Our priority is to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and employees whilst also ensuring that learning can continue.
- All learning, teaching and support is now 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.
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.
- All students
- Additional information for higher education (degree-level) students
- Advice for parents, carers and guardians
Still looking for the answer to your question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic and study support
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.
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).
To get started:
- Activate your college Office365 email address
- Download Office365 applications
- Log on to your virtual learning environment:
- If you have any problems, please contact IT Services,
How can I get help with Canvas or Moodle?
Please include your student ID in any email correspondence.
How do I access Office 365?
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.
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 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.
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.
How do I complete scheduled coursework and assignments?
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.
Teaching is being 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 email@example.com 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 my exams?
All GCSE summer 2020 examinations have been cancelled. However, that does not mean that students will not receive a grade for all their hard work during this academic year.
The Department for Education has set out how students will receive grades for their GCSE work. This will be done by asking lecturers to estimate the grades that students would have got if there had not been any disruption to the teaching and examinations.
To provide these estimated grades, lecturers will use a wide range of evidence, including classwork and homework, together with the results of mock exams and assignments.
Grades will hopefully be available by August.
It is important to remember that lecturers cannot comment on the estimated grades, nor upon the grades that students will ultimately be awarded. Student results are decided by examination boards, who take into consideration the information that B&FC has supplied.
If you're a current B&FC student originally due to sit GCSE exams in the 2019/20 academic year, read the letter you will shortly receive from us.
Technical and vocational qualifications (including BTEC)
On 9 April Ofqual confirmed that technical and vocational qualifications, such as BTEC will be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with students who are due to complete their qualification in the summer of 2020 receiving an estimated grade.
This will be done by asking lecturers to estimate the grades that students would have got if there had not been any disruption to the teaching and examinations.
Due to the large number of these technical and vocational qualifications, coupled with their complexity, Ofqual is still working with awarding bodies, such as BTEC, to finalise a list of qualifications in scope for students to receive an estimated grade.
In the next few weeks, Ofqual will provide further details for every college and school to follow when calculating and submitting estimated grades for their students.
Functional Skills: Maths and English
On 9 April Ofqual confirmed that functional skills will be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with students who are due to complete their qualification in the summer of 2020 receiving an estimated grade.
This will be done by asking lecturers to estimate the grades that students would have got if there had not been any disruption to the teaching and examinations.
Ofqual is working with awarding bodies to agree a common approach for every school and college to follow when calculating and submitting estimated grades for their students.
What is happening with textbook loans from Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)?
The LRC has activated auto-renewals on all textbooks.
If you are in your final year, and will not be returning to college, you can return your books to the book return bin at the entrance to the Bispham Campus.
This applies to books borrowed from Bispham, University Centre and Fleetwood LRCs.
All other books will not incur any charges and can be returned to college at a date to be confirmed.
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|
|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)|
Alternatively, email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk - and include your student ID number.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 while college is closed.
Who can help with my career options?
The Careers Team continue to offer 1:1 advice through Microsoft teams appointments, please email email@example.com for further guidance.
How do I get in touch with my employability coach?
To contact your employability coach, email ECteam@blackpool.ac.uk.
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:
- Engineering, Science and Automotive - Scott Cubitt at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Computing - Jacqui Scott at email@example.com
- Construction - Carl Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Care, Health and Childhood Studies - Margaret Bamforth at email@example.com
- Teaching - Margaret Bamforth at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Access to Higher Education - Margaret Bamforth at email@example.com
- Blackpool School of Arts - Jill Fernie Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Business and Management - Jill Riley at email@example.com
- Catering and Hospitality - Jill Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hair, Beauty and Related Therapies - Jill Riley at email@example.com
- Sport and Public Services - Jill Riley firstname.lastname@example.org
Messages from your Heads of Curriculum
We have reached out to Heads of Curriculum for subject-specific information.
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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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.
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.
- Online: doitonline.lancashire.police.uk
- Call: 101 (non-urgent) or, in an emergency, 999.
