The following material is a copy of information provided to all students in their Student Handbook during Enrolment:

We aim to be a college of sanctuary, a place where everyone feels welcome, safe and supported throughout their studies. We all have difficulties and face challenges in our lives at times and any one of us may find we need to seek sanctuary. There are a number of ways you can find help. Your first port of call should be your form tutor, but we have a range of places where you can find the help you may need.

We also have Moodle pages that list lots of places in college where you can find support.

Please also let us know if your parents need help communicating with college or accessing parents' evenings. We will do the best we can to support them and make them feel comfortable and welcome here.

Personal Tutor

You will be well aware by now that you will be supported by a Personal Tutor in a particular tutor group. You meet with your Personal Tutor each day. If you have any queries or problems about your course or any other aspect of College life the first person to consult is normally your Personal Tutor. S/he will also review your progress regularly with you, based on assessments received from your subject tutors, and will guide you on course choices for Year 2, Higher Education and progression matters. Your Personal Tutor will put you in touch with more specialist advice if it is needed.

Senior Tutor

You are also supported by a Senior Tutor. You may need to see your Senior Tutor about such matters as a change of course, applications for jobs or Higher Education or significant issues. You may be referred to your Senior Tutor for advice and guidance by your Personal Tutor. You can make an appointment to see your Senior Tutor via our Senior Tutor Support Staff. Their office is on the third floor (Room 337). Make sure that you know the name of your specific Senior Tutor and the location of his/her office. Each tutor group has a number and the first digit indicates your Division, e.g. Tutor group 209 is in Division 2.

Senior Tutor Office
Division 1 Adrian Frost 001 Main Building Ground Floor
Division 2 Andrew Hathaway 603 Mid Site Building 1st Floor
Division 3 Jo Cadman 655 Mid Site Building 4th Floor
Division 4 Graham Rayner 642 Mid Site Building 3rd Floor
Division 5 Sarah Prince 220 Main Building 2nd Floor
Division 6 Sarah Palmer 602 Mid Site Building 1st Floor
Division 7 Neil Kelly 910A The Syd Kent Pavilion
Division 8 Anne Johnson 319 Main Building 3rd Floor
Division 9 Mark Griffin-Sherwood 322 Main Building 3rd Floor

If you have a problem relating to a course, remember you can talk to your subject tutor, your Personal Tutor or your Senior Tutor, the relevant Head of Department or the Assistant Principal in charge of pastoral support (Carol McAuley).

Support for Students

Child Benefit

Parents can continue to claim Child Benefit and possibly Child Tax Credit whilst students attend the College. If they have not already done so they can contact HMRC to report that you are continuing your studies by going to:

https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit
Child Benefit Helpline
Telephone 0300 200 3100 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm Saturday
Text phone 0300 200 3103
Outside UK +44 2890 538 192

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/tax-credits-enquiries/
Tax Credit Helpline
Telephone 0345 300 3900 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. 8am to 4pm Saturday, 9am to 5pm Sunday
Text phone 0345 300 3909
Outside UK +44 161 210 3086

Child Protection and Safeguarding

The College has a duty of care under the Children Acts 1989 and 2004. This duty includes ensuring that students have a safe environment and highlights a need to be aware of any possible ‘child abuse’. A child in this context is defined as any young person under the age of eighteen. College also adheres to Government guidance on the Prevent strategy. Prevent is the name of the government’s campaign to stop people becoming extremists or terrorists. All educational establishments must promote values which are opposed to extremism. These “fundamental British values” are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect for, and tolerance of, those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith

These values are also College values. We promote them in many different ways including our work on equality, diversity and opportunity; College elections and Student Voice; a classroom culture of intellectual curiosity, questioning, freedom of expression, tolerance and respect; and enrichment activities that promote the development of positive character traits, such as resilience, determination, self-esteem, and confidence. Should you have worries or concerns, please mention these to your Personal Tutor, Senior Tutor or the Designated Safeguarding Officer Carol McAuley.

Complaints Procedure

We hope that you will be happy and successful at the College. However, we wish to listen carefully to any criticisms or complaints which you may have about your experience at the College and particularly in relation to the commitments we make in the College Charter. Initially you should express your dissatisfaction to the member of staff concerned. It may be that the matter can be resolved relatively easily at this stage. If this is not possible, or your dissatisfaction remains, then you should contact your Personal or Senior Tutor who can look into the matter on your behalf. Hopefully this informal approach should be sufficient to settle the matter to your satisfaction. If it does not and you wish to take the matter further then the College does have a formal Complaints Procedure. You may like to discuss this course of action with your Personal or Senior Tutor or a member of senior staff.

Using the Formal Complaints Procedure is very simple. Write out the details of your complaint, seal it in an envelope and return it by hand or via the General Office to Jan Harker (Assistant Principal).This should normally be done within four College working weeks from the date of the incident which gives rise to the complaint. The College will treat your complaint with every seriousness and with due respect for confidentiality. Your complaint will be investigated and considered impartially by a senior member of staff, not directly involved in the issues to which the complaint relates.

