Coronavirus Updates

Thursday 12th August

We are writing to you as an applicant or progressing student for September 2021.

The College has been asked by the government to ensure that all students have evidence of two negative lateral flow tests and so we need you to carry one out on the 27th August and again on the 1st September. We then need you to bring in evidence of your negative lateral flow test on your first day at college.

Please report your test outcome through the GOV website here > - doing this will result in you receiving an email and/or text showing your result. It is this email or text which we need to see (example image below).

Further details on your specific induction will be sent to you shortly which will tell you when your first day in college will be.

Your first day

On your first day, you need to come prepared with either the text message or email confirmation of your negative test visible on your mobile phone.

There will be staff at the front of the college, at all of our locations, who will be checking the evidence of your negative test on your phone as you come into the college. Having it ready will avoid any delay. If you do not have access to a mobile phone please liaise with Student Support on 01473 382738 who will provide you with a phone number/email you can use, or arrange for you to carry out your test on-site.

You can obtain test kits directly via They can arrange to post them directly to your home at no cost. All types of lateral flow test kits are acceptable by the College. If you would prefer to collect test kits from the College, you will need to go to the Ipswich site, into the main reception who will give you a kit.

If for any reason you do not test ahead of your first day at college, you will have to carry out a test before you will be allowed in. A test takes 30-40 minutes and you will have to carry it out on yourself. We will have an area where you can collect one, but it will definitely make you late, and therefore our advice is that you test ahead. If you are exempt from testing or are a student in our supported learning area, we can liaise with your parent/carer with regard to attending college. We will not put any barriers in any student’s way, but we want to protect our wider college community.

You must ensure that you are negative for COVID before you come into college and if you do have a positive lateral flow, you will need to follow government guidance to obtain a PCR and to self-isolate. Please call 01473 382200 and clearly state you are phoning to report a student positive COVID result.

Examples of email & text notifications
Examples of email & text notifications

Continuous Testing

You will need to continue to carry out lateral flow tests twice a week on a Monday and Thursday from the start of September onwards. We will notify you as soon as the government changes these rules.

Vaccine Bus

We are also really pleased to announce that we are working in partnership with the NHS to have a Vaccine Bus on-site at both Ipswich and Rural from the 13th September for a week and again from the 4th October for a week. Post-16 students will be able to have their first or second vaccine on site.

Mask Wearing

In response to the changes in government policy, the college is no longer in a position to enforce mask-wearing but we recommend that both staff and students wear masks whilst on site, particularly in the larger circulation spaces. We feel that mask-wearing really helped us to manage the COVID risks over the past academic year, and therefore we will ensure that there is a supply of masks available, along with hand sanitisers and wipes. We will continue to carry out the extra cleaning and fogging to help combat the risks of COVID.

Tuesday 4th May, 09:55

Dear student

Please can we remind you to complete your Covid home tests (lateral flow) twice per week. Home test kits can be collected from the Learning Curve at both Ipswich and Rural Campuses. On the Coast students can collect from Leiston/Halesworth staff members.

If you receive a positive result from a lateral flow home test kit, please send an email immediately to . You should also use the link below to book a confirmation PCR test via the NHS testing route. If you cannot email, then you can call the College between 8.30am to 5pm on 01473 382200 and clearly state you are phoning to report a student positive COVID result. Student Support can talk you through the next steps.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you need to get a PCR test, via the NHS testing route, as soon as possible and self-isolate for 10 days. Further information can be found here:

The symptoms are:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

You will not be able to return to College before the 10 day self-isolation period unless you receive a negative PCR test result. Evidence of this will need to be emailed to before you can end your isolation. If you attend College without providing this evidence, you will be referred to Student Support who will make arrangements for you to go home if you are unable to confirm the negative test result.

You also need to self-isolate if:

  • you have tested positive for COVID-19 (minimum of 10 days from onset of symptoms)
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (10 days from their test)
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive (10 days)
  • you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (10 days)

We thank you in advance for your cooperation in following these processes.

Kind regards

Suffolk New College

Wednesday 31st March, 10:00

Message for Students:

First of all, we hope you are enjoying your Easter break!

We want to thank all of our students and apprentices for their responsible & professional behaviour which allowed us to re-open College safely for face-to-face delivery on the 8th March.

We are happy to say that you will be returning to your normal timetable when you come back to College after Easter (from w/c Monday 12th April).

Please can you all make sure you carry out your home test prior to returning to College.

