Specialised support for student success
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. Please scroll down to view the list of support services we offer our students.
At BHASVIC there are many services in place to help support all our students; we have a wealth of experienced staff within our team which includes the Student Support, Student Experience, Guidance and the Centre Operations Team, led by the Assistant Principal, Student Services.
The Personal Tutor is always an excellent first port of call for students and our team of Guidance Managers are also able to help with support and advice. Each student has a Personal Tutor and Guidance Manager assigned to them when they start at BHASVIC and can be identified by the first initials of their Tutor Group code e.g. AMC/NJF.
Those who may need more intensive or specialist advice can speak to our Student Support Team who specialise in providing individualised one-to-one support, and can also link students in to both internal and external services. A full list of support services are listed on this page.
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 by visiting the Student Services Centre reception.
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.
The document below has more information on what to expect at a careers appointment and how to book. Please click here to download a copy.
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. If you have any questions you would like to ask, please contact email@example.com
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
Careers Resources for Prospective Students:
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. 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
• 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.
To access counselling at BHASVIC you will need to complete a Student Support referral form which you can access HERE
All referrals received are discussed at the weekly Student Support triage meeting. Counselling is just one service students may benefit from; depending on the contents of your referral we may link you with alternative services which will better suit your needs.
It is also important to note that receiving counselling within a college environment does not suit everyone. All students considering counselling should also explore external options. Links are provided below.
Referrals for external counselling support:
Brighton and Hove residents:
- https://www.brightonandhovewellbeing.org/ (age 4-25)
- YMCA Youth Advice Centre (YAC) in Brighton - YMCA DownsLink Group (ymcadlg.org) (age 14-25)
West Sussex residents:
- Youth Emotional Support (YES) service - West Sussex County Council (age 11-18)
- Time to Talk - NHS talking therapies in West Sussex (sussexcommunity.nhs.uk) (age 18+)
East Sussex residents:
- https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/irock (age 14-25)
- https://www.e-motion.org.uk/ (age 12-18)
- Health in Mind (age 18+)
If you need urgent support you can contact:
- www.samaritans.org: 116 123, this is a free, 24-hour, confidential helpline for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, ideations or behaviour.
- Emergency Services: 999 – call ‘999’ if you are at immediate risk or have injuries.
- https://giveusashout.org/ Shout/Young Minds Text Line: Text ‘YM’ to 85258 – 24 hour text support for when in crisis.
- https://www.stayalive.app/ Stay Alive: Download via APP store for suicide prevention advice.
- Sussex Mental Health Line: 0300 5000 101
- MHRRS: 0300 304 0078. (over 18 year old’s in Brighton & Hove only)
- Childline: 0800 1111
Further information about a range of support services can also be found under our A-Z Guide HERE or on the Welfare section of BHASVLE
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
Underpinning everything we do is the concept of #BeMoreBHASVIC – we want our students to Be Happy, 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 further resources
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 Team can be contacted by email via: firstname.lastname@example.org
- EDI SARAP including EDIMS Reports (students & staff) 2020-21
- Equality Diversity and Inclusivity Policy
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Leaflet
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
Financial Support for 2022-23:
Please note that bursary applications for the 2022-23 academic year are now closed. If you are experiencing financial hardship in relation to your college-related costs, please email email@example.com and a member of staff will contact you to advise.
Financial Support for 2023-24:
Please note the following important information for students studying with us in the 2023-24 academic year.
- If you are currently an A1 student in receipt of a bursary, you must reapply for a bursary to cover your second year costs. The 2023-24 Bursary Guidelines, and a link to the online application portal, will be available on this page on or after Thursday 29th June 2023. You will need to know your BHASVIC student number in order to submit a new application.
- If you are a new student, starting your first year in September 2023, please revisit this page on or after Thursday 29th June for more information. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to prepare for submitting a bursary application:
- Make sure you know what your BHASVIC student number is. This can be found on any communication you have received from the Admissions department.
- Make sure you are aware of the costs you may need help with. This is particularly important if you are studying a Visual or Performing Arts course and/or Geography, as all of these courses have a related charge.
- Think about how you will be travelling to and from college. If you will be relying on public transport, have a look now to see which route is best, how long it will take you, and the approximate cost. You should also find out about any travel discounts available to you. Student travelling by bus can visit the 'Young People' and 'Student Travel' pages of Brighton & Hove Buses, and/or your local bus provider. Students travelling by train should check out the Unizone, 16-17 Saver and 16-25 Railcards. Read the small print carefully as some discounted tickets have time restrictions which prevent you using them during peak times.
- Ensure you have your own bank account. All bursaries are paid directly to the student, not to a parent/carer or other third.
- If you live in a household in which a parent or carer is in receipt of a means-tested benefit, you should ask them to ensure they have recent evidence of this. This would normally be a letter from the Department for Work & Pension, a letter from your local authority, and a bank statement dated within the last 3 months. The bursary guidelines published on this page from Thursday 29th June will explain this in more detail.
REMEMBER: The 2023/24 Bursary Guidelines, and link to submit a Bursary Application, will be available on this page on or after Thursday 29th June 2023.
