Latest update

Update to staff - 06 September 2021

Dear Colleagues and Doctoral Researchers,

I wanted to share with you, details of arrangements for teaching and other activity during the new academic year. 

Our campuses will become busier over the coming weeks as students and colleagues return to site for more of their time.

Face coverings

We will be asking staff and students to continue wearing face coverings while moving around buildings on campus. Students will be encouraged but not required to wear face coverings when sitting in lectures or working in study spaces. Staff won’t be expected to enforce students’ compliance with face covering requirements unless they feel able to do so.

Social distancing

We’re requesting that staff and students continue to maintain social distance in shared spaces on campus and in offices where this is possible. This will help to protect everyone on our campuses, particularly those who may be more vulnerable.

If any staff – for example those in Security or in practical teaching sessions – have to be periodically less than 2m distance from students or colleagues, they will be offered FFP2 face masks. You should speak to your line manager if you feel you need one. In areas where staff and student interaction is more fixed – for example, reception areas and help desks – Perspex screens will be retained for the time being.

Meetings rooms

Meeting room capacities are still limited by the social distancing measures adopted by the University. Some meetings will continue to take place on Teams during September and October when this can achieve the purpose and objectives of the meeting. This means that available rooms on campus can be retained and prioritised for the meetings that need to take place in-person. It will be for managers/meeting chairs to determine the most appropriate format for meetings.

Lateral flow testing

In addition to the testing requirements for our students, we are strongly encouraging staff and Doctoral Researchers to take at least one lateral flow test each week if they are attending campus to work for any duration. This includes those who have been vaccinated. You can do this using a home testing kit or via the campus testing centre.

Teaching delivery

You’ll see from the email to our students that some larger lectures will be dual delivered in person and online (ie delivered to a group in person and simultaneously online), with students asked to attend on alternate weeks. This will occur for at least the first two weeks of term and will be reviewed every fortnight.

Staff will need to be familiar with dual delivery. As part of its Teaching and Learning sessions in Semester 1, the Centre for Academic Practice is running training sessions on dual delivery teaching for those who feel they’d benefit from support and to provide information on the latest updates to Microsoft Teams for this academic year.

If you would prefer to see your class in person every week, please discuss this with your School timetabler to see if it is possible to arrange for multiple sessions of your teaching. Please note this is within the current constraints of the timetable.

Dynamic working

The University will be putting in place plans for Dynamic Working for the new academic year. We recognise that for many staff the ability to work remotely for some of their time has been a positive experience. Dynamic Working will put in place structured arrangements to enable those colleagues whose roles permit them to continue working remotely for some of their time where that is in the interest of individuals, their team and the University. I will write with more detail later this week, with arrangements coming into place between 1st and 31st October.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding your teaching arrangements for Semester 1, please contact your Dean in the first instance.

As we start what is likely to be another busy academic year, please can I offer my sincere thanks to all colleagues for their continuing efforts to support our students, each other and the University.