Student information

Returning to College from Monday 8 March 2021

Following last week's government announcement and the planned return of students, students will be receiving more information from their Course Teams on details of the dates they will be able to return, with some students returning from Monday 8 March.

We have uploaded a number of videos to show what to expect if you are invited in to take a rapid lateral flow test or if you are a student at our Bedford College, Cauldwell Street campus to see the various building work taking place around the campus.

Remote Education Delivery by The Bedford College Group

Remote Education Delivery by The Bedford College Group

The Bedford College Group is committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to continue to engage with their learning programmes while ensuring that all Group activities are fully compliant with all measures required in response to the risks posed by COVID-19. Depending on the application of the Tier System in the locations where the Group operates and on whether a national lockdown is in effect, students may be required to carry out some or all of their learning via remote delivery.

During times when our campuses are closed due to national or local lockdowns and no face-to-face teaching is taking place, all students are expected to continue their learning using the online teaching services and resources provided by The Bedford College Group. These will be primarily provided through Microsoft Teams and Moodle. HE students may also be required to use the platform of their validating university e.g. Blackboard or Breo.

Details on how to access online learning and tips on using netiquette when attending online lessons are included on our COVID-19 response webpages https://bedfordcollegegroup.co.uk/covid19/student-information/

Delivery arrangements for remote education

Where possible, remote teaching will be delivered live via Microsoft Teams at your usual lesson times during term time. If it is not possible to host live lessons, lessons will be provided for students to retrieve from Moodle. If you have any problems accessing these online resources please email: moodlesupport@bedford.ac.uk or call 01234 291999.

During periods when all delivery is being conducted remotely unless notified otherwise, the same timetable as used for onsite or mixed delivery will still be followed. Remote education delivery will continue to include set work, including homework and assessment tasks, which must continue to be submitted in accordance with deadlines and assessment schedules set by teachers. 

Where apprentices are booked on to courses at any Group campuses, these courses have been moved to online lessons using Moodle and Microsoft Teams. Where courses are more practical in nature and these courses cannot be offered online, the courses will be postponed until restrictions allow the opening of classrooms and workshops.

Day release teaching has been moved to online sessions hosted at their normal timetabled time. Employees on apprenticeship programmes continue to be supported by their Training Co-ordinator online using OneFile, Microsoft Teams and phone calls.

The responsibility for overseeing the quality of the Group’s remote learning provision sits with the Group’s Quality Department. Any student experiencing any dissatisfaction with their remote learning experience should contact their Course Manager in the first instance.

Expectations of Students

It is expected that students will attend all of their timetabled lessons, ensuring that they are on-line and present at least 5 minutes before each session starts. Students should make sure that they have their usual classroom resources such as notebooks and pens to hand as there may be times where they are required to work with pen and paper rather than on their laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Whilst in online sessions, students must behave as if they were in a physical classroom, showing respect to everyone who is in the virtual classroom with them. As in a physical classroom, students are expected to engage in all activities and be proactive in answering questions and giving suggestions. Students may use the chat function or the virtual hand-raising tools in Microsoft Teams to do this.

At all times, while engaging in remote learning, students are required to follow The Bedford College Group’s ‘Netiquette Guidelines for Students’. These are available on the group website: https://bedfordcollegegroup.co.uk/covid19/student-information/

Access to specialist equipment and facilities

Provision of access to specialist resources, equipment and practical areas is only possible when some element of on-site attendance is permitted. Curriculum delivery plans will be continuously monitored by our teaching managers and teaching staff and modified so that practical activities and assessments relating to practical activities and access to specialist resources are prioritised during periods when access to our campuses for the delivery of education is permitted.

During periods such as local or national lockdowns when access to our campuses and sites is prohibited with the exception of vulnerable students or children of key workers, our remote education delivery will focus on course theory content and assessment primarily relating to theory topics.

Support for students with remote access issues

The Bedford College Group recognises that some students will experience issues arising from access to appropriate IT equipment or broadband services that may limit their ability to access our remote learning services from home. The Group approach is, in the first instance, to enable students to access remote learning from home and where this does not prove possible, to provide a COVID-safe environment where students may access their remote learning sessions and resources.

All students who receive an ESFA funded bursary can express an interest in a laptop to loan for home use. Expressions of interest for a loan laptop are reviewed by the SSF panel as supply allows.

Where access to reliable domestic broadband services is an issue, this offer is supplemented with a 4G broadband hotspot service.

