COVID-19 Update from the University

Postgrads - a further update on Covid-19!


The VC has circulated the below message:


"Following my message last night, I am writing to provide you with a further update and guidance on the University response to the government request to increase social distancing measures.


The information I am providing here is correct at the time of publishing and I aim to keep you as informed as possible, through frequent messages.I have split my update into relevant sections.Overall Management PlanThe University Executive Committee have met this morning and agreed a management plan for the following weeks ahead. We then met with Trade Union representatives.


Remainder of week commencing 16th March


This week we are focusing efforts to respond to the government request. This means that where possible, those staff and students who can work from home, should do so, no later than by the end of the week. For those who cannot, we are putting arrangements in place to support you and campus continues to be open, while reducing our level of operations significantly.


Weeks commencing 23rd March & 30th March


Home working, where possible, will continue to be a requirement, and we will be establishing ways to increasingly support this in the coming days. There is an expectation that core hours of working for full-time staff of between 9:00am – 5:00pm will operate. This aims to ensure we can develop a simple model of operation across the University and ensure people have protected time outside of these hours.


Friday 3rd April to Tuesday 14th April


The University will provide 4 discretionary days (6th-9th April) in order to provide a week-long Easter vacation. The campus will remain operational (in a similar way to the usual Christmas period). This aims to provide staff with some time to rest after a difficult period.


Tuesday 14th April


The University will resume a majority of activities but on the assumption that social distancing measures will be continued.


Discretionary Days

As referenced above, the University will be introducing four new discretionary days immediately prior to the Easter bank holiday, on 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th April 2020. Staff who have already booked annual leave on any of these days will have additional days added to their Keele People record, as will staff who are required to work on the discretionary days to support students and/or to maintain essential services. Please note annual leave will need to be taken before the end of the University's holiday year, which in most cases is 30th September.


If you are on CampusFrom 9am on Wednesday 18th March anyone who is in a University building or residential accommodation is required to 'check-in' using the Safe Zone App. This aims to ensure we can maintain the health and safety of all staff and students. Full information on how to download and use the App is provided here. If you need any assistance please contact IT Support.


During the remainder of this week we are aiming to reduce the level of operation of activities on campus to only those which are essential. We will be maintaining a core service around student support, catering and retail, cleaning and building access (including the Library).


The details of these services and facilities will be shared on the web pages.Student support services will remain available throughout this period, although delivery will move to at-distance activity. You can access student services through the contacts here: https://www.keele.ac.uk/students/studentservices/


If you are a student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesAs I said yesterday, it will not be possible for all students to return home. We realise that for some of you there are some activities that you will have to continue to engage with, whether these are assessments or clinical placements. You will be provided with support and guidance from your School on what the individual arrangements will be. I want to thank you for what you have done so far to support our local health and social care organisations. The pressure on the health and care community over the last few weeks has been very evident to us all and we are incredibly proud of the contribution you have all been making.


If you are studying/working at distance (from home)Staff should keep in regular contact with their line manager and colleagues via your locally agreed methods. It is an expectation that the University will maintain core working hours of 9:00am- 5:00pm Monday to Friday (part-time staff to fit their hours within the core hours). We are also keen that staff do not work routinely outside of these hours, to ensure they can rest, and provide support to family, friends and local communities. Local arrangements may of course, be necessary in order to maintain some services.


Students will be receiving communications from their Schools on teaching and learning requirements. Your main source of information should also be available in the KLE.


Some students (particularly Nursing students) will continue with placements and potentially assessments and teaching in face-to-face environments. Communications to students will be as timely and clear as possible on these matters and will come from your Schools.


If you are delivering teaching Materials on supporting online delivery of teaching are available.


Guidance on assessments and examination provisions will be made available tomorrow.


If you are involved in research a guide to research and the impact of these plans is provided on the web pages.


It may be the case that research cannot continue in some areas due to building and/or participant availability.


The RIE team remain fully operational and will continue to support research activity throughout this period.


If you are a member of staff and are unclear about what to do speak with your line manager as soon as possible. They will be able to advise what working arrangements you should follow."


From all of us at the KPA, stay safe❤️

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