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Coronavirus FAQs

The safety of our students and staff remains our number one priority. Our ways of working and our physical environment have undergone some changes over the past few months – answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, along with links to find out more information, are below.

Information iconGeneral

How do I avoid catching or spreading coronavirus?

The Government has issued three simple actions we must all do to protect each other:

  • Wash your hands: Wash with soap and water regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your face: Wear a face covering when in enclosed spaces
  • Make space: Maintain social distancing from those you do not live with

Find out more on the government website.

How do I find out the latest University information about the Covid-19 outbreak?

This page will be kept up to date as and when the situation for Birmingham City University staff and students changes and regular updates are also posted on iCity.

Students should continue to check their BCU email regularly for updates, while staff will receive messages in Tiger Today.

Learning and teaching

Is teaching taking place on campus?

Face-to-face teaching is currently taking place on campus for practice-based courses where access to specialist facilities and equipment is required, where the course cannot be reasonably taught online, and for healthcare, education and social work courses.

The remainder of courses will continue to be taught online.

The Government has confirmed that the earliest that students on non-practical students can return to campus is 17 May 2021. However, this is still provisional and is subject to a review of the impact of the recent changes.

In light of the announcement, the University has confirmed that the three-week extension to Semester 2 will now take place online.

We will invite all students to return to campus in future when the Government allows us to do so and will continue to provide updates over the coming weeks.

Who is required on campus?

Some staff will be on campus to deliver and support face-to-face teaching. Staff who are not required on campus should continue to work from home. Staff wishing to return to campus will require the authorisation from their Head of School/Department.

Students who have been invited to return by email are permitted on campus. Other than this, government guidelines allow students to access campus to help with their studies if they fall into one of the following groups:

  • Students who feel lonely or isolated;
  • Students who do not have a safe space to study anywhere else and need to use a space on campus (including for IT and wi-fi access);
  • Students who need to return to term-time accommodation;
  • Students who remained in term-time accommodation throughout the national lockdown;
  • International students already in the country;
  • Students who need to access welfare and mental health support on campus and online.

Students will not need to register before arriving to campus for timetabled sessions, however the Security team may ask for proof that they are permitted to attend campus, in which case they should use their email invitation.

If I am not required back on campus, should I stay at home?

Yes – staff who are not required on campus should work from home for the time being.

Students who don’t have face-to-face teaching should stay at home unless they are from one of the government approved groups who are permitted on campus.

Do I need to notify anyone before coming to campus?

Students who have been invited to return will not need to register before attending campus for timetabled sessions, however the Security team may ask for proof that they are permitted to attend campus, in which case they should use their email invitation. 

I am an RBC student and have booked a practice room – do I still need to complete the registration form?

No, students will not need to register before arriving to campus but should have a copy of their booking confirmation handy to show to the Security team if required.

I have a library space booked – do I still need to complete the registration form?

No, students will not need to register before arriving to campus but should have a copy of their booking confirmation handy to show to the Security team if required.

Do staff need an authority to return form?

No, however staff must have authorisation from their Faculty or Department to be on campus. 

What do I do if I have been shielding?

Following the new government advice for extremely clinically vulnerable people published on 1 April, students who have been shielding can now access campus if they have been invited back for their course and wish to return. However, students classed as extremely clinically vulnerable can still choose to continue with online learning using the request form on mySRS.

If you are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable and require further support, either to return to campus or to continue studying online, please contact sa.wellbeing@bcu.ac.uk.

Are support services available on campus?

Support services are offering support online, including wellbeing support and counselling, as well as academic support, library and learning resources, disability support, employability and careers. Find out how to access these services here.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing team continues to deliver a full service from off campus; however, in line with Government guidance, can help if you feel you need to access campus for mental health support. Please contact the team in the first instance, if you think this applies to you.

IT support is available at the physical help desks located on the ground floor of Seacole Building, C033A in Curzon Building and the Level 2 Parkside Bridge.

How will the current situation affect my results?

We recognise that the pandemic is going to impact on your studies. Because of this we have extended the No Detriment policy which we put in place last summer in addition to the extenuating circumstances programme. This policy will continue to be applied to Semester 2. Find out more here

Read our No Detriment FAQs here.