Eligibility to apply for an ESFA funded bursary has been extended to learners who:

  • have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study).

Other students who are experiencing access issues may take advantage of the bookable IT space services available through the Group Learning Resource Centres at our Bedford and Kettering. These spaces are socially distanced and provide access to networked PCs that can be used to access all remote learning services and resources.

Students wishing to access the IT equipment and resources within the LRCs should email their Personal Achievement Tutors or Student Services to book their slot no later than 3.00pm on the Friday of the week before attendance is required:

 

 

Support for students with SEND

Where possible students with SEND will be accessing all sessions from home via teams in line with their normal timetable. Where students have an EHCP and in-class support, this will continue online as per their normal support arrangements.

For those students with an EHCP who wish to attend college, arrangements are in place to allow them to do so and are published on the main The Bedford College Group COVID-19 response web page  https://bedfordcollegegroup.co.uk/covid19/

Whilst on-site students will be supported to access their learning via teams, support staff will work alongside them as they would within the classroom to provide learning support in line with their identified needs. The college continues to follow COVID-19 safety measures in line with our rigorous risk assessment processes to ensure the safety and well-being of both students and staff whilst on site.

Group Study Support is still available for all identified students through teams, for those students whom previously accessed this support on a face to face basis staff are liaising with them directly to establish preferred methods of delivery during this time.

Roy Currie

Director of Information & Learning Technologies

January 2021

GCSE Results Day Thursday 14 January 2021 – Frequently Asked Questions

Any students due to receive their GCSE results on Thursday 14 January must not travel to College to collect these. Results will be available via Proportal after 8.30am by visiting: https://proportal.bedford.ac.uk/  

Results will be displayed in the recent 'My Comments' section. If you are unable to access Proportal you should email Moodle Support via moodlesupport@bedford.ac.uk. No results will be given over the phone or by email. Results will be posted First class on14th January. Students concerned about their results should contact their tutors in the first instance by e-mail

We have put together some frequently asked questions which may help you.   

Please note the deadline for the remark and access to scripts service is Thursday 28th January 2021 you must speak to your tutor before making a request.

If , after speaking your tutor and reading the FAQ’s, you wish to pay for a remark please use the following:

https://buytickets.at/bedfordcollege/473916

GCSE Results – Frequently Asked Questions

How close was I to the next grade?
To find out how many marks you were away from a grade; please contact your course tutor.

Will I be able to speak to anyone about my options if my grades are not what I was expecting?
Yes, please speak to your course tutor or student services who will happily discuss your options with you.

Why have I received an X grade?
This can be a variety of reasons – the main being that you did not attend the examination. If you did attend, the Exams Office will be able to investigate this further on your behalf. Please email :

examsbedford@bedford.ac.uk (Bedfordshire learners)

examskettering@bedford.ac.uk  (Northamptonshire learners)

Please title your e-mail - GCSE Result Enquiry.

I would like to re-sit an exam, how do I do this?
As you will be aware the DfE have confirmed they are cancelling GCSE examinations this summer. There is currently no clear guidance on how grades will be determined.  Your tutor will advise you as soon as full guidance is released.  In the meantime we will be collecting exam entry information from your tutors by 22nd January as a precaution.  Please ensure you tutor is aware you wish to re-sit.

How do I request access to my exam script?

You should speak to you tutor before requesting this service. If they agree that this would be beneficial for you, you should e-mail:

examsbedford@bedford.ac.uk (Bedfordshire learners)

examskettering@bedford.ac.uk (Northamptonshire learners)

There is no fee for this service

Please title your email – Access to scripts.

The deadline to request Access to scripts is Thursday 28th January.  Requests received after that date cannot be accepted.

You must clearly state that you give permission for your script to be requested.  You should include your name and student ID number as well as the script you request access to e.g. Maths paper 3 or English paper 1

How do I request a remark?
Before requesting a remark, you must speak to your course tutor as they will have further information on your exact score.

You may request a remark for any of your exam papers.  The awarding Body charge a fee for this service.  The cost is £40.40 per paper.

The deadline to pay for a remark is Thursday 28th January.  Requests received after that date cannot be accepted.

