Covid-19: New guidance on Covid-19

We hope you and your loved ones are well. Following on from our last message to you in November we wanted to provide an important update regarding teaching based on current available information. 

We are of course monitoring latest Government guidance around the new Omicron variant of the virus and so, as ever, this is a fast moving picture and our guidance may have to change again in the coming weeks. 

 

1. Immediate changes

Due to latest Government guidance, we are reintroducing the wearing of masks in all communal areas (everywhere except classrooms). This takes effect straight away.

 

2. How we plan to teach you from January 2022 – UK BL Only

The UK’s Department for Education now expect universities to return to as near normal, face to face teaching, and other services, as soon as possible. This will mean that:

  • Your Degree Your Way (studying online via Zoom) will be closed from 3rd January 2022 (the start of the January study block). All classes will be delivered face to face in your Study Centre, as shown in your timetable. 
  • Attendance in face-to-face classes will be recorded by your lecturer. Remember that it is very important that you attend your timetabled sessions. 
  • You will not need to book a seat in advance of attending your class in a Study Centre or to use any of the Centre facilities, you will not need to provide a negative Covid test result or details of your Covid vaccination status, and you will not need to socially distance in the Centre.
  • The safety of our students and staff continues to be of great importance to us and that is why we will be retaining hand sanitisers, additional cleaning schedules and screens in classrooms and reception areas.  
  • We know some of you may still be feeling anxious about this, but we know there are many benefits for you learning alongside your peers and Lecturers by attending face-to- face teaching sessions in Centres as you are blended learning students.
  • It is also very important we all take extra care to be kind to one another and considerate of other’s views on measures during the pandemic; individuals have their own opinions about what they feel comfortable doing; please respect them. 
  • If you test positive for Covid you must follow government guidance and self -isolate immediately for the duration specified in your NHS notification email. If you feel well enough, you should make every attempt to catch up on any missed classes using resources in iLearn and continue to engage on iLearn.

As noted, we will keep all arrangements under review and ensure all students and staff have opportunities to share their feedback on how things are going. We will also keep in touch with you if anything changes. 

Please remember if you are experiencing any symptoms do not mix with staff and other students and take a Covid-19 test straight away. We recommend that you do not come into a study centre if you are awaiting a Covid test or your test results, please contact student support who will ensure your attendance record is updated.

For more information keep an eye on the UK Government website for guidance and updates and if you have any questions or concerns based on medical or health matters, you should speak with student support in the first instance. 


Suzie Mitchell, Director of Student Experience
November 2021