Latest Coronavirus Updates
22nd Feb 2022 Update
We have now heard that the government will be removing all legislation linked to Covid including the requirement to isolate and to test.
Whilst the press may refer to this as ‘freedom day’ we know that for many vulnerable staff and students, the removal of legal restrictions will introduce greater anxiety and, for those people, support and specific arrangements will continue to be required.
Similarly, enhanced cleaning, access to hand sanitiser, and the one-way systems will remain as these continue to be sensible activities to build into our standard ways of working.
Rest assured that should the situation materially change, we will return some of the control measures that have seen us successfully steer through the past two years
22nd Feb 2022 Update
Masks will no longer be compulsory in classrooms effective immediately or in communal areas from 27th January 2022. We would however continue to encourage masks to be worn in busy communal areas and individuals may choose to wear masks across MK College campuses if they would prefer to do so.
New Isolation Rules Explained
January 2022 Update – Masks now required in classrooms
Testing & Isolation
- All students should continue to test twice per week – kits will be available through tutors
- Anyone testing positive for Covid must isolate for 10 days unless they have a negative lateral flow test on days 6 and 7 of isolation (at which point they can return to College after 7 days)
- Employees across the Group must test twice per week
- Employees to continue to isolate if someone in their household tests positive
- All employees and students advised by Trace & Trace to isolate should do so until the advised date
Risk Mitigation Factors
- Mask wearing mandatory in all communal areas and classrooms
- Regular cleaning and hand-washing
- Prison Services will continue to take a cautious approach and will adhere to the guidance set by the Governor in their individual prison
- One-way systems to remain in place on campus
For full guidance on what to expect for learners, please download the latest guidance document.
Phased reopening from 8th March
MK College can confirm a phased approach to students returning to campus. A full guide to students returning, including guidance on testing and what to expect when you return is included below.
Please note: While government guidance is changing, we are requesting that students continue to wear masks in communal areas. This is to ensure that everyone is kept as safe as possible while we welcome students back onsite on a more regular basis.
Update following government announcements
As per the update from government this evening, we will be delighted to be welcoming back additional students onto campus over the coming weeks. We will be doing this in a careful and considered way alongside regular testing to ensure the College remains an incredibly safe place to be.
We hope to share more details with you this week as our teams finalise the plans we have been working on throughout lockdown. In the meantime, classes will be continuing virtually as per timetables.
English and Maths continues virtually
Whilst learning in some subject specialisms starts again from 11th January, please remember that English and Maths will be continuing virtually from 4th January and throughout the lockdown period. Attendance is essential to ensure you don’t miss out on learning.
Update 04/01/2021 – Student update following lockdown briefing
We can now confirm that the College will switch to online learning for the majority of students until after February half term. Students who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers and require additional support are welcome to continue attending in person.
We will continue to update this page with further guidance as we have it.
Please continue to stay safe and we will see you on Microsoft Teams again very soon!
For further guidance, please see the DFE website.
Update 30/12/2020 – Student update following new government guidance
We can confirm that in line with government guidance Milton Keynes College campuses will be closed to most students from Monday 4th January until Monday 18th January.
We will remain open for those who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers (similar to the spring lockdown last year).
If you were due to have an exam within these dates these will continue to go ahead unless your tutor specifically tells you otherwise.
For some of you, next week had already been designated as a chance to catch up on your studies and this will continue as planned, for others who were due to continue lessons, these will now all move online.
Virtual lessons will continue for all students as per your timetable from Monday 11th January until at least the 18th January – at this point your lessons may continue as a mixture of online and in-person but we will confirm this when we know for sure.
We appreciate that this will be an anxious time, however we will be using the additional time to implement testing plans which, alongside our existing safety protocols will ensure that the College continues to remain a safe place when we are able to return.
For those students who will be coming into College next week either for exams or due to having parents who are key workers, we would like to reiterate NOT to come into College if you feel unwell in any way or have been told to self-isolate.
This will be a frustrating development for many of you keen to return to our campuses however we will continue to work hard to ensure you are able to learn effectively online and pick up on the practical skills when we are able to welcome you back to campus.
If you have any questions, please speak to your tutor who will be able to reply to you early next week.