Will the University ensure I am not disadvantaged because of the disruption when I get my degree?

We recognise that the pandemic is going to impact on your studies. Because of this we have extended the No Detriment policy which we put in place last summer in addition to the extenuating circumstances programme. This policy will continue to be applied to Semester 2. Find out more here.

Read our No Detriment FAQs here.

Should I still attend my placement?

If you are currently on placement or due to go on placement this semester, your course team will contact you with specific guidance.

If you are currently on a clinical placement, you should continue to attend as planned. You should have also received information about confirmation of your key worker status.

Can I come to campus to use specialist facilities?

Students who are studying on practice-based courses or require access to specialist facilities and equipment have been invited to return for timetabled sessions.

Students who have not been invited to return are not permitted on campus unless they fall into one of the government-approved groups.

When will we return to face-to-face teaching?

Face-to-face teaching is currently taking place on campus for practice-based courses where access to specialist facilities and equipment is required, and where the course cannot be reasonably taught online, and for healthcare, education and social work courses.

The remainder of courses will continue to be taught online.

The Government has confirmed that the earliest that students on non-practical students can return to campus is 17 May 2021. However, this is still provisional and is subject to a review of the impact of the recent changes. 

In light of the announcement, the University has confirmed that the three-week extension to Semester 2 will now take place online.

We will invite all students to return to campus in future when the Government allows us to do so and will continue to provide updates over the coming weeks.

I’m a postgraduate research student – what support is there for me?

Where possible, all PGR students should continue to work off campus. You should still continue your course online. To do this, you must continue to engage with your supervisors online and we will support you with your academic journey through online engagement.

Any PGR student wishing to access campus must apply to the Faculty Research Degrees and Environment Committee (FRDEC), which will ensure that FRDECs can consider fully all current circumstances affecting the research.

Our Research team remains committed to ensuring our PhD students receive the right support in this period. From thesis submission and viva dates to staying in touch with supervisors and colleagues, they’ve put together range of useful links and facts to help you keep in the know. Find out more here.

Studying online

How do I study at home?

Online learning will be available on our virtual learning platform, Moodle. You can find all your course information and resources, join discussion groups, submit assignments and talk to your course leader on Moodle.

Simply login at moodle.bcu.ac.uk using your BCU login details to get started. You can also access Moodle on the mobile app and via iCity.

If your course is using an alternative virtual learning platform, you will be sent information with more details soon.

Your course leaders may also host some of your learning on Microsoft Teams. Using Microsoft Teams, you can be added to small groups (or teams) of people to stay in touch and collaborate. Your tutor may use Teams to host video lectures and meetings, but you can also chat, share and temporarily store files, and chat to other students via video and audio calls.

You can download Microsoft Teams for free as part of our Office 365 suite, free to all BCU students. Find out more about using Office 365 here.

Remember to keep an eye on the Outlook calendar for your BCU email address for any Teams meetings you’ve accepted.

Should I be attending classes online?

Yes, while classes remain online you will be required to continue to engage with your classes and complete your assignments.

I don’t have a working laptop / computer or access to WiFi - what do I do?

The University campus remains open for certain groups, including those students who live in the local area all year and do not have a safe, warm space with IT access to study so need to use a space on campus.

If you are considering coming onto campus to use facilities, please see the update on safety measures here.

If you cannot access campus spaces directly and only need additional, temporary support to improve access to your internet/data from home please apply to the hardship fund for assistance.

Can I still use the library online?

Library and Learning Resources will continue to provide on-campus access to its facilities for those groups specifically permitted to return to campus. Visit www.bcu.ac.uk/library for opening times and updates, and to book a space.

You can also access our library services online, including the following:

I am struggling to buy essential items – can the University help me?

The University’s Hardship Fund can support students in exceptional financial hardship. To be eligible to apply to the Fund, you must:

  • be a fully enrolled student of the University; and
  • have applied for all funding available to you and received your first payment i.e. Student Finance England, Postgraduate Loan, welfare benefits etc.
  • be on course to successfully complete your studies with the University
  • have a minimum of four weeks remaining on your course at the point of application to the Fund, if you are in your final year

Read more on iCity.

What support is there going to be for students that are parents?

