Student Receiving Learning Support

Specialised support for student success

Dedicated support

Our staff are dedicated to giving you the best possible start in your academic study and career. That means individually tailored support, from assistance with coursework to your personal welfare.

Our students tell us they like the informal but purposeful atmosphere in the college, and the independence college life offers. We believe our students are young adults, capable of taking responsibility for themselves and their work, and requiring support and guidance to achieve this.

As a BHASVIC student, you will receive support with your progression planning via the tutorial programme, and from the resources which can be found on the VLE.  

However, in addition to this, we also have two fully-qualified and experienced Careers Advisers who can help you explore your options during a one-to-one appointment. This individualised service is open to all students and appointments can be booked via the Student Services reception desk, or by emailing

One-to-one guidance is designed to support students' aspirations, challenge preconceptions and open their eyes to the range of opportunities available to them. Our advisers are skilled in helping individuals assess their own skills, values and interests and how these may match future careers. 

A key aim for us is to ensure that all students have the self-awareness and research skills they need for their future progression. We hope to equip all of our students with skills that will take them from BHASVIC onto the next stage of their education or career and beyond.  

Our regularly updated VLE page provides up-to-date information about colleges and universities, career options, apprenticeships, gap years, voluntary work, working abroad and a variety of other possibilities. This is backed up by our annual Futures Fair where we have approximately 100 exhibitors available to guide our students in their choices. 

Whether you’re looking for advice and guidance on your transition from College to Higher Education or the world of work, exploring longer-term career ideas, updating your CV or brushing up on interview techniques, our careers service will answer your questions and help you develop the required skills. Further detailed careers information and resources can be found here Careers and Employability


The Counselling Service at BHASVIC is provided by YMCA Dialogue, an organisation with over 20 years’ experience in delivering counselling and therapeutic services to children and young people. Our Lead Counsellor has over 25 years of experience and is supported by 6 other counsellors, with the aim of supporting as many students as possible. The service is fully accredited by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

The purpose of seeing one of our counsellors is to offer you a regular, supportive, safe and confidential space to talk about anything that is making you worried or upset, or any difficult thoughts you are having. 

Young people come to counselling for lots of different reasons, such as: 

Sadness, depression, unhappiness, loneliness

• Difficulties with family and/or peer relationships

• Anger

• Worries about college or work

• Concerns about sex or sexuality

• Use of alcohol and/or drugs

• The illness or death of someone close to them

• Experience of sexual, physical or emotional abuse

• Self harm.

• Suicidal thoughts

What you say remains private - unless we think you or any other person is at risk of coming to serious harm. Even then we would hope to talk to you about it first. Sometimes young people ask us to talk to parents, carers, teachers or tutors on their behalf.

Your counsellor will listen to you and talk through any difficult things that are going on for you. Most students are offered 6 counselling sessions which last for 40 minutes each. However, sometimes people come for just one session and sometimes we see people for several months - this will depend on what you and your counsellor feel you need. 

Any student who wants to speak to a counsellor from September can self-refer by completing the BHASVIC's Wellbeing & Counselling Referral System

Whatever it is that is worrying you, no matter how small you think it may seem, if you want to talk to someone please get in touch. 

Whilst at BHASVIC, students have access to a range of support services. You can find more detailed information about each service on this page but here is an overview of what all students can access during their time with us.

(Please scroll down the page to view further Emotional, Health and Wellbeing resources)

#BeMoreBHASVIC Wellbeing Support

Throughout our students’ time at BHASVIC we are always looking for ways to promote and support positive wellbeing and mental health. We are as committed to helping students’ personal development as we are to their academic development and our wellbeing support plays a major role in this.

Underpinning everything we do is the concept of #BeMoreBHASVIC – we want our students to BHappy, Active, Successful, Valued, Independent members of the college Community. At the heart of this approach is ‘Be Happy’. We understand that no one can be happy all the time, and that happiness is a very personal concept, but we are committed to delivering our students a positive college experience and giving them the tools to build greater happiness now and in the future.

Visit our wellbeing page for more information

Students who disclose or present a safeguarding concern to any member of staff can be confident that this will be handled sensitively, and appropriately. In line with our duties under Keeping Children Safe in Education legislation, we have a Designated Person for Safeguarding, and a Cross-College Safeguarding Lead who co-ordinates cases where students need the support of external services. Please see further information in the Safeguarding section.


For ongoing emotional well-being problems, we have a counselling team within the college, provided by DLG YMCA Dialogue Centre, and last year over 100 students saw a counsellor at BHASVIC. This service is there to support students over a longer period of time, and the waiting list can be long, so it is not able to provide an immediate response to students in crisis. When students do present with more urgent mental health needs, we can make referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), to help them get the clinical support they need.