Update 18/12/2020 – Mass Testing
You may have seen the announcement for mass testing within schools and colleges in the New Year. We are developing the procedures for how this will work and more details will be available early in the New Year. For now, if you do test positive for Coronavirus or have any questions please email email@example.com
Update 05/11/2020 – COVID-19 update
We hope that you are well and that you were able to take some time to relax over the October half term.
We wanted to reach out to our students and parents to update you on how MK College will continue to operate after the re-introduction of lockdown later this week.
The headline news is that not much will change from how we have been operating since the start of term. We always prioritised safety when bringing students back and we have thankfully had very few positive cases so far, especially compared to other schools and colleges in the region.
Our measures to create a mix of online and face to face learning, ensuring masks are worn in communal areas and frequent cleaning have all worked to create a learning environment which students have consistently said makes them feel safe.
We will continue to explore ways in which we can increase safety even further and we will now be encouraging students to wear masks in the classroom if they would prefer to do so, students may also be asked to wear masks in some sessions.
The government have prioritised keeping schools, colleges and universities open as they understand the huge impact that not attending education settings has on both student wellbeing and on succeeding within your programme. We would therefore hope all our students continue to feel confident and able to access our campuses safely throughout the next few weeks and beyond.
We would encourage students with any concerns to speak to their tutors and also remind everyone that if you feel unwell, have a temperature, persistent cough or lose your sense of taste and or smell to isolate and book a test. Please also notify us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be here throughout this period and will continue to work with you all to get through this pandemic together and ensure that our students continue to access and benefit from their learning and all the opportunities it will bring.
Update 14/10/2020 – COVID-19 update
Dear students and parents,
Firstly, a huge thanks to all of you for working with us as we have been implementing new processes for enrolment and induction to the College. It has been a huge undertaking to ensure that over 2,000 students were able to be welcomed to the college in a safe way. We know not everything was perfect, but we hope you are now settling in to your studies.
We always said that our approach to welcoming students back to campus would be done in a gradual way and that safety would be our number one priority. We have additional cleaning, processes around bubbles and social distancing, virtual learning and Keeping Safe Supervisors at both our campus sites to ensure rules are being followed.
Masks are being worn by all staff and students (unless there is a medical reason not to do so) in public areas and we continue to provide an array of outside food trucks should students not be able to bring lunch with them to College.
To date, these measures have meant that we have had only one instance where a bubble involving students has had to isolate and within that bubble, no students tested positive for Coronavirus.
Now is clearly not the time to ease up on our efforts, the local infection rates (whilst lower than rates nationally) are slowly climbing and so it is important we all continue to work together to avoid disruptions in learning.
We do however appreciate the value our students place on being able to access our classes and facilities in person as well as the value in forming friendship groups and enjoying the social aspects of working directly with classmates. Over the coming weeks we will be working hard to increase the time students spend on campus – this won’t be all areas right away, however by the end of the October half term we hope to be able to welcome students in most areas back to the college campus on a more frequent basis – particularly in those areas with lesser time on campus at the moment.
Thank you again for your support and we hope you continue to stay well.
Update 17/09/2020 – Inclusive Learning COVID-19 ‘bubble’ update
We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Inclusive Learning School of Milton Keynes College.
The positive case is a member of our Inclusive Learning management team and whilst the risk of exposure to students is very minimal, in line with Public Health England guidance, and with our own safety-first approach to the pandemic, we are advising all members of our Inclusive Learning bubble to self-isolate until Thursday 24th September 2020 as this will represent 14 days from the point the member of our team was last in College.
All impacted staff and students have been notified this afternoon, however, if you have any specific concerns please email email@example.com
Milton Keynes College has taken a safety-first approach to students returning to college, with additional cleaning, masks in communal areas, and social distancing promoted throughout our campuses. In addition, we are working hard to develop a mixture of on-campus and virtual learning, allowing us to keep students in bubbles to ensure that any positive coronavirus cases are limited to a particular subject school rather than the whole college.
We look forward to welcoming our inclusive learning students back to our campuses as soon as the period of self-isolation is complete.
Update 06/07/2020 – Higher Education
Update 05/06/2020 – Five Stage Phased Reopening
In light of the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have established a five stage phased reopening plan. Please see the reopening document for further information.