The following information explains what may happen following an enquiry about a result and any subsequent appeal. If there is an enquiry or appeal about a result of one of your examinations after your subject grade has been issued, there are three possible outcomes:

  • our original mark is lowered, so your final grade may be lower than the original grade
  • Your original mark is confirmed as correct, so there is no change to your grade.
  • Your original mark is raised, so your final grade may be higher than the original grade

If you decide that a review of marking is required you must use the following link to request and pay for your remark:

https://buytickets.at/bedfordcollege/473916

alternatively, use the QR code below to access the link:

Please be aware that by requesting a remark you give my consent to the Exams Office to make an enquiry about the result of the examination. In giving consent you confirm you understand that the final subject grade awarded to you following an enquiry about the result and any subsequent appeal may be lower than, higher than, or the same as the grade which was originally awarded for the subject. i.e the grade can go down as well as up or may stay the same. 

Remark fees are not refundable.

When will I know the result of my remark?
Usually you will be provided with the result of your remark within 25 calendar days.

When will I receive my certificate?
Certificates are delivered to the centre you sat your exams at by mid-March. Your certificate will be sent out directly to your home address.

I have moved house, how do I ensure my certificate goes to the correct address?
Certificates will be posted to the address we have on our system for you. If you have changed address please advise your tutor /Personal Achievement Tutor who will arrange for your address to be changed

Update for Apprentices and Employers (13 January 2021)

Closure of campuses and sites

All of our campuses and sites are closed to students, apprentices and visitors until further notice, except for students who are identified as vulnerable and on an education, health and care (EHC) Plan or students whose parents or carers are critical to the COVID-19 response.

 

Since the start of the national lockdown this has meant that the majority of staff have been working from home to support our students and employer partners online.

 

Work placements and work experience

The DfE have now published guidance to recommend that the College minimises work experience and work placements during the current national lockdown and to conduct this remotely where possible.

 

The Bedford College Group has agreed that if the industry in which work experience or work placement is operating during the current restrictions e.g. construction and the working environment is Covid-secure and unable to be offered online, we will contact students and apprentices together with their parents to agree to take part in the work placement.

 

In preparation for the rest of the academic year, the College is planning that work placements will be available where possible online and will be working closely with employers within industries that require students and apprentices to attend in person.

 

Our courses

If you have employees booked on to courses at any of our campuses, these courses have been moved to online lessons using our Moodle and Microsoft Teams platforms. Where courses are more practical in nature and we are unable to continue courses online, these courses will be postponed until restrictions allow the opening of classrooms and workshops. The Course Manager responsible for the course will be contacting students this week to discuss options. If you have not been contacted by us by Monday 18 January and an employee was due to start studying at the College this term please email us at training@bedford.ac.uk where we will be able to forward this on to the correct Course Manager for you.

 

Apprenticeships

Employees on apprenticeship programmes continue to be supported by their Training Co-ordinator online using OneFile, Microsoft Teams and phone calls. 

Useful information provided by the government can be found here for providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Day release teaching has been moved to online sessions hosted as their normal timetabled time. Course Tutors and Training Coordinators should have been in touch to confirm the times apprentices are expected to attend online by Monday 18 January. If you have not been contacted by then, please email your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise.

 

By moving the teaching to online learning we have prioritised the theory elements of the apprenticeship due to classrooms and workshops being closed for practical learning at the College. Training Coordinators will be able to discuss any practical learning that can be carried out safely in the workplace with employers that are operating during the current lockdown and their apprentices.

 

For apprentice’s reviews and onsite visits, as per government guidelines, apprentices should be working from home where they're able to, but in areas like construction for example, sites are still open and so we realise most apprentices are still working. Where apprentices are not working from home, site visits can still go ahead as long as the workplace is COVID-secure. For the majority of other industries, Training Coordinators are holding virtual visits and virtual reviews using Microsoft Teams.

 

Exams and End Point Assessments
The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that they expect scheduled vocational exams and assessments to go ahead, but colleges do have the choice to cancel these should they deem it unsafe to continue to run them. We are confident in our exam procedures and that we provide a COVID-secure environment for exams and assessments to go ahead at our campuses that have been risk assessed and approved by Public Health England (PHE), such as 2m social distancing. We also recognise that students and apprentices have been working extremely hard to prepare for their exams and assessments and they should have the opportunity to take these as planned.

Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided to continue to run exams and assessments scheduled during lockdown. If there are any changes to this, we will contact individual students and apprentices directly.

If a student or apprentice feels that they are not in a position to take their assessments due to personal circumstances, such as having vulnerable family members or having to travel on public transport, we fully respect that decision. We are assured by many of the awarding organisations that students will not be penalised for non-attendance during this latest lockdown. Full guidance on grading is currently unavailable and the DfE, Ofqual and awarding bodies are working on these arrangements and will provide updated guidance on this, and on vocational and technical qualifications (VTQ) assessments scheduled for February onwards which we will be able to share once it is confirmed.

