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  • Covid-19 Update for Parents and Carers (2 November 2020) 

    + Click here to read the update for parents and carers

    Dear parents and carers,

    I hope you are well and managed to have a break over the half term.

    While I am glad that our students have had the opportunity to stop and take a breath after a very busy half term, the news over the weekend will understandably set the agenda for many of our conversations over the coming weeks.

    As you will be aware, the national lockdown will start on Thursday and is expected to last a month. While for many people this will mean a return to being furloughed and home working; schools, colleges and universities are going to continue to educate people face-to-face.

    This decision to keep our educational establishments open is one that I suspect will cause a great deal of debate and discussion. That is something that we let other people lead on. We are simply focused on the areas that we can control and take ownership of – namely keeping our community safe and giving our students the best possible learning experience.

    That being said, we also know that many of our staff and students have their own health issues and family worries. Saturday’s news will weigh heavily on them and I wanted to write to provide some reassurance.

    Given our experiences of the last lockdown, I expect there to be a raft of documents, guidance and clarifications coming from the Department for Education over the next few days. We will review all of these closely and keep you informed of what this means for us.

    As critical as following guidance and health safety measures are, however, I just want to reiterate that if you or your child have any concerns or worries, then please do speak to their tutors in the first instance. The Government has made it clear that they expect us to stay open to provide face-to-face education, and we respect that. We can, however, work with you to put into place as much support as possible on an individual level as and when required.

    I would also like to offer you the reassurance that over the last half-term there was no evidence to suggest that the virus had been spread within our college. This is largely down to the impressive efforts of our staff and students.

    The issue we faced, and highlighted by our track and trace system, was community transmission. My hope is, therefore, that if we continue to do what we are doing, and the national lockdown works, our communities will be safer this half-term.

    So please keep communicating, like always, we will work through this systematically and together. While the mechanics have changed since the last lockdown, the importance of what we do has never been more vital. I am immensely proud to be part of this community.

    Warm regards

    Dr Nikos Savvas
    Chief Executive
    and
    Colin Shaw
    Principal, Sixth Form Provision

Want to know what to expect when your son/daughter starts at West Suffolk College? Read our Parents FAQ for information on what to expect from the College, what happens when your son/daughter starts College and the support we offer. We hope you will find the answers to most of your questions online. However, if you need any more advice you can message us in the chat on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get to College?

Please visit our dedicated transport area, where you'll be able to view timetables for public bus routes, as well as the buses run by West Suffolk College, where you can apply for a bus pass online. 

Can I get some financial support to cover some of my costs to come to College?

Yes you can apply for a bursary online.

I think I might need counselling, can I get this at College?

We have a dedicated counselling team to support you. If you feel that counselling is something you would like to explore, please visit Student Welfare which is located just near to the Library, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What support is there for children in care?

Children in care have an allocated adviser in Student Welfare. They are carefully monitored in conjunction with the virtual school in the county they are allocated to. They can get up to £1,200 in bursary costs to help with their course. The person responsible for children in care is Sarah-Louise Neesam. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What support is there for Young Adult Carers?

Suffolk Family Carers work in College to support young carers. Within the Student Welfare Team Claire Battey is the Welfare Officer responsible for offering support to these young people. You can contact her by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My child has a social worker. Do I need to inform anyone?

Please make contact with the Student Welfare team and a Welfare Officer will be allocated to support your child. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My child has a mental health issue and might need additional support

Please contact Student Welfare by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have a safeguarding concern. Who should I report this to?

Sarah-Louise Neesam is responsible for safeguarding. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is also a daily safeguarding officer available in college.

My child has been awarded lunches from the bursary. How will they get the money for lunch?

Lunch money will be paid into the bank account provided. 

My child is being bullied. Who should I contact? 

West Suffolk College takes bullying seriously. Please contact your child's personal support tutor in the first instance.

I am worried that my ex-partner could try to contact my child and we have a banning order preventing contact. 

Student Liaison workers patrol the College sites supporting students with positive behaviour and keeping them safe. If you have an issue of this nature please contact Student Welfare and the Liaison workers will be informed of any additional dangers which may affect your child. Please contact Student Welfare by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

COVID-19 absence from college