• All students as well as staff moving around the campus should wear masks (unless exempt, according to government guidelines, in which case please wear your exemption lanyard)
• Students invigilating exhibitions may remove masks when the exhibition space is empty but please wear your masks when visitors enter your space. This shows respect and reinforces the care the college is taking around Covid security which is important.
• In other studios and workshops students may remove masks when they are easily able to maintain a clear 2 metre minimum social distance
• Masks must be worn where a social distance cannot be easily maintained and when moving around near other people
• Students to continue to wear masks in IT suites where we cannot easily ventilate with outside air
Please do keep up the twice weekly tests for cases without symptoms, you can collect more kits from college when you need them. Do please also remember to report the results to us through studentnet as the government requests us to ask you.
The government is now offering everybody the chance to test and this is very important part of the national Covid control programme.
If a student or member of staff tests positive all their close contacts over the previous two days will be required to self-isolate.
We will of course keep all this under-review and update you if the guidance changes. Please don’t hesitate to raise any questions or concerns, as always you can speak to tutors or email email@example.com
With greatly reduced infection rates and vaccine roll out, the government has amended the guidance around face coverings in colleges in order to improve student experience, whilst also reinforcing the absolute importance of maintaining other measures to continue to reduce risk:
Existing control measures …including good ventilation, handwashing, social distancing where possible and twice weekly testing remain hugely important.
From Monday 17 May in line with the new guidance, HCA students will no longer be required to wear face coverings in college studios, class/seminar rooms and communal areas, with a few exceptions.
We will continue to expect students to wear face coverings in some situations when we are not able to implement other key measures. These include, but are not limited to the following:
IT suites where we cannot easily ventilate with outside air
Workshops where students are working in mixed groups and moving around frequently
In the study centre/library unless students are fully able to social distance
Some of you may feel anxious about not wearing a mask. That is entirely understandable and you are welcome to continue wearing a mask throughout the campus.
The government guidance for staff is that they continue to wear masks when moving around the college unless able to maintain a full 2m social distance.
Whether or not you are wearing a mask, you should continue to maintain a safe social distance whenever possible and avoid mixing between tutor groups/bubbles when you can unless you can maintain social distance. Please take particular care in the café areas to use screens and respect social distance.
The government and Public Health England also continue to reinforce the importance of frequent and careful hand washing, cleaning shared surfaces and following the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ procedure with coughs and sneezes.
Music and Performing Arts will continue to follow the specialist guidance for these activities.
HCA’s Covid Code Updated March 2021. The Covid Code is HCA’s response to the current Coronavirus pandemic and should be used in conjunction with the college’s health and safety, risk assessment, safeguarding and other relevant policies and procedures. It has been produced in line with the most recent government guidelines relating to Further and Higher Education institutions around Covid-19 and where appropriate other government guidelines have also been used as a reference point. As the situation and guidelines change the HCA Covid Code may also be subject to change.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements, we are looking forward very much to welcoming both our degree and pre-degree students back to our Folly Lane and College Road campuses from Monday 8 March.
We will be offering all students lateral flow testing which is a simple, quick-result test to help keep staff and students safe in college. Up to one-third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing, we will help to reduce the spread in college through asymptomatic transmission. We therefore strongly encourag everyone to be tested. Further details on testing will follow in the next week.
The return of pre-degree students to Folly Lane will be phased through the week to ensure we have space and time to test and we will share timetables shortly.
Further details on testing for degree students will follow in the next week.
We will continue to offer a blend of on-campus and digital sessions, particularly for any larger group meetings, we will be updating the HCA Covid Code in line with the new guidelines before your return.
Extremely vulnerable students should continue to shield and any one asked to self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace must do so, but always let us know so we can support you.
Whilst we are excited to welcome you back we know that some of you may feel a little anxiety. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch through the wellbeing button studentnet to discuss any concerns.
Thank you for all you are doing to look after yourselves and others.
The Folly Campus will be open for staff, and a minority of students with particular needs such as EHCP plans this week, but all other students will start their term remotely from Tuesday January 5. We will work out a phased return for face-to-face teaching through the following week beginning January 11. Staff will be in contact with the small number of students who can access campus from the start of term.
