COVID-19 Update

We have included information around the arrangements of your return to college on this web page. This includes details of the COVID testing programme at the college as well as our Student Testing Guide to support you.

It is important to remember that anyone can be a carrier of the COVID-19 virus without experiencing any symptoms. Taking a test is a quick way to detect the virus which will support our community’s efforts to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Please also remember though, that if you have coronavirus symptoms, you must not come onto campus. Instead, please notify your course tutor and follow the government’s self-isolation guidelines and NHS advice to book a test.

Please read this information carefully and contact your course tutor if you have any questions or concerns about your return to college.

Do I still need to wear my face covering at college? (NEW)

The government has recently provided guidance that face coverings are no longer mandatory in educational settings, but it was also recognised that Further Education Colleges may want to still adopt a requirement for face coverings based on their specific circumstances.

Our college community is incredibly diverse and consists of young people, adult learners and apprentices accessing the college on day release programmes. Many of our programmes are in practical based areas which do require more circulation and sometimes have less social distancing between students.

With this in mind, and the fact that the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is always our first priority, we have taken the decision to keep the current measures around wearing face coverings at college in place until further notice.

This means that students and staff should continue to wear a face covering while at college, and while travelling to and from college if using public transport.

What is the college’s COVID testing programme?

Lateral Flow antigen COVID-19 testing on campus is available for all students and staff who do not have coronavirus symptoms (asymptomatic). We will be using the Lateral Flow antigen test, a rapid turnaround test that can process samples without the need for laboratory equipment and produces quick results. It involves a simple and painless swab of the throat and the nose which you take yourself.

How do I take part in the college’s COVID testing programme?

All student groups – 16-19 students, Adult students* and Apprentices - will be booked to take a COVID test at college by your course tutor. We know that many of us can have the virus without experiencing any symptoms. The test is not mandatory, but in line with government guidance we encourage students to take part in the college’s testing programme.

Getting tested regularly forms part of our ongoing measures to reduce transmission of the virus alongside wearing face coverings, staying a safe distance apart and regular hand washing. By taking part you are helping to protect yourself and others around you.

*see section titled, ‘COVID testing for adults’ on this webpage for further guidance and options available.

How does COVID testing at the college work?

Before you return to college you will need to register a COVID test account with the NHS at this link: https://test-for-coronavirus.s...

Your course tutor will then book a COVID test at college for you and take you to the college testing centre at your allotted time.

The testing centre is staffed by a trained team who are there to help you through the process from handing out your consent form through to supporting you to take your test and answering any questions you may have.

Your COVID Student Testing Guide also takes you through each step of the testing process and includes diagrams and video support to show you how to take your test.

COVID testing for adult students

Adult students will also be booked in by course tutors for your COVID tests and will only take one test at college before being provided with a home testing kit to continue the programme at home (see step 11 in your Student Testing Guide)

We appreciate that home and childcare commitments may mean that your tutor booking could clash with your commitments. If this is the case, you can book your college COVID test yourself through the college’s online booking system which can be accessed here TCG - Covid-19 Test Bookings (

Please note: If you choose to book your test yourself there will be no need to sign a consent form at the college testing centre as consent is included as part of the online booking process.

Information for Employers

Stockport apprentices are continuing to work, if their employer says it is safe to do so, following government advice.

For apprenticeships delivered fully in the workplace, our assessors will continue to work with each apprentice and their employer to support progression.

For apprenticeships that include day-release classes, these classes will re-start from 8th March. Teachers, Trainers/Assessors have been in contact with their apprentices to confirm the exact start date for their classes

If you need to speak to explore any concerns please do not hesitate to email

How many times do I need to take a COVID test?

The government has asked that all students - except adult students - take three tests at the college over a 10 day period following your return to on-site learning.

After this time you will be given a home-testing kit and you will be asked to take a test twice a week from home, and to submit your test results to both the NHS and the college online. Use should use this link to submit your NHS results here: Register a test kit - GOV.UK ( and this link to submit your college results here: college COVID test result

This information is also included in your Student Testing Guide.