Students who access counselling at BHASVIC report really positive outcomes. In 2016-17, 94% of students supported by the counselling team reported that they felt their college work had improved or stabilised during counselling, including improvement in concentration levels, their ability to apply themselves, completion of homework, academic attainment and the feeling of achievement and pride in themselves. 95% of students who received counselling reported that they felt their behaviour had improved or stabilised. 95% of students seen for one-to-one counselling reported that their self-esteem improved or stabilised. 94% reported an improvement to their emotional well-being, consequences of which included feeling more positive about their future and better equipped to deal with stressful situations. Please see further information in the counselling section.

Welfare Office

The Welfare Office provides a place where students can be listened to, where they can talk about any difficulties or worries they have inside or outside college. Every year hundreds of students visit the Welfare Office to talk about their emotional well-being, mental health, and physical health. As well as supporting students within the college well-being structures, students are referred to local support services for specialist help. Please see further information in the Welfare section. A comprehensive list of both local and national services can be found here Young People Support Services

Careers Advisors

Students who are worrying about their future plans can make an appointment to see one of our Careers Advisors to discuss jobs, university, apprenticeships, gap years and any other careers-related topic they need advice on. Please find further information on the Careers section.

Peer to peer support

We also encourage students to support each other through their friendship groups, and to come and see us if they have concerns about a friend or classmate. Safeguarding is a whole college task, and we’re really proud of our students making mature and responsible decisions to seek help. We want BHASVIC to be an inclusive and accepting college where every individual feels part of a community and where we play an active role in our local community to help raise standards and aspirations. We strive for the highest possible standards, where students are supported, valued and developed as individuals in a safe environment, knowing that their well-being is key to their success.

BHASVIC is committed to ensuring that everybody in our community (students, staff, parents, carers, governors and applicants) is treated fairly and equally.

With this in mind, we aim to be:

• an inclusive and accepting college where every individual feels part of a community and where we play an active role in our local community to help raise standards and aspirations

• an efficient, fair and intelligently managed organisation

• a college where staff and students are supported, valued and developed in a safe environment, knowing their own wellbeing is key to our success

• a college which allows all students to achieve above and beyond what they think is possible

• an enabling curriculum, providing a broad and balanced, all-round education

Students and staff are welcome to join the BHASVIC Inclusivity Group (BIG), which advises on EDI matters in the college.

BHASVIC’s EDI and Welfare Coordinator is Jackie Davies. 01273 552200 extension 4817  

Equality & Diversity implementation Measures (EDIMS)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Leaflet 2019


External organisations for equality, diversity and inclusion


These documents list local and national organisations that can support people based on their demographics, protected characteristics, or personal situation.


Services are organised alphabetically within each category. Inclusion on this list is for advice only. Not all groups included in this list have been assessed by the college. Individuals should take their own steps in ensuring suitability when contacting any of the groups or organisations listed. Details correct at date of publication – May 2018.




BAME, Migration and Culture

Disability, Health and Carers



Intersectional Services, Generic Equality Support and Hate Crime Support


UPDATE - Please note the BHASVIC Online Bursary Application Portal is now available.

Follow the link below to apply.

Bursary Online Application Portal

Please read the Bursary Guidelines document below before making your application:

BHASVIC Bursary Fund Guidelines 2020-21

Below is the link to the payment conditions for successful applicants:

BHASVIC Bursary Fund Payment Conditions 2020-21

Financial Support for 2020-21:

16-19 Bursary Fund (for students who are aged 16-18 on 31st August 2020)

The 16-19 Bursary Fund for 2020-21 will soon be open, the 16-19 Bursary Fund Online Application and Guidelines will be on this page when they are available. The Guidelines provide a useful summary of the support available to students. 

Please note the following important information:

  • The closing date for applications is Friday 4 December 2020 but you should apply as soon as possible when the applications are available. If you find yourself in financial hardship after this date please contact Student Services

  • Funding is limited and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet all of your financial support requirements

  • Payment of bursary funds is dependent on student maintaining attendance of 90% or above on all their courses and displaying appropriate behaviour whilst at College

  • It is essential that when you complete the application form in full and submit with the evidence that is requested.

Please be aware that confirmation of awards may not be made until late-September at the earliest due to the large numbers of applications expected. Parents and students may wish to put in place a contingency to pay for travel and food in September. However, please be aware that we cannot guarantee that any expenditure made over this period will be reimbursed.

