Backstage Academy Current Status

Last updated: Wednesday 25th March 2020 - 17:00


In response to the proposals set out by the Government in the forthcoming Coronavirus Bill, the Backstage Academy Senior Leadership Team has agreed the following measures:


1. The campus will be closed to students until Monday 20th April

All onsite access to students and visitors is currently restricted until Monday 20th April. Only essential staff who are required to maintain the site will be able to access our facilities.


We have made arrangements for staff to switch to working from home and we have also taken the difficult decision to cancel all public events.


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 is currently transitioning a considerable amount of our activities online as far as is practical and possible. 


The staff team are working hard to develop alternative delivery plans and we would like to ask for your patience and understanding in giving the team the time they need to complete this complicated process. We will of course share any changes with students via email and the Backstage Academy App as soon as they have been agreed and confirmed with both The University of Bolton and our external examiners. We are also looking at alternative approaches to our recruitment and outreach work. 


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. 


Going forwards, our Student Wellbeing Officer, Chris Madden, is now offering counselling sessions/wellbeing meetings via the Zoom app (for video calls) and phone. Chris has worked this way with many clients and it is a valuable approach for support. 


Details of how to book a meeting has been sent out in the Head of Institution’s update on 24/03/2020. If you can’t find the link or are experiencing issues, please contact studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk.


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. Visit mentalhealth.org for the latest advice and resources.


Online Disability and Pastoral Support

Our Student Services and Disability Support Officer, Emily Lynch, is offering tailored sessions via the Zoom app (for video calls) or the Backstage Academy App (for ‘live-chat’ instant messaging sessions).


To book a meeting, please use the link that was included in the Head of Institution’s update on 24/03/2020 and specify whether you would like to chat via Zoom or the Backstage App. These sessions will be 30 minutes in length. If you can’t find the link or are experiencing issues, please contact studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk.


4. Student Loan Payments

The Student Loans Company has released this guidance for current students at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/slc-coronavirus-covid-19-update.


The Student Loans Company can confirm that “students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching”. If you want to check when your payments are due, you can log on the Student Finance England portal (if appropriate) for confirmation of dates etc. at https://logon.slc.co.uk/cas/login.


5. 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.


6. Keeping in touch with Backstage Academy

We have requested that all students provide us with details of where they are residing over the Easter Holidays, in case we need to send you anything through the post. A link to the online form has been distributed to students in the Head of Institution’s update on 24/03/2020. If you can’t find the link or are experiencing issues, please contact studentadmin@backstage-academy.co.uk.


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.

Coronavirus FAQs

  • What is Coronavirus?

    A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. 

    The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. Source: Public Health England.

  • What do I do if I have symptoms?

    Stay at home for 14 days if you, or anyone you live with, have either:

    • A high temperature
    • A new continuous cough

    This will help to protect others in the Backstage Academy community while you are infectious.

  • How can I avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Do:

    • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. You might also find it helpful to watch this BBC video on how to wash your hands.
    • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
    • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
    • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
    • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

    Do Not:

    • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Where can I find health guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO)?

Student FAQs

  • 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.

    - You do not need to contact NHS111 to tell them that you are staying at home as people with mild symptoms who are self-isolating will not be tested.

    - After 7 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine. If you have not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, you should contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days.

    - 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.

  • How will I be told about academic assessment arrangements?

    Students will be contacted by course leaders, who will provide information about the changes that have been made to enable you to complete academic assessments for your modules.

  • What will happen if a member of the Backstage Academy community tests positive for Coronavirus?

    The Academy will be contacted by Public Health England if a student or staff member has a confirmed diagnosis of Coronavirus. In conjunction with the Academy, Public Health England would identify people who have been in contact with the person and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken.  

    A risk assessment of each setting will be undertaken in conjunction with Public Health England, who would lead on any advice to be provided to the Academy community and public.   

    Public Health England would also be in contact with the person directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts and will be in touch with any contacts of the person to provide them with appropriate advice. 

    Backstage Academy would issue a statement on this webpage and to Academy colleagues and students and other members of the Backstage Academy community.  

    The identity of the person affected will not be released. 

  • 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.

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

    Please email us at enquiries@backstage-academy.co.uk.

Applicant FAQs

  • Will my interview take place?

    All interviews for 2020 entry applicants will go ahead as planned but will take place over Skype. Our Admissions Officer, Ria Forsyth, will be in touch with all applicants directly with further information. 

    If you have any questions about admissions, please email Ria, at ria.forsyth@backstage-academy.co.uk

  • My exams have been cancelled, how will my grades be decided?

    The Government has announced that students will no longer be sitting exams this year and that they will be awarded a fair grade and be allowed to move on to the next stage of their lives.

    This means that students will be awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work that they have put in, using evidence such as:

    • Performance on mock exams
    • Non-exam assessment (e.g course work) 
    • The grade your teachers believe you would have been awarded should exams have gone ahead.

    The government has said its aim is to provide these calculated grades before the end of July, and there will be an option to sit an exam later if you do not feel your grades reflect your performance.  The government has said this will happen at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

    The latest Government advice about exams and assessments can be found here.

    Please be reassured that we are in close contact with Ofqual, the awarding bodies, and UCAS regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Backstage Academy is committed to working collaboratively with these organisations to minimise the impact on your application and ensure applicants joining the Backstage family in September are treated fairly.

  • Will I still be able to start university in September?

    Currently we are expecting our new term to start in September as planned, and we are very much looking forward to seeing our students in September as usual. Should this change in the coming months, we will of course keep you informed.

  • Can I still apply to study at Backstage Academy in September 2020?

    Yes, absolutely.

    Our Admissions Team is working hard to process all applications as normal. However, there may be a delay in decisions due to the present situation and admissions teams working remotely.

  • I was planning on attending your next Open Day in June, will this still be going ahead?

    We are still taking bookings for our Open Day in June and are planning to run the event. We will monitor the situation over the coming months and will, of course, follow Government guidance.

  • I have some specific questions about my application, how can I get in touch with Backstage Academy?

    If you have a specific query about your application, you can contact our Admissions Officer, Ria Forsyth, by email at ria.forsyth@backstage-academy.co.uk or call 01977 659880. We are still operating our normal working hours of Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 17:30. 

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

    Please email us at enquiries@backstage-academy.co.uk.

Although the risk from Coronavirus for most individuals in the UK is relatively low, 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.    


Please remember that it is very important that we continue to treat all members of the Backstage Academy community with dignity and respect as this situation develops. If one of our peers or colleagues has to self-isolate or contracts the virus, we should be sensitive and discreet about it - as it may already be a distressing time for that person.


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