B&FC needs to makes changes to how we normally operate.

Student FAQs about coronavirus

Coronavirus: student FAQs - 26 March 2020

From Monday 23 March we will undertake all learning, teaching and support online.

  • College premises will be closed to the public
  • We will provide learning and teaching by alternative means and tutors and the support teams will continue to support students with their learning, using the College’s Moodle system, Canvas, B&FC email and/or Microsoft Teams. This includes online and telephone support from tutors and support teams and will include an assessment of progress.
  • For those exempted students, defined by the government as sons and daughters of critical workers, students with a EHC plan and vulnerable individuals, who by exception are unable to stay at home, there will be access by arrangement at our main Bispham campus.

Our priority is to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and employees whilst also ensuring that learning can continue. We understand that many of you will be feeling anxious. Please do reach out to colleagues, friends and family and support each other. The College’s student support services also remain available to all members of the community. Details and links are available in these FAQs.

How can I access my learning?

B&FC is committed to ensuring all students progress to their next year and can complete their chosen programme of study.

Online and distance learning will be provided to support students with their learning, using the College’s Moodle and Canvas virtual learning environments, and B&FC email and/or Microsoft Teams.

How do I prepare for online learning?

Depending on your course, tutors will upload learning resources, assessments and activities with a set deadline.

There will be opportunities to discuss these assignments, for example using Microsoft Teams.

What you'll need:

  • A computer or other device capable of connecting to the internet.
  • A Wi-Fi or broadband connection.
  • Webcam and microphone (can be integrated).

How to get started:

How can I contact my tutor?

You can get in touch with your tutor via your virtual learning environment – Moodle or Canvas – or through Microsoft Teams or email.

How can I get help with Canvas or Moodle?

How can I complete scheduled coursework and assignments when not in college?

We have adapted the way we teach and assess students’ remaining modules or units. This will not affect your ability to achieve or progress. We are committed to upholding our academic standards and ensuring that students are not disadvantaged.

From Monday 23 March, classroom teaching of all forms (including small group teaching, practicals, one-to-one meetings, etc.), will cease. Instead, teaching will be delivered online or at a distance.

This excludes the exempted students defined by the government as sons and daughters of key workers and students with an EHC plan and vulnerable individuals.

What about placements?

All further education placements have been postponed at this time. If you have any queries please contact placements@blackpool.ac.uk or contact your tutor directly.

Questions regarding industry placements for Higher Education should be directed towards your curriculum area through Microsoft Teams, email or telephone.

How will Covid-19 affect exams for FE students?

The government has confirmed that many national examinations such as GCSE are cancelled and that there will be further information on this to follow.

BTEC have stated that they are committed to ensuring that students receive the grade that they deserve.

Awarding bodies are working closely with the Government, schools and colleges to support students to progress into higher education, apprenticeships or employment as planned.

In all cases, it is important that you progress with the coursework and assignments that you are working on right now, as well as those you have already completed, as both will be used to help calculate your final grade.

How will Covid-19 affect exams for HE students?

We are currently considering alternative arrangements for Higher Education exams. We are committed to upholding our academic standards and ensuring students are not disadvantaged.

You can keep in touch with your lecturers through Microsoft Teams, e-mail and other software.

Will the deadlines for my HE exams and assessments change?

For HE students, wherever possible, we aim to maintain deadlines for exams and assessments.

However, this may change. We will provide updates as they become available.

Please look out for new information regularly.

What if I need to self-isolate?

Please do not be concerned about your studies if you need to self-isolate. Please notify your tutor to explain your circumstances and discuss arrangements regarding your studies.

If you are a HE student and have to miss exams or assessments due to self-isolating, you will need to submit a claim for personal mitigating circumstances (PMCs).

Your tutor can help you with this.

I am a HE student - if I am affected by COVID-19 will I need medical or other evidence for PMCs?

You will not be required to provide medical evidence or other evidence to support a claim for PMCs.

However as each student’s circumstances will be different, we do ask you to complete a PMC application as usual.

Your tutor can help you with this.

I am a HE student – will I still receive my final payment from the Student Loans Company in April?

Yes, we can confirm that the Student Loans Company have taken the decision to make this payment as usual.

Will I still receive my bursary?

