Student FAQs: COVID-19 Throughout the global pandemic, B&FC has consistently chosen to go above and beyond any government requirement regarding COVID prevention measures in order to mitigate as far as possible the transmission of COVID-19 on any B&FC campus. This approach was proven to minimise the opportunity for any onsite outbreaks, and enabled us to continue with face to face learning, teaching and assessment during most of the pandemic. We have recently reviewed this guidance in line with the government's plan for living with COVID-19 and with the lifting of all remaining restrictions and have put the following new measures in place as a result of this review. Vaccinations In line with Government advice and guidance, B&FC continues to encourage you to receive your vaccination or top up if appropriate as the best way to protect you and your loved ones. Face coverings There is no longer any mandatory requirement to wear face coverings indoors at any B&FC campus. We would, however, strongly advise you to wear a face covering in busy communal areas and when working in close contact with others. Testing Positive for COVID-19 B&FC will continue to advise those who have tested positive to stay at home, avoiding contact with other people for at least 5 full days and continue to follow the government guidance. Close contacts You do not need to self isolate or carry out seven-day consecutive testing if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID. What we are continuing to do We will continue to promote the use of ventilation to help circulate fresh air and operate hand sanitiser dispensers as part of the initiative to promote good hand hygiene and follow the guidance for 'Catch it. Kill it. Bin it.' We will also maintain the use of screens in the refectories, the Loop and receptions providing they continue to be fit for purpose/appropriate. We would ask that you notify the College of any Absence due to COVID-19 so that we can monitor infection rates and outbreaks. In all other respects, absences due to COVID-19 need to be treated similarly to any other infection. Please do not attend College, notify the College of your absence and only return when you are feeling better. Arrangements will be put in place to help you catch up on any learning you miss as a result. Should COVID-19 infection levels rise regionally and nationally, then we may implement further measures to combat the spread of disease and mitigate impact on teaching and learning. This could involve a requirement for all students to wear face coverings in an indoor setting unless you are exempt. Information: vaccinations for students working in health and social care A reminder that from Friday 1 April 2022, all Health and Social Care students aged 18 and over who wish to undertake a placement in any CQC registered setting may need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to take up that placement. You will need to check with the individual employer to confirm what their COVID vaccination policy is. This may also apply to students aged 16 and 17 so we recommend having your vaccination as soon as possible to ensure you are not excluded from any placement experience. Travelling to College Please follow the national advice and guidance for using public transport. B&FC encourages you where possible to walk or cycle to College, which provides the opportunity for regular exercise which contributes to our wellbeing. Remember, unless you are exempt some transport providers may require you to wear a face covering. For the health, safety and wellbeing of our College and wider community it is critical that your behaviour on, and travelling to, campus is respectful of: Government guidelines Student Code of Conduct Student Charter. Now, and more than ever, respect, consideration and tolerance are at the forefront of our shared values. Wellbeing on campus COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Testing From the 1 April 2022, the government will cease to provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England. Paid for lateral flow test kits will be available from pharmacies and other retail outlets once free testing ends. Is B&FC a smokefree college? Yes. As part of our commitment to providing every member of the B&FC community with a healthy and safe environment, we have made all our campuses no smoking. This means smoking of all kinds - including vapourisers and electronic cigarettes - is strictly forbidden. If you need support in quitting smoking, there are many support services available: Smokefree website National Smokefree Helpline: 0300 123 1044. Chat to a friendly, trained advisor for confidential advice, information and support Local Stop Smoking Service Finder NHS Smokefree Facebook Group Your wellbeing We understand that many of you will continue to feel 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. Useful wellbeing resources Our letter to higher education students B&FC's student wellbeing strategy. Supporting students Still looking for the answer to your question? Email us at email@example.com. Digital support How can I access online learning? Whilst the majority of learning will take place via face to face sessions there may be some opportunities for online learning. Online and distance learning will be provided to support students with their learning, using the College’s Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas), OneFile, B&FC email and/or Microsoft Teams. What you'll need Computer or other device capable of connecting to the internet. Wi-Fi or broadband connection. Webcam and microphone (can be integrated). To get started Activate your college Office365 email address Download Office365 applications including 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. Log on to Canvas - your virtual learning environment. Support accessing digital resources Technical issues? Contact IT Services 01253 504222. Need advice on using these resources? Contact your tutor. How can I get help with Canvas (the College's virtual learning environment)? Speak to your tutor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org including your student ID. Problems accessing Office 365? If you've double checked your username and password, visit the Microsoft 365 Service health status page here. If the page says there are currently no known issues, or you need a password reset, contact the IT Service Desk. How do I contact IT Services? If you're having issues logging in to your account, or need to reset your password, 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. For any other issues, please raise a request on the IT Service Desk Portal. The Learning Resource Centres All LRCs are now open and no booking slots are required. Closing times may vary over the summer vacation so please email in advance LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk. If you require a specific (hard copy) text from a different LRC/campus it can be ordered and made available at a campus of your choice. You are also able to browse books, though we recommend doing this online in advance using your library catalogue. If you need assistance in locating the relevant resources an Adviser is on hand to help in your Teams Virtual Library Channel. If you require a specific eBook, email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk. Don't forget to include your student ID number. 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. 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 (thinkuknow.co.uk) 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. 