27 Oct Five ways tpm is helping to keep learners and staff Covid-safe and sound
At tpm, we know that returning to work or education is daunting at the moment. As the pandemic persists, it is important to feel reassured that our tpm family is being kept Covid-safe and sound. Here are five ways tpm is helping to support learners and staff and keep them #tpmCovidSafeandSound.
Covid-safe 1: Sanitisation
Our fully-refurbished centre in the Baltic Triangle is a Covid-secure space. We clean all surfaces with a specific spray that, unlike most others, creates an antimicrobial layer. This layer protects the surface from germs for up to 30 days. The product we use is entirely chemical-free and is food safety checked. Applying the spray in regular cycles gives staff and learners confidence that the surfaces they come into contact with in the centre are clean and Covid-safe.
Covid-safe 2: Blended Learning
Education providers have all had the challenge of ensuring learners can access their courses even when centres are closed. Additionally, they have had to work to prevent learners from falling behind during self-isolation. tpm rose to the challenge early in lockdown. This was partly thanks to the innovative curriculum we already had in place since last summer. It was also thanks to the hard work of tpm teachers and tutors who quickly adapted. A mix of online sessions, virtual meetings and some centre-based activities has meant all learners can stay #tpmOnTarget.
Covid-safe 3: Timetable Changes
We returned to some centre-based learning in September, following Government Guidance for FE Providers. We altered the timetable to minimise risk to learners and staff. The main difference is that instead of a weekly attendance pattern, we have changed to attending fortnightly. This best accommodates the new apprenticeship standards, reduced class sizes (bubbles) and Government guidelines.
Covid-safe 4: Advice to staff, learners and visitors
We regularly update all Covid policies and share them on the website. Furthermore, newsletters and social media communications keep everyone up to date with the latest information and guidance. We also offer helpful advice. For example, we advise wherever possible to avoid using public transport. Instead, we encourage staff and learners to try to walk, cycle, or drive. We let learners know when they have to be at the centre well in advance. This means that if they have to use public transport, they can think carefully about the ways, times and routes. Planning ahead ensures we can provide more physical space for social distancing. Additionally, we offer personal hygiene tips such as wearing different clothes each day, using tissues and washing hands effectively.
Covid-safe 5: Other measures around the building
There are plenty of sanitising stations around the centre, and there are sanitisers on every desk. Additionally, we have plenty of bins to dispose of tissues, face masks, and antibacterial wipes. We ask everyone to keep two metres apart where possible. Furthermore, we ask everyone to check temperatures before accessing the building. We carefully restrict movement around the building and numbers in each room are clearly signposted. Any breaks in the teaching session are in the classroom, except for the use of toilet facilities. Moreover, we limit the toilets to one person at a time. Where weather conditions allow, windows are open to help improve air circulation in the centre. Doors are also open, to help prevent cross-contamination when touching door handles.
Director Brian Quinn reaffirms tpm’s commitment to ensuring the highest possible safety levels during the pandemic:
“tpm is taking every recommended measure, and more besides to ensure the centre is Covid-safe. We know how important it is for both our learners and staff to feel secure and protected during these worrying times. At tpm, we’re operating a zero-tolerance approach to risk-taking when it comes to Covid. As ever, we remain committed to upholding our responsible and professional stance about all safeguarding issues”.