Covid-19 update - 17 June

Coronavirus

The University’s Covid-19 Programme Board is responsible for co-ordinating the phased return to campus for staff and students.

The Board has adopted a ‘people first’ approach, and the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is at the forefront of all the decisions we make to support a phased return to campus. We continue to work with the trade unions and staff representatives and the risk assessments for the opening of the labs have been approved by the JSNCC. The risk assessment for the wider university was considered at the 17 June meeting and includes a section on mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on BAME staff. We will also develop a ‘Covid-19 Code of Conduct for Staff and Students’ to help keep everyone in our community safe on our ‘socially-distanced’ campus.

Colleagues in Estates continue to work on re-opening the buildings on both the Canterbury and Medway campuses. This extensive programme of work remains on schedule and includes preparations to enable social distancing.  At Medway, where there are shared facilities, we are working closely with Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church Universities

We are also planning a series of video ‘walk-throughs’ of building changes to introduce staff, and returning and new students, to changes to building pathways and social distancing controls.

HR are working closely with senior managers to identify those who need to be back on campus and who are currently working from home. In deciding who really does need to come on to campus, managers are being asked to take into consideration a range of factors including the personal circumstances of individual members of staff.

Please do not come back to campus to work unless you are told to do so by your manager. We are continuing to follow Government guidelines which state that, where possible, staff should work from home.

Whether you are working on campus or from home, meetings should continue to be held via Microsoft Teams.

The move to online exams and assessment went well and the Exam Boards are now in progress. The initial framework for learning and teaching over the next academic year has been broadly supported by Senate and which is now being progressed. This framework underpins our commitment to welcome all students on to campus this autumn.

We will continue to update you over the coming months as we gradually re-open the campus. We know many of you will have questions about this process and we will be holding a series of ‘Ask the Covid-19 Programme Board’ open information sessions to enable staff to raise questions and queries across a range of areas. Further details will be available soon.

Professor Christina Hughes | Chair of the Covid-19 Programme Board

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