If the complaint concerns a member of the College staff, it is likely that the member of staff will, in all fairness, need to be informed of this.

You will normally receive an initial response within ten working days informing you of how your complaint is to be handled. It is likely that an investigation period will need to be established. Whilst the matter is being considered, we will keep you informed and give an explanation if deadlines cannot be met. If your complaint is not accepted following investigation and consideration, then an Assistant Principal will give you a full explanation as to the reasons why. If you are unhappy with this explanation you can appeal to the Principal, Ian MacNaughton.

Addresses are available from the College General Office.

Data Protection Act

Under current legislation covered in the 1998 Data Protection Act, students are given the right of access to personal information stored by the College. In order to comply with the Act students may request a copy of all the personal information held on them by contacting the College Data Protection Officer. In line with the Act, the College will arrange for the information to be collected, duplicated and delivered to the student within 28 days. The College may charge a fee, as specified by the Act, of £10 for this service.

Ensuring that the College is a fair and safe place

The College is committed to creating a teaching and learning environment that is free of harassment and which protects the dignity of all students, staff and visitors. We will respect each other and value the differences between us. The College will not necessarily treat everyone the same but instead we will meet people’s needs in different ways to ensure fair outcomes for everyone. We all take responsibility for making sure that students, staff and visitors are protected from harm, including bullying and discrimination.  Students and staff all contribute to making the College an enjoyable, inclusive and personalised learning environment.

We will treat students and staff fairly and solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential. The College values diversity in respect of race, ethnicity or national origin, gender, religion and belief or none, socio-economic background, gender variance, marital status or family circumstances, political opinions and affiliations, physical attributes or appearance, disability, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy and parenthood. The College is a diverse, international and multicultural community. We are developing a teaching and learning environment in which each and every member has an equal opportunity to participate. Supported by the public sector equality duty of the Equality Act (2010), the College is working to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

Exam Access Arrangements

Where students have a learning support need or physical disability the College will endeavour to provide them with the resources and support appropriate to their needs. It is helpful if relevant information can be provided at the earliest possible stage to help us meet these needs. The College needs to be informed of any Exam Access Arrangements and be provided with the supporting documentation evidencing this need BEFORE January 31st of the Academic year in which you are taking the examination. Failure to meet this deadline will mean that access arrangements may not be provided.

Financial Support

Before you join and before the start of the second year, we provide details of maintenance grant, childcare support and of the transport arrangements available. In terms of financial support, the College is not able to directly subsidise transport, however, there are bursaries available to those on a low income and these can amount to several hundred pounds. Some families have made the decision to use such bursaries to help with transport costs (further details of the Bursary Award Scheme can be found in Parents Information on our website). In addition, the College does regularly negotiate preferential rates for travel passes with a number of transport companies. Arrangements can be made in some exceptional cases to pay for termly passes by instalment. In all cases, it is well worth further discussion with staff here at the College. The Student Assistance Fund offers some help with College expenses to students experiencing financial difficulties, together with a contribution towards meal costs and help towards the cost of essential fieldwork. Full details are available from Senior Tutors. The Friends of the College also offers some financial support towards the costs of attending Higher Education or employment interviews.

Fire and Emergency Procedures

In the event of a fire or any other emergency, an alarm will sound and you should leave the building immediately, using the nearest exit. Evacuation practices will take place periodically. Evacuation notices with maps of fire assembly points are displayed in every room in College. Please ensure that you have read these carefully in each room you regularly use.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety is very important. Everyone should help to establish and maintain a safe environment, like all users of the College, students are expected to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others. You are asked to bring any hazard to the attention of staff. College safety rules and procedures should be observed at all times, including procedures established for specialist activities e.g. Sport, Science, and staff instructions must be followed at all times.  You must not wilfully misuse, neglect or interfere with any item provided for safety. If you have an accident or a near miss in College, no matter how trivial and even if it was your fault, please see any member of staff who will help you complete an Accident Form so that the College can monitor accidents and investigate causes.

The College Health and Safety policy is issued to all members of staff and is available from Graham Rayner (Assistant Principal) or June Inskip (Health and Safety Adviser), both of whom have roles to support students on Health and Safety matters. Students who are not willing to co-operate with Health and Safety requirements established by staff will be immediately excluded from activities.

Healthy College

The College works to make the health and wellbeing of staff and students an integral part of all aspects of life in the College. This means that both staff and students are committed to improving the health and well-being of all who study and work within the College. To this end, improvements in the food options available in the College refectories and vending machines and provision of water have been made and a broad range of facilities to increase physical fitness have been established on the College Campus. The provision of many rubbish bins and gummy bins at the entrances to mid-site, and a paper re-cycling scheme are well established. If you have any concerns or suggestions for further improvements, please direct these to the Student College Council through your tutor group representative.

