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Start of Term Update – Friday 3rd September 2021

3rd September 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
WELCOME TO BCA – START OF TERM UPDATE

Welcome to BCA and our new academic year.

We would like to provide you with some important information about coming to college and how we intend to keep you safe. Please take the time to read this carefully and contact us by email enquiries@bca.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Our term starts on Monday 6th September 2021, please check the information that you received at enrolment to find out which days you will need to be on campus. If you haven’t already received your timetable you will receive it on your first day at college.

Staying Safe on the BCA Campus:

It’s really important that you follow the instructions given by your tutor and familiarise yourself on the first day with the new safety procedures.

If you are using our bus or coach service we strongly recommend that you continue to wear a face covering for the duration of your journey. You will also be advised to wear a face mask in areas where it is difficult to maintain distance from others i.e. crowded corridors, the canteen or areas without good ventilation. Please continue to wash and sanitise your hands regularly throughout the day. Hand sanitiser will be freely available throughout the buildings on the campus.

On your first day you will be met and welcomed just outside the Reception building. From here you will be escorted to your department area where you will meet your tutors and classmates.

Please bring your own stationery (notebook, pens), you can also bring your own laptop or tablet if you prefer not to use the college equipment.

Finally, for those of you who have purchased a bus pass but have not come into the college to enroll, please note that your pass is currently available for collection from Reception (between 8am and 5pm, Monday – Friday). If you are unable to collect your pass prior to the start of term please collect it on your first day at college. You should present your receipt as proof of purchase.

We hope you have a very enjoyable and successful year at BCA and look forward to welcoming you to the BCA campus.

From all of the team at BCA

2nd September 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
WISEPAY UPDATE
 

You may have received an email from WisePay to say that your parent or carer’s email address has been setup as the Wisepay account holder instead of your own. We are working with WisePay to get this resolved, and you will receive an updated invite to WisePay in the next couple of days.

An email with a username and password will be sent to your student BCA address which will enable you to activate your account. Thank you for your patience with this matter.

If you have contacted us via the wisepayqueries@bca.ac.uk email address please rest assured we are working to get the registration issues resolved. We will endeavour to ensure that you have the complete information to register with WisePay for the start of term

Yours sincerely,

The BCA WisePay Team

 

COVID-19 | 14th May 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
FACE COVERING UPDATE

In line with the recent change to Government guidance, we will no longer be asking staff and students to wear face coverings in classroom bubbles from Monday 17th May 2021. This will now be at the Head of Department’s/Tutor’s discretion in circumstances where social distancing is difficult.

In our communal areas and on our coaches and minibuses, we would like everyone to continue to wear a face-covering (unless exempt) until the end of the College term.

Kind regards

Claire Conroy | Director of Safety & Support Services

 

COVID-19 | 1st March 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
FACILITIES CHARGE & TRANSPORT REFUNDS AND TERM 2 TRANSPORT PASSES

Dear Parent/Carer/Student

Further to the confirmation that students are able to return to college from Monday 8th March, this message sets out various finance-related matters that apply to nearly all students. Please read everything mentioned below and please note that it may take up to fifteen working days for payments to be processed.

FACILITY CHARGE REFUNDS

Due to the fact that students have not had full access to the facilities and grounds this year, we have decided to offer a full refund of the facility charge that you have paid to date (the full charge for this year was £95).

To claim a facility charge refund please complete the form on our website using this link:

www.bca.ac.uk/facilities-charge-refund-2021/
The password you require to access the form is in the email you have received from the College (sent 1/3/21).

Please note that you must use the form to claim a refund. Any other options e.g. email will not be accepted.

TRANSPORT REFUNDS

This applies to those of you who have purchased either an annual bus pass or one for term two only.

We are now able to offer a refund for the two weeks from Monday 22nd February to Friday 5th March, the value of which will depend on the pass purchased as follows:

Yellow Zone:
Annual – £25.88
Term 2 – £31.67

Green Zone:
Annual – £31.18
Term 2 – £36.67

Applying for a Transport Refund

We are very grateful for those of you who agreed to waive earlier transport refund claims to contribute to the college funds. This will enable the college to cover the costs we have incurred to ensure social distancing measures are in place to keep students safe. As previously mentioned, as a consequence of the move to two days onsite, one day online each week, we have suffered a very significant reduction in our transport-related income by only being able to charge two-thirds of the normal transport fees, whilst incurring the same costs by providing the same level of service.