Get the latest NHS and GOV.UK.information and advice about coronavirus
Frequently asked Questions - Lateral Flow Tests
What is the lateral flow test?
Lateral flow devices (LFDs) are one of the new tools being used to help us to detect and fight COVID-19. A lateral flow test is a swab test is a self-administered test that can detect the presence of the COVID-19 viral antigen. The test involves applying a swab to the throat and nose. Results can be seen in less than an hour and the test does not require a lab to determine the results. These tests are for people who do not have any symptoms.
Are tests compulsory?
Participation is voluntary but the Government will encourage all students to take two lateral flow tests- three days apart- before attending any face-to-face teaching and learning sessions. If, in the last 90 days, you had a positive COVID-19 PCR test through the NHS Test and Trace and your result is recorded on the national system, you will not need to take another test again.
Where can I get a lateral flow test?
You can collect your lateral flow test from both receptions at College Road Campus and Folly Lane campus. A member of staff will talk you through the testing process and inform you of how to report your results.
Should I get a test even if I have been vaccinated?
Yes, we encourage you to take the test every 3 days even if you have had your vaccination.
How do I report my results from the lateral flow test?
You will need to report your test results to both NHS Track and Trace as well as Hereford College of Arts. Find more information on how to report your results to NHS Track and Trace. You can report your results to HCA via StudentNet.
I think I might have Covid-19, should I take the lateral flowtest?
The Lateral Flow tests are for students and staff who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. If you are concerned that you may have Covid-19, because you have symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and book a test through the NHS.
What do I do if I test positive?
Immediately self-isolate and inform your household to self-isolate.
Notify us by reporting your result through StudentNet if you are a student, or notify your line manager if you are a staff member.
Arrange to have a confirmatory PCR test through the national NHS testing programme (these tests are processed in a laboratory, so have an even higher accuracy rate).
If your confirmatory test is positive you must isolate for 10 days from your first test date and your household must for 10 days from your first test date. This means that you must not travel. If your confirmatory NHS test is negative you and your household may stop isolating.
Frequently asked Questions - Continuing students
I have a specific question about my course, who should I contact?
Please contact the College via firstname.lastname@example.org stating your course and a brief outline of your question. Staff will be able to get you in touch with your Course Leader or the appropriate member of staff, depending on your question.
Is the degree show going ahead?
The degree show has been postponed and will be held in a new format during the 2020/21 academic year.
Is the graduation ceremony being cancelled?
No, we know how important Graduation is to our students and as staff we enjoy celebrating both your creativity and academic achievement too. We are in the process of confirming a new date to celebrate and we will let you know as soon as we can. In the meantime if you have a query please contact the Graduation Team via email: Graduation@hca.ac.uk
I have accommodation related questions, who can I contact?
You can contact the College’s Housing Team for general advice and guidance. They can also help you find out more about our new Halls of Residence if you are progressing from a College to Degree Level course at Hereford College of Arts and interested in student accommodation.
HCA Guide to self-isolation
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires that all of us play our part by being socially aware and individually responsible to protect the lives of those most at risk. You may be required to self-isolate to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We have put together a guide to self-isolation to support you through your time of self-isolation. Enclosed in this document you will find a brief guide to:
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and direct contact. The droplets can be inhaled directly or land on a surface that another person may then touch and which can lead to infection if they then touch their nose, mouth or eyes.
Incubation is between 1 and 14 days (median 5 days) A person is thought to be infectious 48 hours before symptoms appear and up to 10 days afterwards.
The HCA COVID-Reporting Procedure is part of HCA’s Covid Code and aligns with government guidelines to help stop the spread of infection. It is important that all students follow the reporting guidance and stay at home if required. The college will stay in touch with you and help you to keep learning during your self-isolation period or catchup if you have a period of illness.