If you have any further queries about assessment of your course, please contact the Course Tutor for your subject, or your Training Coordinator if it is an apprentice’s end point assessment who will be able to advise you of the current guidance we are following.

We welcome feedback from all members our College community and from the general public. We use this process to recognise and improve our service to students, staff and our wider communities. If you wish to share your feedback, please visit our Have Your Say pages giving as much detail as possible.

 

We will continue to keep you updated regularly. Please visit our dedicated web pages or follow our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information which we update as soon as we can with the latest developments.

 

Thank you for your continued support and we hope we can continue to provide training solutions for your business and employees. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact your dedicated contact within the College who will be more than happy to help.

VOCATIONAL EXAM AND ASSESSMENTS BEING HELD DURING LOCKDOWN (January 2021)

Our campuses are now closed to the majority of students during the current national lockdown so please do not travel to the College unless you are taking exams, or would like to continue studying in College and are classed as vulnerable, on an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or whose parents/carers are critical in the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that they expect scheduled vocational exams to go ahead, but schools and colleges do have the choice to cancel these should they deem it unsafe to continue to run them. We are confident that we can provide a COVID-secure environment for exams to go ahead at our campuses and have practices in place that have been reviewed and approved by Public Health England (PHE), such as social distancing. We also recognise that students have been working extremely hard to prepare for their exams and assessments.

Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided to continue to run exams and assessments scheduled during lockdown. If there are any changes to this, we will contact individual students directly.

If you have any further concerns about this, or about attending an exam or assessment please contact your Personal Achievement Tutor or Course Tutor.

A Level and GCSE students
It was confirmed on Wednesday 6 January by Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson that GCSEs and A and AS Level exams will not go ahead this summer. We will be able to provide more detail on how these will be assessed once we receive guidance from Ofqual and the government but please be assured that these will be graded by following the approved processes.

Netiquette Guidelines for Students

Netiquette Guidelines for Students

 

  1. Make sure that you sign into any online lessons that have been assigned to you

 

  1. Arrive early – aim to be logged in at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the session

 

  1. Don’t try to multitask – close down as many open tabs, as possible and put your phone away

 

  1. Suitable clothing should be worn at all times – no PJ’s, offensive clothing etc

 

  1. The background of your camera should be blurred, wherever possible or be aware what is behind you and ensure it does not disclose anything personal

 

  1. Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background

 

  1. You should have your microphone muted, unless asked specifically to unmute it

 

  1. If you have a question or are not sure about something, you should use the chat box or ‘raise your hand’ depending on the platform being used

 

  1. When typing in the chat box, keep this professional. Limit the use of emoji’s and do not type in capital letters as this can be seen as shouting

 

  1. Make sure that appropriate spelling and grammar is used in the chat box – no text talk

 

  1. Remember that typed text doesn’t always come across the same as if it was said verbally and can sometimes be read differently to how you meant it

 

  1. If you have a question, make sure that someone else hasn’t already asked it otherwise your tutor may think that you haven’t been paying attention

 

  1. Think before you type – online lessons create a digital footprint and words aren’t as easy to take back, as they are verbally

 

  1. Remember chat boxes can move quickly with a lot of comments/questions so be patient when waiting for a reply

 

  1. Always be kind to your tutor and your peers

 

  1. Lessons and 1-1 video chats will be recorded

 

  1. Pay attention to your whole lesson and make sure that you stay on topic with questions or statements

 

  1. Take your own notes as you would in a classroom setting – you will need these at a later date to help with completing coursework, assignments etc.

 

  1. Follow the student code of conduct as you would if you were in a classroom setting
Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Students

Even though you are now studying at home, we want to ensure that you are safe.  If you don’t feel safe or would like to discuss a personal problem, please do not hesitate to contact your Personal Achievement Tutor / Subject Tutor.  You can also make contact directly with the Safeguarding Team by emailing safe@bedford.ac.uk, please ensure that you include your name and the site where you study so that we can ensure that the right team can support you.  This email address is monitored between 8.30am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday.

We know that this is a difficult time and it can really affect your mental health.  We have put together a guide which can be found on Moodle which gives you some self-help tips and techniques to help you manage the tough times.  There are also a number of national helplines, should you feel that you need someone to talk to.

If you are in immediate danger, please do not hesitate to contact the emergency services on 999.

Below are some additional links to help you at this time. 

