Important Information and Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, we are receiving many questions from parents/carers. Please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website for any queries. We have done our best to compile some of the most important information and frequent enquiries from parents/carers, as we may be unable to respond to your questions individually at this time. This will be updated regularly.

Don’t forget to record ALL Home-Test results in TWO ways:

1. NHS: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

2. Bodmin College: PARENT/STUDENT Covid19 Home Self-Test Result Reporting

To inform us of a positive test result, contact us on 01208 72114

Out of Hours Covid Line: 07826 637936 / 07780 051728

For parents/carers of all students - Updated 15/10/2021

How is the school monitoring cases of Covid-19 in the school community? (Added 15/10/21)

As part of our ongoing Covid risk assessment, we have systems in place to monitor and identify where patterns of confirmed positive cases are arising in our student population. Using attendance records, we are able to identify where clusters of cases within classes or groups of students can be seen, and this information is shared with Public Health Cornwall, in order to make decisions about whether PCR tests should be recommended for certain groups. Please note that, following changes to Government guidelines, it is no longer the school’s responsibility to ‘track and trace’ close contacts of confirmed cases.

What should I do if one member of the family receives a positive PCR result but my child receives a negative PCR result? (Added 15/10/21)

In the event that one member of a household receives a positive PCR result but your child does not, it is highly recommended that your child takes a daily lateral flow test before attending school. If your child is the only member of your household to receive a negative result, we would however urge caution. Based on recent Public Health advice, we are aware that sometimes PCR tests do return as negative even though they then develop Covid later.

Can a parent who is isolating due to positive PCR drive their child who is negative to school? (Added 15/10/21)

No. It is a legal requirement that anyone who is isolating due to a positive PCR result is not permitted to leave their home within the 10 day isolation period. If transport arrangements cannot be made for your child, please contact the college to discuss this further.

If a child has tested positive for Covid on a PCR within the last 90 days, and has now been told that their tutor group needs to stay off and have a PCR before they can return, does this student need to take another PCR or can they attend as normal? (Added 15/10/21)

Your child can continue to attend school as normal if they have already received a positive result in the previous 90 days and have completed their 10 day isolation period. We would ask you to inform the college of this at the time your child is asked to take another PCR so that this can be noted on your child’s register.

When should I book a PCR test for my child? (Added 15/10/21)

A PCR test should be booked if:

  • a positive lateral flow is recorded by your child or a member of your household
  • a member of your household tests positive for Covid following a PCR
  • you have been advised by the school that a cluster of cases has been identified in your child’s class
  • your child demonstrates a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a sudden loss or change to their sense of taste or smell

Public Health have also confirmed that you can now book a PCR test if you have other symptoms which could be Covid-19 but are not the main three symptoms (‘other’ symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, headache, sickness).

Will all students aged 12-15 be receiving Covid-19 vaccines in school? (Updated 15/10/2021)

We have now received further information that vaccinations for 12-15 year olds will be taking place at Bodmin College in late November/early December. Further information will follow for parents regarding consent and how/when the vaccinations will take place. We will provide an update to our parents when more information is available.

As always, we will act in the best interests of the children and young people in our care and work with parents to minimise any risk to our children. Please see current government information for young people here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-children-and-young-people

For 16-17 year olds, however, The Department of Health and Social Care announced on Friday 24th September that all 16 and 17 year olds can now book their first COVID-19 vaccination appointment online.

Young people aged 16 and 17 can:

  • book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
  • find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment

If students cannot book appointments online, they can call 119 free of charge. They can speak to a translator if they need to. Further information can be found on the NHS website.

Will all students aged 12-15 be receiving Covid vaccines in school? (Updated 1/10/2021)

Whilst there have been reports in the press that agreement has been reached within government that the Covid vaccination programme will be extended to 12-15 year olds, we continue to wait for details of what precise role there will be for schools and colleges in this process. We await further information from the Government about how the vaccination programme will run. As always, we will act in the best interests of the children and young people in our care and work with parents to minimise any risk to our children. We will provide an update to our parents when more information is available. Please see current government information for young people here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-children-and-young-people

For 16-17 year olds, however, The Department of Health and Social Care announced on Friday 24th September that all 16 and 17 year olds can now book their first COVID-19 vaccination appointment online.

Young people aged 16 and 17 can:

If students cannot book appointments online, they can call 119 free of charge. They can speak to a translator if they need to. Further information can be found on the NHS website.

