Student FAQs: COVID-19

Studying safely during the national lockdown

In line with government advice and guidance, and to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and the wider community, most learning and teaching is now tutor-led online using the College's virtual learning environment, Canvas.

Bispham Campus is open by appointment to vulnerable students (looked after children, care leavers, children on Educational Health Care (EHC) plans, those estranged from family, young carers, children in need, and children with social workers) and the children of critical workers.

How we are delivering remote education for different learner cohorts (14 to 16, 16 to 19, apprentices, adult learners) 

  • A teacher led online learning model for the vast majority of students will continue at B&FC until, we anticipate, late February 2021.
  • Learning has switched to remote education for the majority of students, with the exception of vulnerable students, students with at least one parent or carer who is listed as a critical worker and those students as having been identified as requiring access to the digital lounges at Bispham campus in order to continue their online learning.
  • High-quality remote education will be provided for all other students, who should not attend B&FC.
  • Scheduling: online learning will generally follow existing timetables - with a small minority of exceptions. Any changes to timetables that are required will be communicated to students by a B&FC employee. This means that if students were previously timetabled for face to face delivery on campus, that period will now be delivered at the same time but on a remote basis

Students requiring specialist equipment or resources

If your programme of study requires access to specific resources or software, please discuss with your curriculum team and B&FC will provide support where reasonable and in line with Government advice and guidance.

Students without access to suitable devices, internet access, or suitable place to study

Please inform your tutor if you do not have access to a device suitable for remote learning and do not qualify for additional support through the Barriers to Learning Fund (email ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk) or the Higher Education bursary.

Access to the Digital Lounge (Bispham Campus) can be granted on an appointment basis for students who fall within these specified criteria.

Expectations

We understand that this is a challenging time for our student community and inevitably we have made changes to our curriculum delivery.  Unless you have been informed otherwise by your tutor all learning will take place online.

Your full attendance, punctuality and engagement in online sessions is mandatory and you will have received invites from your tutor for all online sessions.

Please come to these sessions suitably prepared, in an appropriate space to learn and with the necessary digital resources for a fully engaging learning experience. If you have problems accessing either resources or spaces, then please inform your tutor as soon as possible so that we can support you to get the very best out of your online learning experience.

Supporting each other

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.

You'll find below a wide range of wellbeing services and resources. For additional information, check out 10 ways to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.

 

Still looking for the answer to your question? Email us at info@blackpool.ac.uk.

 

 All students

Supporting your studies

Exams and assessments 

 

B&FC will not be conducting any assessments requiring students on campus.

We will keep this under close review for those qualifications which require professional, statutory and regulatory body assessments for adult students who will shortly progress to become critical workers.

We have received assurances from awarding bodies that mean students via B&FC’s academic team will be fully supported with alternative options to achieve the best outcomes.

For the latest updates, please visit our Facebook Page.

Please note: Higher Education exams are NOT affected and are running as planned. If you have any questions, please contact your Programme Leader directly.

 

What happens next?

 

We have assurances from awarding bodies, that students will be given options to fit their individual situations. Certification will be issued based on assessments already completed if the student's portfolio is sufficient. Alternatively, the student will be given the opportunity to sit their exam or complete further assessments later in the year.

 

Can I resit my exam or assessment?

 

Your tutor will work with you to identify your next steps. They will look at your completed assessments and based on guidance from the awarding bodies, will recommend the option to provide your best outcome.

 

Will I be refunded for my course?

 

The lockdown will not stop students completing courses and receiving fair grades.

Awarding bodies have already suggested a number of options to help each student succeed - whether by resitting exams or assessments, or based on assessments already completed.

B&FC will work with each student to identify the best option for their situation.

 

What if I'm not up-to-date on assessments?

 

B&FC is here to help you achieve the best possible outcome. While the national lockdown restricts us from offering face to face teaching and on-site assessments, we do anticipate being able to provide these services afterwards. This gives you plenty of time to get your assessments up to date and, if necessary, sit an exam before the end of your academic year.

We will have much more information to share with you in coming weeks - and each student will be contacted by their tutor to explain their options to help achieve the best possible outcome.

 

I took GCSE exams in November 2020. When will I get my results?

Students who sat GCSE exams in November 2020 will receive results at their B&FC email address on Thursday 14 January.

Results will also be sent to homes on Friday 15 January – subject to Royal Mail delivery schedules.

Any queries about exams and results should be sent to subject tutors via Microsoft Teams.

 

Who do I contact for more information?

Email info@blackpool.ac.uk including your question and student ID.

How is teaching being delivered online?

 

The majority of students will now be familiar with the College's virtual learning environment, Canvas.

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

Students will be given full support by their curriculum tutors, Progress Coaches and Higher Education Learning Mentors (HELMs) to ensure they can learn effectively.

How do I contact my tutor?

