Parent and Carers Handbook

BCT Parent and Carers Guide

Introduction

Rated as ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features a part of the consortium of partners in 2014 staff and Directors at Best Choice Training Ltd have the quality of the student experience at the heart of everything they do. Your young person’s time at the Centre will be packed with new opportunities experiences and challenges, and all the staff are committed to making the experience here enjoyable, fulfilling and successful.

We have highly qualified staff, both in teaching and support areas. The majority of teaching staff have worked, or still work, in the vocational area in which they teach and can bring lessons to life for students. Best Choice Training also works in partnership with many employers and stakeholders and together work with students to enhance their knowledge, understanding and wellbeing. We also provide impartial career advice and guidance to all young people prior to enrolment or during their time with us.

This handbook has been designed to provide you with key information about the Centre, such as useful contacts and links to the website. In addition it provides information about our services and facilities and what you and your young person can expect from us. While we will do everything we can to support our students you too have an important role to play and we hope that this guide will help you ensure that they are successful.

We are delighted your young person has chosen or is thinking about joining BCT and wish them every success for this year and the future.

Tracy Turner Operations, Safeguarding and Learner Liaison Manager:

Think Positive: More than a Programme of Study

Of course we want them to achieve their qualifications but in addition a Best Choice Training student will develop a range of skills and attributes that are equally important and will equip them for work, life and contributing to society:

  • Self-awareness to identify things you do well, develop skills and make informed personal life choices Understanding to consider the needs and feelings of others
  • Confidence to be at ease with, and able to, present yourself well
  • Citizenship to take an active part in society and get involved in community activities
  • Employability to demonstrate the necessary skills and attributes to gain employment
  • Social Skills to demonstrate the necessary skills and qualities to work with

Our Courses

We deliver a wide range of courses in different sectors and work with employers within those sectors to provide young people and adult with vocational experience related to their choice of study.

We train over 100 Apprentices in a year and work with over 30 employers to ensure our students have the best chances of moving to work and progress to higher and further education.

We have over 6 different courses in a range of areas that equip young people to understand the theory and practice of work and because we offer the courses at different levels it ensures they are placed on the right course at the right level for their ability and aspirations. For more details please see our website www.bestchoicetraining.co.uk.

Attendance

We know that regular attendance is very important to the completion of your sons or daughters course and so we are including this in your information so that you know when your young person should be attending Centre.

The Centre requires all students to not intentionally miss any lessons for anything other than exceptional circumstances or illness. It is expected that they will notify the Centre of any absence and the reason in advance and where this is not possible e.g. death of a family member, within 2 weeks of the absence. Please remind your young person to notify the Centre of any absence.

We monitor attendance and have a dedicated team of Pastoral Support workers who will contact a student who is missing from classes to see if there are any problems that are impacting on their attendance and which we might be able to help with. With average class sizes of 10 students, we get to know students and can offer assistance quickly if they fall behind.

We value your support in encouraging your young person to attend and achieve and we will also send you progress reports and invite you to parent’s evenings to discuss progress and opportunities and also to events when we celebrate the success of our students. Student Support
BCT recognised that we offer outstanding support for students and we are very proud of the fact that we have a comprehensive range of services to help to make sure that your young person’s time with us will be as enjoyable and successful as possible.

We recognise that life is sometimes challenging for young people and this can range from needing additional support with learning, with finances, with childcare or their health and wellbeing.

From the first day here we make it very clear to our students the standards of behaviour that we expect from them and what students can expect from staff and have a Learning and Behaviour Policy and procedure. It is based on the principle of mutual respect, which allows them to learn and staff to teach and support learning.

To help you support your young person we have included a summary below of these expectations:

The Centre expects that students will:

  • Take an active role in your learning whilst respecting the rights of others
  • Treat all staff, students and visitors with respect
  • Respect the property of the Centre, its staff and other students
  • Attend regularly and punctually and submit work on time
  • Comply with Centre policies and procedures
  • Ask for help and support.

In turn they can expect:

  • To be treated fairly, with respect and a zero tolerance to bullying and harassment
  • Good standards of teaching and feedback on your progression and targets
  • Support to meet your individual learning needs
  • Opportunities to express your views and have them listened to
  • Regular, prompt and constructive feedback on all assignments and coursework.

