Backstage Academy Current Status

Last updated: Friday 22nd January 2021

 

In response to the latest measures set out by the Government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Backstage Academy Senior Leadership Team has agreed the following measures:

 

1. The campus will be closed to students until further notice

All onsite access to students and visitors is currently restricted until further notice. Only essential staff who are required to maintain the site will be able to access our facilities.

Backstage Academy is following advice from Public Health England and the UK Government in order to protect our community and help with public efforts to stop the virus. If these or other restrictions are extended and/or it is not possible for students to return to study onsite then we will notify students via the Backstage Academy App and Backstage Academy email address.

 

2. Moving Delivery Online

Whilst access to our campus is restricted, Backstage Academy remains open for learning. We are committed to fulfilling our obligations to students, which is why we are currently doing everything we can to ensure that the students are able to complete their studies with minimal disruption.

The Backstage Academy team has transitioned a considerable amount of our activities online as far as is practical and possible. Student timetables have now been updated to include all online sessions scheduled between now and the end of Semester 1 on Friday 19th February.

In the interim, students and staff can access a range of resources remotely including the University of Bolton’s electronic library resources, existing research material and lessons on Moodle as well as free online training courses provided by some of our industry partners.

 

3. Supporting Students 

Online Counselling/Wellbeing Meetings

This is a truly unprecedented situation and we are aware of how this might be making students feel very uncertain. Backstage Academy would like to reassure that our student wellbeing team is here to offer you support through this challenging time. 

Our Student Wellbeing Officer, Chris Madden, is offering counselling sessions/wellbeing meetings via Zoom (for video calls) and phone. Chris has worked this way with many clients and it is a valuable approach for support. Please email student.support@backstage-academy.co.uk for information on how to book a session with Chris. 

Please note that in order to ensure that there are sufficient slots for students, these meetings will be 25 minutes long. When booking a meeting with Chris, please let him know if you would like to use Zoom or phone. 

Looking after your mental health is important during this unprecedented period. A full list of external organisations can be found here.


Online Disability and Pastoral Support

Our Student Services and Disability Support Officer, Emily Lynch, is also offering tailored sessions via Zoom (for video calls) or the Backstage Academy App (for ‘live-chat’ instant messaging sessions). This can be for everything from general pastoral guidance to study skills such as Harvard Referencing or research.

Please email student.support@backstage-academy.co.uk for information on how to book a support session with Emily.

 

4. University of Bolton update on Semester 1 Mitigating Circumstances Arrangements

Following the government announcement on Monday 4th January 2021 in relation to the national lockdown restrictions, assurance was given by the University of Bolton Vice Chancellor that students would not be disadvantaged academically and that flexible assessment arrangements would be put in place.

Blanket Mitigating Circumstances will therefore be automatically applied to all Semester 1 assessments due on or after 4th January 2021 (for students on UK-based programmes).

To ensure that you get your feedback in good time for future modules and avoid having a build-up of assessments to complete in Semester 2, all students are strongly advised in the first instance to submit any work by the deadline, or request an extension of up to 14 days via an extension request form. Please email studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk for a link to this.

Individual Mitigating Circumstances requests are still required for assessments due before 4th January 2021. If you are unable to provide medical or other third party/documentary evidence of your circumstances, or require further support with this, please contact studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk


5. Student Loan Payments

The Student Loans Company latest guidance for current students can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/slc-coronavirus-covid-19-update--2.

 

6. Students in Financial Difficulties

Students who have experienced an unexpected change to their financial circumstances due to the current crisis should consider applying to our hardship fund. 

We recognise the additional pressure that some students may be under and have therefore decided to extend the application window for the Hardship Fund until the end of the academic year. Details of the hardship fund on the Moodle student hub page, in the “Student Bursaries and Hardship Fund” section. If you can’t find this or are experiencing issues, please contact studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk.

Students are also able to apply for the University of Bolton’s Hardship Fund. Further details can be found here.