Local information and resources
- B&FC Wellbeing Moodle - Visit the Wellbeing resources on Moodle.
- 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 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 . Advice for parents/carers/families webpages
National information and resources
- Every Mind Matters. NHS mental health and wellbeing tips and advice to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it. Watch videos on reframing unhelpful thoughts, keep learning, mindful breathing, home workouts and sleep tips: NHS helplines and support groups, urgent support.
- Try NHS free apps to help you stress less, handle anxiety and lift your mood.
- Public Health England Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID 19): Visit site
- Mental Health Foundation lists random acts of kindness applicable to the Covid19 outbreak; mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/random-acts-kindness
- NHS support for grief after bereavement or loss: nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/coping-with-bereavement/
- The Coping Calendar. Keep Calm, Stay Wise, Be Kind has 30 suggested actions to look after ourselves and each other as we face this global crisis together.
- 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. Call 01253 955858 between 9am and 5pm
- Samaritans 24 hour Freephone 116123
- Young Minds Text YM to 85258 for urgent support 24 a day
- If you feel unwell - please check Gov.UK guidance at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Looking after your wellbeing, physical health and keeping active
Physical health is as important and our mental health and wellbeing here are our 6 top tips to living well:
- Explore these 5 steps to improve your wellbeing and mental health.
- To stay healthy, check out these NHS tips to improve your general fitness by incorporating physical activity into your daily routine or choosing a 10 minute workout.
- Try these desk based exercises whilst online studying or these sitting exercises to keep active.
- Taking the opportunity to go outdoors, while observing distancing regulations
- Live well and make the best choices for your health and wellbeing
- Eat well to maintain good health and feel your best.
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 email@example.com.
Wyre and Fylde and other Lancashire County Council hubs
- Phone: 0800 511111 (open 8.30am to 10pm weekdays, 2pm to 10pm weekends)
- Text: 07786 511111
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information, check out 10 ways to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.
Housing and Homelessness Advice
Housing Options is a one-stop service for local people to provide housing related advice and help prevent homelessness.
If you are experiencing difficulties with any of the following :
- Your landlord has asked you to leave
- You are not getting on with the people you live with
- You are currently homeless
- You are experiencing, or are at risk of violence, abuse or harassment
Please contact your local Housing Options services:
Telephone: on 01253 477760.
Telephone: 01253 658658 (out of hours - 01253 64211 or 0333204555)
Higher education (degree-level) student support
We appreciate that this is a worrying and difficult time and recognise that you will be understandably anxious, given the unprecedented circumstances the world faces with COVID-19.
As well as your studies, you may have other responsibilities, such as caring for your family, your own health and employment. In these circumstances, it is helpful for us all to acknowledge that it will take a bit of time to become accustomed to new ways of learning together and we appreciate that it will feel different for every student (and also for teaching staff).
As you will be aware, all teaching moved online from Monday 23 March and we will not be conducting any classroom based activity or assessments that requires students to be on campus.
This decision was taken to support your health, safety and welfare and that of your fellow students and B&FC staff. We continue to work hard to support your learning during this period.
Teaching, learning and assessment
How will Covid-19 affect exams?
We will not be conducting any assessments that require students to be on campus. Formal examinations will be changing to time limited assessments completed at home.
These will normally take place on the same date on which your existing assessment was scheduled. Your lecturers and programme leader will be able to provide further information, guidance and support.
To be consistent for all students, the duration of time limited assessments is now 15 hours (09:00 to 23:59).
The 15 hour window ensures that no student is disadvantaged given the unique circumstances of every student during this pandemic; this also allows for any examination arrangements.
You should however, wherever possible, try to complete the assessment in the original time allowed for the examination. You do not need to provide references as you would for a written piece of coursework but you should attempt to adhere to the provided word count.
Assessments should be submitted via the College's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); Moodle or Canvas. If you are unable to do this, please refer to details below.