 

You can contact your tutor on Canvas, Microsoft Teams, or via email.

Alternatively, contact your Head of Curriculum:

 

Do I need to keep studying?

 

Whilst this current situation lasts, students need to continue to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to help prepare themselves for their next level of further or higher education.

To do so, students are required to continue to work towards the completion of their assignments, supported by their lecturers.

 

What about placements?

 

All industry placements have been suspended during lockdown.

If you have any queries please contact placements@blackpool.ac.uk - or your tutor.

 

Can I get eBooks instead of print books?

 

Supporting your learning needs remains our primary focus. We are actively enhancing the ways in which the LRC can continue to do this online.

If you require a specific text from a different LRC it can be ordered and made available at Bispham Campus during your arranged visit.

Please contact the appropriate member of staff on the table below to arrange this for you. Alternatively email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk - and don't forget include your student ID number.

Online resources will continue to be available on Canvas.

 

 Curriculum Area Name of staff member you should search for on Teams
  Blackpool School of Arts  Lauren Prestwich
  Computing and Digital Technologies  Sophie Elliott
  Construction  Michael Butler or Deborah Ratcliffe
  Engineering and Science  Rianne Harney
  Leadership, Management and Lifestyle  John Brady
  Society, Health and Childhood  Louise Lee
  Maritime (Fleetwood)  Claire Moore
  Access and Continuing Education  Joy White

 

I normally get a free meal at College. How will I access this?

 

If you're eligible for free meals, you will receive an eVoucher at your B&FC email address. Full instructions on how to use this eVoucher will be provided.

For more information please email ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk.

     

    How can I get help with Canvas (the College's virtual learning environment)?

     

    Speak to your tutor or email canvas@blackpool.ac.uk. Please include your student ID in any email correspondence.

     

    How do I contact IT Services?

     

    Unless your query is in relation to gaining access to your account/resetting your password, please raise a request on the IT Service Desk Portal.

    If you are unable to access your account, please call IT Services on 01253 504222. This line can be busy at times, and you may be asked to leave a voicemail.

    If this occurs please ensure you leave a name, student number (if applicable), and contact number so that a member of the team can get back to you. Please be prepared to verify your identity for security purposes.

     

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

     

     

    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.

     

    What happens to my 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 during the national lockdown.

     

    Who can help with my career options?

     

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

     

    How do I get in touch with my Progress Coach?

     

    To contact your Progress Coach, email progresscoach@blackpool.ac.uk.

    Find out more about Progress Coaches.

     

    Financial support

     

    Will I still receive my bursary?

     

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

     

    Who can help with 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 ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk.

     

    Staying safe online

     

    We support students in 'Being Safe and Feeling Safe', and this includes staying safe online. With the increased use of the internet here are some links to additional resources: 

    • Cyberaware is the UK government's advice on how to stay secure online during coronavirus. This site gives you guidance on how to follow their six top tips for staying safe online. 
    • thinkuknow.co.uk is from National Crime Agency - CEOP, which has advice about staying safe when on a phone, tablet or computer. 
    • saferinternet.org.uk includes tips, advice, guides and resources for non-experts to help keep safe online. Advice and resources are here to support you as you support your child to use the internet safely, responsibility and positively. 
    • childline.org.uk this is a great resource to help you keep safe, and what to do when things go wrong. Some of the topics covered are tips to staying safe online, keeping your information secure, and how to spot fake news.  
    • ceop.police.uk is for safely and securely reporting online sexual abuse, whether you have been the victim of online sexual abuse or you’re worried this is happening to someone that you know.  
    • reportharmfulcontent.com guides you through reporting and removing harmful material from social media. 

    Your health and wellbeing

     

    What to do if you're in the high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) category

     

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher.

    If you are considered high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) you should follow this guidance:

    • Strictly avoid contact with someone who has symptoms
    • You need to be extra stringent re. social distancing and other advice
    • Stay at home at all times (shielding)
      • Shopping – (we advise you to shop online, and arrange delivery)
      • Medication – we advise you to arrange delivery
      • Impact on learning and teaching – your Progress Tutor will advise on alternative teaching, where appropriate
    • Clean and dry used crockery and cutlery using your usual washing-up liquid and water and dry them thoroughly. If you are using your own utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel for drying these.
    • If you need to use other shared facilities (such as kitchens and lifts), avoid using them when others are present
    • Clean surfaces before using them with your normal cleaning products.
    • Do not have any visitors unless they are providing essential care.

    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.

     

    Personal safety

     

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

    If you cannot contact anyone you wish to talk to and you feel you are at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, or feel you are at risk of danger from others, and need help:

    For non-urgent medical help - Do not leave your home.  Contact the National Health Services (NHS) either by phone or online. This may be any of the following:

    • Your GP – your GP contact details will be available on-line.
    • Blackpool Urgent Treatment Centre (Walk-in Centre) 01253953953. Please click on this link for more details Blackpool Urgent Treatment Centre Contact and Opening Times
    • NHS helpline on 111, or NHS online via 111.nhs.uk/. (Please note however, during the COVID 19 situation, the 111 service is extremely busy -expect a wait).