If you are a student parent who is juggling childcare, we would suggest contacting your Course Leader to discuss options for flexibility. The University also has a Childcare Adviser who can assist and advise on support available. You can contact them via iAsk or email studentsupport@bcu.ac.uk.

International students

When should I travel to the UK to start/continue my course?

International students who have been invited to return to campus are able to travel to the UK, however they should carefully check the additional entry requirements and restrictions before travelling at www.gov.uk, and contact the international office at international@bcu.ac.uk.

Students who have not been invited to return are advised not to travel to the UK at the present time. If you have a flexible travel ticket, we would advise you to delay your travel until the University invites you to return.

If you have already booked your travel and cannot change your ticket, please contact us at studentengagement@bcu.ac.uk so that we can support your arrival and 10-day quarantine period, as well as provide information on collecting your BRP card and taking a Covid-19 test before coming to campus.

I have already arrived in the UK. Can I access campus?

The Government has advised that international students already in the country are still able to access study spaces and certain support services on campus. You must ensure you comply with any quarantine and lockdown measures in place. Lateral flow Covid-19 tests will be available to all staff and students coming onto campus. If you are coming onto campus please book your test here.

Students will not need to complete a registration form before arriving.

If you are in the UK please email us at studentengagement@bcu.ac.uk with the date you arrived and a scanned copy of your passport and your BRP if you have it. If you do not have your BRP, please send a scanned copy of your passport and we will provide further details about how to collect your BRP from us.

Can I still start/continue my course online if I’m not in the UK?

You should still engage with your course online. The University will support you to minimise any disruption to your learning.

All of your online learning will be available on our virtual learning platform, Moodle. You can find all your course information and resources, join discussion groups, submit assignments and talk to your course leader on Moodle.

Simply login at moodle.bcu.ac.uk using your BCU login details to get started. You can also access Moodle on the mobile app and via iCity.

Download a guide to using Moodle

If your course is using an alternative virtual learning platform, you will be sent information with more details soon.

You can request to study the full semester online and arrive by Tuesday 1 June to continue your studies. If you would like to study online for the whole semester and remain in your home country, please email us at studentengagement@bcu.ac.uk with the subject 'Online Study Request' and include the status of your visa application and your student ID number.

I have just returned from overseas. Do I need a test?

Students who have returned from overseas should follow all government guidance when arriving in the country, and will be required to quarantine for 10 days and then take a test before coming onto campus.

Symptoms and testing

What should I do if I have symptoms?

BCU has issued guidance on its test and trace process, which covers what staff and students should do if they have symptoms, who they should inform, what isolation involves and what to do if someone in their household has symptoms of the virus.

Guidance for staff can be found on iCity here.

Guidance for students showing symptoms can be found here.

How do I get a Covid-19 test?

If you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, you should request a free test from the NHS here: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

The University’s testing centres in Curzon Building, Seacole Building and the School of Jewellery are open for those that are required on campus and show no symptoms of Covid-19. Find out more about testing on campus.

Who do I need to contact if I have symptoms?

You must immediately go home and self-isolate. You should let your course leader or line manager know you are experiencing symptoms by phone or email. You should also report your symptoms via our Notify system. Find our step-by-step guide to what you should do if you have symptoms here.

The Test and Trace Team has told me to self-isolate. What should I do?

Staff should notify their line manager and follow the requirements set out by the Test and Trace Team. Guidance for staff can be found on iCity here.

Students should notify their course leader and also follow the requirements set out by the Test and Trace Team. Guidance for students showing symptoms can be found here.

You can find further information from the NHS on how to self-isolate here.

Someone in my household is self-isolating. Do I need to self-isolate too?

If someone in your household is well but has been told to self-isolate because they have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 outside the house, you can still attend campus if you fall into one of the relevant categories. Only if that person starts to develop symptoms should you stay at home and follow the advice in the Test and Trace guidance.

Can I book a test on campus?

The University’s testing centres in Curzon Building, Seacole Building and the School of Jewellery are open for those that are required on campus and show no symptoms of Covid-19. Find out more about testing on campus.

You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site. 

What support is available if I’m self-isolating?

If you are required to self-isolate, our Mental Health and Wellbeing team will be in touch to see what support you need. You can find out more about the support available here.

I have just returned from overseas. Do I need a test?