To ensure that we as a College maintain the highest quality of our HE programmes our marking and moderation processes remain the same with all results being considered in the Board of Examiners.
What's happening with assessments?
Programme teams have been reviewing planned teaching and assessment for all modules and have been considering any changes that will be required to ensure that all assessment is aligned with online teaching delivery and that students can still achieve the learning outcomes for their programme, enabling them to progress and achieve their goals.
Some changes will of course be necessary to planned assessments and we are now in the process of updating students on an individual programme basis.
Your lecturers and programme leader will be able to provide further information, guidance and support.
How will the College prevent collusion and cheating during time limited assessments?
Time limited assessments are similar to open-book assessments so are the same as other assessments in this respect. Students suspected of breaching the rules will be subject to investigation under the College’s academic malpractice and misconduct regulations.
What happens if I experience technical issues that disrupt my time limited assessment?
Please inform your module leader or another member of any difficulties you are having, as soon as possible. The College will be as flexible as possible, for example, a photograph of a time limited assessment script uploaded via mobile phone may be considered.
What should I do if I am unwell and cannot take a time limited assessment?
If you are unwell, please inform your programme leader or module leader as soon as you possibly can.
Will assessment and exam deadlines change?
For HE students, where appropriate, we will maintain existing deadlines for assessments and exams i.e. a time limited assessment will usually take place on the date scheduled for an exam.
Where individuals have been impacted by COVID-19, please notify your tutor to explain your circumstances and discuss arrangements regarding your studies.
The existing Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMC) process is there to support you. Your tutor can help you with this.
I am on a professional programme – how will this affect me?
For students on professional programmes, such as the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), we are following advice from your regulatory bodies. Your programme team will be in regular contact with you about next steps.
What technology is available to support my learning?
All B&FC students can access the following software via their accounts to assist them with their education:
- Read + Write – literacy software with tools designed to support reading, writing, study and research, which includes reader software and speech to text
- Mindview – software used for mind mapping, concept mapping and other visuals
If you are unable to access either of these two pieces of software via your account and would like to use them, please email email@example.com and we will investigate this for you.
We are also trialling a notetaking software called Glean. This is a great piece of software that allows you to record and take notes for any class you’re attending. If you would like this software please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have mitigating circumstances?
Any student can continue to claim mitigating circumstances in the usual way if their situation presents particular difficulties.
These are unusual and challenging times and we understand that very many students have been affected by the current situation.
For a period of 11 weeks from 23 March 2020, applications for Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMCs) have had relaxed requirements for supporting evidence.
However, from 8 June 2020 we will require specific evidence/verification to support student PMC applications. Lecturers, personal tutors and/or programme leaders can provide further information, guidance and support.
The B&FC Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMC) process will continue to enable us to consider each student’s unique context to ensure that no one is disadvantaged.
For general guidance concerned with PMC applications please refer to: HE Taught Award Regulations: Part B Section: 1: Personal Mitigating Circumstances and Interruption of Study Procedure.
What should I do if I have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic over a prolonged period of time?
Students who have been severely impacted for a prolonged period of time as a result of Covid-19, have an opportunity to apply for PMCs: Exceptional Arrangements, if appropriate independent documentary evidence is available that demonstrates good cause as to why a student’s performance and achievements have been adversely affected by means which have not been fully addressed through extension and other available assessment procedures.
If approved, the Reassessment Board of Examiners may exclude the assessment(s) in question (without penalty) from the calculation of the overall module score(s) in accordance with the guidance detailed on this website.
The PMCs – Exceptional Circumstances application form is available here.
What does ‘good cause’ mean?
‘Good cause’ will mean illness or other relevant prolonged and severe adverse personal circumstances affecting a student and resulting in either the student’s failure to undertake or submit an assessment at or by the due time, or otherwise satisfy the requirements of the scheme of assessment for their programme. For general guidance concerned with PMC applications please refer to: HE Taught Award Regulations: Part B Section: 1: Personal Mitigating Circumstances and Interruption of Study Procedure.
