FAQs for parents | March 2021

Frequently asked questions

The Government has announced that colleges can resume face-to-face teaching. Please read the frequently asked questions below for guidance.

Please check back regularly as any updates will be posted here. Should your question not be answered within the following FAQs, please email marketing@gbmc.ac.uk

An overview of our arrangements

In the following short video, hear from our Principal, Helena Thomas, as she talks you through how we are continuing to teach and support your young person during the national lockdown.

  • When will face-to-face teaching resume?

    Face-to-face teaching for the vast majority of courses will resume from Monday 15 March

    In line with government advice, we will be prioritising our courses for 16-19-year-olds, apprentices and university-level students. These students will receive a mix of face-to-face and live online delivery from Monday 15 March.

    For some students, including the vast majority of our part-time adult provision, face-to-face teaching will not resume until after Easter.

    Your curriculum team will be in touch with your young person soon to provide further detail relevant to their particular course.


  • What are the arrangements for COVID-19 testing for students coming back on campus?

    The following information is only relevant to those students returning to face-to-face teaching from Monday 15 March.

    Rapid testing is carried out using lateral flow devices (LFD). These are self-administered but carried out on our sites. 

    Testing on site will commence from Monday 8 March. The curriculum team will be in touch with your young person soon to share the arrangements for testing. This will include the location, dates and times to attend, as well as further information about the test itself. 

    Your young person must complete this consent form at least 48 hours prior to their arrival of their first appointment and ensure they arrive on time (not early and not late). Further information about the testing can be found here. The consent form must be completed in order to have the on-site tests.

    They will be expected to take two tests during the week of 8 March. A third test will take place during the week commencing Monday 15 March within normal class time.

    After completing three on-site tests, your young person will be provided with tests to administer at home twice weekly. Results will still be centrally recorded. Guidance about this will be provided nearer the time.

    While testing is taking place on-site during the week of 8 March, remote teaching and learning will continue as normal.

  • Do face coverings have to be worn whilst on campus?

    Face coverings MUST be worn everywhere in the college. 

    This rule has been extended to include classrooms and workshops, and disciplinary action will be taken if this is not adhered to.

    The only exceptions are:

    • For those staff and students that are medically exempt, as per the government’s guidelines.
    • For teachers where the wearing of a face covering would adversely impact on their teaching.
  • Why has the College made the wearing of face coverings mandatory?

    It is a legal requirement that the College carries out risk assessments and puts in place any control measures that reduce the risk of injury or ill health to our students and staff. After assessing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and taking into account government guidance, the College has made the wearing of face coverings whilst on-site a mandatory requirement as part of our measures to reduce the risk of transmission. A risk assessment is a legal document and all staff and students have a legal and civil duty to comply with the control measures identified. Failure to comply with a risk assessment would be in breach of health and safety legislation which is why we have stated disciplinary action will be taken.

  • What safety measures are in place?

    We appreciate whilst many students will be keen to get back to on-site learning, some will be feeling anxious and concerned about their safety. As a reminder, these are the safety measures we have in place:

    • extending the wearing of face coverings to classrooms and workshops
    • maintaining social distancing
    • ensuring adequate ventilation
    • provision of hand sanitiser throughout our buildings
    • increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
    • tracing close contacts of confirmed cases and issuing self-isolation notices
  • What does 'blended learning' mean?

    Blended learning is a mixture of the following approaches. Tutors will provide students with information and advance notice if and when the format of their lesson is changing. If students are unsure about what to expect, they can speak to their tutor - they will be more than happy to help.

    Blended learning approaches:

    Independent learning: Students will be given a task/assignment to do on their own. This may or may not have a digital element. They will be asked to provide some kind of evidence to show they have done it (this might be video, photo, completing a quiz, creating a presentation, submitting something on classroom, etc). A tutor is not present for this session.

    Flipped learning: Students will be asked to do something in preparation for a future lesson to introduce a concept they will be working on. They might be asked to watch a recorded presentation by the tutor, watch a video, or listen to a podcast, read a webpage, etc. When students come to the lesson, they will be able to spend more time embedding the learning, so they can ask questions, clarify points they aren’t sure of and engage in activities to reinforce the concept. The benefit to this is that students are able to absorb the initial concept at their own pace – e.g. revisit the video/audio/webpage. A tutor may or may not be present depending on whether the flipped learning is taking place during class or independently.

    Remote/virtual learning: We will run the class via virtual conference (Google Meets) – it will happen at the same timetabled slot and everyone is expected to be present.

    Classroom based learning: Traditional timetabled lessons in the classroom where students are expected to turn up in person. During the national lockdown, there will be no classroom based learning until further notice. 

  • My young person's course is not resuming face-to-face teaching - will they be allowed on campus?

    Unfortunately not. If your young person's course is not resuming face-to-face teaching, they will not permitted to be on campus unless prior arrangement has been made with their tutor.