Students who have returned from overseas will be required to quarantine for 10 days and then take a test before coming onto campus.

Current restrictions

What does the current national lockdown mean for me?

The Government has begun to relax restrictions as part of the roadmap out of lockdown. The following restrictions are currently in place:

  • You no longer have to stay at home, although government guidelines urge you to stay local and minimise travel.
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to six people, or two households, are allowed - including in private gardens.

For more information on restrictions, visit the government website

While teaching on many of our courses remains online, the restrictions have been reviewed and some students who require access to specialist facilities as part of their courses, and who cannot reasonably be taught online, are permitted to return to campus. These students have been emailed directly. 

Is teaching taking place on campus?

Face-to-face teaching is currently taking place on campus for practice-based courses where access to specialist facilities and equipment is required, and where the course cannot be reasonably taught online, and for healthcare, education and social work courses. 

The remainder of courses will continue to be taught online.

The Government has confirmed that the earliest that students on non-practical students can return to campus is 17 May 2021. However, this is still provisional and is subject to a review of the impact of the recent changes. 

In light of the announcement, the University has confirmed that the three-week extension to Semester 2 will now take place online.

We will invite all students to return to campus in future when the Government allows us to do so and will continue to provide updates over the coming weeks.

I live in University accommodation. Can I visit my family at home?

No. If you live in University accommodation, your household is made up of the residents in your flat. The restrictions mean that you won’t be able to meet with people outside of your household in any indoor setting.

You are able to meet up to six people, or two households, in public outdoor spaces like parks, countryside and sports facilities, or in private gardens.

You must not move backward and forward between your permanent home and term-time address during term-time – subject to limited exemptions set out in law.

Can I continue to live in Uni accommodation?

The most recent Government guidance is that students should stay where they are unless they are studying one of the courses that requires face-to-face teaching.

Students who remained in term-time accommodation throughout the lockdown period are one of the groups permitted to come onto campus, but should read the updated safety measures. The University’s testing centres in Curzon Building, Seacole Building and the School of Jewellery remain open and students should book a test if they are coming onto campus.

Can I return to my term-time accommodation or Halls of Residence?

The most recent Government guidance is that students should stay where they are unless they are studying one of the courses that requires face-to-face teaching, or if they are from one of the government-approved groups. If you have not already travelled back to Birmingham, you must not travel back to campus unless you are from one of the the approved groups. Find out more here.

Icon of face coveringFace coverings

Do I need to wear a face covering?

New health and safety measures have been introduced on campus, which means face coverings must be worn at all times while on campus. BCU face coverings issued in September 2020 meet the new requirements for face coverings set by government. Additional face coverings may be available at reception if you do not have one. These rules will be strictly enforced to minimise the risk of transmission.

I am a teaching member of staff – do I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, everyone on campus must wear a face covering at all times on campus and teaching staff should also wear a visor in addition to a face covering when teaching students.

I have face-to-face teaching and a medical exemption from wearing a face covering – can I still attend?

Yes, but we will need to agree additional mitigation to keep you safe, such as moving a desk further away from others and wearing a visor. In this instance, please contact your tutor before attending campus.

Will BCU provide me with a face covering?

If you have not already picked up a ‘Stay Safe’ bag, or you forget your face covering, additional face coverings may be available at reception.

Can I wear my own face covering?

Yes, you can choose to wear your own.

Can I be exempt from wearing a face covering?

If you are medically exempt from wearing a face covering, you’ll need to have a phone assessment with our Mental Health and Wellbeing team before you are authorised to come onto campus. This assessment will help us implement reasonable adjustments to ensure you and our campus community remain safe and that we are able to support you when you come to campus. For example, this may include wearing a face shield or visor in all public places and providing a booked slot in a single office so that you can remove the face shield and work comfortably. The booked slot is necessary for us to co-ordinate cleaning between users.

To organise this, please complete a registration form to access campus on mySRS. A member of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team will call you as soon as possible.

Where can I collect my BCU face coverings?

‘Stay Safe’ bags, containing two washable face coverings, can be picked up from collection points at the entrance to each building.

When will the face coverings be replenished?

The ‘Stay Safe’ bag contains two washable face coverings, so they should not need replenishing. Please remember to bring these coverings, or your own, with you when you come to campus. If you lose them or forget them, subject to stock availability, we will provide you with a disposable covering so you are able to come into the buildings.

