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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 still taking place on campus?

We will be moving to a period of online learning and teaching when our standard term begins on 25 January, initially for four weeks until 19 February. We will review this closer to the start of term to determine whether this period needs to be extended.

Unlike last spring, face to face teaching is permitted to continue for some of our courses – notably healthcare, education and social work courses. Many of these have already started teaching and will continue in line with Government guidance.

Who is required on campus?

Staff who are able to work from home should do so. Staff wishing to return to campus will require the authorisation of their Dean or Director.

Students who are studying on a healthcare, social work or education course and have scheduled face-to-face teaching are permitted on campus. Other than this, students must not come to campus unless they fall into one of the groups below. We will be keeping some buildings open for these groups to access if they have no alternative.

  • Students who need to access mental health support
  • Students who do not have a safe space to study anywhere else and need to use a space on campus (At BCU this includes Royal Birmingham Conservatoire students who do not have access to specialist rehearsal spaces at home and need to use our facilities for their individual practise.)
  • Students who remained in term-time accommodation throughout the Christmas break
  • International students already in the country

If you fall under one of these groups and wish to access City Centre Campus from Monday 1 February 2021, you must complete a registration form on mySRS before arriving. If you know you want to access buildings on campus, we recommend that you complete the registration form as soon as possible so we can assess if additional support is required to enable you to safely attend.

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.

If you fall under one of these groups and wish to access City Centre Campus from Monday 1 February 2021, you must complete a registration form on mySRS before arriving. If you know you want to access buildings on campus, we recommend that you complete the registration form as soon as possible so we can assess if additional support is required to enable you to safely attend.

Do I need to notify anyone before coming to campus?

Any student that falls under one of these groups and wish to access City Centre Campus from Monday 1 February 2021, you must complete a registration form on mySRS before arriving. If you know you want to access buildings on campus, we recommend that you complete the registration form as soon as possible so we can assess if additional support is required to enable you to safely attend.

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

Yes, you will need to complete a registration form on mySRS to book a rehearsal space.

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

If you have a library space booked on City Centre Campus, you will need to complete the registration form on mySRS before coming to campus.

Is City South Campus open to HELS students without completing the access registration form?

Yes, City South Campus will remain open and Health, Education and Life Sciences students do not need to complete a registration form to access campus. However, you should only attend campus if your course is still delivering face-to-face teaching, or if you fall under one of the permitted groups.

Students accessing City South Campus will need to complete the registration form on mySRS if they require an assessment for a face mask exemption letter.

Do staff need an authority to return form?

Staff will need a keyworker letter (from w/c 11 Jan) and the authorisation of their Dean or Director.

What do I do if I have been shielding?

Extremely Clinically Vulnerable staff cannot return to campus. As a University, we have decided that they should work from home and share with us the letter/email that they received from the Government/NHS.

Are support services available on campus?

Support services are once again 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, we 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.

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.

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.

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?

At present you are not allowed to come onto campus to use specialist facilities such as laboratories and studios.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire students who do not have access to specialist rehearsal spaces at home are permitted to use our facilities for their individual practise.

Many of our courses are practice-based and we recognise how important it is for students to be able to access these facilities. We are currently awaiting further guidance from the Government on access to specialist facilities and equipment, and we will let you know if and when the current rules change. (Note that separate rules apply for Health, Education and Social Work courses.)

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

At present, online learning and teaching will continue until 19 February, but this date will be subject to future reviews by the Government.

We will return to face-to-face delivery once we are allowed to do so.

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. Please note that any pre-existing Priority 1 access approval for campus access will cease to be valid on 25 January and any subsequent required access must be re-applied for by submitting a new Priority 1 Request Form to your FRDEC.

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.

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 wi-fi - 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?

Yes, you can still 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?

The current advice is not to travel to the UK from your home country. If you have a flexible travel ticket, we would advise you to delay your travel until the University returns to face-to-face teaching on campus.

The University will review the situation again in February, while the deadline to arrive in the UK and engage with your course on campus has been extended to Friday 30 April.

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.

If you wish to access City Centre Campus from Monday 1 February 2021, you must complete a registration form before arriving. If you know you want to access buildings on campus, we recommend that you complete the registration form as soon as possible so we can assess if additional support is required to enable you to safely attend.

