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Coronavirus: FAQs

FAQs - LAST UPDATED 03 APRIL 2020

When will the college re-open?
At the moment we anticipate the College will remain closed to most students and staff until further notice except for vulnerable students, those on EHC plans or those whose parents/ carers are critical COVID-19 response workers only. We will update these pages as information is available. The Bedford College campus (Cauldwell Street) and Tresham College campus in Kettering will remain open to these specified students. The reduced opening hours of 9.00am to 4.30pm will be in place. All campuses will be closed to students during the Easter break (6th to 17th April 2020)

Which job roles are counted as critical workers?
Please click on the following link for a list.

Am I counted as a vulnerable student?
Vulnerable students include those who are supported by social care and those with safeguarding and welfare needs. A full list is available here.

Will you be open over the Easter holidays?
No, all campuses will be closed to students from Monday 6th April to Friday 17th April 2020.

Which subject areas does the closure affect?
The closure applies to all subject areas.

I am a vulnerable student, a student on an EHC plan or my parents/ carers work are critical COVID-19 response workers - Do I have to come to college?
You do not have to attend college and many young people of parents/carers who are working in the critical sectors will be able to safely stay at home. But for those students where this isn’t an option, we will be open.

Am I still expected to study even though the college is closed?
All students are expected to continue their studies by accessing online learning set by your Course Tutors on FE Moodle or for HE students using Breo for students on University of Bedfordshire courses and NILE for students on University of Northampton courses.

If you cannot access Moodle then please email moodlesupport@bedford.ac.uk You should have contact with a member of your teaching team at least twice a week.

How can I continue my Apprenticeship?
You will continue to be supported in your studies by your Training Co-ordinator using OneFile. Reviews and visits will be conducted using Business Skype and day release teaching is cancelled until further notice. Technical certificates and Functional Skills will continue to be delivered remotely.

What about Learning Centres?
Our Learning Centres are closed until further notice. Students have been provided with work to complete at home. If students have any queries please email:
Bedford: bedfordlearningcentre@bedford.ac.uk
Corby: corbylearningcentre@bedford.ac.uk
Kettering: ketteringlearningcentre@bedford.ac.uk

I am an ESOL or Basic Skills student. How will I study?
Classroom teaching has stopped on these courses. Your Tutor or Course Manager will continue to support you online.

What about if I study on other adult courses e.g. counselling, AAT, CMI?
Classroom teaching has stopped on these courses. The majority of these courses are being delivered remotely. Your Course Manager or Lecturer will have contacted you regarding the arrangements for these courses. Courses not yet started have been postponed. Enrolments will be carried over to the next available course.

What facilities will be open to the students allowed on campus?
Our LRCs are now closed at all campuses but if you require books and reading materials please email Student Services. Our catering outlets are also now closed. If you are attending college and receive a meal bursary (FSM) this will still be provided. Please email the Student Services team who will organise this for you.
- Bedford Student Services: studentservices@bedford.ac.uk
- Tresham Student Services: studentservices@tresham.ac.uk
Other students will need to bring in a packed lunch if they are on campus.

I receive a meals bursary. What’s your plan to provide for this during the closure and 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 allowance into your bank account.

I’m due to start a course, however due to the coronavirus my course is delayed. What will happen now?
See above for other adult courses.
Classroom teaching has stopped on these courses. The majority of these courses are being delivered remotely. Your Course Manager or Lecturer will have contacted you regarding the arrangements for these courses. Some courses will be available via Distance Learning.

What will happen with my exams?
Following government advice GCSE and A Level exams due to take place in May and June will not take place. All work must continue to be assessed as per awarding body guidance. Where appropriate, assessments will be submitted electronically using Turnitin. Information on how to submit assignments will be available on Moodle.

Feedback will be provided to students using Turnitin, e-mail, BREO, NILE or on Proportal depending on the course you are studying. If students have any queries please contact the Course Team or Personal Achievement Tutor.

Please continue to prepare for other examinations and end point assessments unless otherwise advised. We are awaiting further guidance on external examinations and will update students on Moodle as soon as we receive this information.

Assessments may need to be adjusted in the light of these and other changes. We are currently liaising with our awarding bodies. Any changes will be communicated as soon as possible.

Can I still apply if my GCSE exams have been cancelled?
If you have had your interview and offer letter already you do have a guaranteed place on one of our programmes. Although the government has announced that GCSE exams will not be going ahead this summer, we are committed to ensuring that all students who apply to join us this year will be able to do so. We therefore want to reassure you that you have nothing to worry about with regards to your application onto one of our programmes starting in September 2020.

The Bedford College Group are committed to ensuring that the challenges of the current situation will not prevent our current or future students from achieving their full potential, we are with you every step of the way.

What should I do if I had a planned trip with the College?
The government advises against all overseas education trips for those under 18. Domestic trips (residential and non-residential) have also been cancelled. If you have paid monies for a trip overseas which has now been cancelled, this will be refunded to you.

What should I do if I have a personal trip planned abroad (for example, over Easter)?
The current advice for advice on travelling abroad is constantly changing. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice took effect immediately on 17 March and applies initially for a period of 30 days. Please the latest advice here Foreign & Commonwealth Office guidance.

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 the outbreak please email us on health@bedford.ac.uk

What can I do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus whilst not at College?
You must stay at home.
The only reasons to leave your house have been defined by the government and NHS to be:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

If you do leave your home for one of the reasons above you should:
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
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 symptoms

We also recommended that you continue to follow the good hygiene practices:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel, if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get back home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards Government advice on what you need to do can be found here

If you still have any concerns or questions after reading this, please call us on 01234 291564 or email health@bedford.ac.uk