To ensure the student experience remains positive and that students and staff are kept safe and well during these strange and uncertain times, the College has adopted a wide range of safety measures, including absolute adherence to the Scottish Government’s FACTS approach – the wearing of face coverings in social spaces; avoiding crowded places; cleaning hands regularly; maintaining two metres distance; self-isolating with any symptoms. Other measures include:
We have introduced a suite of changes to our class layouts to allow us to manage physical distancing of 2 metres for our staff and students. To create additional teaching space, we have adapted some of our existing spaces, such as our library and bistro area. We have utilised Perspex screens across the campus to create physical barriers; corridor doors are retained open by electro-magnets linked to our fire alarm system; and we have introduced proximity sensors in corridors to open doors. There are hand sanitisers at key places across the College and in every classroom and everyone in the building must wear a face covering in social spaces.
Signage & Safety Screens
Signage and floor markings are now in place across the campus to inform our college community of the requirements for physical distancing, building circulation and of one-way traffic. We have segregated access to and exit from the building. There are screens in place in key areas where physical distancing may not be appropriate, for example, reception areas, food court etc..
An enhanced cleaning and sanitisation regime has been introduced across the College, including regular use of a hygiene misting machine. Non-touch hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes are available in all rooms.
Minimising numbers on campus
The College is undertaking a significant proportion of teaching, learning and business delivery off campus – this will continue until Scottish Government advice confirms an easing of restrictions for colleges. We have reduced numbers on campus to around a third of our usual cohort.
Staggered class times
During the current disruption, most learning will take place off-site. Where learning takes place on campus, we have introduced staggered class times for students in each of our faculties. This will reduce the pressure on key areas such as entrances, corridors, toilets and during break and lunchtimes.
Users of the College will remain within their work area/class group as much as possible and not visit other offices or class areas unless absolutely necessary. Students are asked to book appointments to access support services including counselling, financial advice or IT support. All services remain available to students and staff on an appointment basis.
A restricted food service is available in the College which is now takeaway only.
There is clear signage on each door and the College will be operating toilet facilities with entry limited to a maximum of two people at any one time. Our new hand-dryers are non-touch. There is much increased cleaning and sanitisation.
Learning & Teaching
We have increased our utilisation of digital technology to support remote delivery of teaching and learning. This includes access to new software to support distance and interactive learning, as well as the introduction of web cameras for split mode delivery (in class and to home). The College is addressing digital poverty by providing a significantly increased number of laptops for long-term loan to our students.
The College is providing a click, contact and collect service to allow students to continue to use the College library and is significantly increasing our stock of e-publications.
Our Principal Aileen McKechnie spoke of the changes and settling into our new ‘norm’. Aileen said:
“2020 has already been quite the unprecedented year – and it’s not over yet! Despite the global pandemic, despite the extraordinary public health challenge that we all faced, here at South Lanarkshire College, we remained a place of learning and teaching, adopting new approaches to how we worked, how we supported students and staff, how we taught, how we assessed. College staff made huge efforts across the summer to ensure we were as ready as we could be to welcome our 2020/21 students back from Monday, 7 September. I’m confident that we have put the safety, health and wellbeing of everyone in the College community at the very forefront of our planning and we’re delighted to see our 2020/21 students coming onto campus to start their blended learning journey at South Lanarkshire College. We wish them all every success”.