  • Can students come into college to collect any work that they have left there?

    Unfortunately not. Following the government’s instruction to close all school and college buildings, only vulnerable students and children of key workers who have been specifically invited to attend college may enter any of our premises at this time.

  • How can I support my young person?

    There are some key factors that play a big part in the success of remote learning. The first and most important one is that students turn up to their virtual classes - this is when their teacher will be online and able to answer any queries and to provide feedback on assignments. 

    Please do all you can to ensure they are attending but we understand that for some there may be pressures at home that could make this challenging. If this is the case, please encourage your young person to make this known to their teacher so we can explore other ways of ensuring their learning continues. 

    The next really important factor is ensuring students submit their assignments by the specified deadlines. Student coursework could play a big part in their final grades and we all need to keep on top of this.

  • How will work be set for students?

    Teachers will set work for students as per their existing timetable. They will be available at the start of each session for any queries. See the question about what support is available for further detail.

  • Will English and maths still be part of my young person's timetable?

    Yes, they will still be expected to study these subjects as per their previous timetable. Tutors will be available to assist with any queries.

    The government has announced that GCSE exams will not take place and students will receive teacher-assessed grades. Therefore, it’s really important that any student studying for their English or maths GCSEs continues to attend their scheduled lessons to ensure their teacher can make the necessary assessments and judgements at the end of the year.

  • What happens if students don't have access to a PC or the internet at home?

    It is important to us that no student is disadvantaged by remote learning, so any student without the required IT equipment should make their teacher aware so we can offer them a suitable device on loan throughout the lockdown period.

  • Can students still access library resources?

    Yes. We have lots of resources available on the Student Landing Page.

  • Will there be any IT support available if students have any issues working remotely?

    Support will continue to be available via itservices@gbmc.ac.uk. The Student Landing Page also has additional resources to support your young person. 

  • My young person usually receives learning support during classes. Can they access any additional help when working remotely?

    Where possible, their teacher and/or their LSA will be able to support them online. If they need additional support then they should let their teacher know.

  • What do I do if I am worried about my safety of my young person?

    You can contact the Safeguarding Team at safeguarding@gbmc.ac.uk

    If you need to speak to a member of the Safeguarding Team urgently, the contact numbers are: 

    Safeguarding Team Contacts

    Contact Number

    Fenella Potterton

    Head of Additional Learning Support

    07739 615265

    Simon Vincent

    Safeguarding Manager

    07980 973224

    Alex Bellamy

    Pastoral & Enrichment Manager

    07841 066846

    Please note: the above numbers are only manned Monday to Friday.

  • What other sources of support are there for students?

    We know that online learning can be challenging, it’s also really important that our students have access to the support they need. We have a wealth of resources available to students that can be accessed by the Student Landing Page. Here, students will also find the contact details they might need to access our support service teams - these include IT, pastoral mentors, additional learning support, financial support, safeguarding, careers and more.

    All of our usual support services are still available:

    IT support | itservices@gbmc.ac.uk

    Additional Learning Support | als@gbmc.ac.uk

    Pastoral Mentors | mentor@gbmc.ac.uk

    Safeguarding | safeguarding@gbmc.ac.uk

    Careers | careers@gbmc.ac.uk

    Student finance | student.support@gbmc.ac.uk

    There are also lots of organisations that your child can access support from. Click here for a list of support organisations. The mentor team can refer you to these services. 

  • Will my young person still receive their student bursary payment?

    All students in receipt of bursary awards for travel and college meals will continue to receive their entitlement.

    If they are entitled to college meals, they will receive a payment into their bank account equivalent to a weekly award of £12.05 (5 days x £2.41). We will continue to keep them informed of any changes to payment frequency or date. 

    If you have any questions you can contact the bursary team on:

    Worthing/Shoreham students: student.support@gbmc.ac.uk 

    Brighton students: financialsupport@gbmc.ac.uk

    Finance information for university-level students can be found here.

  • How will students be assessed this year?

    The government has announced that this summer, GCSEs, BTECs and other technical qualifications will be based on teacher-assessed grades. Results will be published on Tuesday 10 August 2021.  

    To ensure you get the best grade possible, it is extremely important that you continue to attend all timetabled sessions and complete all of your assignments.

    If you need to take a qualification in Functional Skills (for example, in order to complete your apprenticeship), then you should still be able to take your assessment, in line with public health measures. There may also be alternative arrangements for you if this is not possible. Teacher-assessed grades will be used to decide your Functional Skills qualification where you cannot access an in-person or remote assessment.

    Click here for a diagram which outlines the process for GCSE and A-Level qualifications.

    If you would like any further information about how GCSEs, Functional Skills or technical qualifications will be assessed this summer, please speak to your teacher.

  • How do students let the College know if they are unwell?

    If students are unable to study at home due to illness, please continue to ensure they report an absence in the usual ways. Wherever possible, they should also inform their teacher.