What do I do if someone refuses to wear/remove their mask or does not comply with other safety instructions?

Report the incident on Notify so the University knows about the incident as soon as possible. 

Icon of social distancing Buildings and social distancing

Will social distancing be used?

New health and safety measures have been introduced on campus, which means all study spaces will be set at 2m social distancing. You should not move any furniture as it is set up for social distancing.

What are the building opening hours?

A full list of building opening hours can be found on iCity here.

All campus shops reopened on Monday 12 April. You can find opening hours here.

The Eagle & Ball and Social Kitchen remain closed, and are due to reopen on Monday 17 May.

Do I use the normal entrances?

Yes, building entrances are now open with clear signage to show you the circulation routes as you enter.

The main entrances to Millennium Point will be closed to staff and students while the building is used as an NHS mass vaccination centre. The building can be accessed using the bridge from Parkside Building on either Level 2 or Level 3.

Do I need to sign in?

No – but staff will require authorisation before returning to campus.

Students who have been invited to return will not need to register before attending campus for timetabled sessions, however the Security team may ask for proof that they are permitted to attend campus, in which case they should use their email invitation.

Can I move around the buildings normally?

Please adhere to social distancing while moving around buildings. We are using a keep left policy in most buildings. Some buildings may have slightly different circulation routes if social distancing cannot be achieved by keeping left. Find out more about the circulation plan in your building here.

What will the room layouts look like?

Every teaching room will be supplied with a plan of the socially-distanced room layout, which will need to be observed by staff and students. The plan will typically be located on the wall near the entrance. Staff and students should not move furniture around as it has been positioned to adhere to social distancing. 

Read more on iCity.

How will I be kept safe while teaching?

Students and staff should socially distance from each other while teaching. Teaching staff must wear a face mask and visor while teaching. Staff will also be issued with face coverings and a microphone for their own person use.

What about specialist spaces where social distancing is not possible?

Every specialist space has its own risk assessment which you can read here. This area also contains guidance for those courses where social distancing is impossible due to the nature of teaching. 

For labs and workshops, we have developed a specific 
guide.

Can I use the lifts?

Lifts are operational but their use will be limited to allow for social distancing. Please follow the signage at each lift.

Accommodation

I am currently at home and not returning to University Locks, will I have to pay for my accommodation during the current lockdown period?

No. The initial rent free period from 4 January 2021 has been extended to 16 May 2021. Any rent due will be calculated at the end of this period.

I am still living at University Locks, will I have to pay for my accommodation during the current lockdown period?

Yes. However the £50 per week reduction for those currently living in University Locks will now be extended until 16 May 2021. You must not travel home during the lockdown restrictions.

I am returning to University Locks for teaching from 12 April. Will I have to pay for my accommodation?

Yes. However your rent will be re-calculated with a £50 per week reduction from 12 April to 16 May 2021.

If you are returning to face-to-face teaching and are planning to travel to your accommodation before 16 May 2021, please contact us at unilocks@bcu.ac.uk to confirm when you are planning to return so that we can ensure you receive the necessary support. 

When will I need to pay my University Locks rent?

If you are not currently living at University Locks, you are not required to make a payment until after the lockdown period has ended. Accommodation Services will then contact you will the amended amount to pay.

If you are currently living at University Locks and were invoiced for Instalment 2, the amount payable for Instalment 3 will be adjusted to reflect the £50 per week reduction from 15 February 2021 until 16 May 2021.

If you are currently living at University Locks and have not been invoiced for Instalment 2, the amount payable for Instalment 3 will be adjusted to reflect the £50 per week reduction from the date you returned back to University Locks until 16 May 2021.

In order to make the appropriate adjustments, the payment date for instalment 3 has been changed from 16 April to 17 May 2021.

If you do have any questions about your accommodation or your rent, please contact us at accommodation@bcu.ac.uk.

I have left University Locks at Christmas, but still have items in my room?

Yes – we know some students were unable to take belongings home when they left, so they can be left until it is safe to return. Please DO NOT return for your belongings at the present time.

When am I able to collect my items?

We will let you know when you are permitted to collect items. Please DO NOT travel to campus to collect them at the moment.

