Provider’s name: Bristol Baptist College
Provider’s UKPRN: 10000894
Legal address: Bristol Baptist College, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol BS8 3NJ
Contact point for enquiries about this student protection plan:

Student Protection Plan for the Period 2021-22

In considering the risks to our students, we have borne in mind the fact that the vast majority of our students are part-time and do not live locally to the College. This lessens risk in two ways. First, it provides flexibility to vary modules in a student’s programme should this be necessary, without affecting their ability to progress or complete their programme. Secondly, in the case of the non-availability of one or more modules, students have access to a number of other institutions which offer the same programmes. This is one feature and advantage of being part of Common Awards validated by Durham University, as students potentially have access to a range of other providers to take particular modules, or to transfer entirely to complete their programmes.

However, the risk that the College as a whole would be unable to operate is very low because of our financial position. Our balance sheet demonstrates that we hold assets of £1,839,418 (excluding buildings). We hold business continuity insurance of £200,000 and for a period of 24 months, should our own property become unuseable, we would arrange to rent temporary accommodation whilst repairs were carried out. We have an active and engaged trustee body who are committed to ensuring that the College continues to fulfil its charitable object of providing education. The majority of students are self-funding, or funded by supporters, and we have access to substantial bursary funds, both our own and belonging to associated trusts and charities.

The College programmes are validated through robust individual arrangements with two universities, operating through Trinity College Bristol with Bristol Baptist College Ltd. The quality of our educational provision has been regularly reviewed over the last five years. We pay attention to monitoring and engaging with our validation arrangements, and do not consider that there is currently a high risk of losing validation for any of our programmes.

We consider that the risk that we would be unable to continue to deliver the Certificate pathway in Children, Youth and Family in the next three years is currently moderate because of low recruitment.

The risk that we could no longer deliver material components of our courses because of prolonged staff absence is low because our programmes are taught in partnership with Trinity College, Bristol and are therefore less dependent on individual members of our own staff. Many modules are team taught lessening the reliance on any one individual. Furthermore, our taught programmes are delivered as part of the Common Awards Scheme, and this means that all students are entitled to take modules at an alternative TEI which offers modules not available in Bristol. For our postgraduate courses in specialist areas such as Anabaptist Studies and Urban Mission the risk of being unable to deliver our own specialist modules is moderate because we are currently dependent on particular members of academic staff to deliver core teaching.

The measures that you have put in place to mitigate those risks that you consider to be reasonably likely to crystallise.

Though we think the risk of being completely unable to operate in our building is low, nevertheless we do have plans in place to deal with this. In such a situation we would move our teaching temporarily to a local Baptist church. We have had informal conversations about this with local ministers and feel that these arrangements would be robust and allow us to continue to offer our programmes in such a situation. In the case of no physical location being available for teaching we are also able to move the delivery of our teaching entirely online through our Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle. We have invested in our IT infrastructure to ensure that we can easily deliver teaching online if necessary.

We have recently had conversations with honorary research fellows who specialise in the areas of Anabaptist and Urban Mission studies and have in place arrangements to ensure that we can continue to offer these modules in the case of the loss of a permanent member of staff.

We have invested in advertising for the Children, Youth and Family pathway, and have made changes to delivery mode which we hope will attract more students. As this programme lasts for one year only, we are committed to teaching out all students before any closure.

In the unlikely event of us being able to continue a validated programme, we are committed to teaching out all students who wish to continue to the end of their programme. However we recognise that in these circumstances some students might prefer to transfer to an alternative provider, and we will support students who wish to do this. We will work with all students who wish to transfer because of discontinuation of one of our programmes by working with our validating universities to assist admission of students elsewhere.

Information about the policy you have in place to refund tuition fees and other relevant costs to your students and to provide compensation where necessary in the event that you are no longer able to preserve continuation of study.

We have a refund and compensation policy which protects our students in the unlikely event of our being able to preserve continuation of study.

This policy sets out how we would make refunds of fees paid and compensate for extra costs incurred by students needing to transfer to a different course at the college, or to transfer to another college or university.

We consider that we have sufficient cash and investments to allow us to provide refunds and compensation for students in the case of non-continuation of study.

Information about how you will communicate with students about your student protection plan.

We will publicise our student protection plan to current and future students by posting it on our website and on our VLE. We will review our student protection plan annually. Our students will be involved in our review through student attendance at Trustee body meetings.

We will publicise our plan to staff involved with student admissions and welfare.

Wherever possible we avoid making material changes to our courses once a student has been offered a place. We will give students as much notice as possible when we need to make material changes to their course. We will do this by email. We will also give each affected student the opportunity for a one to one discussion with a member of staff to find suitable alternatives to modules or pathways.

We will inform students about other options for completing their programmes, including transfer to another HEI, or taking some modules at another theological college which offers the same Durham-validated awards.

Please click here to read our Student Refund and Compensation policy.