We would therefore ask you to consider claiming less than the amounts referred to above if you feel that you are able to and would like to, in order to assist us with our finances. This is entirely voluntary but if you do decide to not claim the full amount we would be very grateful.

To apply for a transport refund, please email finance@bca.ac.uk with the following information:

  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Type of travel pass – annual/term two
  • Voluntary contribution to BCA

Payments will be refunded to your original payment card. Please do not send us any details about your bank account or your debit/credit card.

Please note that all claims must be submitted by the end of March at the latest.

Bursary Students – Permit to Travel

If you have been issued with a permit to travel through our bursary funds, we are regrettably unable to issue a refund for the contribution you have paid. If you have not already been issued with a permit to travel for term two then your tutor/pastoral tutor will give it to you on your return to college.

PURCHASING A BUS PASS FOR THE REMAINDER OF TERM 2

For anyone who does not have an annual bus pass and is still to purchase one for Term 2, please purchase a pass for the remaining four weeks of the term via WisePay.

Please access Wisepay through the BCA App or click on ‘Payments’ at the bottom of the home page on our website. If you have forgotten your Wisepay log-in details please contact wisepayqueries@bca.ac.uk

When we have received your payment your bus pass will be forwarded to your department for someone to pass it on to you.

The charge for the yellow route is £63 and that for the green route is £73. Please aim to purchase the pass before 8th March if you possibly can.

Daily tickets can still be purchased from reception on return to college at £11.90 per day.

We look forward to seeing the students back in college over the coming days.

Kind regards

Richard Munday | Finance Director

 

COVID-19 | 24th February 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
RETURN TO CAMPUS TEACHING

Following on from the Government’s announcement on Monday 22nd February,  we are pleased to inform you that we will be returning to on-site face-to-face teaching from Monday 8th March 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our teachers, staff and students who have successfully managed and maintained teaching and learning remotely.

TESTING UPON YOUR RETURN TO COLLEGE

We will be offering rapid-turnaround Lateral Flow testing for students and staff to identify those people who have Covid-19 but do not have symptoms (asymptomatic). The tests are self-administered and provide a quick result. Parents will also have the opportunity to bring students on site from March 1st for an asymptomatic lateral flow test before their return to College. We will provide further details of how and when the tests will be offered once our return plan is finalised. 

EXAMS AND ASSESSMENTS

We are expecting an announcement from Ofqual on Thursday this week regarding the arrangements for GCSEs. We are also awaiting definitive guidance on vocational and other examinations and assessments.

In the meantime please continue to remain engaged with your online lessons. We are looking forward to seeing you back at BCA very soon.

Gillian May | Principal

 

COVID-19 | 8th January 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
Term 2 Bus Pass Refunds

Dear Parent/Carer/Student,

This is a message for those of you who have purchased either an annual bus pass or one for term two only.

As you will be aware the College will be providing online teaching from Monday 4th January to Friday 12th February i.e. six weeks in total and consequently, no coaches nor minibuses will operate during that time. We recognise that you have paid for the weeks in question and would therefore like to offer a refund, the value of which will depend on the pass purchased as follows:

Annual Pass:
Yellow: £77.65
Green: £93.53

Term 2 Pass:
Yellow: £95.00
Green: £110.00

Whilst we recognise that you are quite entitled to claim your refund we would also like to point out that as a consequence of the social distancing measures that the College has put in place to keep students safe, especially the move to two days on-site, one day online each week, we have suffered a very significant reduction in our transport-related income by only being able to charge two-thirds of the normal transport fees, whilst incurring the same costs by providing the same level of service.

We would therefore ask you to consider claiming less than the amounts referred to above if you feel that you are able to and would like to, in order to assist us with our finances. This is entirely voluntary but if you do decide to not claim the full amount we would be very grateful. Thank you.