What should you do after the test?

If anyone tests positive you, your household, any support bubbles that you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days.

You need to report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and your college Record your Home COVID test result (

You should order a confirmatory PCR test or book for a test at a local centre if you are testing at home or by calling 119 and should be undertaken within 2 days.

(PLEASE NOTE :confirmatory PCR tests are now needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at School/college or at home). (see guidance 1/4/2021)

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test.

Negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and the college Record your Home COVID test result (

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing.

Do I need to give consent?

Students and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the

Once you open the kit you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace and to the college Record your Home COVID test result ( regardless of the result (positive, negative, or void).

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the college.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard...

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

Further information:

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important. 

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

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as wearing face coverings and social distancing. 

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - they give rapid results within 30 minutes

What does it mean if I have a positive result?

What does it mean if I have a positive result?

If you have a positive antigen LFD test result you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and your college. 

You should order a confirmatory PCR test :

You can book a test here.

What does it mean if I have a negative result?

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

What if I have a void result?

If the result of the test is unclear (void), you should take another one. If the next test is also void, you should take a PCR test. You can book a test here.

All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and college.

Do I need to send the test to a lab?

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test.

How do you report the results?

Can someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

· get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information

· attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker or check your local council website) · collect tests to do at home, find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder (

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on

How will personal information and test results be shared?

To report your result, you will need to share some information about yourself, so that your test result can be traced.

You need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):

  • your name
  • your test result
  • the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your school or college your test result.

Under UK law, your school or college collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They will share it with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer you health services and guidance if you need to self-isolate. They might also use your data anonymously (without your name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

Other important information

COVID testing programme: privacy notice and consent form

As you will need to submit personal details to the NHS and the college as part of the testing programme it is important that you are aware of how this data is being used. The links below to the COVID privacy notice and consent form provide you with this information and you will need to sign a consent form at the college before you take your test.

Do I still need to wear a face covering when I’m at college?

Yes, as required by government guidelines you should be wearing your face covering:

  • You should wear your face covering at all times while inside the college. This includes corridors and communal areas AND now also extends to wearing a face covering during lessons.
  • You should wear your face covering when travelling to and from college if using public transport or car-sharing. If car-sharing you should maintain social distancing (no more than 2 people per vehicle) and travel with a window slightly open to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • You should ensure you are wearing your face covering before you enter the college.
  • If you are exempt from wearing a face covering you will need to display your exemption card together with your student ID card on your lanyard
  • You should contact your course tutor in the first instance if you need a replacement exemption card or feel you need an exemption card.

Do I still need to socially distance at college?

Yes, the government guidance around, ‘Hands, Face, Space’ is extremely important and it is still the best thing we can all do to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • You should still wash your hands as much as possible using soap and water for 20 seconds each time.
  • You should sanitise your hands frequently including when you enter and leave the college.
  • You need to wear a face cover as outlined in the guidance above about face coverings.
  • You should still adhere to social distancing guidelines of 1metre + wherever possible or as advised by your tutor for classroom situations.

Access to on-site facilities e.g. the canteen and library

Access to facilities such as the canteen and library will be available for students on their return to college and will work in the same way as your previous return to college in the Autumn term last year.


A grab and go service of drinks and hot and cold food will be available from Starbucks at our Stretford and Stockport campuses, and in Café Retreat at our Altrincham campus. This service will be available for the normal breakfast and lunch opening times.

Please remember that you are to return to your classroom to eat your food or to socially distance outside. You are asked not to eat and drink in the corridors or other communal areas of the college.

Library services

  • There will be a restricted access to resources which will be available via the Click and Collect Service on LibraryLive
  • PCs and study spaces can be accessed but need to be booked in advance which you can do through LibraryLive
  • The college will have an online Help Desk available from 8:30am to 4pm, Monday – Friday, to answer any questions you may have.
  • The service opening hours will also remain as per the Autumn term which including early opening at Altrincham and 2 later opening until 6pm for 2 evenings at Stockport and Stretford