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FAQs – Returning to Campus from 8th March 2021

COVID / Return to Campus Questions and Answers for BLC Study Programme Students and Apprentices 



Q Will all students be back in college on March 8th?

A Most students will, but the College will take a phased approach to re-commencing campus-based learning, with some classes or sessions remaining online or remote for a further period of time. Tutors and Progress coaches will be in touch shortly to confirm individual arrangements.

Q Will my timetable be the same?

A For many students, this will be the case, but on some courses, we are changing timetables to ensure that learners have access to specialist rooms and equipment and can develop the practical skills that they may have missed during lockdown.


Q Will I have to have a COVID test to come into college?

A Students attending for more than three days in any week should be tested twice each week and those attending up to 3 days should be tested weekly.

Q Do I need parental consent to have a COVID test?

A As long as you are over the age of 16 and have the capacity to make the decision, you are able to give your own consent.

Q Where can I take a test?

A Testing can be undertaken at a local community testing centre or through our on-campus testing facilities. You can book your tests here:

On Campus Testing – UoD Enterprise Centre

On Campus Testing – Buxton

On Campus Testing – Leek

Q When do I need to take my first test?

A We are encouraging all staff and students to take a test up to five days before their first return to campus.

Q How can I register to take the COVID test?

A We are encouraging students to register for the test at one of the campus prior to being tested. When you register for your test, you will need your address and full postcode. To register for the test please follow-

Q What happens if I take test in college and it comes back positive for COVID-19?

A You will be required to return home without using public or College transport.  Anyone who would be unable to return home without risking the exposure of others should arrange for a local community-based test before travelling into College.

Q If I wait until I am in college to have my first test, can I go straight to class?

A For any first tests undertaken in the on-campus test centre, staff or students should wait for a negative test before commencing their planned activity on-site.

Q Do I need to provide proof that I’ve taken a COVID Test to my tutor?

A No you do not need to provide proof that you have taken a test. We are encouraging all students to take the test not only to protect yourself but to protect others and to reduce the risk of transmission across the college. If you have been tested positive for a COVID test you must not come onto campus.

Q Can I come back on campus if I’ve been told that I’ve had a false reading and can’t take another test for 90 days?

A Yes you can come back on campus, but you must not attend college if you have COVID symptoms and follow the government latest guidance.


Q Will I have to wear a face covering?

A staff and students will be expected (unless medically exempt) to always wear face coverings while inside College buildings and when using College transport services.  This includes corridors, circulation spaces, classrooms and learning centres.

Q Can I wear a visor instead of a face mask?

A Face shields/screens are not a suitable alternative at the current time and both staff and students will be expected to wear masks.

Q Will I need to provide my own face covering?

A Yes. It is likely that more than one covering will be required, as they should be changed if/when they become damp or dirty; the face covering should then be replaced carefully. We will have a few spare masks available in case of emergency, however.



Q Will the windows be open in classrooms?

A Yes, we need to ventilate classrooms, you will therefore need to wear appropriate warm clothes when you come onto the College campuses.

Q When attending adult classes, will I have to socially distance in class?

A If you are attending onsite, adult classes, you will need to maintain a social distance of 2m.

Q What if I don’t want to come on to campus, can I continue to study remotely?

A We are following the government guidance and students aged 16 to 19 who are not classed as medically vulnerable are expected to resume their onsite education. We are taking all precautions to keep our staff and students safe. If you have concerns, discuss these with your progress coach.


Q Will college transport be running as normal?

A Yes college transport will be running from Monday 8th March, but we are asking students to comply with the additional COVID measures that we put in place, which includes wearing a face covering on buses at all times, unless you are medically exempt.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your Tutor or your Progress Coach.


Is the Library/HUB open for me to use?

The Devonshire Library and Leek HUB are open for students that want to browse our books or use a PC/study space. All students must have a booking before coming into the Library/HUB. For information about our opening hours and to make a booking, please visit our website. If you need any help or support, please contact the Library on 01332 591215 or email us on

Do I need to return my Laptop?

As you will be studying on campus and at home, laptops that were loaned out in December/January will continue to renew automatically each week, unless you receive an email recall notice from the Library service. If you receive a recall notice from the Library service, please return your laptop to the Library/HUB. If you have any queries about your account, please contact the Library on 01332 591215 or email us on

Financial Support/ Bursary

Q Will students still receive their Remote Learning Allowance once the campus reopens on March 8th?

A Due to students returning to campus on a phased basis, we have decided, subject to 85% attendance, to issue one further allowance on Friday 5 March to cover the following period:

Monday 8 March – Friday 19 March 2021

This allowance is not just to cover remote learning, it is expected that students shall put it towards any travel or meal arrangements they require when onsite. Following this, Remote Learning Allowances shall cease and any previous payment arrangements shall commence i.e. meal allowance on a meal Card.

For those students who shall still be studying remotely until further notice i.e. Access students – Remote Learning Allowances shall still apply.

Q Will students still receive Free College Meals direct once the campus reopens on March 8th?

A Due to students returning to campus on a phased basis, we have decided to issue one further FCM instalment on Friday 5 March to cover the following period:

Monday 8 March – Friday 19 March 2021

The amount students have been paid direct is equivalent to the Government allowance of £2.41 per timetabled day – therefore if students wish to use their Meal card onsite during this period, the maximum they should spend on their card per timetabled day is £2.59.

For those students who were paid direct prior to the campus closing – your old allowance and payment format shall be reinstated as of Friday 19 March 2021.

Q You have paid me an allowance but I wish to use my Meal Card now I am back on campus, what do I do?

A Students can use their meal cards onsite from the 8th however as you have already been paid directly an allowance of £2.41 per timetabled day and the expectation is you put this towards food, you will only be able to spend a further £2.59 on your Meal card for the next two weeks. From Monday 22 March your allowance shall revert back to £5 on your Meal Card.

Q What do I do if I have lost my Meal Card?

A As we have a limited amount of meal cards left, please make us aware as soon as possible if you have lost your card. You can email E: or report to your Student Mentor/ Progress Coach when onsite who will be able to contact the Student Money and Rights Adviser regarding issuing a new card.

Q So from Monday 22 March, what will happen to Bursary payments?

A Unless you are on a programme that we are aware of that won’t be returning to campus study yet i.e. Access students, all other allowances shall revert back to their previous format. If you are unsure you what you have been awarded, please contact E: and we will forward you a copy of your original award email.

Q I have been awarded Bursary but my payments have stopped, why is that?

A The FSF team have tried to keep in regular contact with students regarding payments and attendance, if payments have stopped and you have not been notified why, please contact us on E: – the team will be happy to investigate for you.