I am still living at University Locks as I am unable to go home, can I remain here?

Yes – the accommodation remains open for students who are unable to travel home.

I live in private accommodation. What are my options?

The University is in dialogue with private accommodation partners about any support they are able to offer to students, and some have announced rent discount schemes. You should check directly with your private provider.

If you are in private rented housing, there is no requirement on landlords to offer a discount but it is certainly worth contacting them to ask.

If you are struggling financially please make an application to the Hardship Fund. The Students’ Union’s Advice Team can provide advice and support on housing – contact them here.

Do I need to socially distance in University accommodation?

Your household is the people you live with in your accommodation flat, so you don’t need to socially distance from them. You will need to maintain social distancing from residents of other flats in your accommodation.

I live in University accommodation. Can I visit my family at home?

If you live in University accommodation, your household is made up of the residents in your flat. The restrictions mean that you won’t be able to meet with people who are not part of your household in any indoor setting, unless they’re in your support bubble. Outdoors, the rule of six applies in public outdoor spaces and private gardens.

You must not move backward and forward between your permanent home and term time address during term time – subject to limited exemptions.

What do I do if told to self-isolate while in University accommodation?

If you are required to self-isolate because you are experiencing symptoms, the residents of your accommodation flat will also need to self-isolate.

You should follow our step-by-step Test and Trace process and inform the University through the Notify app.

Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team will be in touch with you, anyone you’ve been in close contact with and members of your bubble to offer support. We will organise food and other essential deliveries so you don’t have to leave your flat. You can find out more about support for you while self-isolating here.

What should I do if someone in my household has symptoms or is self-isolating?

If someone in your household (this includes a university flat or a shared house) is feeling ill and is having a Covid-19 test, you should not come onto campus.

Contact your course leader. If the ill person in your household receives a negative test result then you can come back to campus. If they receive a positive test result (they have Covid-19), you should not return to campus until the period of isolation as advised by the NHS Test and Trace Team is over. You should keep your course leader informed of this.

If someone in your household is well but has been told to self-isolate because they have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 outside the house, you should still attend campus as normal. Only if that person starts to develop symptoms should you stay at home and follow the advice above. Please keep your course leader involved throughout.

When can I come back to campus if I have had a positive test?

You can come back to campus after isolating for 10 days as long as:

  • you do not have any symptoms
  • you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
You must continue to self-isolate if you have these symptoms after 10 days:
  • a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
  • a runny nose or sneezing
  • feeling or being sick
  • diarrhoea

If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.

You can find more information on how long to self-isolate for on the NHS website here.

I’ve been in term-time accommodation over the lockdown period. Can I still come to campus?

Students who remained in term-time accommodation throughout the lockdown period are one of the groups permitted to come onto campus, but should read the updated safety measures. The University’s testing centres in Curzon Building, Seacole Building and the School of Jewellery are open for those that are required on campus and show no symptoms of Covid-19, and students should book a test here.

I’m an international student but currently in the UK. Can I still come to campus?

The Government has advised that international students already in the country are still able to access study spaces and certain support services on campus. You must ensure you comply with any quarantine and lockdown measures in place. Lateral flow Covid-19 tests will be available to all staff and students coming onto campus. If you are coming onto campus please book your test here.

If you are in the UK please email us at studentengagement@bcu.ac.uk with the date you arrived and a scanned copy of your passport and your BRP if you have it. If you do not have your BRP, please send a scanned copy of your passport and we will provide further details about how to collect your BRP from us.

Icon of sanitiser Sanitation

Is hand gel provided?

Yes, hand gel is available at entrances, around buildings and in your ’Stay Safe’ bag.

What is the cleaning regime?

You can read the full cleaning regime here.

Can I hot-desk when not teaching?

If you are required on campus and cannot work in your usual office, you can book a hot desk in the Joseph Priestley or Seacole buildings via a new service. Read more about this here.

Are toilets operating normally?

Clear signage will be in place at every set of toilets and some will be limited to a maximum number of people at any one time. This limit will be clearly displayed at the entrance.

Are showers in use?

Yes – there will be limitations to enable social distancing and cleaning to be undertaken and you should follow the signage at each shower block.

Can I use the photocopier or printer?