 

7. Reporting Illness

If you become unwell and are unable to attend or engage with scheduled sessions, please continue to use attendance@backstage-academy.co.uk to notify us.

 

Key Links 

Student FAQs

  • Will the campus reopen if the current social distancing restrictions are relaxed?

    When the restrictions are relaxed we will review what facilities we can make available to students and will communicate this to you. 

    Assessments and teaching will be online until at least Friday 19th February.

  • Can I come onto campus to work out of the LRC and access the computer room?

    Once the restrictions have been relaxed, we will look to make these resources available to students as a priority. If you have any individual circumstances affecting your ability to access online resources and sessions, please inform the Student Support Team (student.support@backstage-academy.co.uk) at the earliest opportunity, so that we can investigate appropriate support.

  • WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO TEACHING & LEARNING WHILST THERE IS NO ACCESS TO THE CAMPUS?

    Modules can continue to be delivered remotely using materials on Moodle or other platforms, which can include recorded videos and kit demonstrations, video-call seminars on Zoom and guided tasks. Support tutorials may be conducted via phone or Zoom call.

  • What arrangements will be put in place if a member of academic staff falls ill and cannot deliver classes in person or via working remotely?

    Wherever possible, classes should not be cancelled, and all teaching should continue as normal. If a member of academic staff falls ill and/or needs to self-isolate, the Academic Director will (where possible) arrange for classes to be covered by another member of the programme team.

  • If I need to self-isolate, who should I inform?

    - Email attendance@backstage-academy.co.uk (students) or contact your line manager and HR (staff) as you would report any illness.

    - The government’s stay at home guidance can be found here

    - The NHS Guidance can be found here

    - Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

    - If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

  • I’ve been told by an NHS health professional to self-isolate. What should I do?

    If you have been told that you should self-isolate as a precaution due to your circumstances, you should follow this advice and you should not visit Backstage Academy or travel elsewhere during the period of self-isolation.

  • Where can I find guidance on international travel?

    Guidance on international travel can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

  • Should I be doing external work?

    Given the fluid and global nature of the live events sector, the potential for infection to spread is high. We encourage you to assess the risk of any work that you undertake and take necessary control measures such as good hand and food hygiene, or not working on events in regions where the outbreak is considerable.

  • How can I access University of Bolton resources?

    The University of Bolton Library is not closing. Services will now be available online to best serve the interests and safety of students and staff.

    Online Library Support

    • Library Chat has been extended to 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday for this term. Chat is available on Discover and most pages of the Library website: www.bolton.ac.uk/library<http://www.bolton.ac.uk/library>

    • Online appointments are available with Academic Librarians for more in-depth enquiries: https://libcal.bolton.ac.uk/appointments/online 

     Online Library sessions

    Following a successful trial last term, the Library is continuing to offer online sessions on a range

    of resources via Zoom. The first session has been announced and is running on two different dates. Details and links to register are below:

    · Advanced Search Techniques; Discover@Bolton and Academic Databases Wednesday January 20th, 11.00am - 11.45am https://libcal.bolton.ac.uk/event/3668293

    · Advanced Search Techniques; Discover@Bolton and Academic Databases Tuesday January 26th, 2:00pm - 2:45pm https://libcal.bolton.ac.uk/event/3668294

    All attendees will get access to a recording after the session. More sessions will be added throughout the term and advertised via the Library website: www.bolton.ac.uk/library<http://www.bolton.ac.uk/library>

  • What other industry led training can I access?

    We have collated a range of online material and Industry led training sessions and put links to them all on our website:

    https://www.backstage-academy.co.uk/online-industry-training

  • WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY ASSESSMENTS WHILST THERE IS NO ACCESS TO THE CAMPUS?

    Written and oral assessments will continue to be assessed on the published deadlines, via Moodle submissions or Zoom presentations.