Update 01/04/2020 – Update from Dr Julie Mills OBE, CEO & Group Principal
I wanted to take the time to reassure you about the steps Milton Keynes College is taking to ensure that no existing student, or potential future student will miss out because of the restrictions currently in place due to Covid-19.
Lessons for our existing students have carried on remotely where possible, as per student timetables. This is something that our teachers have had to be very creative with, particularly when we offer such hands-on subjects from bricklaying to barbering. However early feedback has been positive, attendance has been good and we will continue to evolve our digital teaching over the Easter period.
Students are expected to be regularly logging on to attend lessons and tutorials remotely. We have also redeployed some staff to act as Progress Mentors and they are calling students individually to make sure they are keeping up and getting the support they need.
We are actively working with awarding bodies to ensure that all of our students who deserve to complete their qualification this year are able to do so and we are encouraging students to stay engaged with their college work.
Decisions around progression on to the next level of courses from September will be taken with the current situation in mind and we will support students to study the next level of their course wherever there is an opportunity to do so.
For those students who were planning to sit their GCSEs this summer, again I can only imagine the frustration in not being able to complete these qualifications in the normal way. My clear message is that Milton Keynes College will continue to hold a place for you. We will take each student on their individual merits and I encourage you to work hard to develop skills as much as possible and to continue through our admissions process as normal.
We will be continuing with course interviews, remotely, in-line with government restrictions on social interactions, after the Easter break and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students in September.
The College is also playing its part in supporting the community. We are actively working with Milton Keynes Council to see how our kitchens might be able to be used to prepare food for those who need it whilst we continue to welcome students whose parents are key workers and vital to the effort to combat the virus.
If any members of your household have time on their hands over the coming weeks you might be interested in the College’s Distance Learning provision. We offer a number of short courses across a range of vocational areas.
Finally, please continue to stay safe, our social media channels are a great way of staying connected with us and get the latest information. They are available at:
@mkcollege on Twitter and facebook.com/mkcollege
Dr Julie Mills OBE
CEO & Group Principal
Update 18/03/20 – College campuses to close for most students
In line with the updated advice from the government today we can confirm that Milton Keynes College campus buildings will close to most students from Monday.
Friday will also be an inset day meaning that students need not attend classes.
We await further detail from government on what the advice to ‘look after children of key workers’ might mean for us and further information will be communicated as soon as we have it.
We will be working hard to maintain education services during this period. Our lecturers will be supported to share lessons via our Virtual Learning Environment- Moodle and lessons should continue remotely from Monday morning as timetabled.
Students will receive communication to set expectations from working and learning at home from Monday morning. Any exams/assessments planned before Easter will not be going ahead, with more information on future examination arrangements as we have it.
We will also continue to maintain our enquiry and admissions telephone lines and emails.
We would like to be clear to students who have applied to college or who are considering applying for courses starting in September and who are nervous of what cancelled exams might mean. We will have a place for you. Please apply via the website as normal and we will be in touch with you as we have more information.
We will work closely with our employer partners and apprentice employers to aim to limit disruption and provide as much support as possible.
As this is an evolving situation we would like to remind you of our official channels where we will share any updates as they occur.We will post all updates to www.mkcollege.ac.uk/coronavirus – whilst we will also share updates via our official social media channels on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mkcollege) and Twitter (@mkcollege).Advice to reduce exposure to and transmission of the virus include:
-Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
-Follow basic hygiene rules – covering your mouth when coughing/sneezing
-Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – in the UK call 111 – and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
Note:This advice is derived from The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice here.Supplementary Q&A for individuals wishing to know more around how the UK is managing the risk can be found here.
The government is advocating social distancing measures, particularly for those aged 70+ or with underlying health conditions.
Additionally, those with the following symptoms:
- A temperature
- A persistent dry cough
Should now self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 day isolation is also in place if anyone in your household also has these symptoms.
* if one member of your family or household has a new continuous cough or high temperature
** if you live alone and you have a new continuous cough or high temperature
*** if you live alone and you have a new continuous cough or high temperature
**** for example via telephone or internet
1 ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year
More detail on the pre-existing medical conditions covered by this advice can also be found here