Information for schools and supporters

On this page you’ll find answers to some questions we’ve received from schools, parents and applicants.

We hope you find this information helpful.

How have we adapted our admissions procedure for school leavers in light of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic?

With no public exams being held this summer, and with the health emergency continuing, we are adopting an approach aimed at reducing anxiety, removing unnecessary practical barriers, and being as inclusive as possible to school leavers wanting to progress to City of Bristol College. During the period of closure of our college centres, we are suspending all face-to-face interviews until further notice.

All new applicants for a full-time course starting this September will be guaranteed a place at City of Bristol College.* We are honouring any offers made prior to the coronavirus outbreak and also guarantee a place at the college for these applicants this September.

We may need to contact applicants by phone, text or email prior to enrolment to arrange for online or telephone assessment of their calculated grades and prior attainment, to establish their suitability for the course they have applied for, and to ensure that they are joining our college at the right level of study. This process may also involve a short English and/or maths assessment; if so, we will guide them through it every step of the way.

*If they are a High Needs Learner or have an EHCP, their application will be reviewed by our ALS team. This is so we can ensure we meet the applicant’s support needs and outcomes.

How will we be considering pupils’ historical results to ensure no applicant is disadvantaged from starting at the level that suits their abilities?

Our starting point will be a student’s prior attainment and we will take into account individual circumstances and contextualised information about a student. Every year, we work with students who have been home schooled or transferred learning providers and we follow a similar process to work with a student on determining their point of entry on a study programme. Our additional learning support team are happy to talk to SENDCOs and/or carry out further assessment, as appropriate, to enable us to establish a suitable starting point for learning.

Any additional information that a school can provide about a student’s progress during their time at school is extremely helpful in providing a context about an individual student.

For some apprenticeship programmes, as long as a learner/student meets the required BKSB initial assessment level alongside a work placement, then we can enrol them onto an apprenticeship programme. This may help some learners who have been predicted a Grade 3 or below for GCSE.

Apprenticeship example below for hairdressing at the college.

https://www.cityofbristol.ac.uk/courses/hairdressing-professional-intermediate-apprenticeship/

What approach is the college taking for its September reopening?

Please note, these plans are subject to the decisions of the Government in regard to schools and colleges reopening. 

We have very carefully considered our strategy in reopening the college in September, in light of Government guidance. The safety of all members of the college community has been paramount in our planning, particularly given the current guidance to avoid public transport where possible.

We are:

  • Adapting classrooms and workshops to ensure they comply with social distancing.
  • Modifying key social and support areas by fitting protective screens to reception areas, and creating one way systems around each campus.
  • Introducing new enhanced cleaning regimes and providing hand sanitisation.
  • Modifying timetables to spread out footfall on college campuses.
  • Further developing online learning for students who need to shield or self-isolate at any point during their studies.
  • Accessing the COVID-19 testing programme for staff.
  • Working in collaboration with Bristol City Council and First Bus to ensure the city’s transport systems are accessible to our students.

Is the college reopening its centres during the summer term?

Similarly to our September preparations, the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors have been paramount in our plans for the reopening during the summer term. We will only be inviting students to college in a very limited capacity during the weeks before the summer holidays and will specifically limit these arrangements to students from curriculum areas where they need to do practical work. Where students are invited to attend a college centre, there will be robust social distancing measures and hygiene regimes in place.

We recognise that not all invited students may wish to return at the current time and that some may not be able to due to health conditions or for the protection of family members. Attendance at college will therefore not be mandatory and students will continue to be able to access learning remotely. Students will not be penalised if they are not able to attend classes.

Our focus for the rest of the summer term will continue to be on developing and delivering remote learning, with an additional emphasis on providing one-to-one or small group support.

All visits to the college are currently per invitation only and any students, applicants or a member of staff MUST NOT be accessing any college centres without making explicit arrangements.

What is happening to college facilities?

Catering

We are working with our catering provider to introduce ways in which refreshments will be available to our students and staff from September 2020. In the meantime, all food outlets remain closed.

Study Centres

These remain closed during summer term and will reopen in September. The September reopening will see new capacity measures in place, to comply with social distancing guidelines and principles. We are developing a self-service student system for laptops to minimise the amount of handling by staff, as well as guidelines regarding equipment cleaning before and after their use.

The use of desktop computers in Study Centres will also comply with social distancing regulations and, similarly to the use of laptops, there will be guidelines regarding self-cleaning. Cleaning equipment will be provided.

For our book and journal resources, we are taking advice from Council for Learning Resources in Colleges and in conjunction with health and safety team, developing ways of safely managing these. New procedures may include:

  • Designated hotspots for book drop offs
  • Different return bins for different days
  • 72-hour quarantine system on returned books

We will provide a detailed briefing at the appropriate time, once the procedures have been finalised.

For students requiring access to our library resources during summer term, we have a rich library of e-resources which include e-books and e-journals, accessible 24/7 to help support our students during their home learning. These are available via our Moodle resources.  

Student Services

Student Services at College Green Centre will reopen on a reduced capacity from 13 July and be accessible on an appointment-only basis.

All visits to the college are currently per invitation only and any students, applicants or a member of staff MUST NOT be accessing any college centres without making explicit arrangements.

Other changes and restrictions

There will a number of other changes put in place. This is to ensure the safety of member of both the college and the wider community and to reduce the risk of the spread of infection.

Full details will be provided on return to college, but these will include:

  • Students will only be permitted on campus for lessons or study, and where possible students should arrive just before and leave immediately after lessons. We are not only adapting the college to comply with the government guidelines but also industry-specific guidelines.
  • In order to minimise interaction between groups, different groups will be asked to use specific entrances and exits, follow directional arrows for traffic flow around buildings and only be allowed to use certain toilets.
  • Information on our social distancing requirements for staff, students and visitors will be clearly displayed, with staff helping to endorse the new guidelines around our buildings.
  • All learning environments will include anti-bacterial wipes and hand gel.
  • Parking, bicycle racks and changing facilities will remain unaffected. We ask users to be respectful to others when using these facilities and observe social distancing guidelines.
  • Lift capacity is being reduced to individual use and therefore, we are encouraging everyone who can use stairs, to do so. There will be a management process in place to provide assistance.
  • Designated smoking areas are being reviewed as part of safety and social distancing requirements.

What approach are we taking for our September enrolment?

We are committed to providing enrolment which will:

  • Provide a safe enrolment experience for applicants.
  • Not cause a barrier to those who are restricted by their IT equipment or required to shield.
  • Ensure that students are enrolled on the right course.
  • Provide excellent customer experience through all touch points.
  • Lead to a successful induction.

We will be communicating with our applicants during the upcoming weeks and sharing our progress in developing an online enrolment platform. Those applicants who are restricted by their home IT resources will be able to access alternative ways of enrolment.

If you can’t find the information you need, please get in touch. We will be happy to help.

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