The Centre also has a Code of Conduct and some behaviour may be considered gross misconduct, which will result in the Centre following its Student Disciplinary Procedure. Safeguarding – our students is our paramount concern.

The Centre is committed to keeping students safe and well while supporting them through inductions and other Centre events and to ensure that

  • All staff is trained to safeguard students and, in addition, we have a trained Cross Centre Designated Safeguarding Team
  • There are very strong links with the Police
  • We work with a Link Police Officer from the Safer Neighbourhood Team
  • All staff, students and visitors wear identity badges
  • Centre emails and social networking sites centrally monitored
  • We have a zero tolerance to bullying and harassment

Safe Internet Use and implement e-Safety monitoring

As a Centre student your young person will have access to computers and to the Internet for help in their studies and while the Centre recognises the value of Information Technology as a learning tool; such technology, however, can also be a source of danger.

The Centre offers (courtesy of Childnet) guidance that will help keep online activities safe, enjoyable and productive and have a Ambassador within the Student Forum team who can also support young people who may have concerns about on line activity or social media.

Our ‘Zero Tolerance to Bullying’

Bullying hurts and no one has to put up with it. It can take many forms – physical, emotional or sexual. It makes no difference who is bullying or how they are doing it, bullying, in any shape or form, will never be tolerated in Best Choice Training. Offenders will be disciplined.

Students can report this via designated email and telephone numbers or by face to face.

This advice covers cyberbullying of students through the Centre’s ICT facilities, both on and off the premises.

Additional Learning Support (ALS)

BCT recognised that we provide extremely effective Additional learning support and the students who qualify for, and receive this support in general perform as well if not better than other students. The ALS service at Centre is able to provide a wide range of support for students with additional learning needs and if you and your young person think that they may need to access these services please talk to us. This may include: Mobility, sensory impairments, specific learning difficulties – Dyslexia, Dyspraxia. Medical conditions – eg. Diabetes, Epilepsy. General learning difficulties, English and maths support. Personal assistance/personal care, hidden disabilities – ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mental health, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

We are able to provide a wide range of support at all stages of a young person’s time in Centre including:

  • Assessment of support needs
  • Transition planning from school to Centre
  • Specialist assessments
  • Provide in-class support for a range of learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Provide specialist teaching in-class, in small groups or 1:1
  • Communication support for students with hearing impairments
  • Adaptations to materials/resources
  • Provide specialist equipment
  • Provide training for assistive technology
  • Access arrangements for exams.

English and Maths

One of the Government’s, and our, key priorities is to support students to continue to study English and Maths and achieve or improve these qualifications to the levels that are needed to be successful in employment.

Best Choice Training recognises that English and Maths are more important than ever before. The Centre is committed to providing good quality programmes which support students to move into work or onto further educational programmes. A range of English and Maths Programmes are available. Students can study Functional English and Maths from Entry Level to Level 2. Teaching by specialist teachers is lively and imaginative. Teaching, Learning and Assessment of English and Maths is good.

Whatever course your young person chooses to study they will undertake an assessment of their Maths and English ability and their timetable will include sessions in these subjects at the appropriate level. Please encourage them to recognise the importance of these subjects as we know that they are very important to employers.

Thank you for taking the time to read this- we welcome any comments and if you want to visit the Centre at any time please contact your young person’s tutor who will be pleased to arrange this.

Consent to contact Parents/Carers/ Guardians

Best Choice Training Ltd recognises the importance of the role parents/ carers/ guardians play in supporting and encouraging dependent young people on their programme of study and so aims to keep parents/ carers/ guardians informed of progress towards academic goals and if deemed appropriate, social and behavioural issues, whilst respecting the students’ right to privacy.

By default, all students aged up to 19 years agree- as part of the application and/ or enrolment process- that the Centre may contact parents/carers/guardians in various circumstances and this may require disclosure of personal information.

At any time, a student may withdraw consent to contact and the Centre will respect that choice. However, students will be encouraged to discuss this with their parents, carers or guardian and with appropriate staff.