13th October 2020

This is a live page where we will share all our updates relating to COVID-19


*13/11/2020* End of Term and Move to Remote Learning Announcement

Please ensure you read this message in full as it covers four important areas:

  • The University’s plan for moving to online learning
  • Arrangements for students travelling home
  • COVID testing on campus
  • Return to studies after Christmas

The first term of the 2020-21 academic year has been different from the usual university experience, but all of us at BGU are proud of how everyone has worked together, adapting to the new circumstances and applying themselves to their studies in the first semester. You’ve all worked incredibly hard and will, I am sure, be looking forward to the upcoming Christmas break.

We are aware that there have been concerns, highlighted in the press, about whether students will be able to return to family homes for the festive period. In previous communications the University wanted to ensure you and your loved ones can spend time together without the fear of transmitting the virus.

On Wednesday the Government published guidance for English universities and their students on how students can move to their family home at the end of this term. If you are planning to return to your family home over the Christmas break the advice from Government is that your journey should take place between the 3rd and 9th of December. Further information on the Government’s guidance can be found at Gov.uk or at the OfS.

Move to Online Learning

To facilitate the movement of students in line with government guidance BGU will be moving to full remote learning from Monday 30 November with all in-person classes on campus converted to on-line delivery.

Over the next two weeks blended learning will continue as planned but your lecturers will provide you full details of how sessions after the 30th November will be organised remotely.

This will be across all programmes, undergraduate and post-graduate.

For students who are on programmes with ITE placements (PGCE, PTS, BAPE and Cert/pGD ETS) scheduled to run up to the 18th December we are currently clarifying with the Department for Education (DfE) that these placements will continue after the 9th December. As soon as we have further guidance we will provide it. For now, to protect the successful completion of the ITE placement, please continue attending placement as planned and do not make arrangements to travel home until we have updated you.

We remain, as ever, committed to your academic success and throughout this period all the University’s Student Support Services will remain available remotely to you. Full details of our support teams can be found on the Working Together web page.

In addition, campus facilities, including the Library and Accommodation will remain open to all students who need to use them.

Arrangements for Students Travelling Home

To ensure this happens as safely as possible we would like all students living in BGU accommodation to contact our Accommodation Team (accommodation@bishopg.ac.uk) who will be organising set windows for you to leave in.

It is not compulsory for you to leave your accommodation over the Festive Break. If you would prefer to stay on campus your accommodation will remain open and available. Again, we would ask any students considering staying to inform our Accommodation Team.

If you are currently on an ITE placement and in University accommodation please can you let accommodation know that arrangements may be different for you. Once we have shared DfE guidance you can then update our accommodation service team.

COVID Testing on Campus

The University has made a successful request to operate Covid-19 testing for its students and staff on-campus to further help people return home with extra confidence. This will take a couple of weeks to set-up but the plan is to start testing from Monday 30th November. Testing is voluntary but we would encourage all students and colleagues to make use of it. Further details will follow over the next two weeks.

Return to studies after Christmas

The Government’s announcement on Wednesday indicated that further guidance would be provided soon for students returning back to campus after Christmas. Once the University receives this guidance we will share with you our plans for the return to campus and teaching and learning delivery in the new year.

Please be assured that the University is constantly reviewing all the guidance from Government and across the university sector to ensure all our responses and policies enable our learners to engage successfully with their studies.

Please continue to look out for regular updates via email as we will be sending out further information over the next week. If you have any questions before then please contact covid19advice@bishopg.ac.uk.

Thank you again for your patience and support both of which have been incredibly appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus in the new year.

*13/10/2020* Update: Can I still travel to campus if I live in a tier 2/3 (high / very high risk) area? Or just in a higher risk area?

In light on the newly published COVID-19 three-tier alert system from the UK Government, Bishop Grosseteste University would like to confirm with students and staff the arrangements for coming to campus from your home.

Tier 1 – medium risk

Tier 2 – high risk

Tier 3 – very high risk

It is possible that students and staff may live in an area that is in a different risk tier to Lincoln and the campus. According to the latest published guidance, students and staff are able to commute to their place of work or study regardless of which tier their home address is in.

Of course, if you are travelling to or from a higher risk area please remain vigilant, take the normal hands-face-space precautions and follow any specific guidelines for the higher risk area. We have a collective responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and we appreciate the ongoing efforts of the BGU community to achieve this.

Our COVID-19 FAQs document can be downloaded by clicking here.

Guidance on keeping safe on campus and what to do if you think you have symptoms can be found here: https://www.bishopg.ac.uk/workingtogether

The declaration form to access university support can be found here: https://www.bishopg.ac.uk/coronavirus-support

Our university Risk Assessment and Outbreak Response plan can be found here: https://www.bishopg.ac.uk/coronavirus-support/procedure-for-returning-to-campus

Information on current COVID-19 cases on campus can be found here: https://www.bishopg.ac.uk/coronavirus-support/current-covid-cases-at-bgu

If you have a question that you can find the answer to on these pages you can contact us via covid19advice@bishopg.ac.uk. We will contact you and determine how best to resolve the situation.

Thank you again for all your hard work over the last few months. By continuing to work together we will be able to keep BGU a safe and secure environment for everyone.

*09/10/2020* Update: Guidance about positive tests and local restrictions imposed by the UK Government

What happens if BGU is notified of a positive test?

The University has provided clear guidance on how we can all help each other to stay safe, socialising in groups of up to six and how to tell us if you need to self-isolate and / or get a test.

In the event of a member of the BGU community informing us of testing positive for COVID-19, the University will inform all people who may have been in contact with that individual.

Please note, if you are not contacted it is because you have not been in contact with the individual.

The University has put in place extensive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning regimes, increased handwashing and sanitising facilities, the wearing of face coverings and extensive signage to promote safe space and social distancing.

If you are required to self-isolate, we will provide advice and support on learning and teaching, living in accommodation and well-being during that period. We provide 24/7 mental health support to all students, and we encourage everyone who needs to, to use that facility and seek the support of staff including- Student Advice, Chaplaincy, the Students’ Union and tutors.

The University is aware of the ongoing press coverage regarding universities within the UK and is constantly monitoring the situation for our students. To ensure transparency, we will publish the live number of cases on a weekly basis on this webpage.

What happens if there are local restrictions in my area?

The University is aware that staff and students may live outside of the local area and therefore be subject to local restrictions. Unless staff and students are specifically advised by the government to avoid travelling from your local area the campus will remain open and the University will be operating as usual. If you are unsure about whether to travel to campus, please speak with your Programme Leader or Line Manager.

Further information on how BGU is responding to COVID-19 can be found here.