Useful Directory of Services

Key Wellbeing Contacts for Students - November 2020

COVID-19 Mental Health Support

Using an XBOX or Playstation to access Microsoft Teams

Please see a link to how you can access Microsoft Teams via your XBOX or Playstation which may help some students. 

Using XBOX_Playstation_to access Microsoft Teams

IMPORTANT ALL STUDENT UPDATE - TUESDAY 5 JANUARY 2021

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a third national lockdown on Monday 4 January which has now taken effect. This step is necessary to bring the new variant of the coronavirus under control.

There will be no face-to-face teaching until mid-February at the earliest. We have now moved all timetabled lessons online via Microsoft Teams and Moodle until students return to College. All students are expected to attend their online lessons as timetabled from Tuesday 5 January 2021.

Our campuses are closed to students so please do not travel to the College with the exception of the following:

  1. For students taking scheduled exams during January.
  2. Students who are classed as vulnerable, on an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or whose parents/carers are critical workers and cannot be safely cared for at home, can attend either our Bedford College or Tresham College Kettering campus from Tuesday 5th January 2021.

If you are in one of these categories and would like to attend, please email us by 4.00 pm on the day before you need to attend for confirmation.  You can contact us by:

Exams and vocational assessments are still taking place as planned during January in COVID-19 secure environments until we are advised otherwise and therefore students should still attend for these times only.

We will be in touch as soon as we can with further details from the government and awarding bodies. In the meantime, please stay safe and take good care of yourselves. Please be assured, our plans will protect your educational progress and support your wellbeing.

Continuing your Learning from Home

During this time all students are expected to continue their learning using the online teaching resources available through Microsoft Teams and Moodle. Where possible, teaching will be delivered live via Microsoft Teams at your usual lesson times from Tuesday 5 January 2021. If this is not possible, lessons will be provided for you to retrieve from Moodle. If you have any problems accessing these online resources please email: moodlesupport@bedford.ac.uk

We are aware that some students may wish to use our facilities within the Learning Resources Centres at each campus. If you feel that you may need to use the IT equipment within the LRCs please email Student Services to book your slot no later than 3.00 pm on the day before this is required.

 

How have you made campuses safe for students? Watch the video here

Safe Return to College Video

Staff are looking forward to welcoming new and returning students over the next week or so. The first term back for learning in College since March will see huge changes for us all, however we are confident that, by working together, we will be able to provide the quality learning experience our students deserve.

Over the summer period a lot of preparation has taken place across all of The Bedford College Group's campuses to ensure everyone’s safety as much as possible but this will mean that we all have a responsibility to follow the guidance. 

To highlight all the changes that have taken place watch this video (available with subtitles) which includes what to expect on your first day at College or how things have changed if you're returning for the next year of your course. 

Is the college open?

For details of how the Group is responding to the government's lockdown stages please view here

Updated: 01 September 2020

Following a detailed review of the government guidance, The Bedford College Group have been busy over the summer to prepare all of our campuses to open to a safe number of students and staff from September. 

Timetables have been reviewed to allow for social distancing in classrooms and workshops following the latest government guidance and these will be sent to all new and returning students over the next two weeks. The majority of courses will be taught using a mix of online learning and classroom study. 

First week back for students

A timetable of the arrangements for induction are being sent to all new and returning students over the next two weeks with more information on where to arrive on site on the first day back.

Limited numbers of students will be on site at any one time to allow for social distancing protocols but we ask that everyone works together to ensure that everyone gets the most from their first few days.

Students will be expected to follow the safety measures put in place at all campuses.

Some of the most recent developments include the following:

  • There will be an expectation for students to wear face coverings when moving around campus. Following the latest guidance from the government, face coverings are being encouraged around campus buildings except within classrooms and offices. It is important to remember that within catering facilities these should be worn unless eating.
  • All areas have been set up to adhere to the 2m social distancing rules where possible and no less than 1m+ with no one sitting face to face. Students should not remain on site once their lessons or support sessions have finished unless they have been requested to stay by their tutors or if it is during breaks between lessons. Please remember to follow the social distancing guidelines and if this is not possible you should wear face coverings.
  • Students must not visit other classrooms unless with prior arrangement.
  • Students must follow the directional signage in place at all sites and ensure that they adhere to the social distancing rules. Please do not congregate in corridors or reception areas and no one should be closer than a minimum of 1m+ at any time.
  • Students must remember to bring their own equipment needed for their sessions and any PPE. No equipment or PPE should be shared. 