What type of documentary evidence will be considered in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?
We will give reasonable consideration to the form of documentary evidence that can be provided in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and understand that some usual sources of independent evidence in the UK may still not be available, e.g. a letter from a General Practitioner (GP).
Medical records should however be available from hospitals and General Practitioners on request. Third party evidence from someone in a professional capacity, who can verify the circumstances and who is in a position to provide objective and impartial evidence will also be considered. Electronic evidence will be accepted from verifiable addresses.
All evidence must be provided in English.
The following list details examples of the types of evidence that would normally be accepted to support an application for PMCs specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. This list should not be considered definitive, and we will always give reasonable consideration to other forms of documentary evidence provided. We may also request additional evidence to help to clarify a set of circumstances. This is in line with Lancaster University regulations.
If I am affected by COVID-19. Will I need medical or other evidence for PMCs?
In all instances the student will be required to explain how individual circumstances have affected their ability to complete/submit specific assessments or, how the student’s performance in these specific assessments was manifestly prejudiced or significantly impacted.
Illness of student
Where students have contracted coronavirus and have been admitted to hospital for treatment, evidence can include medical notes which demonstrate that hospital medical treatment was received including length of time spent in hospital.
Illness of ‘someone close’, usually a close family, who has contracted coronavirus
Medical evidence relating to the illness (clearly indicating dates of illness) plus evidence of the students connection to the person who is ill, or has been ill AND corroborating evidence to demonstrate the impact on the student (e.g. a member of College staff/other relevant third party, which can include family members). “Someone close” can mean parents or guardians, children, siblings, a spouse or partner.
Bereavement of ‘someone close’
“Someone close” can mean parents or guardians, children, siblings, a spouse or partner. Evidence of bereavement can take several forms, for example:
- A letter from funeral director or minister conducting the service.
- An Order of Service showing date, or other relevant documentation.
- A statement from a doctor or other qualified professional, or member of College staff (e.g. personal tutor) confirming you had disclosed a bereavement.
- A corroborating statement from a family member. A death certificate is also an acceptable form of evidence but is not a requirement.
Other acute/severe circumstances (including prolonged financial or accommodation difficulties associated with Covid-19)
Statement must provide clear details, including dates which link to the assessment(s) affected.
Students must provide evidence of how they were affected and why this prevented them from completing/submitting specific assessment(s) within the agreed timescales or, how their performance in these specific assessments was manifestly prejudiced. This should include supporting Independent evidence from a relevant professional person, i.e. landlord/agent or associated agency.
What happens if my PMCs – Exceptional Arrangements are approved?
Where PMCS – Exceptional Arrangements are approved, the Reassessment Boards of Examiners will:
- Consider the extent to which the student’s total assessment, at that level, has been completed as a percentage, taking into account the relative weights attributed to those assessments as published in the relevant approved assessment scheme.
- Make an overall judgement of the student’s work submitted for assessment, using as far as possible the standards and criteria applied in respect of the work of other students.
- At module level where the student has:
- completed 33% or more of the total summative assessment required, the Boards of Examiners can recommend an overall module result on the basis of work completed so long as that work is deemed to demonstrate attainment against substantial elements of the module’s learning outcomes;
- completed less than 33% of the work required for assessment, the student will be regarded as not having completed sufficient assessment to be awarded a grade in the module. In such cases students should be given an opportunity to complete the missing work as a first attempt.
- At programme level where the student has:
- completed 75% or more of the total work required for programme assessment, the Boards of Examiners will recommend an award or other outcome, including progression on the basis of the work completed;
- If a student has completed less than 75% of programme assessment, within a programme of study or completed less than 30% of programme assessment for an honours degree, the student will be regarded as not having completed sufficient assessment to progress or be awarded a degree.
Will I be able to progress/graduate this year?
To ensure that our students are not disadvantaged as a result of the current unprecedented circumstances we have made a number of adjustments to our assessment processes and regulations for this academic year.