- Suffolk New College

Wednesday 17th March, 10:10

Information for Students:

If you have not already been given a pack of home tests you will be able to collect one from the Learning Curve at both Ipswich and Suffolk Rural next week (starting 22nd March). Please try your best to avoid peak times as test packs will be available throughout the week.

Friday 12th March, 11:35

Home COVID Testing for Students

We are now over halfway through the mass testing of our returning students. The plan, as previously shared, is to now move students onto home testing from next week onwards. We received our first delivery of student home testing kits today, containing 3 tests in each. We do not, at this stage, have enough stocks to give students two boxes i.e. 6 tests. The 3 initial tests we are giving them should last the majority of students three weeks, as they will be testing once a week. This is due to the current pattern of students being in around one day a week, or multiple days but close together. You only test twice in one week if there should be three days between tests. This will take them up to Easter and the first week back. As soon as we get more delivered we will increase the amount given out.

We have determined that the best way is to distribute the home test kits is to deliver them to each group, in their workshop/classroom at both Rural and Ipswich. Leiston, Halesworth, and Needham Market will be distributed separately. This will start from Monday 15th March.

Any student who has not previously consented to testing will need to complete a consent form before they can take their home test kits – these will be provided. If a student has previously consented at any stage for COVID testing (electronic or at the test center) they do not need to do this again.

Students will only be able to take one pack. In their pack, they have a letter explaining when to test, a guide with instructions on how to test, and the test kit. Any students who are absent that day can collect their kit from the Learning Curves at Ipswich and Rural during the week commencing 22nd March. We will have a record of who to expect from the registers.

We are putting in separate arrangements for our Supported Learning students to get their packs to them in a different way, which involves their parents and/or carers.

Going forward, we will be closing down the large-scale testing centers at both locations and encouraging staff and students to use their home tests. There will be a procedure for anyone who falls out of this and we will share more information on that over the next couple of days.

Daisy Lanyards for those exempt from wearing masks

Now that we have returned to face-to-face delivery and the guidance has been tightened up by the Government with regard to mask-wearing, we have reviewed our approach to exemptions.

Over the past couple of weeks, Student Support has been in touch with any students who were previously exempt from wearing a mask, to check that the exemption still applies and to switch them over from a sticker (this is the system we previously used) to a daisy lanyard. The benefit of a daisy lanyard is that it is more widely known that people who are exempt from wearing a mask use them, and it is more obvious than a sticker.

We have asked our staff not to challenge anyone who is not wearing a mask but is wearing a daisy lanyard.

Tuesday 2nd March, 10:55

We have included some photos of our test sites below and links to our FAQs and the official self-testing video.

Students will be receiving more information via a letter in the post this week.

Thursday 25th February, 15:50

Email sent to student GAPPS accounts:

Dear Student

The government announced this week that colleges and schools will return to face-to-face learning from 8th March.

As you may be aware one of the measures being used to allow colleges to return to face-to-face learning is the use of a lateral flow test to identify anyone who is asymptomatic.

In order to comply with the government guidelines, we are required to offer all students free initial tests between three and five days apart. You will soon receive notification of the dates for your tests.

Before you can attend your first test we require those that are willing to be tested to complete a consent form using the link below:

After the initial three tests onsite you will be familiar with how to conduct tests we will then be transitioning students to a home testing regime.

We would appreciate it if you complete the consent as soon as possible. However, we will have consent forms available on the day of the test.

Testing is voluntary but strongly encouraged as part of the programme to help break transmission links by identifying those that may be carrying the virus unknowingly.

With your permission, even if you decline on the day of the test then that right will be respected.

Kind regards

Executive Team

Wednesday 24th February, 13:20

Dear Students, Parents and Carers

We are sure you will have heard by now that the Government has announced that Colleges should resume face-to-face teaching from Monday 8th March 2021. This is great news for us to welcome the students back to continue their learning journeys.

Many of the finer details of reopening need to be worked out, much of which will be determined by the Lateral Flow Testing. The college will be able to offer these tests to all students before they return, but the volume of students and tests this amounts to means that we will be planning a phased return to face-to-face teaching during the week of Monday 8th March 2021. This will allow us to complete testing and ensure necessary protocols are in place according to Government guidelines.

We are currently working on plans and students will receive a letter before Thursday 4th March 2021 to give more details on expectations around attendance at face-to-face sessions, the requirement to wear masks in classrooms & workshops and participation in testing.