The latest official guidance from the government can be found here.

If you have any concerns about studying with us in September please contact our Student Services team who are able to provide information, advice and guidance about your chosen subjects. 

Our email address is:
- Bedford campus: studentservices@bedford.ac.uk (or phone 01234 291770)
- Kettering campus: studentservices@tresham.ac.uk (or phone 01536 413232)

Students who are shielding or self-isolating

We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so far fewer young people are being advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. We expect most students will be able to return full time (part time for students attending part time courses) in the autumn term.

A small number of students may still be unable to attend because they are:

  • self-isolating or living with someone who is and/or has had symptoms or a positive test result themselves
  • a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)

Shielding advice for all adults and young people was paused on 1 August 2020. This means that even the small number of students who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to college, as can those who have family members who were shielding. Read the current advice on shielding.

If rates of the disease rise in local areas, young people (or family members) from that area, and that area only, may be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily unable to attend.

Students no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional are likely to discuss their care with their health professional at their next planned clinical appointment.

You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 - ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people.

If students are not able to attend because of public health advice, we expect you to offer them access to remote education.

Students who are pregnant should follow the relevant guidance in coronavirus infection and pregnancy.

Access to your online learning

Please see more information on how we are delivering teaching activity remotely above in the remote education delivery section. We have also added a useful diagram to show how to access the systems we are using for online learning here.

Since March 2020 this has worked well and following feedback from all students from September 2020 we will be using a mixture of online learning and classroom learning using our FE Moodle or HE Moodle. Please check this regularly. If you cannot access Moodle then please contact Moodlesupport@bedford.ac.uk.

Students must continue completing their activities, work and assignments set by their course team and meet any deadlines set. When learning online, students need to dedicate the same time to their studies as if they were in a College classroom.

Information on how to submit assignments will be available on Moodle. For most courses this will be through Turnitin. Feedback will be provided to students using Turnitin, e-mail, BREO, NILE or on ProPortal depending on the course being studied.

If you have any queries please contact your Course Team or Personal Achievement Tutor.

Information for Apprentices

Apprenticeships:

I have been furloughed, can I still work on the off the job activities?
Yes you can. Your Training Coordinator will work with you to enable you to access learning opportunities through OneFile, Moodle or other relevant learning platforms appropriate to your apprenticeship.

I have changed roles within the organisation I work for due to coronavirus, can I still gain my apprenticeship?
Your apprenticeship programme is linked to your job role within your company. If you have recently changed roles, please notify your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise further.

My job is classed as a key worker role. I am still working and am also covering staff shortages. Should I still be studying towards my off the job hours?
This may still be a very busy time for you and your employer due to the impact of Covid. If you are in this position, please notify your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise further.

I still have to complete my functional skills to complete my apprenticeship. Can I still study towards this from home?
There are a number of options available for you to complete your functional skills as part of your apprenticeship programme. Please contact your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise further.

I have completed all of my training, have gone through the gateway and am just waiting to sit my End Point Assessment. How can I find out when I will be able to do this as I heard that all assessments have stopped due to the coronavirus?
Most End Point Assessment (EPA) Organisations have adapted their EPA requirements and have resumed their bookings and delivery of EPAs. Please contact your Training Coordinator if you are unsure as they will be able to advise further.

I have been told that my job is being made redundant as a result of the coronavirus. What do I do?
If you find yourself in this position, please be assured that the college is committed to working with you to try to find alternative employment. Please contact your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise further as to the options available for you.

I have been furloughed but my employer is asking me to work, what do I do?
The conditions of furlough do not permit your employer to ask you to work whilst you are in furlough. If you are being asked to do this, please contact your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise further.

Will I be expected to attend College to learn in class?
Some apprenticeship programmes include a day release study element in college. You will be provided with details of this form your Training Coordinator at the start of this year. If you are unsure of this, please notify your Training Coordinator who will be able to advise further.

Exams and Assessments

Results Days 2020

Following announcements over August 2020 from Ofqual and also BTEC who made changes to the way GCSEs, A-Levels and other Level 2 and 3 qualifications were being awarded we circulated emails to all of our students to keep them up-to-date.

