COVID-19 FAQs for English Schools in the UK
School/Centre operations and contingency planning
Is the school closed?
Per the government’s latest advice to increase social distancing and the announcement that UK schools have now closed, we have made the decision to close our Brighton, London Greenwich and Oxford schools on Friday 20th March. We have started online courses from Monday 23rd March.
What is the school/centre doing to protect the community?
At Oxford International, we take student health and welfare very seriously. Over the last 29 years, we have had the experience of dealing with SARS, MERS, Swine Flu and Brid Flu outbreaks and other elements outside our control. In all of these cases, our procedures have ensured that all students can enjoy their course without interruption and return home safely.
Full Risk Assessments are held at all our UK schools and all students are free to check through these whilst at the centres. All our schools have robust policies and procedures for dealing with COVID-19. We are working in tandem with the government and public health bodies to ensure the best possible response to any potential situation.
Below is a summary of the key processes in place at all our UK schools.
- All staff are trained on how to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and to look for and recognise anyone showing signs of illness.
- Each school is connected to a local health centre and hospital should the need arise to recover a student for any illness or accident that may occur.
- Each school is equipped with adequate amounts of pocket-handkerchiefs, hand sanitisers and hand soaps so everyone will be able to follow Government advice on minimising the risk of infection.
- Students will receive clear instructions on arrival on how to avoid infection.
- Welfare officers in each of the schools are available to provide support, answer questions and discuss any concerns that students may have.
Classes, coursework and online
Will you be offering online courses?
The school has been delivering online lessons from Monday 23 March through our Virtual Classroom programme and lessons will be delivered via Zoom. Our teachers are well prepared and we had an internal teacher training day on Friday 20th March 2020 focused on the necessary skills to ensure our students continue to experience top-quality tuition.
For students currently attending classes, there will be no change to their current course or teaching group. This will instead be delivered online and students have been given instructions on how to access these classes.
Any students due to start their course during the temporary closure will be offered the chance to join our ‘Virtual Classroom’ programme, consisting of 5 x 60 minutes of group lessons and up to three 1-2-1 tutorials. Please read here for more information on our Virtual Classroom programme.
How do I get set up on an online course?
Current students will be automatically enrolled in our online programmes. For new students looking to enrol, please contact admissions@Oxfordinternational.com.
Accommodation and Travel advice
What should I do if I have booked accommodation through Oxford International?
If your students are staying in accommodation booked through Oxford International please ask them to speak to the school administrator as we will need to give at least one week’s notice to accommodation providers to try to avoid any charges.
Should I travel to the UK?
There are no travel restrictions to the UK from any country or region in the world, yet the UK has instructed its residents to stay at home and has prohibited any non-essential travel, so travelling to the UK should be avoided at this moment. Airlines have also massively reduced their flight schedules so please check your students are still able to travel to the UK. Now the virus has affected almost all the countries in the world we ask students not to travel to the UK if they have been in contact with an infected person in the last 14 days. We also ask that they do not travel if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 in the 14 days before they are due to travel.
What if I am booked on a course, but haven’t arrived into the UK?
Adult students booked on a course but yet to arrive in the UK, if your student has not yet arrived in the UK, they may wish to postpone their course and accommodation to a later date in 2020. We will be happy to accommodate this request without any additional charges. Please note, the new dates for your course must fall within 2020. Please speak to the school’s admissions team to re-book for a new date in the future.
Cancellation policy and other guidance
What is your cancellation policy?
We have adjusted our cancellation policy to reflect the current unprecedented conditions and whilst we would like you to try to defer student’s courses to a later date or to encourage them to join our online lessons, although we understand that some students may not be able to do so. We will, therefore, refund tuition fees received in full less a GBP50 administration fee. This will apply to all cancelled courses during the period affected by coronavirus. We will require a minimum of 7 days’ notice in order to refund all the accommodation fees. If notice is shorter than this period it will incur a cancellation fee equivalent to one week of accommodation fees. Cancellation should always be made in writing and you will receive confirmation of cancellation by return. In order to avoid any bank transfer fees we will be happy to hold any refunded fees on your account for use against future bookings.
What is the advice for Year-Round Junior Groups?
If groups cannot travel due to a ban issued by government, the first option will be to reschedule the programme for later in 2020. At this time, any monies paid will be kept on your agency account and transferred over to the rearranged group. If the group decides not to travel once the ban has lifted, you will have the option to transfer any paid monies over to any other future bookings you have made. If no future bookings have been made at this time, we will be able to hold your money on your agency account for use against any future bookings. If the group insist on cancelling their trip entirely and not rearranging, we will provide a full refund barring any elements of the programme that may be non-refundable, e.g some hotel room bookings, entrance fees, etc. For elements of the programme that we cannot offer a refund, we advise that in this instance you submit a travel claim to your insurer. All cancellations should be made in writing and you will receive confirmation of cancellation by return. Programmes will not be cancelled unless we receive written communication from you.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus and how is it spread?
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a new and continuous cough
- a high temperature (37.8 degrees or above)
Because it’s a new illness, it is not known exactly how it is spread but it is probably in water droplets transferred by coughing or sneezing.
I am displaying symptoms of coronavirus. What should I do?
Please do not come into College or go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The current medical advice is that you and anyone else in your household should stay at home for 14 days if you have either:
- a new and continuous cough
- a high temperature (37.8 degrees or above)
If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For medical emergencies only, dial 999.
What precautions should I take?
Please maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. This advice includes:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- 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
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
I am being tested for, or have been diagnosed with coronavirus. What should I do?
Please do not come into College. Let us know as soon as possible and inform us as soon as you have the test results.
What do I do if I think either I or someone else has the coronavirus?
If you or someone else thinks they are displaying the symptoms of coronavirus, it is important to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.
In the event of a suspected staff case please inform your line manager and the HR team (HR@oxfordinternational.com).
I have recently returned from another country. What should I do?
The latest UK Government guidance is now asking that anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home (self-isolate) for seven days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas.
If this affects you, please let (staff) your line manager know or (students) make your Senior Tutor aware.
The symptoms are defined as a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) and a new, continuous cough.
You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
What should I do if I believe I am particularly vulnerable?
Public Health England has advised that those particularly vulnerable include:
- Those aged 70 and over
- Those under 70 with an underlying medical condition(ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)
- Those who are pregnant
Public Health England advise those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures (see ‘What is social distancing?’).
We understand you may be concerned if you feel you are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than others (for example if you are in the categories listed above, or have vulnerable family members). If you are uncertain, members of staff should speak to their medical provider in the first instance, and students should speak to their college welfare lead.
The College will support you as much as possible. Vulnerable staff should work from home. If you are not able to carry out your role remotely, you will be granted special paid leave. This guidance also applies to people who live with and / or care for elderly people and people with vulnerable health conditions.
If you have any more questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.