Yes we can confirm that bursary payments will continue as planned.

I normally get a free meal at College, how do I access this if I am not attending College?

If you would normally receive a free meal whilst at College there will be an e-voucher sent to your college email address. This voucher is for Tesco stores and will be a weekly payment of £15. This is to cover one week of meals which you would normally access at college.

Please look at your college emails over the next couple of days to access this. If you have any queries please email ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk

Can I access the Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)?

All LRCs will be closed from Wednesday 25 March. Online resources will continue to be available and accessible through the Discovery search bar on Moodle/Canvas.

Can I get eBooks instead of print books whilst the LRC is closed?

Supporting your learning needs remains our primary focus, and we are actively enhancing the ways in which the LRCs can continue to do this online.

For assistance with finding online eBooks and journals for your studies please use one of the following contact methods:

  • Using Microsoft Teams please use the call or chat feature to contact the LRC staff member related to your studies:

 

 Curriculum Area Name of staff member you should search for on Teams
  Blackpool School of Arts  Deborah Ratcliffe
  Computing  Deborah Ratcliffe
  Construction  Simon Morgan
  Engineering and Science  Rianne Harney
  Leadership, Management and Lifestyle  John Brady
  Society, Health and Childhood  Louise Lee
  Maritime/Fleetwood  Claire Moore (during regular term time) Deborah Ratcliffe (Out of term-time)
  Access  Louise Lee

 

 

How do I get information specific to my course?

If you're unable to get answers to your questions via your virtual learning environment (either Moodle or Canvas) please use the following contact details:

Which student services and support are available?

Financial support

Visit our financial support for students page for a reminder of what's available.

If you have any more questions about financial support - such as information about bursary payments - please email: ssf@blackpool.ac.uk.

Library loans

If you have books on loan from LRC, they will be auto-renewed - unless you have been notified they are required by another student.

No library fines will be incurred while college is closed.

Careers

The Careers Team continue to offer 1:1 advice through Microsoft teams appointments, please email careers@blackpool.ac.uk for further guidance.

Employability Coaches

To contact your employability coach, email ECteam@blackpool.ac.uk.

IT support

If your internet connection is working and you're still having issues connecting to your virtual learning environment, please check the following information:

Problems with Office365?

Office 365 applications include Outlook (for email) and Teams (for working with your tutor and fellow students).

To log in to Office 365, go to https://www.office.com/ and use your college username and password.

If you are confident the username and password are correct:

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 Service health status page at https://status.office365.com/.
  • If you see a message starting 'There are currently no known issues', then contact the IT Service Desk.

If you need help resetting your password, contact the IT Service Desk.

IT service desk

To contact the IT team, call 01253504222

Student support and wellbeing

How do I access the HE Learning Mentor (HELM) team?

Email us at HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk

How do I access the FE Think Ahead team?

Email us at learningsupport@blackpool.ac.uk

How do I access the Apprentice support team?

Email us at ApprenticeSupport@blackpool.ac.uk

How do I access my HE Disability Support (including Disabled Students’ Allowances?)

Email us at DSAinfo@blackpool.ac.uk

How do I access the Wellbeing team?

Complete the online referral form https://www.blackpool.ac.uk/getwellbeingsupport

B&FC Safeguarding

We support students in 'Being Safe and Feeling Safe'. If you feel unsafe or at risk speak directly to your tutor or another member of College staff that you feel comfortable talking to.

If you feel you are at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, or feel you are at risk from others and need immediate help, contact:

  • The National Health Services (NHS) for non-urgent medical help. This may be your GP, the NHS helpline on 111, or NHS online via 111.nhs.uk/ or Police on 101.
  • If you are in an emergency situation ring 999

Looking after mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

  • Try to stay connected at times of stress, we work better in company and with support.
  • Try and keep in touch with tutors, your friends and family.
  • Try to anticipate distress – its normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed, it is important to acknowledge these feelings.
  • Plan your day - we are all adjusting to a new, rather strange, way of life.
  • Being active reduces stress, increases energy levels, more alert and sleep well.
  • Relaxing and focusing on the present can help improve mental health and lighten negative feelings.
  • Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak.