You will receive a log-in to our online portal Parent Portal in September/October, it enables you to track the progress of your young person online which includes up-to-date attendance, timetable, support plans, exam entries etc.
Parents can also track student progress online and through termly written Progress 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.
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 Student Support 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.
- You can find lots of useful advice on the Student Welfare page on the VLE.
- You can visit the reception desk in Student Services or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency/Immediate Crisis Support
The following services do offer support to individuals who feel they are a serious risk to themselves or others, or those in immediate danger:
Samaritans for 24/7 support and someone to talk to. This service is free and confidential. Phone 116 123
Sussex Mental Healthline for support and information if you are worried about your mental health. Mon-Fri 5pm to 9pm, 24 hours at weekends and Bank Holidays - phone 0300 304 0078
You can call the NHS 111 service if you urgently need help or advice but it is not a life-threatening situation
The Mental Health Rapid Response Service is a rapid assessment service for people suffering from mental health problems who are at risk and may not be able to keep themselves safe, or are considering attending A&E for help with their mental health. Available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Call 01273 242220
For emergency situations always call 999 or visit the local Accident & Emergency.You can also find further helpful resources on our dedicated Young People's Support - A-Z Guide.
Parents and Carers Safeguarding Resources
- Parents and Carers Toolkit - Childnet
- SEE Something...SAY Something Letter to Parents and Carers from Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Partnership
- Advice to parents and carers in keeping children safe from harm.
- One of the many recent updates from the DfE has been around promoting the support that is available to help keep young people safe online. There are further links and guidance on our parent and carer web pages.
- Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
- Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Net-aware (support for parents and careers from the NSPCC)
- aacoss.org/parents (the Association of Adult and Child Online Safety Specialists)
- Young People Support and Services
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
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - Email: LADOenquiries@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership
East Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership (ESSCP)
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 Safeguarding Children Partnership (WSSCP)
Safeguarding at BHASVIC
All members of the college community have the right to be safe and protected. Please email email@example.com for any concerns or to access support.
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 and 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 this year's BHASVIC Quick Travel Guide 2022-23
Below are the links to travel discounts that are referenced in the BHASVIC Quick Travel Guide:
Brighton and Hove Buses ‘BusID’
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 approx. 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 including careers and work experience advisers, bursary advice, welfare information and counselling services. Further information on these services can be found on this page Our Support Services, which is part of the Student Support, Experience and Guidance Department.
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.
Tutorial Pathways Explained
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.
- Employability and Enterprise (for progression into Employment & Apprenticeships)
- UCAS Tutorial Pathway (for progression into Higher Education)
- Oxbridge Tutorial Pathway (for early UCAS applications to Oxford and Cambridge Universities)
- Medics Tutorial Pathway (for early UCAS applications for medicine; dentistry and veterinary courses)
- Visual Arts applications (for progression into visual arts courses in Further Education and Higher Education)
Together with your Personal Tutor you will construct a second-year study programme that reflects and supports your developing career aspirations, with a range of options to extend your specialism beyond the curriculum. We run a Progression Event Annually in the Summer Term to see an example of previous events, please see our Careers and Employability and our Higher Education page.
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 Higher Education website page and through Higher Education 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 placed among the top achievers nationally compared with independent, sixth form college and state schools.
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.
Further resources can be found on our Higher Education page.
If you are applying for a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design or applying direct to University to study an Art related course (e.g: Graphic Design) our specialist tutorial programme provides the following:-
- information, support and advice on the types of courses available,
- the visual arts application process,
- interview techniques and portfolio preparation.
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.
Each year, over half our first-year intake qualified for at least one widening participation scheme, 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 Experience Team and for further information or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you require a reference for a widening participation event, i.e. summer school or university WP programme, please ask your teacher or tutor if they can complete one on your behalf. These references do not need to go via the General Office.
You can find out more about Widening Participation from the links below:
Widening Participation Updates
BHASVIC Widening Participation Newsletter Spring 2023
BHASVIC Widening Participation Newsletter Autumn 2022
BHASVIC Widening Participation Newsletter Summer 2022
BHASVIC Widening Participation Newsletter Spring 2022
We encourage all of our students to explore career ideas through experiences in the workplace and this may include virtual work experience – online or remotely. For some students, work experience may be a compulsory curriculum requirement e.g. BTEC qualifications, or a required element of the Employability and Enterprise tutorial pathway. For others, work placements might be completed through summer term enrichment or on an ad-hoc basis outside of their college timetable.
We can help students source relevant placements and work together to ensure that students get the most from the experience.
If you require more information, please email email@example.com.
Some useful resources to help you on your way...
Work Experience Opportunities:
Virtual Work Experience Websites:
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Forage (formerly InsideSherpa)
Royal College of General Practitioners
Local business directory: Free Index Brighton & Hove
Hospital Volunteering (including Royal Sussex County, Princess Royal and Worthing Hospitals)
Royal Voluntary Service (over 18's)
Experience in the Workplace – Employer Support Required
At BHASVIC, we strive to provide our students with the best overall experience, which includes preparing them for their next step and giving our students the opportunity to develop their employability skills. As part of our continuous improvement, we would like to extend the opportunities offered to students in order to give them a varied and broad 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 firstname.lastname@example.org