Personal Welfare

A set of leaflets on a range of health/welfare issues is displayed in the Library and on the main concourse. The Colleges Health Support Worker, Karen Cooper, can also be contacted for support with a range of personal welfare matters.

Prevent

Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) places a duty on schools and Colleges to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”, otherwise known as the Prevent duty.

Key to this is to ensure that young people become valuable and fully rounded members of society and treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. The College is working to ensure that the core British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance are embedded within teaching practice, and in our cross-curricular activities.

Staff in College have undertaken training in the Prevent duty and follow statutory guidance as laid down in our Child Protection Policy. As such, they are aware of when it is appropriate to refer concerns about students or colleagues to a Senior Manager, and how to make a referral. Students are made aware of the Prevent duty, and British Values as part of our Tutorial programme, and are also encouraged to raise any concerns they may have with their Personal or Senior Tutor.

Protection from bullying, victimisation and harassment

The College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of the College. We do not tolerate bullying, victimisation and harassment, including hate speech. The College has a Protection from Harassment and Bullying Policy. A copy of this policy is available on the College’s website or from Senior Tutors.

Quality Assurance

In order to ensure that we remain a very successful College it is important that you have the opportunity to provide feedback on all aspects of College life.

We hope that you feel sufficiently confident to inform us of your feelings about, and experiences of, College. You have a number of ways in which your views can be heard:

  • through a Tutor Group representative on the College Council
  • through direct access to your Subject Tutors, Personal Tutor and to Senior Staff to discuss issues of concern
  • through the College Governors either directly or through elected Student, Staff or Parent Governors
  • through the annual student questionnaires and department surveys

Over the next year we shall continue to monitor our performance in these areas and ensure that we meet our commitments outlined in this Charter. Government organisations also monitor the quality of the College and actively seek the views of students. A copy of the latest OFSTED Inspection report is available in the College Library or on this website (See Key Documents) or from www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspect/index.htm.

Student Card/Library Membership Card

After enrolment you will be issued with a College Student Card for the period of study at College. The card will be used as a means of checking unauthorised entry. Students must keep their card with them at all times and be ready to show it to any member of staff upon request.

Also, this card may be required for examinations and purchase of tickets for social events. If you lose your College Student Card applications for replacements can be made at the Library Desk. A charge of £5 will be made.

Student Health Support, Counsellors, Chaplains and Further Support

A Student Welfare Support Officer, based in room 821 in our Learning Support Building, 58 North Hill, is available to see students daily. Students may be seen without prior appointments but appointments can be made via Reception (room 001), Teresa Codling (room 126D) or Carol McAuley (room126C). Students requiring first aid should report to Reception in the first instance.

Where appropriate and possible, the College will refer students to the College Counsellor, Sarah Grant-Jones, and her colleagues and/or other support agencies as appropriate. Sarah sees students by appointment, which can be arranged via Carol McAuley (room 126C) or Teresa Codling (room 126D), any Assistant Principal or Senior Tutor, or any other member of teaching staff. Students may also wish to take advantage of our e-counselling service by e-mailing .

We also have two College Chaplains who are happy to discuss any matter of concern. Students with learning difficulties and disabilities are also offered specialist support and facilities, and should in the first instance see Sarah Prince in room 220 if they believe they might benefit from additional support.

Student Representation

The College is very keen that students have the opportunity to play a full part in determining how the College is run. The College ensures that students have their own organisation, the College Council, to represent student views and ensure that students’ needs are met. You have the right to vote in the elections for the College Council Executive Committee roles: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Social, Arts, Sports, Culture, Environment and Charities Committee Chairpersons. You are represented by your Tutor Group representative on the College Council, which holds the Executive to account and meets about five times each academic year. To keep you informed of its work, an agenda is published at least one week prior to the meeting and copies of the minutes from that meeting are circulated to Tutor Group reps. The Chairperson of the College Council joins the Governing Body of the College as a member and is supported by the Vice-Chairperson who is an observer. Members of the Executive also sit on other committees such as the Healthy College Committee and Library Committee to ensure that your views are being properly aired. They report back regularly to College Council meetings and answer any of your questions.

If you have any queries about the role of Tutor Group representatives, the College Council, the College Council Executive, or any Committees, then please refer to the College Council Constitution, or it’s Code of Practice, or see the Head of Student Services, Neil Kelly in The Syd Kent Pavilion.

College Council Executive members until November 2017 are:

Chairperson Lewis Crowe
Vice Chairperson Kafayat Ayoola
Treasurer Ruby Robinson
Secretary Angela Raju
Social Committee Chairperson Ellie James
Arts Committee Chairperson Kirsty Medland
Charities Committee Chairperson Courtney Watling
Sports Committee Chairperson Glenn Dabo
Environment Science Committee Chairperson Madeline Tredgett