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COVID-19: T&L advice for teaching delivery, seating plans and forms

On this page, you will find links to useful information and resources to support Teaching & Learning for the 2020/21 academic year.

Seating plans for face-to-face teaching sessions

Where someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has attended face-to-face teaching prior to developing symptoms and testing positive, our COVID-19 Case Management Team will use seating plans to identify those who were closest to the affected person and therefore required to self-isolate as a precaution.

How should I record seating?

Each desk in our seminar rooms, lecture theatres and labs will be numbered. Hard-copy seating forms will be available on each of the tech desks in teaching spaces and available online.Download the Word document seating form (56.7KB. University log-in required).

We ask that you use this form to record student attendance against their corresponding desk number. The form includes more detail on completion and safe storage. You can complete and store the form either in hard copy or electronically using the Word document seating form (56.7KB. University log-in required).

As long as the information collected is accurate, you are welcome to collect it in a way that best suits your teaching session. You may already have established seating plans, where students sit in the same place for each session. In this case, you would only need to complete the seating plan once, recording each student's name with their corresponding desk number. Alternatively, you could use a list of the students registered for the module as a 'register' and ask each student to reply with their seat number at the start of each session.

Can I simply pass the form around the class for students to complete themselves?

No, the member of academic staff running the teaching session should complete the form. To minimise any risk of transmission, it should not be passed between individuals in the class.

Do I need to record seating arrangements for every session?

Where it is possible to do so, we recommend that you encourage students to sit in the same seat for each session, in which case you will only need to complete the seating plan once. Where this is the case, the guidance that students should fill rooms row by row from front to back would not apply. It should be noted that where people are walking past each other to reach their designated seat, this would only be briefly and would not represent a transmission risk. Students should be told not to pause or chat while they do this and, in accordance with our existing policy, it is expected that students will wear face coverings unless they are exempt from doing so.

In some teaching locations or sessions, a fixed seating plan may not be possible e.g. in large lecture theatres. In these circumstances, a seating record will need to be taken for each session and students should fill the available spaces row by row from front to back.

Does the requirement to record seating arrangements apply to labs?

Yes, although labs are set up on a 2m plus basis, a record of seating arrangements should still be made.

What should I do with the completed forms?

The member of academic staff running the session should hold this data securely for 21 days after the final teaching session to which the seating plan relates. Please only disclose this information to the COVID-19 Data Contact ( or the COVID-19 Case Management Team ( following a request from one of these email addresses. If you are asked to provide this sheet by one of these authorised email addresses, please do so promptly.

How should I store and dispose of this information?

Details for how you should store and dispose of these records, and how you should share them if requested, are set out in detail in Appendix A of the Word document seating form (56.7KB. University log-in required). Please read these carefully as it is very important that personal data is held, shared and disposed of correctly.

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