Monthly Archives: August 2021

  • New COVID-19 guidance announced for start of academic year 2021-22


    We hope that you have enjoyed the summer break and are ready and enthusiastic about the new academic year.  As restrictions have been eased, many of us have been starting to experience those things we have been missing for many months.  As you are probably aware, there have also been significant changes to guidelines for schools and colleges which are summarised below. 

    Summary of new guidance

    These are explained in detail on the attached slideshow  Info for Students Sept 21 – Covid19 Safety Arrangements –  Please read these slides carefully so you know what to expect when returning to college in September. 

    Aim 1 – less disruption to face to face teaching

    The new guidance prioritises face to face education, which is especially important given the disruption students have faced during the pandemic.  There remains risk everywhere, every day, in all that we do and thankfully, for the majority of young people, COVID-19 is a mild to moderate illness.  Time lost from education also has a significant impact on pupil’s heath, wellbeing and life chances and so we must balance these risks. 

    Because of this new focus, we will no longer send home close contacts of Covid-19 automatically which should significantly reduce the number of students needing to study at home.  Equally, there will be no more ‘bubbles’ or social distancing requirements to allow for normal student interaction to take place.  Students and staff will be able to choose whether or not to wear a mask and we will maintain good ventilation and other hygiene measures.  However, if you do have COVID-19 symptoms and /or test positive, you must isolate as before until your period of quarantine is over and notify the college as soon as possible (07801173168 /

    Aim 2 – reducing the risks through testing and vaccination

    We know that vaccination is effective in protecting people against COVID-19 and that more and more people have been vaccinated.  Now that vaccination has been opened to 16-18 year olds, we are strongly encouraging all students who feel comfortable getting a vaccination to do so as this will further protect students, staff and our wider families and friends. 

    We also know that lateral flow testing can pick up asymptomatic people who did not even know they were infected, and that this can limit or halt transmission.  We are therefore offering on-site ‘assisted testing’ for all students who consent to this at the start of term (see slide 4 on guidance PowerPoint).  One you have completed the on-site testing programme, staff and students are encouraged to self-test and report regularly at home (using the tests that we supply)

    Limitations of guidance

    We have seen what has happened in Scotland where schools and colleges returned before those in England and Wales.  Numbers have risen steadily, and we know the same could happen here.  We’ll continue to do all we can to reduce risk and provide a safe environment, within the new guidelines, but we will make further changes should they be necessary.  If you are especially vulnerable and / or have been unable to have a vaccine, we can take other specific measures to protect you so please speak to your tutor or to student support who will be able to refer you to someone who can help.  

    Info for Students Sept 21 – Covid19 Safety Arrangements 

  • Channel 4 News visit Bilborough College for national vaccination story

    After featuring in an August 2020 item on results day*, Channel 4 news were back at Bilborough College this week to talk to our confident and reflective students about the merits of vaccinations for 16-19 year olds, and a new government campaign to encourage take-up.

    Current Y13 student Dapo Edun, made some great points about how lucky we are in the country to be being offered a vaccine that other countries in the world are struggling to access.  Meanwhile, Gabrielle Aikulolw explained clearly why some students do have reservations and how reliable and trustworthy information is needed for young people to have the confidence to take up this offer.


    You can watch the piece by following the link below –


    It was great to see the college looking so vibrant in the sunshine as we enrol our next cohort of new Y12 students, and we are delighted that Channel 4 chose Bilborough College for this piece.  It is a great learning opportunity for our students to put themselves in front of the camera and they did themselves and the college proud.  We know that Channel 4 love meeting our students because they always have something interesting to say and are able to say it so well.


    *If you would like to watch last year’s national news story, you can find the link here.

  • Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

    Students at Bilborough College are celebrating outstanding results, rewarding the huge effort they have made since the start of the pandemic. Students have had to adjust to learning by live-remote lessons during lockdowns to complete their courses while still demonstrating high levels of learning and understanding. As well as having to cope with the pressures and stresses of a pandemic, there have also been bubbles, self-isolation and Covid-testing to contend with, and the disappointment of cancelled exams – all of which have contributed to two challenging years of education.

    All schools and colleges have used the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) methodology this year to reward students for their holistic performance over a range of pieces of work. Bilborough College students achieved the highest A-level ever pass rate this year of 99.8% and the highest ever proportion of A*-C grades of 82.6%.  We also saw 100% pass rates on all our BTEC courses, rewarding the hard work and assignments completed by all our BTEC students.

    David Shaw, Principal at Bilborough College, congratulated students on their results.

    He said, “Along with the rest of the staff team here at Bilborough, I’m delighted that once again so many of our students have performed so well.  This is one of the most important days of the year for us and when everyone has worked so hard in such challenging circumstances, it is great to see all the effort, dedication and hard work rewarded with excellent results.  No one however should believe stories that UK students achieving grades in 2021 somehow had it easier this year than in other years.  Teacher assessed grades offer us a much more accurate and substantial reflection of what students are capable of achieving rather than the snapshot of exams where sometimes people just have a bad day.  As a consequence, overall results are up but there is no doubt that the grades achieved have been earned and there is solid evidence for them.

    The college now has key staff available every day right through to the start of term for advice and guidance around results, UCAS, and next steps for students.  We wish all the best to our students for their futures at university, on apprenticeships and in the workplace and are confident they are well equipped for a bright future.”