Covid-19 Update for staff & learners

Adult Learning and Skills Service

2 September 2020

Dear Students,

RE: IMPORTANT - Message to students regarding the phased returned to our Adult Learning Centres 2020

I hope you have all had a nice summer and have been keeping safe and well.

Since the end of our summer term in July, our Adult Learning & Skills (ALSS) team have all been working hard on the H&F Community Action Network (H&F CAN) continuing to support vulnerable residents across the borough.

In addition, our ALSS management team have also been very busy preparing for a phased return to our Macbeth centre for those courses that were unable to deliver on-line classes last term and will still not be able to do so in the new academic year starting in September 2020 -July 2021.

In order for our ALSS service to return to Macbeth, we have to meet very strict Health and Safety criteria, which is overseen by the Local Authority’s Covid-19 (C19) Recovery Board, chaired by the Chief Executive, and made up of senior Council Directors. 

Over the last 2 months we have had regular site visits with the Council’s C19 Health and Safety Assurance team in preparation for a phased return. The C19 H&S team looks at every aspect of health and safety to ensure that any return is Government compliant and meets industry guidelines for C19. Any return to face to face classes must also follow a manageable phased approach. The main priority is to ensure that all of our staff and students are kept safe and properly protected. 

At the Council’s C19 Recovery Board meeting recently it was decided that our Adult Learning Service must follow a strict phased return to our Macbeth Centre with a limited number of face to face classes from late October (half- term week). This allows sufficient time to put everything in place for a safe return to the Macbeth centre for all selected staff and students.   

Phase one of the return will begin in the Autumn term (Sept-Dec 2020) and follow a step by step approach:

  • From 14th September 2020 onwards Up to 65-70% of our courses will be offered as On-line remote classes (or through course work in some cases).   
  • Our Adult Learning centres at 239a Uxbridge Road and at Norman Croft Community School will not be open in term 1. Where possible classes will be offered on-line or through course work.   
  • The Macbeth building will not be open to the general public, nor to all ALSS staff.
  • There will be restricted use of the Macbeth building for a limited number of selected staff and students attending the face to face classes starting in late October 2020.
  • All enquiries must be made over the phone or via email.
  • Students will need to enrol on-line or over the phone.   
  • All staff and students will need to complete an individual Risk Assessment which will be sent out before the start of term.
  • All staff and students will be registered in the building and can be tracked and traced in the event of another outbreak etc.
  • All staff and students will wear PPE e.g. masks or visors and gloves etc. where appropriate.
  • PPE will be supplied to staff by our adult learning centres, but those students attending face to face classes must bring their own face masks etc.
  • Reception and all areas of the building will be clearly marked for social distancing and rotational movement in and around the building etc.
  • Desks and workspaces will be spaced out 2m or more
  • Personal work spaces will be clearly marked

We will only be able to offer a minimum number of face to face classes in term 1 at the Macbeth Centre. We will be prioritising Crafts classes which cannot be delivered as On-line classes.   

  1. We have arranged specific meetings with staff, technicians and tutors prior to the phased return.
  2. Initially we will offer the following Craft classes to start after October half-term, from 26th to 30th October; Pottery, Woodwork, Jewellery, Stained Glass and Upholstery.
  3. If you are a student enrolling in term 1, on one of the face to face lessons named above, you will be sent specific Health &  Safety documentation that will outline what is expected of you when you arrive for class at our Macbeth centre i.e. face masks/coverings, frequent hand washing, sanitizing and of course social distancing as much as possible.
  4. Class times will be staggered to ensure reduced contact between staff and students from different classes.  
  5. All classrooms and workshops will undergo a C19 H&S Risk Assessment and ensure that it meets all requirements for health and safety.
  6. Rigorous and heightened cleaning and sanitisation of equipment is a requirement for everyone.
  7. All staff and students will complete a full induction covering all aspects of the C19 H&S regulations which are Government compliant and meets industry guidelines for C19.
  8. There will be limited numbers of staff and students in classes and around the building to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to.  
  9. There will be no face to face evening classes at our Macbeth centre in the Autumn term 1.
  10. There will be no Saturday classes in the Autumn term 1.
  11. The C19 H&S team will regularly monitor and review progress.

Phase 2 of the return in Winter term January to March 2021

  • Learning from Phase 1
  • Continue to offer blended learning approach e.g. face to face and on-line classes where possible.
  • Other centres to open with consent from Local Authority Recovery Board e.g. Normand Croft Centre and 239a Uxbridge Road W12
  • More face to face outreach classes may be offered depending on C19 H&S risk assessments and consultation with outreach centres
  • Increase numbers of lessons & courses to be offered face to face, including some evening classes, following rigorous monitoring and review.
  • Ongoing risk assessments of all staff, students and robust cleaning regimes in classrooms and workshops
  • C19 H&S team to continue to monitor progress and review

Phase 3 return  in Summer term April –July  2021

  • Learnings from Phased return in terms 1 & 2
  • Continue to offer blended learning approach e.g. face to face and on-line classes where possible.
  • More outreach classes may be offered depending on C19 H&S risk assessments and consultation with centres
  • Increase numbers of lessons & courses to be offered face to face, including some evening classes, following rigorous monitoring and review.
  • Building back up to recover Jan 2020 levels
  • Our ALSS Service must remain financially viable
  • Health & Safety of all staff and students is the main priority.

The above phased return is dependent on no further spikes, or a second phase of C19. However, should there be any further outbreaks, our ALSS service in consultation with the council’ C19 H&S team has devised an Outbreak Response Plan, which will be shared as part of the C19 H&S risk assessment training and induction for all staff and students.

Obviously, we would all prefer to be able to return to our centres with a full complement of face to face classes as soon as possible, but the decision by the Local Authority Recovery Board and C19 H&S team for a phased return of our ALSS has been carefully considered. The health and safety of all our staff and students is of paramount importance to the Local Authority and our ALSS service.  

The pandemic is still ongoing, so government, DFE and our H&F Local Authority guidelines are subject to frequent changes. However, we will continue to meet regularly with the C19 H&S team and keep you all up to date with progress towards our phased return.

If you have already enrolled for a class, please check to see whether it will be offered as an on-line class, or if it is an Arts and Crafts course, whether it will be offered as a face to face class. Please check our ALSS website for updates, email alssinfo@lbhf.gov.uk or phone 020 8753 3600 (Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4pm) for further enquiries.     

Thank you all for your ongoing support and commitment. I hope you all manage to enjoy the summer and I look forward to meeting you all again at some point in the next academic year 2020-21.  

Kind regards

Eamon Scanlon

Head of Adult Learning & Skills

Hammersmith & Fulham Council

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