If you have any of the common symptoms of COVID-19
DO NOT COME TO COLLEGE but stay at home or in your student accommodation
REPORT YOUR ABSENCE to college by telephoning Registry 01432 845304 or email email@example.com by 8.30am making it clear the reason is Covid symptoms
If you have difficulty getting a test let the college know
Stay at home until you get the result of your test and then report the result of your test to college asap by telephoning Registry 01432 845304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If the test is positive you will need to continue self-isolation and the college will discuss how best to support your learning with you
If you live with someone who has developed symptoms of COVID-19
DO NOT COME TO COLLEGE but stay at home or in your student accommodation
Report your absence to college, self-isolate and do not come in until the person has had a test and then only if the test is negative
If you are contacted through Track and Trace you must self-isolate and report your absence to college
College will contact you to discuss how you can continue to learn whilst self-isolating
Your household will need to self-isolate at least until the results of your test are known
If you develop symptoms at college
Put on a mask and clean hands before touching any surfaces
Maintain a safe distance from other people
Alert your tutor or the nearest member of staff
The college will check with you that the symptoms are those associated with COVID-19
If you can get home independently and safely you will be helped to leave by the nearest appropriate exit
If transport needs arranging, you will be taken to the campus quarantine room (Folly Lane campus pods by reception 011 or 011s/ College Road ground-floor A27)
If a symptomatic person needs to use the toilet, then the toilet area will be locked off until deep cleaned.
If you have a positive test, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day you became symptomatic. Please report the absence using the absence reporting system above. If you have a positive test you are likely to be asked these questions:
What date did you first become symptomatic?
What were your symptoms?
When did you have the test?
Please give details of anyone in College with whom you have had close contact with (48 hours prior to developing symptoms)
Definition of close contact
Face to face contact within 1 metre
Extended close contact – within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes
Travelling in a small vehicle
If your test is negative, feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to COVID-19, you can stop self-isolating. Other members of the household can also stop self-isolating (assuming that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms).
Positive test in household
If a member of your household has a positive COVID-19 test, then you must self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms and report your absence to the college using the absence reporting system. If you become symptomatic during this time, then you must be tested within 5 days of the onset of symptoms and inform the College of the outcome. If the test is positive, then you must self-isolate for ten days from the onset of your symptoms. If the test is negative, then you must continue to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 days.
Negative test in household
If a member of your household tests negative and no longer has symptoms similar to COVID-19, other members of the household can stop self-isolating (assuming that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms).
Following our update on 5 January 2021, we have been working closely with the building contractor and our insurers to confirm the earliest possible date that the building can be completed and handed over. Now that this work has been concluded, we have been advised that the target completion date is September 2021.
We are very sorry about this further delay but please be assured we are doing all we can to make sure that your accommodation is completed safely and to the highest possible standard and that we are able to plan your transfer with confidence.
If you have any queries, please do continue to contact Kath Brimfield and Siân Evans at Cityheart Living.
We sincerely apologise for this further delay to your move and look forward to welcoming you all to No. 1 Station Approach.
On Tuesday 24 March, the Home Office updated their visa guidance to provide greater certainty for international higher education students and staff in the UK currently unable to return home due to COVID-19. This covers three main issues: extensions, in-country visa switching and distance learning.
No individual who is in the UK legally, but whose visa is due to expire, or has already expired, and who cannot leave because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, will be regarded as an overstayer, or suffer any detriment in the future.
Anyone whose leave expired after 24 January and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation will have their visas extended to 31 May 2020. Individuals must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team email to advise of their situation.
In-country visa switching
Individuals (students or staff) who cannot leave the UK due to travel restrictions or self-isolation and wish to stay in the UK long-term would ordinarily need to apply for a visa from their home country. Where individuals would normally be required to return to their country of residence to apply for a visa in a different category, they’ll now be able to apply from the UK to switch.
Tier 4 students are not normally permitted to undertake distance learning courses. However, due to the current exceptional circumstances, the Home Office will not consider it a breach of sponsor duties to offer distance learning to the existing Tier 4 students in the UK or who have chosen to return overseas but wish to continue their current studies. Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship in these circumstances.
New international students who have been issued a Tier 4 visa but have been unable to travel to the UK are permitted to undertake distance learning and sponsorship does not need to be withdrawn.
New international students who have not yet applied for a visa but wish to commence a course by distance learning do not need to travel to the UK to do so and therefore do not require sponsorship under Tier 4.
Further information from the Home Office
Full details covering the above visa issues can be found at the following link:
The Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Helpline remains open: 0800 678 1767 (open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm – calls are free of charge if made form within the UK). The Home Office asks that customers check gov.uk first as that us the central source if the information, but if individuals remain concerned about their immigration status they can contact CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.