Will Covid restrictions remain in school from September? (Updated 24/9/2021)

As you know the South West peninsula is currently a COVID-19 Enhanced Response Area (ERA) due to high rates in the region. As part of this for the first two weeks of term, secondary school pupils, college students and all education staff have been asked to wear face coverings in communal areas, unless exempt. This includes in corridors and shared transport and may include classrooms. Case rates have come down since the end of August, but they are still high in the region. Therefore, the Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and the public health team have agreed that it is appropriate to continue with the same advice regarding mask wearing in educational settings for the next two weeks, when it will be reviewed again. Our approach to face coverings and all other COVID-19 measures will therefore remain in place until we receive further guidance. Thank you for your support with this measure that is helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • Ventilation will still be in place for all classrooms and indoor spaces
  • Regular handwashing/sanitising will still be in practice in classrooms, canteens and at entrances
  • Regular cleaning and hygiene practices will remain in place
  • Face-coverings remain required in corridors, communal areas and on school transport, as well as some classrooms
  • Twice weekly asymptomatic (LFD) self-testing will continue
  • Staggered breaks, year group areas and some movement plans will continue
  • Students returning a positive PCR or LFD test result and anyone with symptoms must isolate and inform us.

Will all students aged 12-15 be receiving Covid vaccines in school? (Added 17/9/2021)

Whilst there have been reports in the press this week that agreement has been reached within government that the Covid vaccination programme will be extended to 12-15 year olds, we have yet to see what precise role there will be for schools and colleges in this process. We await further information from the Government about how the vaccination programme will run. As always, we will act in the best interests of the children and young people in our care and work with parents to minimise any risk to our children. We will provide an update to our parents when more information is available. Please see current government information for young people here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-children-and-young-people

Will Covid restrictions remain in school from September? (Added 10/9/2021)

On 19th July, the Government lifted restrictions as England moved into Step 4 out of lockdown, however over the course of the summer, infection rates in Cornwall have risen significantly and as a result Cornwall has now been categorised as an ‘Enhanced Response Area’. As a result, a number of protection measures will be in place from the start of term, in order to increase the safety of all students, staff, parents and their families, and to provide the highest quality educational experience for all students, by maintaining staffing levels and student attendance.

  • Ventilation will still be in place for all classrooms and indoor spaces
  • Regular handwashing/sanitising will still be in practice in classrooms, canteens and at entrances
  • Regular cleaning and hygiene practices will remain in place
  • Face-coverings remain required in corridors, communal areas and on school transport, as well as some classrooms
  • Twice weekly asymptomatic (LFD) self-testing will continue
  • Staggered breaks, year group areas and some movement plans will continue
  • Students returning a positive PCR or LFD test result and anyone with symptoms must isolate and inform us.

What is an Enhanced Response Area? (Added 10/9/2021)

An Enhanced Response Area is a local authority area which has been identified as requiring additional resources in order to reduce infection rates, to keep residents safe, and to avoid causing unsustainable pressure on the NHS. As a result, a number of increased precautions are recommended. These include face coverings, the importance of testing, social distancing where possible, and vaccine recommendations for residents.

Will students be expected to wear facemasks in school? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Due to the current local situation and Cornwall being identified as an ‘Enhanced Response Area,’ we have carefully reviewed the government guidance alongside our own risk assessment. Please find a summary of the new expectations below:

Where Face-Covering Requirement
Travelling on school/public buses/taxis Face coverings should* be worn
In corridors, canteens and communal areas Face coverings should* be worn
In classrooms Face-coverings may be required in classrooms where it does not impact on teaching and learning.
Outside buildings Face coverings are not required, except when leaving outdoor social areas to move to class

*with the exception of those exempt from wearing face-coverings

As with previously, students should continue to follow the guidance on the safe wearing of face-coverings and should always keep a clean spare with them in a small plastic bag.

A face-covering can include a face-mask, scarf or buff. Students who meet the exemption criteria should carry an exemption card or lanyard which can be obtained from their Head of Year. Reusable face coverings can be purchased from the college shop for £1.10.

Please see additional government guidance here: safe wearing of face-coverings

Why are you asking for face coverings in classrooms? (Added 10/9/21)

Staff are still required to isolate if they test positive and it is still possible to catch Covid19 even if double vaccinated. We want to maintain staffing levels so that we can keep the College open and the quality of teaching and learning high.

How will Bodmin College ensure good ventilation? (Added 10/9/2021)

We are awaiting CO2 monitors pledged by the government. In the meantime, we will be following Government guidance by opening windows and doors, and using ventilation systems where available.