    For situations that do not require an immediate police response: dial 101.

    If you are in an emergency situation ring 999.

    Domestic abuse

    Nest Lancashire can provide vital support for young people.

    Lancashire Victim Services continue to provide specialist support for victims of domestic abuse.

    To make a report of domestic abuse, contact the Police.

     

    I have a health reason or disability that prevents me from wearing a face covering.

     

    If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering please make contact with your tutor for an individual risk assessment.

    You may also feel more comfortable showing something that says you do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

    More information about exemption is available on the government website.

    Here are several other useful resources:

     

    Mental health support

    Local information and resources

     

    • Together all - 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 offering 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.

     

    National information and resources

     

     

    Helplines

     

    • Wellbeing and mental health support helpline: 0800 915 4640 (call) and 07860 022 846 (text). Both services available 365 days a year - Monday to Friday, 7pm until 11pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 12pm until midnight.
    • CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health services) NHS Support: 01253 957160 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
    • CASHER (Child & Adolescent Support and Help Enhanced Response team): 07810 696565 (Monday to Friday, 5pm to 10pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
    • Youtherapy – a counselling and wellbeing service: 01253 955858 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
    • Samaritans: 116123 (freephone, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
    • Young Minds: Text YM to 85258 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

     

    Local community support

     

    Community Hubs have been set up to help support those deemed vulnerable or through self-isolation during the COVID 19 crisis, signposting residents to local services such as preventing loneliness, mental health support and financial and debt advice.

    Blackpool Council hub

     

     

    To offer help, email helpoffered@blackpool.gov.uk.

     

    Wyre and Fylde and other Lancashire County Council hubs

     

     

    For additional information, check out 10 ways to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.

     


     Advice for parents, carers and guardians

     

    Thank you for being patient and understanding during this time.

     

    B&FC’s priority has always been to help students achieve their aspirations and enjoy a high-quality learning experience in safe and supportive environments.  

    We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our students and colleagues in this difficult situation and we are committed to doing everything in our power to help students achieve their goals and ambitions. 

    B&FC encourages all students to access lateral flow testing when available.

    If your child is ill or unable to attend sessions, they must contact us to let us know by calling 01253 504343.

     

    Please find below the many things we are doing here at B&FC to support students with online and remote working arrangements during the COVID-19 lockdown.

     

    • B&FC reviews daily, all official guidance from the UK government, public health England and other relevant bodies and uses it to inform our support for students. We have set out below the measures that we have taken to continue to support students and deliver learning and teaching: 
    • Progress Tutors, Programme Leaders and lecturers have kept in contact with their students through phone calls, e-mails and on-line conversations. This is to check on their engagement and progress 
    • Curriculum Areas have posted onto B&FC’s social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter video updates, messages, useful tips, links and competitions 
    • B&FC’s Progress Coaches have continued to contact students to check that everything is going well and they have everything they need to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding 
    • Our Students’ Union have produced an on-line enrichment programme. Here, students can engage in competitions, communicate with their friends and show case any volunteering activities they have undertaken in the community. 
    • B&FC’s Student Support team has continued to provide a high level of study support for students 
    • The Careers Team continue to provide a full service of online careers advice, interview support, CV writing and assistance with financial matters such as bursaries, free school meals and bus passes 
    • Where possible, B&FC has supported eligible students who were unable to access a device or IT to enable them to complete online tasks by loaning out a laptop and or arranging access to WIFI 
    • B&FC has ensured that all vulnerable students have been identified and are working with a named point of contact at B&FC on a regular basis, in addition to their subject tutor 
    • B&FC has ensured that students identified as vulnerable and the children of key workers have the opportunity to attend on-site support sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Bispham Campus. (Prior registration and authorisation is needed) 
    • B&FC colleagues have provided, and continue to develop, a comprehensive range of resources for students, to support with any wellbeing or health challenges through various online platforms and useful links to websites. We have put together a handy guide to many of the wellbeing resources

     

    Helping students stay safe online 

     

    • The National Crime Agency has developed some useful resources helping parents, carers and guardians support their students safely and securely get the most from the web. The Thinkuknow website provides you with tools and tips to keep young people safe online. You’ll also find advice handling situations where you think students might be in difficult situations
    • Phishing coronavirus scams are on the rise due to hackers taking advantage of the fear and anxiety caused by the global pandemic. Phishing is the process of tricking someone into providing their personal information such as credit card numbers, social security/national ID numbers or other financial data. Usually, once the victim has provided the information, it is used to steal their money, property or identity
    • Lancashire Safeguarding features essential advice for parents, carers and guardians.