What kind of adjustments have been made to ensure that I am supported with progression or graduation this year?
- Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMCs). Any student can apply for PMCs in the usual way. However, in these unprecedented circumstances requirements for supporting evidence were relaxed in respect of Covid-19 related claims or for any other illness. This applied from Monday 23 March 2020, when lockdown began. However, from Monday 8 June 2020 all subsequent/new PMC applications will require independent evidence. Further detail required to support Covid-19 related applications is provided below.
- Formal exams converted to time based assessments. The adjustments that we put in place to formal examinations included changes to the format and a 15 hour window.
- Amendment to a limited number of assessments. Following review of all modules to ensure that students were still provided with the opportunity to achieve all module learning outcomes, a limited number of specific assessment amendments were made.
- Scaling: Module grades for a cohort will be reviewed and adjusted if necessary, through this process Scaling is the systematic adjustment of marks at a module level across students on a programme in order to ensure they appropriately reflect the achievements of the students. Boards of Examiners will consider scaling for assessments for cohorts of students using a revised formula to ensure there has been no disadvantage or advantage due to Covid-19. Where possible, previous years’ data will be reviewed to provide reassurance that students are not being disadvantaged nor given unfair advantage over previous cohorts
- Condonation: where the Board of Examiners can decide to award credit, in accordance with regulations, where a student has marginally failed a module Condonation will normally only be considered where a student has exhausted all reassessment opportunities. However, for this academic year, condonation will, normally, immediately be applied without the need for reassessment, at all levels. Where a student wishes to undertake reassessment in one or more failed modules, they may do so provided they apply within five working days of results being made available
- PMCs: Exceptional Arrangements: For students who have been severely impacted for a prolonged period of time as a result of Covid-19 Students who have been severely impacted for a prolonged period of time as a result of Covid-19, have an opportunity to apply for PMCs: Exceptional Arrangements, if all the previous Covid-19 assessment adjustments (1 -5) have been exhausted and that appropriate independent evidence is available. If approved, the Reassessment Board of Examiners may exclude the assessment(s) in question (without penalty) from the calculation of the overall module score(s) in accordance with the guidance detailed below and outlined in relevant temporary adjustments to academic regulations.
Where can I find more information about temporary adjustments to academic regulations?
The temporary adjustments to B&FC and Lancaster University academic regulations are detailed here.
Lecturers, personal tutors and/or programme leaders can provide further information, guidance and support.
What additional online support is available?
- Our HELMs service is continuing to provide wellbeing and study support by email at HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk
- Financial support queries can be emailed to email@example.com
- Our Careers team can contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For assistance with finding online eBooks and journals for your studies using Microsoft Teams please use the call or chat feature to contact the LRC staff member related to your studies, or alternatively email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk including your student ID number in any correspondence.
- Higher Education Disability and Disabled Students’ Allowance support. The B&FC Non-Medical Helper (NMH) team is providing support services for students online, via telephone, email or through MS Teams. Please liaise with your designated NMH B&FC support staff to continue your current provision.
All queries relating to disability support (including Disabled Students’ Allowances) can be sent to DSAinfo@blackpool.ac.uk.
- Care leavers, carers and estranged students with no family contact are able to access SUCCEED support for prioritised support with remote study and finance.
Please email email@example.com if any of the above circumstances apply to you.
The Wellbeing team is providing a remote support service for students, both online and via telephone. If you would like to access this support, please fill in the online referral form.
What can I do to stay connected and engaged with the student and local community?
- B&FC Students’ Union. The Students' Union (SU) has been hard at work, creating a hub of enrichment activities which will be coming very soon to the SU website. This includes a whole range of things to do, uplifting messages from students and staff, competitions and resources to internal and external services. For updates please follow the Students' Union social media accounts and website: SU Website SU facebook SU Twitter SU instagram
- Local Community Support can be accessed via virtual Community Hubs that have been set up to provide support during the COVID 19 crisis. These hubs are able to signpost residents to local services, such as preventing loneliness, mental health support, and financial and debt advice.
