COVID-19

COVID-19 Secure Measures

Thames Valley Summer Schools (TVSS) very much hopes that we will be able to run our summer residential courses normally in 2021, particularly with the new vaccination programmes.

However, due to the globally unpredictable and evolving nature of COVID-19 and in line with our safeguarding policy, we have carried out a comprehensive risk assessment of all aspects of our programmes. This will be subject to regular reviews and updates as necessary.

Current regulations from the UK Government, Public Health England and advice from English UK mean that it may be necessary to implement some or all of the following measures:

 

Before arrival in the UK

• TVSS may request written evidence of a recent PCR (polymerase chain reaction) Test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

• TVSS may request a certificate or recognised evidence of completed COVID-19 vaccination prior to arrival.

 

What to bring

• Students may be required to wear a face covering at various times during their course. Disposable masks ‘expire’ after four hours. One student on a three-week language programme would therefore need to bring at least forty-two masks.

• TVSS recommends that suitable hand sanitiser is brought and if larger than 100ml, not packed in the child’s carry on luggage.

 

Self-isolation / Quarantine period

Any period of compulsory self-isolation/quarantine required by the UK Government must be completed before arrival at TVSS centres. TVSS is unable to provide any accommodation outside course dates.

A list of countries that form part of the UK Travel Corridor and are currently exempt from the self-isolation/quarantine period, can be found here.

 

Airport arrival

Social Distancing and compulsory face coverings are requirements at all UK airports and in many other locations throughout the UK. TVSS staff, students, national leaders or accompanying adults will be required to follow any restrictions that are in place in the UK.

Students may take longer to proceed through customs/security due to social distancing measures at the airport. National leaders will need to inform TVSS if they expect their arrival to cause significant delay to TVSS transfers.

All arrivals, including those from the exempt countries, must currently provide travel details in advance of their arrival in the UK. It is possible to complete the Public Health Passenger Locator Form online or at the airport on arrival. TVSS strongly recommends that the form is completed online prior to arrival to avoid delays. Failure to provide contact details may also result in fines imposed by the UK Government. TVSS cannot take responsibility for, or assist in, the completion of any necessary documentation.

 

Coach/taxi transfers

TVSS has discussed a range of measures to increase safety with our coach and taxi transfer providers.

 

Cleaning & Hygiene

TVSS has worked closely with the cleaning teams at our centre to ensure that these high traffic/frequently touched contact areas are routinely cleaned.

Staff and students are reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds and more frequently than normal, including on arrival, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing. There will be information included on the induction day and posters are located throughout the sites.

 

Hand Sanitiser

TVSS will ensure that there is sufficient hand sanitiser available at key locations throughout the school and residential accommodation. However, due to variable skin sensitivity / allergies, we recommend that your child also brings sufficient suitable hand sanitiser to last the duration of their course.

 

Bubble Approach

Based on current government guidance, TVSS may implement a ‘bubble’ approach throughout the centre. This entails keeping groups of students and staff together and reducing contact with other groups.

The aim of a bubble approach at TVSS is to help reduce the likelihood of a large-scale lockdown.

Different bubble approaches may be implemented depending on group sizes, ages, levels, nationality mix, start/end dates and the nature of courses.

 

Accommodation arrangements

Sleeping arrangements will be allocated in accordance to TVSS procedures and based on age, nationality and gender. In line with current medical guidance, TVSS will limit the number of students sharing accommodation. Wherever possible, TVSS will provide accommodation in single rooms; larger rooms will only be used for small groups who travelled together.

 

Classes

The Department for Education in the UK has stated that class sizes for under 18s can return to normal. However, as classroom sizes at our centres can vary, TVSS will risk assess the maximum number of students that can safely utilise a classroom space. Currently, no more than 15 participants will be in any one classroom at a time. It may be necessary to implement a range of additional safety measures:

  • Staggering start/break/end.
  • Keeping students in the same groups throughout the day.
  • Reducing mixing between different groups during the day.
  • Reducing the number of teachers assigned to a class.

 

Mealtimes

Depending on the number of students, mealtimes may be staggered into two or more sittings in order to maintain social distancing in the dining hall and connecting corridors.

 

Afternoon/Evening activities and Academies

All afternoon/evening activities and excursions on TVSS courses are rigorously risk assessed on an individual basis. TVSS will endeavour to provide a range of suitable, enjoyable and safe activities to complement the students’ English courses.

TVSS may offer a significantly reduced range of activities which may be offered on the basis of:

  • Course date
  • Fixed group
  • Accommodation arrangement
  • English class level

 

Excursions by train/coach

TVSS has contacted our excursion destinations and developed venue specific risk assessments and social distancing measures. Guidance for staff and students will be provided before each excursion.

National restrictions may reduce access to tourist attractions and it may be necessary to limit group sizes. Most indoor attractions (e.g. museums and galleries) still require visitors to wear face coverings.

Where public transport is used, social distancing on trains and buses may require TVSS to stagger or alter excursion times to benefit from off-peak / less busy periods.

 

Quarantine/isolation during course

Students, leaders or TVSS staff may present with symptoms of the virus, may contract it, or may infect others at the centre or in their accommodation. Thankfully, for most people Covid-19 will be a mild infection.

Designated areas of boarding houses will be prepared for separate accommodation/bathroom facilities in the event that a student or students is/are required to self-isolate. Meals will be brought to the students.

If there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 during the course, guidance will be taken from the local public health protection team. They will discuss the case, identify others who may have been in contact with the affected person, prepare a risk assessment, and advise on any further actions or precautions that need to be taken.

 

Accommodation after course dates

Regrettably, TVSS is not able to arrange accommodation outside the booked accommodation period. Any costs incurred due to self-isolation, including accommodation, transport, supervision, food or any other expenses, shall be the responsibility of the individual(s).

 

Parents or a designated responsible adult must collect students within 48 hours of being notified.

 

Departures

Any requirements, such as documentation, testing or self-isolation periods, before departure are not the responsibility of TVSS. Any such requirements should be arranged by the individual or group at their own expense and details communicated to TVSS prior to booking the course.

 

Reviewed: January 2021

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