Can my child wear a coat or additional jumper in lessons? (Updated 10/9/2021)

As a result of increased ventilation in classrooms, with doors and windows being kept open, we recommend that students can wear an additional layer underneath their school shirt, such as a plain white t-shirt. Students will not be permitted to wear coats, hoodies or additional jumpers over their school uniform.

What if my child is allergic or sensitive to sanitiser? (Added 10/9/2021)

We would encourage your child to bring their own sanitiser. Hand-washing facilities are also available around the college.

What should I do if my child receives a positive PCR test result? (Updated 10/9/2021)

If your child receives a positive PCR test result, they must self-isolate:

When to self-isolate and what to do - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Please inform the college. Remote learning will be available online if your child is well enough to access learning.

What should I do if my child receives a positive lateral flow (LFT) test result? (Updated 10/9/2021)

If your child returns a positive lateral flow test, they must self-isolate and contact NHS 119 to book a PCR test.

When to self-isolate and what to do - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Please inform the college. Remote learning will be available online if your child is well enough to access learning.

How will the NHS Track and Trace process work? (Updated 10/9/2021)

If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when booking the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact.

Close contacts who are under 18 and 6 months or have been double vaccinated will be required to have a PCR test within 2 days but will only be required to isolate if their test returns as positive. NHS Test and Trace will advise you.

Should I keep my child off school if they are feeling unwell? (Updated 10/9/2021)

You must keep your child at home if they have:

  1. A new continuous cough
  2. A fever (high temperature over 38 degrees Celcius using a thermometer)
  3. A loss or change of smell or taste

Speak to 119 or go to the https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test website and arrange for a test to be done. Your child must self-isolate until you have the results of this test.

Some people experience milder symptoms of Covid-19 such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and sore throat. Currently these are not recognised as key symptoms but caution should be exercised and lateral flow testing undertaken. If your child is unwell with other illnesses and you would normally have kept your child off school, keep your child at home.

Please also refer to the flowchart provided for parents which can be found on the college website.

Should my child access online learning resources if they are absent from school? (Updated 10/9/2021)

All lessons are available on Satchel One. If a student is absent from school for any reason, including self-isolating, or personal/family reasons, and if they are well enough to access online learning, they should complete the classwork tasks for each lesson which are accessible on Satchel One. Lessons will appear as per their normal timetable. This provision is in place to support students and avoid anyone missing out on learning.

Should my child attend school if they are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Updated government guidance has outlined the following regarding young people who were previously classed as CEV:

Clinical studies have shown that children and young people, including those originally considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), are at very low risk of serious illness if they catch the virus. The UK Clinical Review Panel has recommended that all children and young people under the age of 18 should no longer be considered CEV and should be removed from the Shielded Patient List, the national database of people considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

All children and young people should continue to follow the same guidance as everyone else, which can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. For a very few individual children specific clinical advice may be given and this should continue to be followed.

The Department for Health and Social Care have developed an FAQ that can be accessed online.

Should my child attend school if they are clinically vulnerable (CV) or living with someone who is CEV/CV? (Updated 10/9/2021)

We would like to reassure you that we have all the recommended protection measures in place to reduce the risks of transmission in school. However, we also recognise that these are challenging times and you may have specific family circumstances that you wish to discuss. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s Head of Year.

It has also been reported that “children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID or live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus will be contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine over the coming weeks.

Those who are eligible include those with Down’s syndrome, or undergoing many cancer treatments, have had organ or bone marrow transplants or who are on the learning disability register. The COVID-19 vaccine will also be offered to children aged 12 years and over who live with someone who is immunosuppressed, such as those receiving chemotherapy or who have had a transplant.” (Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2021/08/one-million-children-and-young-people-can-get-nhs-covid-jab)

Where can I seek further support for myself and my family during this time? (Updated 10/9/2021)

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday; 10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

There are a number of organisations, both locally and nationally, who may be able to offer support in a range of situations. This is not an exhaustive list, but you may find some of these contact details useful.

For students, there is also the college student support email which is being monitored by pastoral staff daily: studentsupport@bodmincollege.co.uk

Can my child wear their PE kit to school if they have PE in the morning? (Updated 10/9/2020)

If your child is timetabled to have PE LZ1, we are happy for your child to arrive at school in PE kit but they must ensure that they have their school uniform with them, ready to change into after the lesson. Similarly, if a child has PE LZ3, students will not be expected to change back into uniform to travel home.

How do students pay for their food at the canteen? (Updated 10/9/2020)

Students can give their name, or use their PIN number at the till in the canteen to pay for food, rather than using the biometric thumbprint system at this time. They are able to use their PIN to top-up their accounts using cash at the top-up machines located in each canteen. Students will sanitise their hands before and after buying food from the canteen.