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 when teaching begins. 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 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 centre in Curzon Building is 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 symptons?

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 centre in Curzon Building is open for those that are required on campus and show no symptoms of Covid-19. Find out more about testing on campus.

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.

I had already booked a test on campus. Should I attend?

If you booked a test prior to the government lockdown, you should only attend if you are one of the government-approved groups who are able to return to campus, and if you show no signs of Covid-19. If you have no face-to-face teaching and are not part of one of these groups, you should not attend your test and can cancel using the link in your confirmation email.

Current restrictions

What does the new national lockdown mean?

The national lockdown announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021 requires everyone to stay at home unless they have an essential reason to leave. This means we are moving to online learning for all courses other than healthcare, education and social work for an initial four-week period from 25 January when teaching was due to resume. Students who have not moved back to Birmingham following the Christmas holidays should remain at their family home if they can study online from there for the time being.

Will teaching still take place?

We will be moving to a period of online learning and teaching when our standard term begins on 25 January, initially for four weeks until 19 February. We will review this closer to the start of term to determine whether this period needs to be extended.

Unlike last spring, face to face teaching is permitted to continue for some of our courses – notably healthcare, education and social work courses. Many of these have already started teaching and will continue in line with Government guidance.

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, or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens.

You are able to meet one other person in public outdoor spaces like parks, countryside and sports facilities.

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 Christmas break are one of the groups permitted to come onto campus, but should read the updated safety measures. The University’s testing centre in the Curzon Building remains open and students should book a test if they are coming onto campus.

If you have not already travelled back to Birmingham after the Christmas break, you must not travel back to campus unless you are from one of the government-approved groups. Find out more here.

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 after the Christmas break, 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 during lockdown, from Monday 4 January, which means if you come onto campus, 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.

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.

When can I collect my BCU face coverings?

‘Stay Safe’ bags, containing two washable face coverings, can be picked up from prominent 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 during lockdown, from Monday 4 January, 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.

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 fall under one of the government approved groups and wish to access City Centre Campus from Monday 1 February 2021 must complete a registration form on mySRS before arriving. If you know you want to access buildings on campus, we recommend that you complete the registration form as soon as possible so we can assess if additional support is required to enable you to safely attend.

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 visor while teaching. When teaching staff are unable to stay at least 2m from others, they should wear a visor and a face mask to avoid potentially contaminating themselves and others. Staff will also be issues 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 living at University Locks, will I have to pay for my accommodation during the current lockdown period?

No. You will be given an initial 6 week rent free period from 4 January 2021 to 14 February 2021, which is the current duration of the lockdown period. If the Government extends lockdown restrictions beyond this period and your course is unable to resume face to face teaching, this rent free period will be extended.

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

Yes. However your rent will be re-calculated with a £50 per week reduction from 4 January 2021 to 14 February 2021, which is the current duration of the lockdown period. This means the rent due for Instalment 2 will be reduced by £300. If the Government extends lockdown restrictions beyond this period, this discount period will be extended.

When will I need to pay my University Locks rent for Instalment 2?

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 the revised payment date for Instalment 2 is 18 January 2021. You will receive an email from Accommodation Services before Friday 15 January 2021, with a link to make your payment online.

What happens if the Lockdown period is extended beyond 14 February 2021?

Rent Account adjustments will be made accordingly and these changes will be reflected in your rent due for Instalment 3, which is due on 16 April 2021.

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 as this is not ‘essential travel’ as directed by the Government.

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. Unite StudentsStudent Roost and iQ have announced rent discount schemes. 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 outside of your household in any indoor setting, unless they’re in your support bubble. Outdoors, you can meet one other person.

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 Christmas break. Can I still come to campus?

Students who remained in term-time accommodation throughout the Christmas break are one of the groups permitted to come onto campus, but should read the updated safety measures. The University’s testing centre in the Curzon Building remains open and students should book a test if they are coming onto campus.

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?

While higher education staff are key workers, we know that the closure of schools will present additional challenges for many colleagues. This may mean that some staff have unanticipated child care arrangements. If this is 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