    To ensure that students are not academically disadvantaged by the latest lockdown, details of the University of Bolton’s mitigating circumstances arrangements for Semester 1 modules can be found at: https://www.bolton.ac.uk/student-area/student-coronavirus-update/semester-1-mitigating-circumstances-arrangements.

  • This situation is impacting on my Mental Health and Wellbeing. What support is available?

    If you feel emotionally impacted by the current situation, please make use of our student Support team. 

    In addition to the Backstage Academy team, you can also access support from the University of Bolton and other organisations, including: 

    1. The Life Lounge: available to all current students: www.bolton.ac.uk/studentservices/lifelounge. The Life Lounge team, including the Counsellors, Cognitive Behavioural Therapists, Mental Health Advisors and Wellbeing Advisor are available remotely and are able to offer ongoing support. Please complete a registration form available from the link above to access these services or speak with a member of the Life Lounge team on 01204 903566. 

    2. The UoB Chaplain, Reverend Gill Smart can be contacted by email chaplain.gill@bolton.ac.uk or by texting 07967 585670. www.bolton.ac.uk/general-enquiries/chaplaincy 

    3. Mind has published some helpful advice on mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic. www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing

     4. Big White Wall: www.bigwhitewall.com You will need to use your University of Bolton email address to register, the good news is it is free and accessible 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It provides an anonymous community where members can support each other, with trained professionals available to keep the community safe. There are a range of creative tools to help you express how you are feeling and self-guided courses to do at your own pace. 

    5. Shout: www.giveusashout.org Shout is a free text service, where a trained volunteer will support you by text to work things through. 

    6. Samaritans: www.samaritans.org. Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year to talk to you about what you are going through, call 116 123 for free. 

    7. Life Signs - Self injury Support Network: www.lifesigns.org.uk The network aims to provide information and guide in new ways of coping to overcome self-injury when you are ready to do so. 

    8. Papyrus - Prevention of Young Suicide: Help, support and advice for young people under the age of 35 experiencing suicidal thoughts or who feel in crisis. Call: 0800 068 4141 Text: 07786209697 or Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org. Opening hours: 10am – _10pm weekdays 2pm – _10pm weekends and bank holidays 

    9. NHS Recommended Helplines and Websites Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice. 

    How to access Mental Health Services

    Links to NHS recommended support Websites 

    10. Industry Support Websites 

    Music Support have also teamed up with Thrive, an NHS approved and clinically effective wellbeing app offering 24/7 support for mental health and wellbeing. 

    https://www.musicsupport.org/thrive-app 

    It helps with the early detection, prevention and management of common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as builds resilience so that users can feel empowered to improve their mental health.

  • Will there be any impact upon my Student Loan and/or Maintenance Loan?

    Backstage Academy will remain open for learning despite the restricted access to campus and whilst measures are in place, we will deliver our programmes remotely, so that you can continue your education.

    As long as you continue to study/engage on your programme there should be no impact on your Maintenance Loan. You will need to inform them, however, if you have ended your accommodation contract and moved back home. 

    If any student is facing particular financial hardship due to the current events, please discuss on a confidential case-by-case basis with Student Services (studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk)

  • Can I access any funding support from Backstage Academy?

    Backstage Academy has reopened the student Hardship fund until the end of the academic year in order to support any students experiencing financial hardship. The application form can be found on the BA Student Hub module page on Moodle. 

    In addition to this the following websites have guidance which may be relevant to your personal circumstances: 

    How to claim Universal Credit: step by step - https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit 

    Money Saving Expert - Coronavirus Financial Help & Rights - www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights

  • What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Applicant FAQs

The health and safety of our students and staff are our utmost priorities. We are continuously monitoring the situation for further changes and will update you on this page first with developments.    

Backstage Academy is following advice from Public Health England, the Government, the Office for Students and the World Health Organisation. Contingency plans are in place to support students.

If you have any questions or queries about our response to the Coronavirus, please email enquiries@backstage-academy.co.uk or call 01977 659880