

If you have any support needs in relation to Covid-19, please email start@gateshead.ac.uk and let us know your chosen course.

View our full guide to staying safe on campus (PDF).

When to take action

If you're still unsure what action to take when you or someone you live with may be affected by coronavirus, click here to view our guide.

FAQs

You should not come into college and you need to get a free NHS test within 5 days of displaying the symptoms. You can choose to take the test at a test site near you or use a home test kit. Further information is available here

If there are no available slots at a test site within 48 hours of developing symptoms, you must order a home test kit. This is a Gateshead College policy to ensure we minimise your absence from college wherever possible.

If you have mild symptoms and are still able to continue with your studies, you should do so virtually until you receive your results and your teacher will be in touch with you about this. If you are unwell and unable to come to college, you should report your absence through the normal absence procedure by calling 0191 490 2340, emailing attendance@gateshead.ac.uk or texting 07950080960.

Throughout this process your teacher will keep in touch with you.

It depends on whether the member of your household is displaying symptoms.

If they do have symptoms, you should not come to college and you should stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill. During this period, if you don’t have any symptoms and are able to continue with your studies, you’ll be able to do this virtually at home for the duration of your self-isolation period.

If they don’t have symptoms you can come into college because you do not need to self-isolate with them. However, you must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with them at home.

If you’re displaying no symptoms and have not been contacted by NHS Track and Trace, you should come into college as normal.

If you or anyone in your household then starts to display any symptoms of Covid-19:

- A high temperature

- A new continuous cough

- A loss of change to your sense of smell or taste

Please don’t come into college and ensure the symptomatic person gets a free NHS test within 5 days of displaying the symptoms. You can choose to take the test at a test site near you or use a home test kit. Further information is available here

If there are no available slots at a test site within 48 hours of developing symptoms, you must order a home test kit. This is a Gateshead College policy to ensure we minimise your absence from college wherever possible.

No, you should not come in to college and you’ll need to self-isolate for the full- time period that Test and Trace have advised. If you don’t have any symptoms and are able to continue with your studies, you should do so virtually for the duration of your self-isolation period and your teacher will be in touch with you about this.

Yes, if you don’t have any symptoms and feeling well, you’ll be able to continue with your studies virtually at home for the duration of your self-isolation period. Your teacher will keep in touch with you regularly.

No, you should still be coming to college. As part of the new Government guidance, there is an exemption to the legal gatherings limit for the purposes of education, which means that the college will remain open to students and staff.