Confirmation was received on 21 August that the exam board, BTEC, would be issuing results to the College on a rolling basis from:

  • Tuesday 25 August 2020: BTEC Level 3 and OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technicals
  • Thursday 27 August 2020: BTEC Levels 1 and 2

Students have been informed that they will have their results published on ProPortal by 5pm on Friday 28 August 2020. The exams team are sending text messages once the College receives students’ results to advise them to visit the ProPortal link via Moodle using the usual username and password they use to log on to Moodle/College computers using the following link: https://proportal.bedford.ac.uk/

These grades are a stepping stone to your next step in further study with us, at university, employment or an apprenticeship. To discuss progressing to the next level with us if you have met the conditions of your fast track offer please contact your Personal Achievement Tutor or Course Tutor. If your results are slightly lower than you feel you could have achieved, they may still be good enough to get you onto the next level course or a university course.

If you need to speak to a member of staff or Student Services after receiving your results we have provided contact details and useful helplines.

If you are unable to get onto your chosen course and would like to retake A-Level or GCSE exams, you will have an opportunity to take them in the autumn. Full details of how you can register to retake A-Levels or GCSEs will be provided alongside your results slip that will be posted.

For more information about receiving your results and how they have been calculated please read this information prepared by Ofqual which aims to answer your questions. We have also included a number of frequently asked questions below which you may find useful.

FAQs

How have we calculated your results at The Bedford College Group?
The calculated grade that you will receive in August is the most likely grade that a student would have achieved had the exams/ final assessments gone ahead.
Grades have been based on a range of evidence including mock exams, non-exam assessment, homework assignments and any other record of student performance over the course of study.
Your tutors have worked as a team to produce the ‘most likely’ result using the evidence that they had. We can assure that the grading verification process followed by the Group has been carried out fairly and unbiased and have not taken the opportunity to over-inflate or be too restrictive on outcomes. The College has followed strict national guidance, however if you have any queries relating to your calculated grades please read the Ofqual Student Guide to Results which will help.
Tutors and our Exams teams submitted the centre assessed grades to the exam boards and the final outcome for each student, a calculated grade, has been determined by the exam board.

How do I find out unit breakdown details?
On the 13th August and 20th August we will be issuing overall grades only via Proportal and not a unit breakdown. The breakdown will be posted out to all students’ home addresses along with their official result slip in first class post as soon as the results are received by the College.

When will I receive my certificates?
Certificates will be posted within 3 weeks of receipt by the College to students’ home addresses. For Apprentices this may be slightly later as they will need to be processed by the Apprenticeship Team before being posted.
It is anticipated that there may be a delay to certificates being sent to the College as Awarding Bodies have retained certificates during the closure period.
Confirmation of students’ grades on Proportal does not mean that the College has the certificates or any result documentation from the Awarding Body – it may be the result has only been released online. GCSE and GCE certificates are usually received in College during November and we believe vocational qualifications will follow a similar timeline.

I have not received my results by 21st August – what do I do now?
Some vocational and technical results may arrive with the College slightly later than the 20th August and so from 24th August we will be sending all affected students a text message as soon as we receive their results from the awarding body to advise them that their results are available to access via Moodle.

Exam/ Results Helplines
If after receiving your results you still have questions you can contact the College using LiveChat on our websites or contact the helplines below who will be able to help and advise:
• General advice and guidance
Student Services for any careers information and guidance or if you are unsure of your next step:
o Bedfordshire Student Services: Email studentservices@bedford.ac.uk or telephone 01234 291770
o Northamptonshire Student Services: Email studentservices@tresham.ac.uk or telephone 01536 413232.
o LiveChat via College websites will also be monitored for enquiries about your results.
o A virtual open day is being hosted by the College on results days. See the College website for more details.
• The Bedford Sixth Form A-Level Results Helpline
A-Level and AS Level students should call 01234 291291 for any additional advice after receiving results online on 13th August.
• More information on the awarding process
You can find more resources and information about this year’s awarding process via gov.uk/guidance/your-results-what-next
• Results, appeals, complaints and next steps
The Exam Results Helpline can provide information on appeals, complaints, or what your next steps may be once you’ve received your results: 0800 100 900 nationalcareers.service.gov.uk Lines open from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.
• Ofqual
0300 303 3344 gov.uk/ofqual Lines open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls charged at your standard network rate.
• Higher education
For higher education questions, such as application and admissions, you may need to contact the relevant institution directly. UCAS can also provide information on university applications: 0371 468 0 468 ucas.com Lines open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 6pm, calls charged at your standard network rate.
• Mental Health Support
Make sure you speak to somebody if you are feeling anxious or struggling with your mental health. This might be a parent, carer or someone else you trust.
You can also contact
• Young Minds Text YM to 85258 youngminds.org.uk
• Childline 0800 11 11 childline.org.uk
• Your GP: call and ask for an emergency appointment.
• NHS 111: they can assist in providing the mental health support you may need.