- To contact the Blackpool Council hub telephone 0808 1963 080 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or click the following to access web resources. Alternatively, if you feel you can help, email email@example.com.
- To contact the Wyre and Fylde and other Lancashire County Council hubs, telephone 0800 511111: Talkzone is open from 8.30am to 10pm each weekday, and from 2pm to 10pm at weekends. Text 07786 511111, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.facebook.com/LancashireYZ or access web resources.
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.
Financial Support - Hardship applications can also be made online. Please contact us using the details provided below for more information and to apply. We will need evidence of your financial hardship, including your student finance award notice, tenancy agreement or mortgage statement and three months' bank statements for all your bank accounts for you and your partner if applicable (but we will discuss the evidence requirements with you when you apply).
Please contact us by emailing email@example.com or calling 01253 504474.
Careers and employability
The Careers Team is still operating and is available to support you during this time. The team can help you with online support for mock interviews, CVs, application forms and applying for student finance.
If you would like a personal careers guidance interview to discuss your goals, aspirations, progression options and more we can help you to formulate your ideas into a plan.
In addition, there are lots of opportunities to learn new skills and develop your employability.
All B&FC students have free access to LinkedIn Learning offering short video courses in creative, software and business skills.
You can also access your Gradintelligence account to create or update your e-CV or do some psychometric tests, in addition to reviewing your electronic transcript (HE-AR).
How do I get started with DegreePlus?
If you have been volunteering to support those in your local community, in response to the current situation, you may want to consider applying for DegreePlus.
This is a B&FC employability award that is added to your HE-AR for the purposes of enhancing your employability.
Application forms and details are available via Moodle in the Student Life sections.
If you would like further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communicating with students
Student success and wellbeing is our number one priority.
Communication is crucial in supporting our students and we have been producing regular newsletters to keep everyone updated with what's happening at B&FC and the help available during these challenging times.
We've put our higher education newsletters online so you can always access additional resources and advice:
- 1 April 2020
- 20 April 2020
- 5 May 2020
- 27 May 2020
- 1 June 2020: Learning and teaching from September
- COVID-19 Assessment Adjustments: 4 June 2020
About your graduation ceremony
Owing to the coronavirus and the government’s introduction of social distancing measures, we have made the difficult decision to postpone 2020 Graduation Ceremonies.
We understand this will be very disappointing for everyone concerned, however our collective health and wellbeing must be our main concern.
We have rescheduled your Graduation Ceremony for Wednesday 7 July 2021.
Setting this date should ensure we won't have to reschedule again.
Please be assured that this rescheduled event is yours alone to enjoy, with only those students who were due to graduate this summer being invited.
Students graduating next summer will attend an entirely separate ceremony a day later, on Thursday 8 July 2021.
If you are currently approaching the end of a Foundation Degree and continuing onto the Honours top-up year, it is possible you will be eligible to attend both ceremonies.
- If you are attending both ceremonies, you will only be asked to hire/pay for one set of gowns (to include a gown, hood and hat).
- For the top-up ceremony on 8 July, you will need to order an additional hood, however the College will pay the extra cost incurred.
- For graduates and their families, our graduation ceremonies represent a wonderful opportunity to both recognise and celebrate student achievement.
We are very much looking forward to sharing in your success and will keep you updated about the arrangements for this important event.
Thank you for your support during these unprecedented times. If you need to get in touch with us, please email email@example.com.
Advice for parents, carers and guardians
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. Thank you for being patient and understanding during this time.
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:
- Since Monday 23 March learning and teaching is delivered via our virtual learning environments, such as Moodle, Canvas, Onefile and Microsoft Teams. Paper based activities and resources have also been posted out to students
- 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 Employability 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 those who have parents/ guardians who are keyworkers have the opportunity to attend onsite 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.
Staying in touch
We'll be keeping you updated on developments at B&FC. Below find links to newsletters for parents, carers and guardians: