Supporting students who are deaf or hard of hearing

Bradford College has an unusually high number of deaf students.

There are two main reasons for this: firstly, there is a higher incidence of disability in general and deafness in particular in Bradford. Secondly the College has a very positive reputation as a place for deaf people to study and this attracts deaf students from across West Yorkshire and beyond. Most are aged 16 – 24, but there are students of all ages, with a number in their 60s and 70s. They include anyone whose hearing loss impacts on their studies.

I spoke to Learning Support Tutor Nicola Storey and Team Leader Chris Thornton to find out about their work and the ethics issues it raises.

Christopher Thornton and Nicola Storey, Bradford College Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team

Christopher Thornton and Nicola Storey, Bradford College Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team

Meeting Nicola and Chris
Nicola is a qualified teacher of the deaf – it is apparently very rare, and outstandingly good for a College to have a qualified teacher of the deaf. Nicola is just that, and in addition she has an MA in Deaf Education. Chris is a qualified note-taker, has trained in the use of technological aids, and has advanced qualifications in British Sign Language (BSL). Between them they have years of experience.

Nicola did not intentionally set out to work with the deaf – her interest and commitment has developed through years of working with deaf and hard of hearing students. “I was a student here, studying health and social care. I moved straight from that into being a support worker, helping students with special needs,” she says. Later, Nicola went to university in Hull to study social policy. She continued to work for the College in the holidays, and on graduating returned as a full time senior support worker. She had a spell lecturing in IT and basic skills, and then went on to do the MA.

For Chris, it began with having friends who were deaf. “For most people who learn sign language and work in this area, it starts because someone in your family is deaf. But not me. I grew up in Doncaster and for some reason my path seemed to cross with lots of deaf people. I remember playing football with deaf kids my age and experiencing the frustration of being unable to communicate. In my final years at school I went to Saturday classes and passed Level 1 and 2 BSL and did some work experience in a local college.” Chris started working aged 16, spending ten years in different areas of deaf education in Wakefield. He has worked at the College since 2010.

Some of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team (back row) with students (front row). Nicola and Chris are in the centre of the back row.

Some of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team (back row) with students (front row). Nicola and Chris are in the centre of the back row.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team
There is a team of 16 Communication Support Workers, supporting our deaf students.  They all have advanced sign language qualifications, and they are part of a wider team of some 70 staff providing learning support to students with disabilities. “The role is very diverse,” Nicola says. “You can be supporting someone understand when to use capital letters, and then be giving advanced support to someone doing research for a Masters. A support worker has to work across all subject areas, from basic skills to postgraduate level.”

British Sign Language is a relatively new language,” Chris explains. “Because there’s no literal word for word translation from English to BSL, and with the range of courses we do here, often we find ourselves working with the deaf student to  devise new signs as the need arises. This is the beauty of our team – we are so lucky to have people at that level.”

In addition, some of our students have weak  English language skills – signing is their first language, and English may be an emerging third or fourth language. .

The service covers all education support needs relevant to the student’s course, and support sessions such as counselling if someone needs this. If a student wants to get involved in other areas of College life, those departments then set up the relevant support.

The ethics issues
“Confidentiality is essential,” Nicola says. “Complete translation is also key. You have to interpret everything, communicate an entire message – emotion, force, intention, message. That’s important to equal access, opportunity and treatment, and being heard and understood.”

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team only uses its trained and qualified support workers as for interpretation and support, and does not involve family, friends or volunteers as translators.

There are two ways in which deafness is defined. One is a medical one, where deafness is a physical impairment or loss of hearing. The other is cultural, where people identify themselves as members of a deaf community, and view this as positive.

“Its big D and little d,” says Chris, “with the Deaf community claiming a capital D. We have both kinds of students – those who do not particularly identify themselves as Deaf tend to be people who’s loss of hearing has started later in life.”

The team does not make judgements on this, and they work across a continuum of hearing loss. Students are required to have medical evidence confirming their disability if they want support, but otherwise it is for the individual to decide how they define and perceive their deafness.

“There is an on-going debate,” Chris says, “as to whether deaf students are better off in a dedicated school for the deaf, or whether they should be integrated into mainstream education. That discussion is probably not going to be resolved, and there are benefits on both sides. I guess we are all working here because we believe students should be able to attend a College and have the chance to do well.”

The hard work has results….
The proof is in the pudding: apparently our deaf students often do well, through their own hard work and with the highly professional College support. One recent student came straight from school on a Level 1 IT course and now has a degree in business administration. Another, Neelam Hussain, is winning lots of awards and competitions as a hairdressing student, including a Rising Star award in the recent Oscar-style FE awards ceremony held annually by the college.

Its great to meet Nicola and Chris and find out all this. Repeatedly in this blog, interviewees are demonstrated the active and considered ways in which the College works to provide opportunity and a positive experience for anyone wanting to study. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team is integral to this.


Saying ‘cheese’: members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team line up for a group photo.


The Association of Community Support Workers

Bradford College runs classes in British Sign Language – see the community learning prospectus for more information. Neelam Hussain, the student mentioned above, is featured on the front cover of that newspaper style prospectus!

Training the trade unionists: Bradford College’s specialist centre

Bradford College hosts a Trade Union Studies Centre, running TUC courses for union representatives and members, from introductory and short courses to Level 3 Diplomas. Steve Davison runs the Centre, with a small staff of experienced lecturers.

I met up with Steve, to find out about the ethics behind the Centre. Steve himself has an interesting background, steeped in trade union activism.

Steve Davison at the Trade Union Studies Centre, Bradford College

Steve Davison at the Trade Union Studies Centre, Bradford College

Steve’s story:

“I started out in engineering, working in the Bradford District, and I joined an engineers’ union. I became shop steward, then factory convenor, and then I was chair of a group representing some 8,500 workers.

“But I got made redundant. Put on a blacklist, which was common then in engineering and construction and its still in the news today. It meant I went from one short job to another, all over the place.

“And then I got a call from the man running the Trade Union Centre here at Bradford College. I’d never taught before, but in those days what mattered was whether you had the direct experience.  Trade Union Reps need teachers who know what its like, and what are the issues that come up.”

Up to a few years ago, Steve was active at the highest levels in the trade unions. Through a series of mergers, he became president of AMICUS, with 1.2 million members. In that position, he was part of a delegation to create the first global trade union, called Workers Uniting, formed with the American and Canadian trade union, the USW. It has 800,000 members and is still going strong. AMICUS later merged with the TGW to form Unite. It had 1.5 million members, and Steve was Vice President.

Three years ago, he had a heart attack and his family persuaded him to step down national trade union activity. Steve reflects:

“It was great. I met President Morales of Bolivia, I addressed the Venezuelan Parliament. But the thing which has left the greatest impression of all was working in Bangladesh with the ship wreckers.

“The wreckers are men who work along the coast, salvaging debris from boats broken at sea. They get about 20p an hour, and its very dangerous: a worker is killed every week. We were there to help them unionise and through that try to improve working conditions. They were amazing men. I’ll never forget it.”

Trade Union Studies at Bradford College

Steve explains: “Bradford College has been a progressive College from the outset, and it set up the Trade Union Centre in the 1970s. The College is rooted in the community, and Bradford at that time had a large industrial workforce, which was unionised – in textiles, engineering, chemicals and the catalogue trade.”

There are about 70 Trade Union training centres across the UK, with several in Yorkshire. “Our Centre remains popular,” Steve says, “but we don’t have the numbers of students that we used to get. There’s a threefold challenge: the absolute decline of manufacturing, engineering and textiles; the deterioration of Bradford city; and the rise of Leeds as the undisputed centre of West Yorkshire. That all impacts on employment, and has led to a huge decline in union members and therefore union reps.

“There is no longer a national solution, especially to the problems of work and jobs. The decisions about whether people in Bradford work or not are made in the US, Brussels, Delhi and Beijing. So we offer here the practical courses people need to advise and negotiate for their members, to help them gain or maintain a fair wage and decent conditions of work, and we also have a global focus.”

The Union Reps attend on day release. “The right to time off for Union training was established by Harold Wilson in the 1970s,” Steve says, “and it has stuck. No subsequent government has tried to dismantle it. It is in the interests of the employer to have an educated workforce with whom they can dialogue, with an understanding of the legal framework.”

Moreover, the training is free. “The right to this training is important: for labour relations and fair treatment, and also because for some reps it is an opening into education,” Steve adds. He explains that some reps go on to other study in the College, or elsewhere. “You can build up enough level 3 credits on our Diploma to start on a degree if you want. Sometimes there are people – women in particular – who’ve had little education and been out of the workforce, and they come to us and the world of education opens up for them. The College is therefore an important base for us, and it has always been very open, accessible and welcoming to our students.”


Steve (on the right) with Trade Union Studies students and lecturers.

The trade union ethic

“An important ethic for us is that of equal treatment,” Steve says. “It’s enshrined in our courses – equal rights, equal opportunities, and the celebration of diversity. The most powerful inequity is that of class, and the aim of the trade union movement is to challenge that by raising its members from poverty.

“At the same time, solidarity with others is a massive issue. Empathy. There’s the old Methodist phrase – you are your brothers’ keeper. You have a responsibility to the workforce and to the community. We encourage people to be active, to be part of communities and causes.

“Our actions have consequences, and that can be very complicated for a Trade Union Rep who has to balance the long and short term interests of the workforce, and decide when to compromise and when to stand firm. That’s why training, and contact with trainers and other Reps, is so important.”

Finishing with a film…

I ask Steve to recommend a film or two for anyone wanting insight into labour relations and trade unionism. He comes up with three:

Sprit of 45   –     Made in Dagenham   –   North Country

It’s a great way to plug a short course coming up in November that any Trade Union member can apply to join. Titled Contemporary Trade Unionism, it will look at how the labour movement changed Britain after World War 2. Its six Tuesdays evenings from 5 November, and maybe they will run it again for those of us busy on a Tuesday.

For more information about any of the Bradford College Trade Union coursesdownload the brochure: 122782 BC TUC Autumn 2013Final-1 or contact farhana Khan on 01274 436115, email

Text and photo: Ruth Wilson. Group photo: Paula Solloway.

Research ethics and internet research

At Bradford College, staff and students are using the internet in various ways to develop dissertations and research projects. There are lots of possibilities: online interviews and focus groups; questionnaires; observing or participating in forums; using information from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

Involving humans in research on or through the internet raises complex ethical issues, so I went to a workshop at the University of Leeds to find out more.

The workshop: Is one of a series on research ethics, held by the University of Leeds. (You can read about an earlier workshop I attended, about involving humans in research, here on the blog).

Dr Alice Temple, University of Leeds

Dr Alice Temple, University of Leeds

The workshop was led by Dr Alice Temple, who works with the University Research Ethics Committee, other University Ethics Working Groups, the Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the UK Universities Research Ethics Committees Group, concerned with national issues of the ethical review process in Universities.

Recent situations: During the talk, Alice mentioned real instances to show how ethics can play out with regard to the internet. Here’s an example:

  • participants in a sexual abuse survivors online forum found their words had been used for research. Their response was that this was a form of violation, and their online support community no long felt like a safe place.

Sitting on park bench? Alice explained that one academic asks people to visualise that they are sitting on a park bench (a public space) chatting to friends. If you then found you were being recorded for research purposes, how would you feel? (Waskul, 1996)

The workshop explored these and other issues raised by internet research. A summary is set out below. For the best set of guidelines, Alice recommended a report from the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) titled ‘Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research’.

Privacy and confidentiality
The internet presents greater risks to individual privacy than many other forms of communication. Many people aren’t aware that IPS addresses can be traced back to them. You may think you are participating anonymously in a discussion, but in all likelihood you can be identified. And people don’t realise how public or permanent information is, or how easily it can be picked up by search engines.

This means that a researcher must be clear about anonymity, including the instances when anonymity might not be respected (for instance if a participant discloses something illegal).

The internet offers researchers the possibility of eavesdropping – of observing behaviours and attitudes, of taking part in conversations without disclosing that you are doing research. Nearly all these approaches are likely to be unethical.

What is public and what is private?
This is no easy matter, but it is vital that researchers assess how ‘public’ an online environment is before they make it part of their research. Most blogs, and some forums, are in the public domain, easily accessible. Other groups you have to register to join and it is clear that a greater degree of privacy is expected. However, people who comment in more open online environments can be unaware of how easy it is to find what they are saying, and that it is a permanent record, so they may have shared information openly that was meant to be private.

Other factors to take into consideration when defining the degree of confidentiality that might apply include the sensitivity of the information that is shared or discussed. There is a considerable difference between a group that meets to talk about sports fixtures and a group that is reflecting on sexual abuse.

The vulnerability of participants is also a concern, and the profile of the people involved – people who are high profile have an expectation that their words will attract attention and that their privacy will not be respected. The potential harm that the research process or publication could cause is another consideration.

Participants as subjects and participants as authors
This has been put forward as a useful way of determining the degree to which privacy should be respected. Where participants are subjects, they are taking part in discussions without seeing their communication as something they intend for wider publication. Where people author material, for instance on a website or blog, they are deliberately placing information in the public domain for others to read.

Informed consent
The guidance on best practice from AoIR deems that consent is essential if using private or semiprivate sources, such as email groups and closed chat rooms. With regard to open access forums (newsgroups, bulletin boards) consent is not always a necessity – the more open the place, the less onus for consent.

How to get informed consent: If you are using material on a blog, you can contact the author and ask their permission. But on a chat forum it can be much harder because people come and go.

One option is to post comments on the forum several times, explaining your research and their role in it. You can do this before and during the research. Seeking retrospective consent is more problematic, because the people may be harder to contact.

Even on a public site, such as a newspaper with comment forums, you should try to gain consent if you intend to quote participants. If you use aggregated data from an open forum, without quoting participants, this lessens the need to get consent.

Options include contacting the owner of a forum and requesting their consent, and/or arranging for people to tick a box to indicate they consent to taking part. With online surveys and questionnaires, if a clear introduction is given to the participant, their consent is implied once they choose to take part.

The credibility of the researcher is important to securing consent. You should have a link to somewhere online that explains who you are, the research you are doing, and how to contact you. You also need to consider whether you are confident that people taking part in the research are who they say they are, including whether children might be taking part in appropriately.

It is standard research practice to acknowledge sources. Copyright law can apply, requiring acknowledgement. This is to be balanced with providing confidentiality and anonymity where appropriate – this requires the stripping out of demographic data and names. Sometimes it is impossible to ensure confidentiality, and in these cases the ethics issues should be considered very carefully before research goes ahead.

Digital divides
The ethical issue here is whether your sample is representative or inclusive if you use only online sources: many people do not or cannot access the internet. In addition, it becomes harder to be ethically sensitive online, where so many different cultures can be present. Language is another factor – in international or transnational research, it is possible that many or the majority of participants will not have English as a first language.

Data security
There are a number of risks: emails can go to unintended recipients, messages in a chat room can be copied, and in general security can be breached in a number of ways.

Feedback procedures
Good practice in ethics requires the researcher to feedback to those involved in the research. This is also important to building a long-term positive research environment – poorly conducted research can alienate participants and make them reluctant to be part of future studies.

The law
Key areas of law are libel, harassment and intellectual property. These vary from one country to another. EU legislation has been increased recently: it is necessary to have tobtain explicit, freely given, specific and informed consent from individuals in order to be able to lawfully process their personal data under EU data protection laws.

What is legal falls short of what is ethical here,” Alice explained, “because there isn’t sufficient legislation to deal with all situations.”

Using the internet in research: University of Leeds workshop, May 2013

Using the internet in research: University of Leeds workshop, May 2013

At Bradford College, all research is submitted to ethics review. Student research up to masters level is reviewed by staff within the relevant Department. Individual research proposals that cause concern are then referred to the College Research Ethics Committee. All research conducted by staff and outside researchers is reviewed by the Committee. Contact me (Ruth Wilson) for further information.


The College Ethics Guided Walk, May 2013

The College Ethics blog is delighted to have led the first College Ethics walk – to mark national walking month and the start of the Global Corporate Challenge. You can find out about our walk in the slideshow below, and there’s also a short audio clip about Doris Birdsall and some useful links. Thanks to everyone who took part.

Listen to a recording of Sandra Vine-Jenkins and Jillian Mercer remembering Doris:

Other useful links:

Ethical biscuits: palm oil

Thanks to:

  • Our experts, Dr Susan Boyce, Ben Tongue, Ian Brown, Sandra Vine-Jenkins, Jillian Mercer, Neil Moore, Pam Sheldon
  • Our Walking Champion, Jonathan Curtis

The walkers:

Susan Boyce – Ed Briggs – Zoe Corcoran – Jonathan Curtis – York Dixon – Joanne Fawthrop – Gail Hall – Gail Holmes – Emma Haycock – Susan Houlbrook – Vanessa Hutchison – Julia Kendall – Maria Mousawi – Linda Taglione – Ben Tongue – Sandra Vine-Jenkins – Fran Walker – Andy Welsh – Ruth Wilson

Text by Ruth Wilson, images by Ruth Wilson and Jonathan Curtis, Bradford College

The ultimate in recycling: the ethical re-use of human tissue

Next door to Bradford College, on the top floor of a secure building on the University of Bradford campus, is a unique service: Ethical Tissue.

Ethical Tissue: a secure space on the top floor of the Institute for Cancer Therapies, University of Bradford

Ethical Tissue: a secure space on the top floor of the Institute for Cancer Therapies, University of Bradford

It responds to requests from researchers for human tissue, and it stores tissue for biomedical research. Ethical Tissue is unique in providing a primary source of tissue solely for research purposes.

There are important ethical issues in human tissue donation and use, so I went to talk to Dr Susan Boyce about the work of her team. Although they deal with many requests for tissue in a year and have thousands of samples serving multiple uses, the space is surprisingly compact: a small office, and a laboratory where the samples are stored and prepared, and just three members of staff delivering the service: Susan (Head of Ethical Tissue), Senior Scientist Wayne Burrill, and Khadeja Suleman, Research Nurse.

First, Susan provided a definition of tissue: “Tissue is anything that contains human cells – that might be substantial body parts, small slithers of flesh, or blood, urine and so on.”

Susan then explained what makes Ethical Tissue special: “Being a primary source of tissue means we are involved in finding potential donors, meeting them, explaining what is needed, and getting their consent.”

Dr Susan Boyce in the Ethic Tissue laboratory.

Dr Susan Boyce in the Ethic Tissue laboratory.


Senior Scientist Wayne Burrill.

“Nearly everyone has something to give,” Susan says. “Sometimes we need donors with particular conditions, or from particular ethnic groups. Sometimes we need normal tissue. We usually get a very good response. Nearly everyone we ask says yes they want to help researchers. We are always very grateful when people do decide to donate.”

The legal requirements are covered by the Human Tissue Act and regulated by the Human Tissue Authority :

Relevance:  The tissue has to be collected for relevant research. In most cases, the research is providing new insight into medical conditions, or helping with the development of treatment.

Donor consent: Samples must be provided with the informed consent of the donor. “You own your body tissue,” Susan says, “and you have the right to say what happens to your tissue during life and after death.”

Securing consent means accepting without pressure someone’s decision not to donate. Most people are very keen to help: we are hardly ever turned down. None of the major faiths have an objection to tissue donation. Sometimes people are facing complex and serious operations and they do not want to consider donation. This is of course acceptable, we always respect the wishes of the individual.“

Informed consent: Another important ethical aspect of consent is that the donor understands the purpose of the donation, and can ask for further information if they want. Not everyone is capable of informed consent: “We do not take consent from vulnerable adults ” Susan says. “We take samples from children if the parents consent, and if the child actively assents.  The next of kin can consent following the death of a patient – this does not delay the funeral arrangements.”

Generalised consent: “When people donate tissue to a tissue bank, they cannot specify what they want the samples used for,” Susan says. “They cannot request or rule out a particular kind of research. But sometimes we are able to tell them if there is a specific research project involved, and they can read the findings if they want when those are made public.”

Not for profit: “We make it very clear that there is no financial element for the donor. This is an altruistic gift,” Susan says. In addition, the service only seeks to recover costs from the researchers that it helps. “This applies whether our client is a public sector or charity researcher or a large pharmaceutical company developing a drug. We are heavily funded by the University, and this enables us to provide the service at a cost which enable research to go ahead.”

Anonymity, confidentiality and security: Every tissue donation is unique and is assigned a number, so the database is anonymous. The donor names are never stored on a computer. The samples and all records are in a highly secure, restricted access building and office, with any sensitive information kept in locked filing cabinets.

Timeliness and optimisation: If somebody gives tissue it will often be with the researcher very soon after, or it may be optimised – this means that the tissue can be used in several ways, to minimise waste and increase utility.

Deciding which research requests to respond to: “We don’t decide who gets what tissue,” Susan says. “We have independent scientific advisers (ISACs), all reputable and appropriate experts, and they decide which research requests we should respond to. We never meet the ISACs. This means we don’t send tissue to projects run by our friends, and we can’t favour investigations into health issues we are particularly concerned about.”

Validity of the research requests: “The research must be relevant and reasonable, the standing of the researcher must be acceptable, and they must have sufficient funding to complete,” Susan explains. It is the role of the ISACs to determine whether this is the case.

Dr Susan Boyce, Head of Ethical Tissue

Dr Susan Boyce,

Susan Boyce is a clinical scientist with a PhD in neuroscience. She began her career working in a burns unit in the NHS. She then moved on to set up a skin bank for therapeutic transplantation at the University of Sheffield, before coming to lead Ethical Tissue at Bradford.

“This is the ultimate in re-cycling,” Susan says. “It is very ethical. It gives you relevant results that are for the benefit of all.”

Bradford’s free city bus: everything you ever wanted to know

The Bradford Free City Bus was launched in September 2008 by Metro and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

The bus enables many of our students to reach the College free of charge and is therefore very important to helping us provide education opportunities that are accessible to people on a low income, or from  low income families. If it is used by significant numbers of people who might otherwise travel by car, it also helps reduce carbon emissions.

The Free City Bus that stops at Bradford College.

The Free City Bus that stops at Bradford College.

There are three free Bradford buses travelling a single circular route which includes Bradford College as one of the stops. They travel at a 10 minute frequency between 7am and 7pm on a weekday and 8am to 5.30pm on a Saturday. (Details of the route here.)

The following facts and figures have been kindly provided by Neil Moore, Senior Transport Planner, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, and Pam Sheldon of Bradford College:


  • The service costs around £270,000 a year to operate.
  • Funding is split between Bradford Council and Metro.
  • These costs are offset by sponsorship of the service which cover approx 10% of the costs. Currently Bradford College and Bradford University sponsor the service.
  • The cost to Bradford College to sponsor the bus is £12,500 per annum and £2,500 for signage to the side of a bus.
  • Sovereign Healthcare and Grand Central (rail operator) have also sponsored the service in the past.
  • The council recently guaranteed to fund the Free City Bus until the end of March 2014.
  • Due to cuts in local government grants funding for the service beyond this date is uncertain.

Campaign to keep the bus going

  • In February 2011 the Council indicated that it wanted the service to end in April 2011 due to budgetary pressures.
  • Following a campaign organised by Bradford College and the University the Council had a change of heart.
  • The campaign included a petition with 440 signatures.

History and targets
The Free City Bus was initially launched on a 6 month trial. It had to exceed a number of targets before the Council committed to the service on a permanent basis:

Patronage The target was 4,170 passengers per week (actual = 17,558)
Modal Shift The number of passengers who would have used their car to make the journey instead if the service was not running. Target was 2% of users (actual = 2% which is the equivalent of reducing car tips by 351 in a typical week)
Mobility The service should carry a higher proportion of mobility impaired passengers than a typical bus service. The target was 9% of users (actual = 14%)
Trip generation The number of passengers who would not have made the journey if the service was not running. This target was set at 1% of users (actual = 3% or an extra 526 trips into the city centre).

Therefore the trial comfortably exceeded it’s targets.

User Demographics (2010 survey)
54.8% Female, 40.2% Male
Age groups 0.4% under 16, 19.5% were 16-19, 43.9% were 20-39, 17.5% were 40-59, 16% in range 60+
Reason for using the service T get to work 18.4%, Education 27.3%, Leisure/recreation 6.2%, Shopping 34.1%, other 14%
Feedback 46% rate the service excellent, 49% good, 1% poor, 4% no response

Usage (2012)
Most popular boarding stops

Weekday –  Oastler Centre (27%), University (21%), Interchange (17%)
Saturday – Oastler Centre (31%), University (14%), Interchange (13%)
Most popular alighting stops
Weekday –  Interchange (29%), University (18%), Market Street (12%)
Saturday – Oastler Centre (21%), Interchange (20%), Forster Sq rail stn (14%)

Environmental impact (from Ethical Consumer 2008)
Well-used buses help reduce carbon emissions:

Means of transport Fuel efficiency (km per litre) CO2 emissions per km
Bicycle n/a 0
Bus (well-used service) 28-50kpl per passenger 80-45g
Rail (normal suburban) 18-52kpl per passenger 130-45g
Fuel-efficient car 18-23kpl 130-100g
Rail (high speed, few stops) 14-28kpl per passenger 165-80g
Average car 10-16kpl 260-145g
Air (long haul) 8-12kpl per passenger 330-210g
Large cars, SUVs etc 5-9kpl 400-250g
Air (short haul) 4-8kpl per passenger 460-300g

Source: Aviation Environmental Federation,

Useful links: The Campaign for Better Transport

Not just a sporting chance: ethics and sport in Further Education

Danni Baker is a course tutor on Level 1 Sport at Bradford College, and she teaches across all our sports courses, levels One to Three (so up to the equivalent of A Level). She also runs the Higher Sports Leadership Award, and our women’s football team.