If you think you may qualify for financial assistance with travel to and from College, you should contact your Local Authority (council area) for up-to-date information and advice in the first instance. 

Free College Meals (for students who are aged 16-18 on 31st August 2020)

Eligible students will be funded by credits on their BHASVIC ID card which have an equivalent value to a meal in the BHASVIC canteen for each day they have timetabled lessons at College. Eligibility for the 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free College Meals Application  is assessed using the same online application form, which will be available here soon.

The BHASVIC Foodbank

The BHASVIC Foodbank provides emergency food, or weekly food for BHASVIC students and/or their family who have food insecurity.
In the UK 8 million people currently need support with access to food due to rising living costs, stagnated wages and changes to the benefit system.
We receive a variety of products from fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned produce and staples.
This service is offered free of charge and we do not ask for evidence.  
We request that you complete the following BHASVIC Referral Foodbank Form so we can ensure you receive the right food, please answer all the questions. This information will not be shared without your consent.
If your situation is a crisis and you need access to food immediately please see your Personal Tutor, or go to Student Services and tell the reception desk that you have no access to food today.
There may also be other support BHASVIC can offer you such as a Bursary or support with Welfare advice, if so please email We aim to respond to all enquiries received during term-time within 3 working days.
Please remember to check your BHASVIC email account regularly.

You will receive a log-in to our online portal early in September, where you can keep track of your progress, attendance and support plans.

Parents can also track student progress online and through termly written subject reviews. These give students a regular opportunity to reflect on their performance across all courses, and enables students and parents to see feedback from staff.

There are three Parents' Evenings in the first year which offer parents the chance to meet with the personal tutor and subject teachers.

By maintaining a transparent relationship between students, staff and parents, we ensure that learners are getting the support they need both in school and at home.

BHASVIC recognises that all members of the College community have the right to be safe and protected, both within the College and whilst engaged in College-related activities. The welfare and wellbeing of students is of paramount importance, in and out of College.

The College ensures that relevant and effective safeguarding practices exist and are actively promoted through the College and that it is understood by all that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. This applies both online and in the physical environment. BHASVIC involves students in shaping these safeguarding practices and in promoting safety and wellbeing to everyone in the College community.

Parents and Carers Safeguarding Resources

Safeguarding Information

Student Lanyards

We would like to remind all students to wear their lanyard IDs whilst onsite at BHASVIC. We need to be able to answer the question ‘How do we know who our students are?’ and lanyards provide us with the ability to answer that question and ensure the campus is as safe as it can be. Please can we ask you to ensure your ID is visible whilst onsite and comply with staff who ask you to produce and wear them to ensure you play your part in keeping everyone safe. Student Lanyard Poster.

What can I do if I am concerned about my or someone else's safety?

You can speak to any member of staff in the College. This could be your teacher, Personal Tutor, Guidance Manager, a member of the Safeguarding Team, or any other member of staff you feel able to talk to. All of our staff receive Safeguarding training.

The member of staff is not able to promise confidentiality, but will be able to refer you to the right person or Department, if there is a need to do so.

If the problem is something that you would prefer to speak to someone closer to your own age about, please speak to Oliver Philpot the Welfare, Equality and Diversity Officer in the Student Union. You can find lots of useful advice on the Student Welfare page on the VLE.


Emergency safeguarding information outside College hours:



Outside of College hours if you are concerned about a child's welfare, please contact the relevant agency in your area.

Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub

01273 290400


Brighton and Hove Designated Officer

East Sussex

Single Point of Advice (SPoA) Mon-Thurs 8.30am-5pm and Fri 8.30am-4.30pm.

Phone: 01323 464222


Out of Hours Social Care Service - Children's services: 01273 335905/6

West Sussex

Anyone who has concerns about the welfare of a child can contact a single countywide phone number, known as the 'MASH'. Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm: 01403 229900

At all other times, including nights, weekends and bank holidays, contact the 'out of hours' emergency team: 03302226664


BHASVIC Safeguarding Team

Alison Cousens

Assistant Principal (Director of Student Services)

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Lead responsibility for Child Protection

Designated senior member of staff with lead responsibility for both safeguarding and child protection in the College.


Jutta Knapp

Assistant Principal (Director of Resources) 

Health and Safety

Child Protection


Matt Bannister

Guidance Manager

Safeguarding Operational Lead


Jo Usher 

Student Services Manager

Designated Officer


Emily Andrews

Human Resources Manager

Safer Recruitment and ISA



Caroline Abbott

PA to Director of Student Services

Guidance Coordinator


Jackie Davies

EDI & Welfare Coordinator

37 students gained places at Oxford and Cambridge in 2016, and 27 students gained places in medicine, dentistry or veterinary science. 