To claim a refund please email finance@bca.ac.uk with the student name and number, details of the type of pass purchased and the original payment method. Refunds will be made back on to the original payment card directly, or via Wisepay if this is how the pass was purchased. Given that the entire finance team are working remotely, please allow 15 working days for this to be actioned.

Finally, please note that all claims must be submitted by the end of February at the latest.

Kind regards

Richard Munday | Finance Director

 

COVID-19 | 5th January 2021
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
January 2021 Exams & Controlled Assessments – all subjects

In light of the national lockdown, the College has made the decision to cancel all of the planned exams and controlled assessments in all subjects due to take place during January and the first part of February 2021. 

In order to keep our staff and students safe, please be aware that these exams/assessments will no longer take place and staff & students are therefore not required to come on to campus. Please be assured that we are working with the examinations boards (awarding bodies) to reschedule these assessments. We will keep you informed once we have received clarification from the awarding bodies.

 

COVID-19 | 30th December 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
Changes to the start of term

The Department for Education has requested that colleges defer face-to-face teaching for the first week of the new term and deliver classes online until the week commencing 11th January 2021.

For the first week of term (4th – 8th January) lessons for our further education, higher education and 14-16 Schools students will therefore be taught on-line. You will be able to follow your normal timetable via Google Classroom and Meet*. 

Exams and assessments scheduled to take place during the week of 4th January will take place on campus. You will be contacted shortly by your tutor to confirm arrangements.  

Please be aware that arrangements for our apprentices, RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and BCA Landbased Training learners have not changed.

We will continue to keep you updated over the coming week.  

With best wishes for the New Year.

Gillian May | Principal 

*If you are a Foundation Studies or ALFIE student your tutor will be in contact.

 

COVID-19 | 18th December 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
Plans for the new academic year (January 2021)

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

The government has announced the intention to undertake mass Covid testing in schools and colleges from January 2021. At this stage, we do not feel it is necessary to undertake a staggered start to our new term as we are already operating a timetable that is on-line for one day a week for the majority of students.

We have no details at this stage as to the proposed roll-out of testing but will keep you informed once information has been made available. 

With best wishes to everyone for the festive break.

Gillian May | Principal

 

COVID-19 | 8th December 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
Bus Pass Refunds

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,

This is a message for those of you who have purchased either an annual bus pass or one for term one only. As you will be aware the College will be providing online teaching throughout the week commencing 14th December and consequently, no coaches nor minibuses will operate during that time.

We recognise that you have paid for the week in question
and would therefore like to offer a refund, the value of which will depend on the pass purchased as follows:

Annual Pass:
Yellow: £12.94
Green: £15.59

Term 1:
Yellow: £14.62
Green: £16.92

Whilst we recognise that you are quite entitled to claim your refund we would also like to point out that as a consequence of the social distancing measures that the College has put in place to keep students safe, especially the move to two days
on-site, one day online each week, we have suffered a very significant reduction in our transport-related income by only being able to charge two-thirds of the normal transport fees, whilst incurring the same costs by providing the same level of service. We would therefore ask you to consider waiving your claim if you feel that you are able to and would like to, in order to assist us with our finances and to reduce the administrative burden associated with processing the refunds. This is entirely voluntary but if you do decide not to proceed with your claim we would be very grateful. Thank you.

To claim a refund please email finance@bca.ac.uk with the students’ name and number, details of the type of pass purchased and the original payment method.

Refunds will be made back on to the original payment card directly, or via Wisepay if this is how the pass was purchased. Please allow 10 working days for this to be actioned and please note that refunds will not be processed during our annual Christmas closure.

Kind regards,

Richard Munday | Finance Director

 

COVID-19 | 19th November 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION
Arrangements for the last week of the Winter Term  (14th December to 18th December)

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

As part of our commitment to the health, safety and well being of our students and staff we have decided to take our curriculum for Further Education (FE) and 14-16 Schools students online for the last week of term*. This is designed to ensure that students and staff can have a 14 day period ahead of the Christmas break in which to isolate themselves if required ahead of time.

Lessons will take place according to the normal timetable for the week and will be hosted via Google Meet. We will ensure that all students have the opportunity to access the required technology ahead of time. Tutorials, pastoral support and lunchtime programmes will continue to take place during the week.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their ongoing support and understanding during this unusual time. Our students have taken the challenges that this term has presented in their stride, they have shown resilience, a willingness to follow new college instructions and we are very proud of the progress they have made this term.