Where can I access all of the key documents and information for parents/carers? (Updated 10/9/2021)

There is a dedicated page on the college website where all the key information and updates for parents/carers can be found in one place. This can be accessed by following the link on the college homepage or here: https://mainsite.bodmincollege.co.uk/collegenews/news/ Here you will find advice and guidance to support every aspect of learning and wellbeing during this time. Additionally, these FAQs are being updated regularly and provide a summary of essential information as it becomes available.

Please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website for any enquiries.

Information related to testing - Updated 10/09/2021

What are the arrangements for testing at the start of term? (Added 10/9/2021)

All students have been offered an opportunity to attend school before the start of the Autumn term for their Round 1 lateral flow test. Round 2 testing and mop-up Round 1 testing has taken place on students’ first day in school, as well as distribution of home-testing kits.

Where do I get my home testing kits? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Students will be given home-test kits via their tutors in school. Further kits will be distributed as required. If any student does not receive their tests, they should see Mr Morris in his office which is opposite the PE Office by the Sports Hall, at either break or lunchtime. Sixth form students can collect testing kits from the Sixth Form Office. It is important that you report your results to us as well as the NHS. For students with special educational needs or exceptional circumstances that prevent them from completing the testing, you should use the ‘Contact us’ section of the website where you will be referred to the SENDCo or your child’s Head of Year.

How often do staff and students need to test? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Staff and students will test at home on a regular basis (twice per week, 3 to 4 days apart) usually before they come into the education setting. We recommend doing so on a Sunday and Wednesday evening.

What if my child is SEND and can’t test themselves? (Added 10/9/2021)

We will retain a small testing centre in college to support children who require additional assistance and are unable to self-test at home.

Why are the government recommending testing people without symptoms of COVID-19? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Up to one in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) do not display any symptoms.

Is Covid-19 Home Self-Testing compulsory? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Testing is voluntary, and no child will be prevented from going into the education setting if they do not take part. The success of this public health measure depends on as many people participating as possible.

Can children and young people swab themselves? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Secondary pupils aged 11 should have the test administered by an adult (except in school when supervised by a qualified test-assistant), and students aged 12-17 should be supervised by an adult but can swab themselves.

How effective are these tests? (Updated 10/9/2021)

LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives.

They are also very sensitive and able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. It is important to remember that these tests are an additional layer of health protection measure in addition to hand washing, face covering and social distancing. They are however, not as accurate as a PCR test, therefore any positive LFD test completed at home must be followed up by booking a confirmatory PCR test through the NHS.

What if I have a damaged kit or experience a problem during testing? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Please report all incidents of damaged kits or problems to us using the ‘Contact us’ section of the website. If the problem is a medical one, please contact NHS111 or 999 if an emergency.

Why do I need to report my result to both the NHS and Bodmin College? (Updated 10/9/2021)

This is in accordance with government guidance which requires schools to keep a log of results, whilst the NHS keep their results separately. This is very important even if the result was negative or void. It will also help us to ensure that we can manage stock and distribution of replacement kits accordingly. All results are kept confidential and in accordance with GDPR Data Protection.

What if my child receives a positive lateral flow test? (Updated 10/9/2021)

If your child receives a positive result, they must not attend college but should inform our attendance office, book a PCR test and follow NHS 119 advice on self-isolation.

Why do they have to take a PCR as well if they test positive? (Updated 10/9/2021)

PCR tests are administered and read by fully qualified and trained healthcare professionals rather than by the person being tested. These act as a more accurate confirmation of whether you are infected or not.

What is a close contact? (Updated 10/9/2021)

Cases are considered infectious 48 hours prior to symptoms starting so a close contact is anyone who has been:

  • within 1m for any length of time in the 48 hours prior to symptoms
  • within 2m for 15 minutes or more in the 48 hours prior to symptoms

If your child is identified as a close contact to someone who has received a confirmed positive PCR for COVID19, they must take a PCR test within 2 days and will be required to isolate if a positive test result is recorded.

Further information about contacts can also be found on the government website.

Can family members of students access home-testing kits? (Added 10/9/2021)

The DFE has announced that rapid lateral flow tests will be made available for free to families of school pupils and staff. You can get a twice-weekly test kit:

  • Through your employer if they are offering testing to employees
  • At a local authority test site
  • By collecting a home test kit from a local PCR test site during specific collection times
  • By ordering a home test kit online through a new ordering service
Government updates and guidance - Updated 10/09/2021

The government has also put together some information which you may find helpful: