January 2021 COVID Update

Principal's Update for Students

Updated 11 January 2021

Dear students, parents and carers,

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding a national lockdown on Monday 4 January, all lessons will be delivered online until, February half term, but there is a possibility this may be extended further.

Our teaching and support staff are prepared for this following the previous lockdown and are focused on providing you with a high quality online learning experience. All students should now be able to log in and access the college systems. There is information in our FAQs on our website, if you need guidance for this.

Students that are unable to access learning from home, struggling with their mental health, feel vulnerable or need support, may come to college and staff will be able to help. This may mean access to online learning on campus or speaking to someone who can support your needs. Contact your tutor/teacher initially and/or log in here to BDC Online, to access a whole range of support to meet your needs.

Students with additional learning needs or disabilities can come to college throughout this time. Contact your tutor/teacher in the first instance. You or your parent/carer must email ehcp@bdc.ac.uk to tell us if you would like to attend.

We have a limited number of laptops available for students and are expanding the devices available to students who need to borrow a device to study at home. If you would like to request one, please email devicerequest@bdc.ac.uk. Please wait for a reply; do not come to campus to collect a laptop unless you have had a confirmation from us that one is available for you.

Planned exams, tests and external assessments are continuing to take place, in line with Government guidance. We will contact candidates if there are changes to this. Exams will be COVID-safe and social distancing is required. If you are not able to attend your exam and you haven’t already told us, email exams@bdc.ac.uk. For those of you taking exams I wish you the very best of luck.

Of course, no-one must come to campus at any time if you have COVID symptoms or if you are isolating. There is a lot of additional information on our website, which we will keep up to date.

We are continuing to respond to the Government announcement and updates which means that plans may need to be changed at short notice. I appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time and look forward to us all being back on campus together before too long.

Yvonne Kelly
CEO and Principal


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Coronavirus Update – Information for Students, Parents, Staff and Partners

Posted 5 January 2021

Further to the lockdown announcement last night, we would like to assure our students, parents and carers that plans are in place to ensure all our learners receive the support they need. We want all of our learners to continue making good progress while they are learning remotely and we will support them to do so throughout the lockdown and beyond.

Our academic staff will be liaising with all learners during the course of this week (5-8 January) to ensure that they are aware of the arrangements that are in place for lessons.

Learning for 4-8 January 2021

We have been advised by the Department for Education to put in place revised plans for the first week of the Spring term to help minimise contact and potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Therefore, for the week between Monday 4 January and Friday 8 January 2021 inclusive, the majority of students will be working remotely. This applies to full time, part-time, and evening class students and apprenticeships where learning takes place on college premises.

The following groups will be contacted directly about arrangements for their learning during this period:

  • vulnerable students and those with significant pastoral needs and,
  • supported learning students.

College tutors will contact all learners working remotely from Monday 4 January to confirm arrangements and normal lessons will start as timetabled. For all students due to sit exams before 15 January, please see further details below confirming that exams will be going ahead has planned. If you have further questions, please contact your tutor directly.

Onsite assessment of apprentices on employer premises will continue remotely where possible from week commencing 4 January and actual onsite visits will resume where possible from 11 January subject to the usual risk assessments.

We will be establishing mass testing for both students and staff to ensure we maintain a COVID-safe environment. The process and procedure will be shared on the website and with all key stakeholders shortly.

We are sorry that these changes are being communicated at short notice. We are working as quickly as possible to put in place measures to ensure we continue to provide high quality education and training in these challenging times.

The DfE guidance confirms that exam centres, schools and FE providers should remain open for exams and assessments. Therefore, all exams and assessments arranged between Tuesday 5 January and Friday 29 January at BDC will go ahead as planned.

Please ensure you attend at the times you are registered for and bring your own pens, calculators and any other resources that you will need to complete the exam.

We have timetabled exams carefully with our COVID safety teams to ensure numbers are spread over the exam period so that students are at a safe number to allow for social distancing.

All the usual safety measures remain in place, please make sure you put your face covering, display your ID badge on before entering the college, use the hand sanitisers available at the entrance and in common areas (combined with regular hand washing) and maintain social distancing.

If you have symptoms of ill health or suspect you may have coronavirus or if someone in your household has coronavirus, please do not come to college and contact your tutor.

On-Campus Guidance For Starting Students

We need your help to keep the college community safe and to prevent the spread of infection. When you are on campus you must:

  • Stay within your allocated bubbles
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wear a face covering inside our buildings and in our communal areas
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue and bin it
  • Only use marked entrances and exits
  • Follow the one-way system, direction signs and keep within your allocated bubble

It will take some time for the ‘new normal’ guidelines to become routine and supporting each other will help to keep everyone safe. If you notice that someone is not following the guidelines, please encourage them in a friendly and polite way and do not take offence to others reminding you.

For more information on our COVID policy, please see below:

  • COVID Code of Conduct
    We will be implementing and strictly enforcing this code from 15 June 2020. Any students that are found to have breached this code will be immediately asked to leave and face further disciplinary action

To ensure we are able to provide the safest possible environment to our students and staff, some facilities and services offered to students on campus has been impacted.

Open:

  • Student services
  • IT services
  • College first aiders
  • Emotional support and counselling services
    (By appointment only)

Closed:

  • All café and canteen facilities
    (Students are advised to bring their own food, snacks and water)
  • All sports and fitness facilities
  • All hair & beauty services
  • Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

In line with the government’s guidance, BDC will be assisting with the testing program onsite.

In preparation for this and to ensure we are able to effectively test and contact students, all students are requested to provide their consent through the below online form. Please ensure you are logged in via your BDC student email to view, complete and submit the below.

BDC COVID-19 Testing Consent Form

‘Returning to College’ Student Guide