Bradford College Women's Football Team

Bradford College Women’s Football Team: Danni is at the back, in blue.

Danni ran through a number of ethics issues relating to ethics and sport in Further Education – some of them are addressed explicitly with the students, but it was clear as well that much is communicated through students participating in sport and building relationships with the students through sport.

Sport for all
Danni saw this as central to sports teaching at the college: the need to ensure that sport is for everyone.  “We’ve got some very talented students who are rising  high in their sport, but its important as well to focus on enrichment. We get the students to think about how they pick teams – everyone picks the highly skilled first, or their friends. It doesn’t need to be like that. When you pick a team you can offer fair opportunity, you can help weaker players to take part. Sport really is about taking part, not just winning.”

Playing by the rules
The College has a code of conduct, and the sports lecturers go through it with all new students. “The ground rules of respect and tolerance are the same in sport.,” Danni says. “We also talk about the importance of respecting the referee and sport officials.  We show the students good role models and bad ones – there are plenty of bad role models in football!”

Ethical issues
“We often look at current affairs – the Olympics, for instance, gave us lots of positives to discuss, and the Paralympics. Each week, sport is in the news: cheating, adultery, drugs, racism and so on. I use these issues to debate in class. It is interesting to hear students’ opinions.”

Gender equality
I was interested to learn that we get more boys and young men on our sports courses than women. Danni said that many want to be footballers, and she commented on the fact that football is a very male-dominated game. “To counteract that, we offer some sports that appeal to girls, like netball, and we run things like the women’s football team so that girls have an opportunity to break into perceived male dominated sports,” she explained. “We have girls doing boxing and badminton. It’s also about changing the boys’ mindset. The women footballers are not afraid to get involved in the boys’ game, and the boys can see how good they are and they respect that.”

Disability equality
We have a number of disabled students at Bradford College who are doing really well at sport. “Sometimes the disabled students teach us all a disability sport and we all play it, which is a lot of fun,” says Danni.  “Everyone gets to see that these are real sports, skilful and challenging.”

Danni explained that through the Higher Sports Leadership Award, our students are involved in organising activities for a group of disabled adults who come twice a week to participate in sports activities, as part of their Entry Pathways course at Bradford College. “Our students help them, they get experience as coaches, and lots of insight,” she says. “The interaction afterwards is amazing – before, the Entry Pathways adults would sit on their own in the café, and now our students join them voluntarily to chat. I love Wednesdays and Thursdays just for that, to see our students mix with Entry Pathways adults.”

Managing aspirations
“Very few sports students make it to be professionals footballers – it’s a matter of luck and skill and other things,” Danni comments. “So we have to help them have those goals but at the same time manage expectations. We want them to understand that there are other options, that are also very rewarding. “ Danni says that in one module, all the students have to come up with a business plan built around sport. “Its like a dragons’ den, and the tutors sit on the board. The idea is to help them see new possibilities and develop business skills.”

The ethics of inactivity
Danni praises the College for getting involved in the Global Corporate Challenge, which gets teams of staff (all volunteers) walking 10,000 steps a day for four months. Her final point is one that applies to us all:

“One thing I feel strongly about,” says Danni, “is the way in the UK everyone is sat at their desk or in their car, and they don’t have anywhere near enough physical activity. It’s a social wrong, its not just about individuals. We need to change the culture.”

Danni Baker, sports tutor and lecturer at Bradford College.

Danni Baker, sports tutor and lecturer at Bradford College.

A bit about Danni: Danni grew up in York, and always loved sport, particularly football and tennis. She completed the BTEC National Sports Diploma at York College and then went to St John’s University to do a degree in physical education and applied social science. She got a job lecturing back at York College, alongside being a self-employed tennis coach.  She is also a UEFA B football coach. “It got a bit crazy ,” Danni says. “I was working all hours, and I felt I’d been in York a long time and it was time to widen my horizons. So I took six months off to go travelling, and after that I came here.” She has been at Bradford College about six years.