How will I progress to the next course at TBCG (The Bedford College Group)?
Please don’t worry, you have been provided with automatic progression within the college. We are hosting online open days on 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st August and you can register online via our websites to attend or use LiveChat.

Student support

Student health and wellbeing
Student Services remains open to continue to support students and can be accessed on site from 14 September or through email:
- Bedfordshire: studentservices@bedford.ac.uk
- Northamptonshire: studentservices@tresham.ac.uk
You can also contact your Personal Achievement Tutor, Course Manager or Training Co-ordinator for support in the first instance using their email.

We really hope that you are not worrying too much about this situation. It can be difficult not to – and it may be a good idea to follow some expert advice if you are feeling anxious. There is some good advice on the Mental Health Foundation website.

Your health and safety

Help to reduce the spread of coronavirus by following social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering when in public spaces. 

The latest information and advice on coronavirus – what it is, how it is spread, the risks and what you can do to protect yourself can be found on the NHS website.

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

If anyone has any of the symptoms above they should self-isolate at home.

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Check the NHS website if you have any symptoms 

We also recommend that you continue to follow these good hygiene practices:
- wash your hands with soap and water often - do this for at least 20 seconds
- wear a face covering when using public transport and whilst walking around campus
- Use hand sanitiser gel, if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as often as possible and as soon as you get back home
- cover your mouth and nose with tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

How can we travel in Minibuses safely?
 
The following safety procedures will be followed if you are to use College minibuses to travel to a campus or for specific events/ trips until further notice:
  • Minibus travel will only be used if it is deemed to be essential to your course by your tutors and Head of Department who will have also have been required to complete a full risk assessment.
  • Staff and students must remain within their designated teaching bubbles when travelling for track and trace purposes.
  • A full list of all passengers will be kept by the organiser of the trip and this will be kept for at least 14 days after the trip, for track and trace purposes.
  • No individual displaying Covid-19 symptoms will be allowed to travel.
  • The driver of the minibus will sanitise all contact surfaces in the vehicle before use – door handles, steering wheel, seatbelts etc.
  • All individuals must wear face coverings (staff and students) when in the vehicle.
  • All individuals must sanitise their hands thoroughly before and after the journey.
  • Windows must be kept open to allow ventilation during the journey.
  • The maximum number in a minibus will be 9 students plus one driver
  • All individuals must sit 1m apart by using separate seats.
  • Fogging (sanitisation) of the vehicles will be completed by the Estates & Facilities Team once the vehicle has returned to site.
What about Learning Centres?

Our Learning Centres are now open but all students must pre-book their sessions before attending.  If students have any queries please email:

Bedford: bedfordlearningcentre@bedford.ac.uk

Corby: corbylearningcentre@bedford.ac.uk

Kettering: ketteringlearningcentre@bedford.ac.uk

What about if I study on other adult courses (e.g. counselling, AAT, CMI)?

All adult courses have been reviewed to allow them to be taught following the latest safety guidance and will be taught through a combination of online and classroom study.

Your Course Manager or Lecturer will be in contact to provide more details of your timetable and the arrangements for adult courses.

Courses not yet started in the summer term had been postponed and so all students should have been contacted with more details on enrolments that have been carried over to the next available course.

I receive a meals bursary. How is this provided whilst I am not in College?

If you don’t attend college and you currently receive free school meals, we will still continue to provide you with financial assistance. We will pay a free school meal (FSM) allowance into your bank account.

What should I do if I had a planned trip with the College?

The government is currently advising against all overseas education trips for those under 18. Domestic trips (residential and non-residential) have also been cancelled until further notice. If you have paid monies for a trip overseas which has now been cancelled, this will be refunded to you.

How can I keep up-to-date with what is happening at my College?

We have set up this page where we will share any updates and answers to frequently asked questions, and we will also post updates via our official social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. If you have any queries that have not been answered in relation to the College’s response to Covid-19 restrictions please email us on health@bedford.ac.uk

What happens with my work placement?

What happens with my work placement?

The College's current position, in line with directives from the DfE, is that placements can go ahead where The College is satisfied that employers have appropriate COVID-19 risk assessments and social distancing plans in place. 

For regular study programme placements (the 20hrs) The Group recommends that students and their tutors prioritise online/virtual placements where ever possible but recognised that certain courses, including the T-Levels that placements must be on site.