B&FC Wellbeing Moodle - Visit the Wellbeing resources on Moodle

Local Information and resources

  • Big White Wall- access the Big White Wall (www.bigwhitewall.com) a digital mental health support service available 24/7. This is a free completely anonymous service that allows you to access peer support and tailored self-help programmes that Blackpool and Lancashire NHS are supporting.
  • FYI Directory outlines local health, community and social services available. Accessible online at www.fyidirectory.co.uk or call 0800 0922 332, a simple postcode search, allows you to find the nearest services to you.
  • Healthy Young Minds is a network including NHS Lancashire and Cumbria NHS providing a variety of advice, guidance and support related to mental health and emotional wellbeing.A topic page for COVID-19 has been created specifically aimed at young people Lancashire and South Cumbria Healthy Young Minds . Advice for parents/carers/families webpages

National Information and resources

  • Mind is a mental health charity for better mental health, offering good practical advice on Coronavirus and your wellbeing. Web resources: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
  • Every Mind Matters – access to NHS resources for looking after your mental health. Web resources: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
  • The Samaritans offer listening and support to people and communities in times of need. Available any time and free to call from any phone. Contact Phone: 116 123, Email: jo@samaritans.org, Website: samaritans.org
  • AnxietyUK run helplines, email support, live chats and therapy services for people with anxiety disorders. Helpline: 08444 775 774, Text Service 07537 416 905
  • Student Minds is a student mental health charity. Web resources: https://www.studentminds.org.uk/coronavirus.html
  • Young Minds – is a charity for young people’s mental health. @YoungMindsUK on Twitter have posted a number of blogs etc including ‘what to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus’ and ‘looking after your mental health whilst self-isolating’. Students can text this service, 24/7. Text: 85258
  • The Mix is a support service for the under 25s. Support is online or a free confidential helpline 0808 808 4994

Helplines

Wellbeing & Mental Health support, helpline: 0800 915 4640 and Textline: 07860 022 846 both services open 365 days a year, Monday - Friday 7pm until 11pm and Saturday - Sunday 12pm until Midnight.

CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health services) NHS Support Telephone 01253 957160 between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday

CASHER (Child & Adolescent Support and Help Enhanced Response team). Telephone 07810 696565 Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm or Sat/Sun 10am-8pm

Youtherapy – a counselling and wellbeing service .Telephone 01253 955858 between 9am and 5pm

Samaritans 24 hour Freephone 116123

Childline for under-19s on 0800 1111

Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Young Minds Text YM to 85258 for urgent support 24 a day

Silver Line (for older students) on 0800 470 8090

If you feel unwell - please check Gov.UK guidance at gov.uk/coronavirus

New applicant FAQs

Can I make a new application?

Yes. You can still make an application online. Choose your course from the appropriate menu on our homepage and apply direct from your chosen course page.

Is there a deadline for applying?

Please apply as soon as possible so that your application is in the system ready for a September 2020 start. Once you have applied, we will keep you up-to-date with the latest information about your course and any other important information.

I’m a school leaver and haven't had an interview yet. What happens next?

Don’t worry - all new applicants aged between 16 and 18 will be called by a tutor over the next few weeks to discuss their application and receive an offer on the most appropriate course for them.

What if I’m unsure about my chosen course?

You can contact our award-winning Careers Team for advice and guidance at careers@blackpool.ac.uk

Do I still need to confirm my place?

Yes, if you wish to accept an offer please let us know as soon as you can by text on 07950 080339 or by emailing admissions@blackpool.ac.uk and we will update your record.

What if I have concerns around funding?

You can contact our Careers Team for advice and guidance at careers@blackpool.ac.uk

I’ve applied to study a degree-level course. Can I still apply for my HE loan and maintenance grant?

Yes. You can apply/continue your application online.

What if I don’t meet the conditions of my offer?

If you don’t meet the conditions of your offer, we will consult with the curriculum about your next steps, including - if necessary - being supported to find a suitable, alternative course. Contact the Admissions Team on T 01253 504322 or email admissions@blackpool.ac.uk

When will I receive my timetable?

We aim to provide all students with timetable information prior to enrolment. Keep checking our website for up-to-date details.

Will I still be able to enrol?

We will contact you over the summer with guidance on how to enrol and when this will take place.