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Update for staff - 30 September

Dear Colleagues

I am writing to share an update on logistical arrangements for teaching spaces.

Teaching room risk assessments and safeguards

Each room has had a risk assessment completed and mitigating actions put in place. They are available to read when fully approved herePlease note you will need to download any PDF files and open them in Acrobat, not in your browser. There are a number of ways to do this, but the easiest is to click the circle by your chosen PDF file, then click download in the bar above and select ‘open’ when promptedWe know some colleagues have experienced a problem accessing the PDF risk assessment files on Macs and we are working on rectifying this as a priority. Risk assessments for most rooms, including those that are in use on Thursday and Friday for induction, should be available now. Others will be updated over the next few days before the rooms are required for use. If you spot a problem with a risk assessment please email

Each room has a set of instructions physically attached to the lectern detailing capacities, entrances and exits. Please can I ask for your assistance in ensuring that students exit rooms by the instructed route. This is important for preventing over-crowding in muster areas. Rooms have been marked out. Students should only sit in spaces that have green ‘sit here’ sticker or, in a small number of cases, on additional chairs at the rear or side of a theatre. Many, but not all, also have Perspex screens installed available to use. Ventilation systems have been adjusted so that air does not recirculate. All should have cleaning materials in the room for you to wipe down areas if you wish, and contact numbers affixed to the lectern instructions if, for some unusual reason, the materials are not there. Your teaching position should at all times, once a teaching event has started, be at least 2m from students. Students who are able to are required to wear face coverings.

University Covid Health and Safety Ambassadors (wearing teal t-shirts) will be in teaching areas to help marshal footfall, challenge those not following the Seven Golden Rules, periodically wipe down high-touch areas such as door handles, and be on hand to support you if required. They also have details of how to escalate any incidents to University Security.


You will be aware that the draft timetable has already been released to colleagues. The Timetabling Team are working very hard to finalise room allocations in the context of reduced room capacities and plans to begin term with a greater proportion of online delivery, to enable safe mustering outside teaching spaces. It is possible that there will be more changes than normal as the term progresses, safe student circulation is confirmed, and we all become more familiar with the new ways of operating. The team hope to release the final version with rooms very shortly, and I am sorry for this delay.

Covid-19 testing

Finally, a word on testing. We have emphasised to colleagues and students the importance of isolating if you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19. The University’s Connect and Protectservice now has limited access to faster testing capability in certain situations, in addition to the NHS Test site at Limehurst Avenue (not the nearby Limehurst Academy as previously stated). Please do be in touch, and encourage students to be in touch, if necessary.

Thank you for your support, tolerance and the immense hard work that I know has gone into the preparation for the new academic year.

Richard Taylor
Chief Operating Officer