Message from Vice Principal

Thanks for your ongoing contribution and hard work as a member of the B&FC community.

 

I am writing to keep you informed of the ways in which we are continuing to respond to the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is particularly relevant in this period of national lockdown where, following government instruction, we have moved all on-campus teaching and assessment online. As you will appreciate, this decision was taken to support your health, safety and welfare and that of your fellow students and B&FC staff.
 
Assessments
As you will be aware, we are not currently conducting any assessments requiring students to come on campus. Each assessment is currently being reviewed to determine the most appropriate form, for example time-limited assessment or coursework. Your lecturers and/or programme leader will provide you with specific further information, guidance and support.  
 
Mitigating Circumstances
We recognise that this extraordinary situation may be creating additional pressures. The 
B&FC Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMC) process enables us to consider each student’s unique context to ensure no one is disadvantaged. During this period, we will consider a range of evidence/verification to support those impacted by circumstances relating to COVID-19. Please contact your lecturers, personal tutors and/or programme leaders to discuss and obtain further information, guidance and support.
   
I also wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of all the support available to you:
 
The Higher Education Learning Mentors (HELMs) are continuing to provide a remote service to support all higher education students with academic support, for example reviewing assignment briefs, assignment planning and support with referencing. Follow this link to 
book an appointment, chat with HELMs on Teams or simply email HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk.
 
Financial support
If you have a general enquiry about financial support please email 
ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk
 
If you are suffering hardship as a result of the pandemic there is a fund available to help. Follow this link to 
find out about eligibility and to apply. This funding has been made available by the Office for Students for higher education students (on a course at level 4 or above) and applications must be received by 12 February 2021.
 
Other financial hardship funding is available to HE students, which is also non-repayable. You must already be in receipt of student finance to be eligible for this funding. Email 
careers@blackpool.ac.uk for more information.
 
Technology to support your learning
A ‘Digital Lounge’ has been established at Bispham, accessible by appointment only. The Digital Lounge is available for those students without access to Wi-Fi or a suitable device for study and for those students for whom isolation may be affecting their wellbeing. 
 
If you would like to access the Digital Lounge, please contact your lecturer or progress tutor at least 24 hours before you would like to attend and they will be able to book you in. If you have any other issues accessing technology or equipment to support your studies, please contact your lecturer or progress tutor to discuss these. 
 
All B&FC students can access the following software via their student account to assist 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 canvas@blackpool.ac.uk and we will investigate this for you.
 
Learning Resource Centres
For assistance with finding online eBooks and journals for your studies, please email 
LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk including your student ID number in any correspondence.
 
If you require a specific (hard copy) text from a different LRC/campus it can be ordered and made available at Bispham Campus during your arranged visit. Please email
LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk with your request - and don't forget to include your student ID number.
 
Care leavers, carers and estranged students with no family contact are able to access a package of prioritised support to assist with remote study and finance.
Please email 
hannah.emery@blackpool.ac.uk if the above circumstances apply to you.
 
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. 
For any queries relating to disability support (including Disabled Students’ Allowances), please contact 
DSAinfo@blackpool.ac.uk 
 
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
 
For up-to-date information during the pandemic please continue to visit
Students’ Frequently Asked Questions on our website and keep an eye on our social media for updates.
 
As always, we are grateful for any comments, feedback or concerns you wish to raise with us either directly or by email, via your lecturers, personal tutor and programme leader, the Students’ Union, and your course rep. This helps us to continue to learn together to support your learning journey.
 
Finally, please continue to take care of your own wellbeing, and that of your family and friends, while following the government’s advice regarding social gatherings and staying at home. I appreciate the contribution you are making to our College community in rallying together during these difficult circumstances.

Best wishes,
 
Cheryl Dunn
Vice Principal HE and Student Enhancement