Covid-19 Information

Last updated: 26th February 2021 at 13:15

Taking account of updated guidance, we have put together a detailed plan for our re-opening and updated our risk assessment and to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains paramount. The COVID-19 situation continues to cause worry for us all and we want to assure you again that staff at the UTC are doing everything they can to keep students safe and respond appropriately to government guidance as it is released. If you need any help, please contact us.

Click on a section title to learn more.

+ - March Reopening Plans

All secondary aged students will return to schools and colleges from 8th March 2021 with the following testing measures in place:

  • all secondary school and college students will take three COVID-19 tests as they return to the classroom from the 8 March at existing school testing facilities. Schools and colleges will have discretion on how to test students over that week to enable their return to the classroom. After the initial programme of three tests in school or college, students will be provided with 2 rapid tests to use each week at home
  • secondary school and college staff will also be provided with 2 tests to use each week at home

Please see the Phased Return section or download the KS4 and KS5 return timetables.

  KS4 Return & Testing Timetable

  KS5 Return & Testing Timetable

+ - Rapid Testing Programme

All students will take 3 LFD tests from 8th – 16th March. Following a negative result after LFD test 1 students can return to classroom learning. Testing supports breaking the chain of transmission of Covid-19 and supports protection of the whole community.

If you haven’t returned the testing consent form yet, please do so as a matter of urgency. If you need a replacement form, please contact reception@buckinghamshireutc.co.uk.

To help to speed up the first test process, please register your child(ren) for the NHS Test and Trace system and create their account before their LFD test 1 date. This is not the same as the Covid-19 contact tracing app.

+ - Home Testing For Students

Following the series on in UTC LFD tests, students will receive a home testing kit, the guidance states:

Both pupils and staff in secondary schools will be supplied with LFD test kits to self swab and test themselves twice a week at home. Staff and pupils must report their result to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone as per the instructions in the home test kit. Staff and pupils should also share their result, whether void, positive or negative, with their school to help with contact tracing. Pupils aged 18 and over should self-test and report the result, with assistance if needed. Adolescents aged 12 to 17 should self-test and report with adult supervision. The adult may conduct the test if necessary. Staff or pupils with a positive LFD test result will need to self-isolate in line with the stayat-home guidance. They will also need to arrange a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result if the test was done at home. Those with a negative LFD test result can continue to attend school and use protective measures.

It is anticipated that students will commence home testing from w/c 22nd March 2021. We will provide further details about this when available.

+ - Wearing of Face Coverings

The latest guidance confirms that the wearing of face coverings in communal areas must continue and the addition of in class face coverings. Students must wear a face covering:

  • While using the corridors between lessons in the UTC
  • When using the toilets at the UTC
  • While in communal areas at break and lunch times
  • While following the one-way system around the UTC
  • While in lessons except where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons.

Face coverings do not need to be worn by students when outdoors on the roof terrace

Removing a face covering, in line with government guidance, you must:

  • Not touch the front of your face covering during use
  • Not touch the front of your face covering when removing it
  • Dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin (marked face coverings)
  • Place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag
  • Wash your hands again before going to your classroom

+ - Phased Return Timetable

In line with guidance, we have taken the decision to bank independent study sessions at start of the day for year 12/13 students. First lessons will therefore commence at 10am daily for these year groups. This also supports reducing the use of public transport at peak times.

Building Studies year 12/13: all students will be onsite 5 days per week moving forward to ensure that all coursework and assessment work can be completed in advance of the assessment deadline 18th June which was announced today.

Computing year 13: Students will be required on site on Tuesdays moving forward to ensure that all coursework and assessment work can be completed in advance of the assessment deadline 18th June. Tuesdays were previously the designated work experience day. The remote learning day (Thursday) will continue.

Computing year 12: The remote learning day (Wednesday) will continue.

All students will be provided with their updated course timetables early next week in advance of their return w/c 8th March.

Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Year 13
LFD test 1 – Students attend for the test only and return home Tuesday 9th March 9:30am Monday 8th March, 9:30am Tuesday 9th March, 12:30pm Monday 8th March, 12:30pm
First lesson back in the UTC – Following negative LFD result previous day Wednesday 10th March, 8.40am Tuesday 9th March, 8:40am Wednesday 10th March, 10am Tuesday 9th March, 10am

+ - Arriving and Leaving the UTC

  • Students will be working in key stage bubbles, year 10/11 and year 12/13
  • If parents are dropping off or collecting their child, please remain in your car
  • Remember that there are parking restrictions in place with a maximum 15 minutes waiting time or an automatic parking ticket will be issued
  • Students arrive from 8am / 10am year group depending
  • Students will sanitise/wash their hands on entry to the building
  • Students will wear a face covering on entry to the building (see ‘Wearing Face Coverings’)

+ - Moving Around The UTC

  • One-way routes continue to be in operation throughout the UTC. You will be reminded of these as part of your March return to the UTC
  • The central atrium staircase is only used for travelling up to the next floor, the emergency stairwells are used to go down to the next floor
  • There are one-way arrows to move around each floor
  • Through careful timetabling we have minimised contact between individuals and are maintaining social distancing wherever possible, this includes:
    • Grouping students by year group/specialism
    • Avoiding contact between groups
    • Arranging classrooms with forward facing desks
    • staff maintaining distance from students and other staff as much as possible

In Learning Spaces

  • Line up outside of your allocated classroom/workshop
  • Wait to be asked in
  • Sit in your allocated seat
  • If you have a question raise your hand
  • There will be virtual employer visitors to your lessons
  • At the end of the lesson, your teacher will ask you to leave row by row. You must wait until you are asked to leave the room
  • You must follow all instructions carefully; they are for your safety and the safety of others.

Break Time

At break time there are zoned areas for year groups, you must keep to these zones.

  • Year 10 /11 in the atrium only
  • Year 12/13 second floor sixth form area and atrium (front entrance end)
  • Students should bring a pre-filled bottle of water, there will be water available.

Lunch Time

No students will be authorised to leave the UTC site. This will be reviewed as the government ‘road map’ restrictions are eased

  • Please bring in your own food or buy food from the canteen. Students should bring a pre-filled bottle of water, there will be water available
  • At lunch time there are zoned areas for year groups, you must keep to these zones.
  • Ensure you remain in the allocated areas:
    • Year 10 /11 in the atrium and roof terrace only
    • Year 12/13 second floor sixth form area, atrium (front entrance end) and roof terrace. The Roof terrace has zoned areas.

Sixth Form Independent Study

Wherever possible independent study sessions have been timetabled at the start or the end of the day, to enable students to complete this work at home. If your independent study sessions are during the timetabled day, you will be located in the learning centre.

+ - Using Public Transport

If you can walk or cycle to the UTC, this should be your primary mode of travel. Many of our students normally make extensive use of the wider public transport system, particularly public buses. We expect that public transport capacity will continue to be constrained in the autumn term. Face coverings are required at all times on public transport (for children over the age of 11). Please refer to the safer travel guidance for passengers. We advise carrying hand sanitiser on all public transport journeys.

+ - Feeling Unwell?

We have a duty to minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. This is because you could pass the infection on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms. We must ensure that students, staff and other adults do not come into the UTC if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 10 days, and ensuring anyone developing those symptoms during the UTC day is sent home, are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Parents and staff MUST inform us immediately of the results of a test:

  • if someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better.
  • if someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’ and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 10 days.

If you become unwell at the UTC

If anyone in the UTC becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they WILL be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they MUST self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 10 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

+ - Expectations: Behaviour

To ensure that the UTC is a safe place for learning, we all need to do our part. With the ongoing risk of COVID-19 and increased infection transmission rates, behaviour around the UTC needs to be exceptional. On top of the rules around social distancing and movement around the UTC we ask that all students be mindful of the behaviours they are exhibiting in the classroom. We are going to require your cooperation to navigate these uncertain times together. This means that all students need to think of the impact they are having on their own learning and the learning of others at all times in the classroom and around the building.