  • Where can I access support and resources for anxiety about COVID-19? 

    Click here to visit the Anxiety UK website, where you can find easy access to a range of information, resources and support for helping you and your young person manage your anxiety during these difficult times.

  • Where can I access support for my young person with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?

    Please visit our SEND support page which provides useful information and guidance, including links to external organisations who can provide you and your family with further support. You will also find contacts for our Additional Learning Support team if you need to get in touch with them. Please click here for more information.

  • Will my young person be able to book a careers appointment?

    It is very important to us that all students are supported with their future goals and have a clear progression plan in place following the completion of this academic year. Students can contact our careers team via email: careers@gbmc.ac.uk

    Our one-to-one appointments will take place remotely. We will be contacting all our 16 – 18 year olds (by phone) over the next coming weeks for a short ‘careers review’. This conversation will be an opportunity to discuss, but not limited to;

    • plans for next year
    • unsure about your future options
    • discuss how current situation might be affecting career plans
  • What careers resources can students access?

    We have produced a new Careers Guidance and Information padlet (online bulletin board) which can be found via the Student Landing Page within the Careers section. We will be adding regular information here on different career pathways, virtual open events and careers events. We encourage students to regularly take a look.

    As a parent or carer, you play an important role when your son/daughter is making decisions about their career. So, to help you we have complied the section below to cover a wide range of career resources: 

    • National Careers Service: Explore careers, CV and interview tools. 
    • Prospects: Graduate jobs, postgraduate study and advice about work experience.
    • icloud: Real life career videos and advice. 
    • UCAS: Search for university and degree courses.
    • WhatUni: Find out more about which university is right for you. 
    • Apprenticeships: Find out what apprenticeships are available. 
    • Indeed and Reed: Find out what jobs are available in your local area.
    • Do-It and Charity Job: Find out about opportunities to volunteer. 
    • Gap360 and Gap Year: Help you plan your gap year.

    If students need any further guidance they can visit our dedicated Careers site or book a virtual careers appointment by contacting the careers team at Careers@gbmc.ac.uk

  • I need further support with parenting during COVID-19, what can I do?

    We understand that supporting your young person at home during lockdown is challenging. If you feel you need additional support you can get in touch with Triple P: Positive Parenting Programme. They offer advice and guidance and provide online parenting guides and courses. You can read more and get in touch with them on their website. 

    You can also download a copy of their helpful PDF guides for parenting during lockdown: 

  • Where can I find key contact details for staff?

    We have put together a list of key contacts for our course areas below:

    Course area Name Job title Email
    AAT Iwona Flanc Curriculum Manager iwona.flanc@gbmc.ac.uk
    Art and Design, Photography and Media Emma Harrington
    Curriculum Manager
    Business and Professional Courses Dermot Farrell Senior Administrator commercial@gbmc.ac.uk

    Business, IT, Travel & tourism and Cabin Crew

    Sarah Keith 

    Linda Laurens

    Curriculum Managers



    Carpentry and
    Painting & Decorating

    Tony Manktelow Curriculum Manager tony.manktelow@gbmc.ac.uk
    CIPD/ ILM Sam Smith Curriculum Manager sam.smith@gbmc.ac.uk

    Construction and Engineering

    Nick Goodson

    Adrienne Bougourd

    Kat James

    Head of Learning

    Senior Administrator (East Campus)

    Senior Administrator (Broadwater and Shoreham)




    Creative Industries

    Ady Symon

    Sophie Colbourne and Admin Team

    Senior Administrator (Brighton)

    Senior Administrator and Admin Team (Worthing) 



    Electrical & Plumbing Mark South Curriculum Manager mark.south@gbmc.ac.uk
    Engineering, Auto & Aero Ronnie Dawson Curriculum Manager ronnie.dawson@gbmc.ac.uk
    English & Maths Laura Shaw E&M Administrator laura.shaw@gbmc.ac.uk
    Jo Wheeler
    ESOL Coordinator
    Film, Games and Digital
    Jim Lee
    Programme Lead jim.lee@gbmc.ac.uk

    Foundation - Graphic Design, Fashion and Textiles, 3D Design, Fine Art, Illustration and Animation/Extended Diploma Art and Design, Fashion and Business

    Georgina Hooper

    Curriculum Manager

    Hair & Beauty
    Rebecca Gonzalez
    Curriculum Manager
    Hospitality & Catering
    Peter Whiffen
    Curriculum Manager
    Kevin Brady
    Head of International kevin.brady@gbmc.ac.uk

    International Foundation Diploma

    Steven Follen

    Course Director

    Sport David May Curriculum Manager
    Uniform Services Neil Cockcroft
    Curriculum Manager neil.cockcroft@gbmc.ac.uk
  • Where can I read the College's updates?

    All of our updates are posted to our news pages which you can view here.