If you’re looking to apply to Oxford or Cambridge, or to pursue a medical career, you can rely on our comprehensive program of guidance. 

Support and advice is available from the moment you enrol at BHASVIC, with regular trips to Oxford and Cambridge universities plus visits from key Oxbridge staff. 

Our specialised tutor group pathway will also help you with the Oxbridge application and interview procedure.

Our medical and veterinary programme will help you select appropriate courses, navigate the application procedure and build a relevant work experience portfolio. We will coach you for interviews and help you prepare for the UKCAT and BMAT entrance exams.

Please see below the BHASVIC Quick Travel Guide for this year:

BHASVIC Quick Travel Guide 2020-21

Below are the links to travel discounts that are referenced in the BHASVIC Quick Travel Guide:


Brighton and Hove Buses ‘BusID’  

16-17 Saver Railcard

16-25 Rail Card


Please click the link for guidance for students travelling on Southern Rail from September 2020

Our tutorial programme is carefully designed to support you on your educational journey, from settling into your new environment, all the way through to leaving College and embarking on your next adventure.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor right from the very start of your studies, joining a Tutor Group of about 20 students.

Your Personal Tutor will be a guide and mentor, keeping an eye on your progress, offering support, sign-posting help and encouraging you in your endeavours.

Tutor sessions take place once a week and are located in our Student Services building, which also hosts a range of specialist support from careers and work experience advisers, bursary advice, welfare and counselling.

These sessions are used for one-to-one discussions, as well as group activities to support your wider development. Your Personal Tutor will provide outstanding information, advice and guidance and will help you make the most of your time at BHASVIC by informing you of the huge range of opportunities available beyond your courses.


In your second year at BHASVIC you will be able to select a specialist tutorial pathway that will best assist you with your courses and lead you toward your chosen career or area of study.

  • Oxbridge or Medical and Veterinary Careers
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • University (UCAS) and Higher Education (H.E)
  • Visual Arts applications 
  • Support (for students receiving specialist / curriculum support)

Together with your tutor you will construct a study programme that reflects and supports your developing career aspirations, with a range of options to extend your specialism beyond the curriculum.

Described as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED in 2012, our university application support system will take you from your first thoughts about Higher Education right through to practical advice about making the most of your student loan and dealing with landlords.

You will be given extensive help by your Personal Tutor as you research universities, subjects and courses. You will also find detailed support in preparing your application and writing a personal statement. Your Personal Tutor will check your progress in applying every step of the way and will guide you to making informed and successful choices. 

Parents and carers are also supported through this process via specialist links on our website and through HE Information Evenings in the Spring term of the first year. 

Our [destinations data] shows the excellent degree completion and achievement rates of BHASVIC students, who are places among the top achievers nationally compared with independent, sixth form college and state schools.

Useful Resources


UCAS: Advice for Parents & Guardians

Parent Adviser

Pure Potential: Parents & Teachers Advice

Choosing a course

What Uni

Which? University

What can I do with my degree?


The Scholarship Hub


League Tables

University Taster Courses

UCAS: Taster Course Information

University of London: Taster Courses

Uni Taster Days

My Student Events

HE Finance

Student Finance England

Which? University Advice

The Student Room: Finance Advice

The Scholarship Hub

StandAlone - Supporting people that are estranged

We fully encourage any student who wishes to study overseas, drawing on the college’s close links with leading US universities. 

The Heads of the Harvard and Yale International Applications departments visit BHASVIC to answer students’ questions, and our staff have undertaken residential visits to Rutgers and Yale.

The leading universities of the Netherlands also visit BHASVIC every year, conducting Information Evenings for parents and students in the Autumn term and working closely with the College to support applications.

Whether applying for a foundation course, a foundation degree course or a BA honours degree, our specialist tutorial programme provides information, support and advice on the types of courses available, the visual arts application process, interview techniques and portfolio preparation.

The EDI & Welfare Coordinator is extremely knowledgeable, has extensive experience in working with young people, and has links with many specialist agencies and support services working with young people in Brighton, and the surrounding area, and can help students to find support both inside and outside the College.  

