This post is from Principal and Chief Executive, Andy Forbes. It has been emailed, in letter format, to all University Centre students.
Since the Government announced news of a second national lockdown, I wanted to write to you directly to let you know what is planned in relation to your higher education programme.
Government advice at the moment is that colleges and other educational settings are to remain open and deliver learning in a COVID secure environment. Travel is permitted for those attending education and to attend work. The college remains a safe environment for our students to learn and our staff to work, having experienced a very low number of confirmed cases amongst our staff and students since September we can have confidence that the provisions that are in place continue to see us as COVID secure as we can be. I receive updates from the Regional Director of Public Health England every week, and the message is clear: where organisations create a strong Covid-19 secure environment and everyone follows the health and safety guidance, it is proving very effective in preventing infections. The recent increase in infections across England has been mainly due to transmission in social settings, not in education or the workplace.
City of Bristol College will be open for learning during the period of lockdown unless we are directed otherwise. We will continue to deliver face to face teaching as timetabled. Some sessions may be delivered online if there is a diagnosis of Covid in the group or the material is suitable for being adapted to online delivery. Any changes will be communicated to you by your lecturers.
We are aware that on some programmes, students are due to complete practical assessments shortly and we are working with programme leads and partner universities to make adaptions in the first instance. We would like to reassure you that we will do our utmost to ensure learning outcomes for practical assessments can be met.
We are currently reviewing the learning outcomes for work placements on our Counselling and Creative Arts Therapies programmes and will update you if we propose any changes.
The general principles for our Outbreak Plan are;
- The safety of our students and staff are paramount.
- We will move to online delivery where a member of the group or staff confirms a positive test result and this will be communicated to you via email with details of the steps you need to take to keep yourself healthy.
- Where a whole cohort or group are advised to study at home, we will contact you before you are due to return to remind you that your group will be back to face-to-face delivery.
- Where a group or whole cohort are advised to study at home, teaching will continue online.
- Submission and assessment dates will remain the same.
- Should you encounter difficulties with meeting submission or assessment dates during a period of self-isolation, please use the extenuating circumstances process.
Please do update us with any change in personal contact details, such as email and home address.
In certain circumstances we may need to contact you quickly to advise of changes to the planned delivery of your sessions so it is important we have correct contact details for you.
What happens after the lockdown is due to end?
The outcome of the lockdown is such that we will go back into the Tier structure that operates local restrictions. Once we know the outcome of how Bristol fits into this system, we will review our plan and update you.
Complaints and feedback
The College does have in place a complaints and compliments policy and procedure and I would encourage you to speak to your programme lead, module lead or personal tutor in the first instance.
Formal complaints and compliments can be made by completing an online form, by emailing email@example.com or by telephone 0117 312 5000. If, following this process you are not happy with the outcome the next step would be take the complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Full details are available at www.oiahe.org.uk
There is a range of support available for City of Bristol College students who are studying at university-level. We can support you, or help you access support, regarding welfare, safeguarding, mental health and counselling. Contact your personal tutor in the first instance so you can be given advice on next steps.
You can continue to raise queries with your personal tutor or programme lead. In addition, you can contact the following colleagues;
Sarah Pigott, Senior HE Registrar – firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Sermon, Assistant Director for Further & Higher Education –email@example.com