We wish you all the very best for the winter break and look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus after a well deserved holiday on Monday 4th January 2021.

Gillian May | Principal

*This does not include our apprentices, Higher Education (degree level) learners or those studying one of our part-time qualifications such as RHS or Landbased Training.

 

COVID-19 | 6th November 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

As we enter this second lockdown period we would like to give you an update on the safety measures the College is taking in order to keep our College safely open for learning.

We have appreciated your support and we have been impressed by the level of maturity and compliance shown by our students. We look forward to welcoming them back from Monday 9th November.

We want to ensure our students continue to benefit from their time at BCA, both academically and socially. To achieve this we have introduced a new measure:

  •  Curriculum areas (known as ‘pods’) will be colour coded.  Areas will be clearly marked and students will be issued with a coloured lanyard which will relate to the colour of their pod. This will remind students to stay in their designated areas and will also help staff to maintain the integrity of the pods.

We ask everyone in the College for their continued support in maintaining the government ‘hand, face and space’ requirements. It is essential that we continue to maintain good hygiene, face coverings where required and give each other space so that we can continue to successfully manage the infection risks associated with the virus. We hope that everyone appreciates that these are good habits that we all need to adopt whether in college or in any other public space.

As you are aware we continually assess our COVID-19 protocols with reference to local trends and government guidance.  Please find below the application of the most recent guidelines.

Set out below are the requirements that must continue to be maintained at all times:

  1. Face coverings must be worn at all times by everyone when indoors except where directed by the tutor in charge of the learning environment or in staff offices.  It is mandatory that students, staff and visitors wear a face covering (unless exempt) in all communal areas to include building lobbies, cafes, the LRC and toilets.

  2. Face coverings must be worn when queuing for the buses and coaches and at all times during the coach/bus journey.

  3. Students should only attend one of the three cafes to purchase food and drink, they must return immediately to their ‘pod’ to eat (they must not eat on the way back to the ‘pod’ or share bites with friends).  They should not be accompanied to the cafes by other students who are not purchasing food.  They must wear a face covering at all times as the cafes are a communal space.

  4. All absence must be reported via the College website, even on remote online working days. This information is vital to safeguarding all students and staff at BCA. Click here for a direct link.

We will continue to monitor government guidance and the rate of transmission and we will update you again if further measures are required.

Students are encouraged to complete our latest Learner Voice survey and provide feedback on their experience of studying at BCA over the last term. Link here (student account required to access).

Kind regards

Anne Entwistle | Vice Principal

 

COVID-19 | 20th July 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION

The College has been working on a new site re-opening risk assessment following the Covid-19 pandemic. The current version is accessible by clicking the link below, it will, however, be regularly reviewed and updated accordingly.

Click here to view the Site re-opening risk assessment – 05/11/2020.

 

COVID-19 | 10th June 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION

Everyone at the College is working hard to ensure that we can open safely for all students, staff and visitors in September.  We will be following the Government’s guidelines at all times and in the event that we are required to maintain social distancing, we will be operating a flexible timetable.

We are looking forward to our enrolment in August and will be in touch with every applicant to set up an appointment for you to meet with your tutor as part of the enrolment process.  We wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer and look forward to welcoming you to the College.

Best wishes

Gillian May
Principal

 

COVID-19 | 1st MAY 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION

BUS PASS REFUNDS

Due to the current Coronavirus crisis resulting in the College closure for the remainder of Term 2 and all of Term 3 we are offering a refund for bus passes already purchased for the closure period.

In order to claim a refund please email our finance department, email address, finance_team@bca.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Type of pass you purchased, Annual or Term 2.
  • Which term you are claiming for.
  • How you paid, i.e. Online, by card, cheque or cash.
  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Bank Account details for a refund via BACS – to include: –
    • Payee name
    • (if payee surname different from student surname give relationship to the student)
    •  Sort Code
    • Account number.

