In line with Government guidance for education, HCA will remain open during the lockdown in England which is due to start November 4th. All students should attend their campus based sessions as usual and follow the HCA Covid Code on campus and beyond.
Students should not attend if they develop any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19 or are required to self-isolate because of possible close contact. Please always inform the college of the reason for absence.
Regrettably we have cancelled our on campus evening and weekend short course programme during the lockdown
23 October 2020
Public Health England Latest Advice
What to do if you develop symptoms of COVID-19
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when your symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.
The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
new continuous cough and/or
a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If you or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 or by phoning 111.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
wash your hands as soon as you get home
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
During the Welsh “firebreak”, announced on October 21st, it has been confirmed that Welsh students will still be able to travel to college in Hereford to study as they would do normally. Transport for Wales has confirmed that their train and bus service will be running due this ‘firebreak’ period.
We’re delighted to be welcoming students back to campus for the new academic year. The college has put in place many new measures to enable us to operate safely. We are asking all students and staff to help look after each other and others by following new guidelines. Here you can find the HCA COVID Code Handbook and latest Risk Assessment.
We have been working through these summer weeks to put in place appropriate measures to help keep students, staff, visitors and our local community safe, including enhanced hygiene facilities, expanded and re-organised space, one way systems, PPE for certain activities and revised timetabling. You can find more information in the FAQs below, but if you have any questions big or small, please do not hesitate to contact us through email@example.com or use the chatbox on the website.
Our focus is on providing face to face campus-based teaching complemented by digital sessions, what is now known as a ‘blended’ experience. While campus learning in workshops and studios is a key feature of the HCA experience, we recognise that our current students have welcomed some of the new online learning sessions introduced during the lockdown. We expect to add these to the range of learning experiences offered to students well beyond lockdown.
Sharing Student Space
Student Minds has published a Student Space Digital Communications pack, which you can access here. This also includes a dropbox folder containing signposting information, social media images and videos to help promote Student Space.
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:
COVID-19 Reporting Procedure for Students (updated September 18th)
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
New continuous cough and/or
Fever (temperature of 37.8 C or higher)
Loss of or change in normal sense of taste/smell
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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).
HCA is focused on keeping you safe and learning whether in college or at home; Follow the guidance to help us do this.
Weekly message from HCA Principal Abigail Appleton
Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) - 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. Meanwhile we are celebrating and promoting student work from across the college via our online Glimpse exhibition.
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.
Travelling to College
Transport for Wales are putting on a number of buses to help ease the issue of reduced number of spaces available on the train lines coming into Hereford due to social distancing. The buses are being provided for students and staff who are unable to catch relevant trains due to them being full. The buses will be on standby from 7am but they will only leave when they are at capacity. Students will be dropped off at Hereford Railway Station.
Please remember to always wear a face covering unless you are medically exempt when travelling on the train or bus.
The timetable is as follows:
Morning peak to Hereford from the south
3 x Road Transport on standby at Cwmbran from 07:00
1 x Road Transport on standby at Pontypool from 07:00
4 x Road Transport on standby at Abergavenny from 07:00
Morning peak to Hereford from the north
1 x Road Transport on standby at Church Stretton from 07:00
1 x Road Transport on standby at Craven Arms from 07:00
3 x Road Transport on standby at Ludlow from 07:00
3 x Road Transport on standby at Leominster from 07:00
Afternoon peak from Hereford to travel both North and South (remaining flexible on capacity so staff on the ground can manage despatch in each direction)
4 x Road Transport on standby at Hereford from 13:00
4 x Road Transport on standby at Hereford from 14:00
4 x Road Transport on standby at Hereford from 15:00
4 x Road Transport on standby at Hereford from 16:00
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.