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. Lancashire Safeguarding features essential advice for parents, carers and guardians. Technology supporting learning for degree-level (higher education) students 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. Study support Your tutor You can contact your tutor on Canvas, Microsoft Teams, or via email. Alternatively, please contact your Head of Curriculum: Access to Higher Education - Margaret Bamforth at firstname.lastname@example.org Apprenticeships - Coleen Hickson at Coleen.Hickson@blackpool.ac.uk Blackpool School of Arts - Marc Potter at email@example.com Business and Management - Annie Kerfoot at firstname.lastname@example.org Catering and Hospitality - Annie Kerfoot at email@example.com Computing - Marc Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org Construction - Jon Tomkinson at email@example.com Engineering, Science and Automotive - Scott Cubitt at firstname.lastname@example.org Hair, Beauty and Related Therapies - Annie Kerfoot at email@example.com Society, Health and Childcare - Margaret Bamforth at firstname.lastname@example.org Sport and Public Services - Annie Kerfoot at email@example.com Teaching - Margaret Bamforth at firstname.lastname@example.org Apprenticeships Email ApprenticeSupport@blackpool.ac.uk. Wellbeing Please fill in this short referral form and we'll be in touch. Study support for degree-level (higher education) students How can Higher Education Learning Mentors (HELMs) support my studies? HELMs offer: Academic development: we can help you to improve your essay planning, critical analysis and editing skills. Coaching sessions to establish what your goals are and how you will reach them. Hacks to save time and stay organised Individualised action plans so that you achieve the best outcomes you can. English support to develop your grammar, punctuation and writing skills. Valuable feedback: students who have used the HELM service have seen the quality of their work improve. Employability: all of the skills you develop with your HELM will help you to reach your career goals. How to contact HELMs Email HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk Book an appointment Chat with HELMs on Teams Read our letter to HE students. Study support for 16-18 (further education) students How do I get in touch with my progress coach? Email email@example.com Find out more about progress coaches Careers and employability support for degree-level (higher education) students The Careers Team is still operating and is available to support you throughout the pandemic and beyond. The team can help you with online support for interviews, CVs, application forms and applying for student finance. 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 CV or do some psychometric tests, in addition to reviewing your electronic transcript (HE-AR). Contact us for any careers support you need - including 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: Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call 01253 504474. What's 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. You can also apply for a DegreePlus award if you are a Student Rep or maybe you have been involved in a fundraising activity? We have a Digital DegreePlus award that will enable you to learn and demonstrate your digital skills to a prospective employer. Any award that you successfully complete will be added to your HE-AR for the purposes of enhancing your employability. Browse the awards on Canvas (B&FC login required). You can also get to the DegreePlus Canvas page via the Student Life Careers Team pages (B&FC login required). If you would like further information, email email@example.com. What about placements? Some placements have already commenced, where COVID-19 secure environments have been suitably risk assessed. From September 2021 it is anticipated that the full range of placement opportunities will recommence, subject to appropriate Government advice and guidance. Please consult with your curriculum area for details of placement opportunities. If you have any queries please contact your tutor or email firstname.lastname@example.org. When are results days this year? In 2022: GCSE results are released on Thursday 25 August. What happens if I don't get the grades I was expecting? Firstly, don't worry. B&FC is here to help! We have lots of courses here at B&FC - and experts who can help find the right course to match your needs. More information and support to help you take the next step can be found here. In the unlikely event that you would like to appeal your results, you can find details on which grounds you can appeal and how to do this here. Who do I contact for more information? Email email@example.com. Don't forget to include your student ID. Financial support If you don't find the information you need below, please visit our financial support pages: Financial support for 16-18 years olds Fees and funding for adult students Fees and funding for higher education students Will I still receive my bursary? Bursary payments will continue as planned. You may be eligible to apply to the Barriers for Learning Fund - please email firstname.lastname@example.org. I normally get a free meal at College. How will I access this? If you're eligible for free meals, you will be able to access these through the college eateries from 6 September 2021. For more information please email email@example.com. Financial support resources There are lots of organisations providing support through financial hardship. Councils Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre councils support for residents, including financial support and food bank information: Blackpool Council Wyre Council Fylde Council Debt support services Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) - talk to an adviser online. Turn2Us - advice about benefits and grants National Debt Line - free, independent advice over the phone and online Food banks Sometimes, you may need to be referred to a food bank, this can be done via the council links above and via the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). Fylde Foodbank Fleetwood Food Bank Call 07821498161 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Amazing Graze Website Call 01253 406152 Health and wellbeing support 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. 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. All clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) students should attend college unless you are one of a very small number under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by your clinician, or other specialist, not to attend. If you are CEV and are attending college please inform your tutor, at or before induction, so additional safety measures can be put in place If you have been told that you are clinically extremely vulnerable you can get a COVID-19 vaccine now. You need to contact your surgery for guidance on how to book an appointment if you have not received this already 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) 01253 953953. 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. To report a non-urgent safeguarding concern please use the big yellow button on the Student Life SharePoint site. 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 COVID-19 support and advice: gov.uk/coronavirus. 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. 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 Phone: 0808 1963 080 (open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) Email: email@example.com Website To offer help, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com Facebook Website For additional information, check out 10 ways to take care of your mental health and wellbeing. Advice for parents, carers and guardians Thanks for your patience and understanding during this challenging 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. Read our 16-19 Tuition Fund Statement to find out how Blackpool and The Fylde College plans to use its 16-19 Tuition Fund allocation to support students who may have had their learning disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. If a student is unwell or unable to attend sessions, they must notify us by phone on 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 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 Latest guidance for HE students from Department of Education (13 April 2021). Helping us, help you: providing feedback on your student experience We welcome feedback from students, parents, guardians and employers about the service we provide as a college. To provide feedback: Visit blackpool.ac.uk/feedback If you're a student, please contact your tutor or head of curriculum.