Once we receive your email we will locate your original payment to check the details and process your refund.  We will endeavour to run a payment run for refunds at the end of each working week.  BACS payments take three working days to reach your account.  As we are currently running on skeleton staff and working remotely please bear with us if there are any delays in refunding.

Disclaimer – this refund is an exception due to the situation and does not change our no refund policy as laid out in the terms & conditions signed at enrolment.

 

COVID-19 | 14th APRIL 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION

PLEASE READ THIS COMMUNICATION VERY CAREFULLY

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

The campus remains closed to all but a small number of students until further notice following the Government’s announcement regarding the Coronavirus. 

Our online learning timetable will resume on Monday 20th April at 9am for all students. Tutors and teaching staff will continue to remain in touch with students during the closure to facilitate  learning from home.

Staff continue to work remotely at this time, so are contactable via email, they may take slightly longer to respond than normal as they will be teaching online. If you are unsure of the email address of a member of staff please contact enquiries@bca.ac.uk and you will be put in touch, normally within 24 hours. 

Please check our  website, social media and your emails regularly for updates.  Thank you for giving your support and positive feedback to our teams which is very much appreciated. 

Best wishes

Gillian May
Principal

 

COVID-19 | 18th MARCH 2020
STUDENT/PARENT/CARER COMMUNICATION

PLEASE READ THIS COMMUNICATION VERY CAREFULLY

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

We have been monitoring the national advice very carefully which states (as of March 16th) that schools and colleges should remain open.

There was a significant change in the general guidance on Monday afternoon, including:

  • Students and staff with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for 7 days if they live alone or 14 days if they live with others. Anyone who lives with someone displaying coronavirus symptoms should also stay at home for 14 days. People who have to isolate themselves should ask others for help.
  • Everyone should stop non-essential contact with others. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.
  • By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions should be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.

In recent days, we have been balancing the requirements of the national advice, the health and well-being of both staff and students, and the concern to maintain students’ learning and achievement.

Following the latest change in the guidance, we are now preparing for staff and students to work from home from Monday 23rd March until and inclusive of Friday 3rd April, being the start of the Easter academic Holiday.

In order to allow staff time to prepare resources for students we will make Friday 20th March 2020 an INSET day. This means the last day of physical attendance for our students will be Thursday 19th March. This INSET day will provide teams with sufficient time to ensure that online resources and where appropriate paper resources are available to our students.

If you haven’t already, you will receive specific information relating to your learning via the Head of Department. 

For any applicant who has an interview booked between Monday 23rd March through to Friday 3rd April, please be aware that these are now cancelled.  You will be contacted shortly to make alternative arrangements but in the meantime, please be patient whilst we address this situation

We are doing our best to plan for what is a very fast challenging environment.  However, as it is likely that the national guidance may change we may need to make further changes. We are continuing to monitor the information provided by Public Health England (PHE) to ensure that we are following the latest advice and guidance regarding the virus Covid-19.  We will keep you updated as soon as we can and answer any questions you may have.

Also, due to the current Coronavirus crisis resulting in the College closure for the remainder of Term 2 we are prepared to arrange refunds for 11 days travel on Term 2 and Annual Bus Passes.

In order to claim for a refund, please email our Finance department on finance_team@bca.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Type of pass you purchased, Annual or Term 2
  • How you paid, i.e. Online, by card, cheque or cash.
  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Bank Account details for refund via BACS – to include: –
    • Payee name
    • (if payee surname different from student surname give relationship to student)
    •  Sort Code
    • Account number.
    • We do NOT require the CVV number

Once we receive your email we will locate your original payment to check the details and process your refund.  We will endeavour to run a payment run for refunds at the end of each working week.  BACS payments take three working days to reach your account.  As we are currently running on skeleton staff please bear with us if there are any delays in refunding.

Disclaimer – this refund is an exception due to the situation and does not change our no refund policy as laid out in the terms & conditions signed at enrolment.

Update – Friday 20th March:

From today, the student absence text service has been suspended whilst the College is closed to students. Any absences reported via the text service will not be picked up.

Students need to inform their tutors directly via email or Google Hangouts if they are unable to attend a planned Google Meet session.

If you have any questions or concerns please let us know.

Kind regards,

Gillian May
Principal