St Clare’s and COVID-19
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, we regret that St Clare’s is now closed. For emergency calls regarding pastoral support or safeguarding please call 07932 724511. For all other enquiries please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Reopening plans for September 2020
At the time of writing (May 2020) it is unlikely that UK boarding schools (including St Clare’s, Oxford) will reopen for normal on-site lessons before the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Online teaching is going very well indeed and will continue until the end of the Summer Term, Friday 19 June, for all our Pre-IB and IB1 students, or Friday 12 June for our University Foundation Programme students.
We expect St Clare’s to reopen in September 2020 for the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. Student and staff welfare remain at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to follow all Public Health England guidelines and regulations to ensure that all our students remain safe and well.
Here is a summary of the precautions we will be taking to reduce any risk. Many of these precautions were already in place at St Clare’s in February/March, before the lockdown, so we are already in a good position to judge the practicalities of the measures. We are pleased to say that no St Clare’s students tested positive for the Covid-19 virus before the lockdown. Our plans will become more detailed during the next two months and we will communicate directly with all parents and agents to alert them to changes.
- Health monitoring: All staff and students (day and boarding) will receive daily health checks, including temperature screening.
- The entire St Clare’s site will be deep cleaned before the beginning of the Autumn term 2020. Surfaces and door handles will be sanitised several times during the day. Toilets for students and staff will be sanitised twice daily and social distancing will be enforced where appropriate.
- All staff and students must complete health declaration questionnaires before being permitted to enter the college.
- No visitors will be allowed on site without prior appointment and they will also be expected to complete a travel and health declaration questionnaire.
- At the moment, we are unclear about what the government’s directive regarding international arrivals will be for September 2020. If our international students and staff arriving from outside the UK are required to quarantine for fourteen days, we will ensure that they are able to complete a period of quarantine in college whilst under the direct care of our pastoral staff and medical team. In this case, we will consider the staggered arrival of our students.
- We will require non-resident students, staff and visitors who have travelled abroad not to enter the college site until a period of 14 days has elapsed from their re-entry to the UK.
- All students and staff will be encouraged to wear face masks in college and around Oxford. St Clare’s will supply face masks for people who do not already have them.
- PPE and cleansing stations will be installed across the St Clare’s site to actively reduce the risk of transmission.
- Students will be reminded of social distancing via information campaigns. None of our classes is larger than 15 people and teaching rooms will be arranged to space out students as much as is practicable. Our boarding houses are also small units, ranging from 11 to a maximum of 30 boarders per boarding house.
- Large group gatherings will not be permitted. Weekly whole year group meetings will be held online rather than in the hall. The Orientation Programme has been adapted to avoid the gathering of large groups. Dining rotas will limit the number of people permitted to eat at the same time and they will be more widely spaced. Contact with the non-St Clare’s community will be restricted. Plans are already underway to be able to run events such as our annual Higher Education Fair in an online format.
- UK government and Public Health England guidelines will be followed for all CAS and co-curricular activities. Common sense and dynamic personal risk assessments will also be important in all situations.
- We have an excellent relationship with the NHS medical practice in Banbury Road and our college nurse is in regular contact with them. The option for students to purchase private medical health insurance for the duration of their stay in the UK is also available.
- We undertake to provide regular updates from the Senior Management Group to all parents.
If a student cannot join us until November or January 2021 (due to travel restrictions in the country of origin) protocols will be in place to allow the student to access the taught classes on-line where possible either at the time of delivery or as a video recording. Course materials and assignments will be accessible to all students whether physically present or not.
The Boarding Schools Association (BSA) is working with both the Government and all BSA schools to ensure a safe environment for young people to return to. The UK is by any standards one of the safest places in the world, as well as having an excellent and globally-recognised education system. It is also reassuring to know that the University of Oxford is at the world-wide forefront of research into developing a Covid-19 vaccine, antibody testing and contact tracing, as well as having one of the best teaching hospitals in the world. It is a privilege to live in this great city.
We look forward to welcoming all our students to St Clare’s in September.
St Clare’s, Oxford Senior Management Group, May 2020
As to the summer, we continue to look forward to welcoming students as we do every year from 26 July and throughout August.
To reserve a place on one of our summer courses, we have made the booking process much simpler and there is no need to pay a deposit. Full payment is not required until two weeks before the course start-date.
We now have a suite of online courses students can enjoy from 10+ years. These can be found here:
Visitors to the college
The college is currently closed to all visitors. We are usually delighted to see former students but for the time being, such visits are suspended until later in the year. All visits by prospective students and parents have also been suspended, and we are conducting interviews via Skype.
Finally, here is a link to a message from the Principal, Andy Rattue, which is aimed at the whole St Clare’s community including the thousands of former students and friends of St Clare’s around the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFCEQvgq2OE.