Yes, you can use them, although try to minimise their use where possible. Where you can, stay in your seat until it's free to use. If this is not possible, please queue at least 2m away from the person using the printer. Wash or sanitise your hands before and after use of the printer/photocopier.

Can I distribute hand-outs?

Keep printing to a minimum by sharing documents electronically and displaying course materials, scripts and prompt cards on screens during teaching and practical sessions. If you have to issue hard copy documents, issue one copy per person. If hand-outs need to be reused, laminate them and wipe them down with a cleaning wipe between sessions. During the session, do not hand materials directly to another person.

Distribute them on desks before the session starts or designate a table in a clear area of the room as a pick-up point and allow individuals to collect as they enter. Always sanitise your hands before and after handling printed material.

Equipment for working from home

Can staff request equipment for home use?

Staff whose current role involves an element of working from home may request equipment for home use to enable them to perform their role effectively.

How do staff request equipment for home use?

A process has been established to deal with these requests, and the full guidance can be read here. Broadly, this involves the local DSE assessor identifying any needs via a DSE self-assessment.

Which types of equipment are included in this process?

Electrical equipment, which includes monitors, docking stations, or risers, keyboards, mice, cables for computers or chairs.

Can staff return to campus to collect equipment or personal belongings?

Staff can only return to campus to collect equipment subject to approval by their Dean or Director and after completion of a DSE Assessment. Personal belongings can be collected following approval by the Dean or Director. Unless involved in student-facing activity or other activity that requires them to be on campus, the staff member must return only to collect equipment or belongings and then leave immediately.

I’m a student without access to IT equipment – what can I do?

You can still access computers on campus, or borrow a laptop with our laptop loan service. You can find a PC on campus using PCFinder. Alternatively, you can loan a Windows laptop for a maximum of six hours, or a Mac laptop for up to four hours.  At this time we are asking that you return the laptop the day you loan it, before leaving site and before 5pm.

Laptops should be returned to the locker from which they were borrowed. They will then be quarantined and cleaned before being available to loan out again. Find out more here.

Icon of a carCar Parking

I previously paid for a parking permit – will this carry on?

The Vice-Chancellor has decided to continue with the suspension of charging for car parks across the University. This includes all BCU car parks, as well as temporary car park Plot A and Millennium Point.

Parking will continue to be free of charge on a first come, first serve basis for all staff, regardless of whether they have permits, until further notice. Find out more on iCity.

Staff

What are the options for flexible working to help with travel plans and avoid potential commuter congestion?

If you are able to stagger your working pattern i.e. come in earlier/later and leave earlier/later, then please discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. Be mindful however, that if you are required to be on site for a specific time to meet timetable/business demands then you must be present at that time.

I am not required on campus, but don’t feel able to continue to work from home. Do I have any options?

You should contact your line manager to discuss your situation and explain your reasons as soon as possible. The University has been clear that in the interests of the safety and welfare of its employees and students, if you are not required to return to work on campus, you must, wherever possible, continue to work from home. It might be that your line manager is able to offer you additional support or increased flexibility to be able to continue working from home, for example, additional equipment or access to confidential counselling.

I have children who are now home-schooling. What support can I expect from the University?

If unanticipated childcare arrangements are impacting on your ability to carry out your work, please liaise with your line manager to discuss what temporary arrangements may be possible. As was the case during the first national lockdown, BCU recognises the need for flexibility and that individual circumstances will vary.

How do I find details of sick pay, reporting sickness, caring responsibilities or annual leave entitlements?

Details of sick pay, reporting sickness, caring responsibilities, annual leave entitlements and more can be found on the Human Resources iCity pages. Find out more here.

What are the new safety measures?

All study spaces will be set at 2m social distancing and you must wear your face coverings at all times. BCU face coverings issued in September 2020 meet the new requirements for face coverings set by government. Additional face coverings may be available at reception if you do not have one. These rules will be strictly enforced to minimise the risk of transmission.

If you notice any incidents where these rules are not followed, report it on Notify.

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COVID-19 RESPONSE

BCU Operational Response Levels to Covid-19

At BCU, our absolute priority is the safety of our students, staff and local community. We have developed three operational response levels to Covid-19 so that our community understands what to expect at different stages of the pandemic.

Find out more