Latest Information Regarding COVID-19

This page has been created to allow you to keep track of the latest announcements from Blackburn College regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We’ll keep these pages up to date for you. Please check back regularly for updates in the coming days.

Update, Wednesday 25th March 2020 (all Blackburn College Students)

College Closure

You will be aware that following the Government’s latest announcements, all Blackburn College buildings have now been closed and we have moved solely to online and home learning. Of course, whilst our buildings are closed, learning still can take place remotely and your tutors are there to support you online through Moodle. At this time, you should not travel into College and you should follow the Government’s latest guidance.

GCSEs and A-Levels

No GCSE or A-Level examinations will take place this academic year. You will however, still receive a grade and still receive a qualification, subject to you completing all your qualification requirements. Ofqual, the regulatory body for qualifications, is currently working out how students can be given the correct grades. This is likely to include your mock exam results and a teacher assessment, for example. There is likely to be some provision made for students who wish to sit an examination at a future date. The exact arrangements, however, have not yet been confirmed. It’s therefore important that you continue with your online and home learning for these courses. We will ensure more information is sent to you when it is released but ask for your patience at this time.

Vocational and Technical Courses

Ofqual have today released a statement recognising that those learners on Vocational and Technical courses urgently need reassurance about how their qualifications will be assessed and awarded in the coming weeks and months. Ofqual has committed to working as quickly as possible to develop an approach which enables you to get the qualification you deserve and that you need in order to progress.

As yet, however we do not know what this process will be – nor do we have more information at this stage. In the meantime the best advice we can give you is to continue working towards your qualification online and through home-learning as directed by your tutor. We will share with you further details about the assessments for your Vocational/Technical course once more is known.

University Centre at Blackburn College students

For University Centre at Blackburn College students, your tutors are currently working on agreeing replacement/alternative assessments for all face-to-face assessments such as exams and presentations. Our partner Universities need to approve these alternative assessments and therefore it may take a little bit of time for us to be able to confirm to you what the alternative assessment will be. Some courses have already had this alternative assessment plan, but not all. Your Programme Leader will send more information when it is known to them. Until then I ask for your patience on this matter.

Online Safety

We’ve been made aware that whilst students work remotely they are at greater risk of online fraud or ‘phishing’ attempts. Please make sure that you are only replying to emails that end in @blackburn.ac.uk and avoid any emails that look like they could be fraudulent. Please remember you should not divulge sensitive information over email (this includes usernames, passwords, bank details, or personal information).

Queries It may be that you have questions. In this case please email thehub@blackburn.ac.uk. Please make clear in the email who you would like the enquiry to be forwarded to.

I will send further information in the coming days. Until then, please continue to keep yourself and your families and loved ones safe by following the Government’s daily advice.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Fazal Dad

Principal and Chief Executive

An Important Update for Parents of Blackburn College Students

Dear Parent/Carer

Due to the national situation, you will be aware that keeping your family at home is the safest way of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Blackburn College has therefore moved to online and home learning – tutors and support staff continue to work remotely and are providing access to teaching and learning via Moodle and other online platforms.

Student work will be posted online and tutors are contacting students with specific instructions as to how to complete assignments and work remotely. This may require students to use other software, webpages or their course books, for example.

IT Support

It may be that your child needs help and support with IT at this time. Our Helpdesk team is running remotely and the team can be accessed by emailing helpdesk@blackburn.ac.uk.

Encouraging Your Child

Please encourage and support students to engage with learning during this closure period.

Read the Coping with Change leaflet which gives extra information to support families in promoting wellbeing and adapting to home learning.

It is important that students continue to make progress and work towards the completion of their qualification. Our subject tutors, English and maths teams and support staff will maintain regular contact with students during this time to ensure they are supported.

Queries

It may be that you have questions. In this case please email thehub@blackburn.ac.uk. Please make clear in the email who you would like the enquiry to be forwarded to. It may also be helpful if you include the student ID number found College ID card.

Pastoral and Welfare Support

We continue to try to support our students and their families in difficult circumstances remotely and do all we can to keep our community safe.

You may also, however, find these useful links for parents helpful.

I ask that you do all you can to stay safe and would urge that you act in accordance with the latest Government advice.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Pickles

Assistant Principal (Student Support and Engagement)