We know there may be some worry about students returning, but during the last term, the Suffolk New College community showed it was able to adhere to the new safety measures to allow a safe return for our young people and staff. We are sure we can do the same again.

All students should continue to engage with their online sessions and learning until they receive further information. Thank you for your patience whilst we make the necessary plans and we look forward to having students back with us soon.

If you want to get in touch with us directly, please contact your tutor, call us on 01473 382200 or email us at

If you need to access our student support services, please get in touch with us at

Government guidance on the rules under the lockdown is available here.

Tuesday 12th January, 09:07

We are happy to say that our lateral flow testing facilities are now operational at our Ipswich and Suffolk Rural campuses.

These facilities will allow our teams to regularly test students and staff who are on-site to help our College and community contain the virus.

Currently, the tests are only available to students and staff who are working on-site.

Tuesday 5th January, 19:20


In light of the serious COVID situation (and a change in the government’s stance which has only just been announced) we have taken the decision to postpone the January 2021 examinations (including BTEC exams) scheduled to take place.

We believe that it is the most sensible decision to safeguard our staff and students.

We know from enquiries that we have received today that this will be a relief for some, however, we also know it will cause some disappointment for others who have worked hard to prepare for these.

We will provide further information as soon as it becomes available on when these will be rescheduled to.

The College continues to operate and is delivering our teaching online. Whether you were due to take an exam or not during this period, it is important that you continue to engage with your learning even under these exceptional circumstances.

If you have any queries about the impact of this decision please liaise with your tutor or contact the college on 01473 382200 from 9am tomorrow, or email

Suffolk New College

Monday 4th January, 21:20

In light of this evening’s government update by the Prime Minister, we have revised our plans for the return of learners into our buildings and have outlined some additional updates:

Information for Tuesday 5th January:

Support for Learners:

  • Our student support team will be contactable through email learners also have access to a range of virtual resources on our virtual support hub
  • If vulnerable learners are not able to access online learning then dedicated open access areas will be available at our Ipswich and Suffolk Rural campuses to provide access to this technology. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that LSA support will be available.

Please continue to follow government guidance, stay home and stay safe.

Suffolk New College

Previous Updates:

Friday 1st January 2021

On the 30th December 2020, the education secretary set out the plans for learners returning to schools and colleges in a statement to the House of Commons.

As Suffolk remains in Tier 4 (along with 75% of England) we have outlined our plans below for our students, apprentices and adult learners.

Returning to College

Week commencing 4th January – We will maintain our existing arrangements for this week. This means a shift to online learning for all with some exceptions to include Supported Learning, ESOL and students who are either sitting an exam next week (or who have an external exam in January where revision sessions have been planned for next week).

Week commencing 11th January – We are extending the arrangements for w/c 4th January to w/c 11th January as well.

Week commencing 18th January – This is when we have planned return to face-to-face learning for all, these plans may develop and change over the coming weeks as we receive government guidance and updates.

Adult programmes - Any courses due to start at Suffolk Rural w/c 4th January will be postponed to w/c 18th January.

Apprenticeships - Apprentice off-the-job learning will now be online w/c 4th January and w/c 11th January.

Exams & Support

Exams - Students who have exams in January will be in College, either taking their exams or in revision sessions in preparation for these exams, which are still going ahead. The first one of these to take place will be the BTEC Information Technology exam on Tuesday 5th January.

Support & Resources for learners - Spaces will be made available for students to work from College where they are unable to work from home. This will include the Learning Curve on both sites with the DigiHubs in Ipswich and IT areas at Suffolk Rural.

English & maths sessions - These will be online from w/c 4th & 11th January for both students and apprentices

PD Sessions - Progress Tutors will run online PD sessions and make welfare calls to learners who are working from home for w/c 4th & 11th January

Student support - Our student support advisors will be available via phone and email, students and apprentices can also access our virtual support resources.

MySNC - Students and apprentices can continue to make use of the resources and online services (google classroom, webmail) within MySNC by visiting

Please continue to follow government guidance to keep yourselves, your friends and your families safe.

Suffolk New College

We are asking all our students and staff to wear face coverings in College communal areas.

Code of Conduct & Risk Assessments

Please refer to the below documents.

Official Information

As the situation is complex and may evolve, we also recommend using the following resources to stay up-to-date with the latest advice:

Public Health England Advice on the coronavirus for places of education

For the latest information and guidance please see the official Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response

If you are unwell and not able to attend College please report your absence through the normal channels outlined here.