The processes that have been put in place in the Autumn term to ensure we mitigate the COVID-19 risk as best as possible remain. This includes a tightening of existing behavioural rules to ensure minimisation of disruption whilst concurrently considering risk factors relevant to the transmission of coronavirus.

To help encourage studentsto follow the rules, we will continue to apply success points where appropriate. Our policies set clear, reasonable and proportionate expectations of student behaviour. However, if students fail to follow these rules, we will:

  • For any noncompliance with the rules and procedures as set out in the Behaviour for Learning Policy and the Behaviour for Learning and Safety Addendum a zero-tolerance approach will be taken and considered as serious misconduct (see full policy).
  • The health and safety of our students and staff is our paramount concern.

The normal Success (S) / Consequence (C) point policy will apply to behaviour in the UTC. There will be a slight change to the process regarding the issue of C points (namely around the issuing of a C3 and, subsequently, a C4).

Issuing of a C3

Besides gentle reminders, students are given two opportunities to correct their poor learning behaviours through the issuing of a C1 and a C2. If the behaviour has not been corrected then the student in question will be asked to wait outside the classroom for a brief chat and a final warning to correct the behaviour. Students must wait directly outside the classroom if they are asked to leave the classroom. They must remain within 2 metres of the classroom. At no point are students permitted to go to another classroom or anywhere else in the UTC unless directed to do so by a member of staff.

Issuing of a C4

If a student fails to heed the final warning issued outside the classroom (through the issuing of a C3) and continues to display poor learning behaviours they will be asked to wait outside the classroom and issued a C4. Again, students must remain within 2 metres of the classroom whilst the teacher issues them with a C4 slip and makes the appropriate contact with reception. Students are to remain waiting outside the classroom until they are collected by a member of staff who will take them to separate room to complete a restorative form to be used for a conversation later with the teacher. Please note that if students breach any of the Health and Safety guidelines when they are being issued a C4, particularly around social distancing and the spread of Covid-19, then parents may be called to collect students immediately as per the Behaviour for Learning and Safety Policy Addendum.

Implementation of rules and procedures

These rules and procedures are in place to ensure that everyone can remain safe at the UTC. We would like to stress that if students remain cooperative at all times and give deliberate consideration to the impact they are having on everyone in challenging times then we can get through this together. Whilst we do not want to have to enact these procedures, they are there for your safety. So that these procedures never have to be enacted, please do the right thing at all times

+ - Related Documents

+ - Expectations: Attendance

All students must strive for good attendance. The full attendance policy can be seen on our Policies & Documents page and we are grateful for your support in terms of:

  • Making dental/ doctors’ appointments outside the UTC day
  • Making sure your child arrives promptly at the UTC (for 08:30am) and is safe.
  • Contacting the UTC promptly if your child is absent.
  • Ensuring that ‘contact details’ are up to date (with emergency contact details)
  • Supporting our drive for ‘work-like experiences’ – i.e., missing the odd day would not be acceptable in any organisation

Parents must notify the school on the first day of an unplanned absence – for example, if their child is unable to attend due to ill health – by 8.20am or as soon as practically possible. Parents should email to reception@buckinghamshireutc.co.uk or telephone 01296 388459.

+ - Washing Hands

It is essential that everyone cleans their hands thoroughly more often than usual. Regular and thorough hand cleaning is going to be needed for the foreseeable future Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. This can be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser. There are handwashing facilities on every floor and hand sanitiser will be available in every learning space. Students can bring in their own hand sanitiser for personal use only.

Hands will be washed/sanitised:

  • On entry to the UTC
  • When they change rooms
  • When students return from morning/lunch breaks
  • Before and after eating.

There are signs around the UTC reminding us all of the importance of regular handwashing and we are promoting good respiratory hygiene through ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’.