Every year, hundreds of students visit the Welfare Office to seek advice and support on a variety of issues. There are far too many to list, but include: 

• Money worries 

• Mental health and emotional wellbeing

• Physical health

• Safety and crime

• Accommodation difficulties e.g. breakdown of family relationship leading to an insecure housing situation

• Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

• Smoking

• Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs

• Bullying

BHASVIC is also part of the C Card scheme, which enables us to register students for the free card which gives them access to free condoms from pick up points across the city. We also provide non-judgemental advice and information about contraception, STIs, relationship and sexual health, pregnancy and on-site self-testing for Chlamydia and gonorrhoea. 

The Welfare Office provides a place where students can be listened to, where they can talk about any difficulties or worries they have inside or outside college, and access support specific to their circumstances.  

Any student who wants to speak to a member of our Welfare Team from September can self-refer by completing the BHASVIC's Wellbeing & Counselling Referral System

Widening Participation

Widening participation is a government initiative aimed at supporting social mobility and ensuring that all students have fair access to high quality information, advice and guidance in order to help them make appropriate decisions regarding their future.

BHASVIC works closely with a number of organisations, both locally and nationally, to encourage students from all backgrounds to consider higher education. We will help students to conduct research and consider the most appropriate route for them.  Widening participation offers free, no risk opportunities for students to ensure they understand what is involved in undertaking a university undergraduate degree.  Students are able apply for whichever opportunities they feel are appropriate.

The work we undertake is intended to enable students to make informed decisions about their future; if a student does not feel that higher education is for them then we will support them in their search for employment or other progression routes of interest to them e.g. gap years, college leaver schemes or apprenticeships.

The opportunities offered to widening participation students are varied and can include subject-specific taster days, one to one careers support, advice in making university choices and support with personal statements and interview preparation.

Over half our first year intake qualified for at least one widening participation scheme in 2018-19, and we have an outstanding reputation for our work in this field, leading the way in best practice and sending regular newsletters home to ensure there is support for parents and carers too.

Our Widening Participation scheme is managed within our Student Services department and for further information or questions, please email

You can find out more about Widening Participation from the links below:

Widening Participation FAQ

Widening Participation Annual Launch

BHASVIC held its annual Widening Participation launches during October 2019, these were held at BHASVIC and  at the University of Sussex. Students and their parents/carers were invited if they had been identified as being eligible, which was established following completion of the summer survey.

We had approximately 80-100 BHASVIC attendees alongside widening participation students from other local colleges. The evening was a great success with many parents and students speaking to BHASVIC advisors who were available following the presentations. If you are interested in finding out more, our latest and previous newsletters are listed below.

All students should now have completed the Student Support Survey and will have been informed if they are eligible. If any students have not completed the survey, then this link can be used  Students can still complete the survey and will then receive information about upcoming activities.


Widening Participation Updates

BHASVIC Widening Participation Newsletter Summer Schools 2020

BHASVIC Widening Participation Newsletter Spring 2020


We encourage all of our students to explore career ideas through experiences in the workplace and due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, this may now be in the form of virtual work experience – online or remotely. For some students, work experience may be a compulsory curriculum requirement e.g. BTEC, a compulsory tutor pathway requirement, e.g. Enterprise and Employability, through summer term enrichment or on an ad-hoc basis. 

We can help you source a relevant placement and work with you to ensure that you get the most from the experience.

Some useful resources to help you on your way...

Work Experience Opportunities:

Get Careers Confident

Student Ladder 

Virtual Work Experience Websites:

Speakers for Schools

Forage (formerly InsideSherpa)

Work Finder

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Royal College of General Practitioners

The Lawyer Portal


Volunteering Websites:


YMCA Right Here

Hospital Volunteering (including Royal Sussex County, Princess Royal and Worthing Hospitals): contact

Local business directory: Free Index Brighton & Hove


For more information please see our Careers and Work Placement Coordinator, Sam Davey, in Room 306, Student Services.


Experience in the Workplace – Employer Support Required


At BHASVIC we strive to provide our students with the best overall experience, this includes preparing them for their next step.  This applies to giving our students the opportunity to develop employability skills whilst they are studying. As part of our continuous improvement we would like to extend the opportunities offered to students in order to give them an insight into the working environment.

We are asking any parents, carers or family friends if they would be in a position to offer a BHASVIC student an opportunity to complete an experience of the workplace.

We are flexible regarding times and dates, it doesn’t have to be a week long commitment; it can be can couple of hours each week over a couple of months, or we can discuss other arrangements. Students can fit this around their academic timetable.

There are weeks where placements are in more demand than others due to commitments in the student’s tutorial programme, and these times are:

Reading Week – usually around the second week in November and any times during college holidays.

If you are able to give a student this opportunity, please can you complete the following form and return it either to Student Services or to the work experience mailbox

Parent Interest Form