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All-staff briefing on ‘2021/22 academic year: what to expect’ – video available

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In the first all-staff talk of the new academic year hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Parveen YaqoobPro-Vice-Chancellors Dominik Zaum and Julian Park, co-chairs of the Major Recovery Team, outlined how the University is expecting to operate as staff and students start returning to campus life. They were joined by Paddy Woodman, Director of Students Services, who talked through her plans for the phased return of colleagues in one of our largest Functions.   

After a period of such disruption, we are aiming to offer our students high-quality student experience, and many campus services, including the Library, Student Services and catering are back to near normal service. The Teaching and Learning Framework is in place to enable the best possible on-campus learning experience. 

Central to MRT’s decisions has been expert health and safety advice on how we can facilitate campus life while maintaining well-being of our university community. With most adults in the UK double vaccinated, the University has been able to ease some restrictions. However, some restrictions remain in place to help keep our community safe: 

  • Regular Lateral Flow Testing and self-isolation, and contact tracing remain critical measures 

  • Continue to share any health-related concern with your line manager to help us help you  

  • Face coverings still encouraged indoors when moving around 

  • Enhanced ventilation, reduced capacity of teaching spaces, staggered starts and 15-minute breaks between teaching sessions 

  • New meetings guidance 

Updated COVID induction modules are being developed and will soon be available on UoRLearn. 

Colleagues questions

There was a very large number of questions posed during the session, which due to time limitations could not be answered in the session. However, many are covered in the Coronavirus FAQs on the Portal; the table includes links to more information the most common queriesAll these FAQs are regularly updated, so please continue to check these regularly as necessary. Ifyou have a question that isn’t covered, please email communications@reading.ac.uk.  

Area 

Further information 

Further information 

Lateral flow tests 

  • Test kits available to collect from Library Café Monday-Thursday, 13:00-16:00 

  • We are awaiting details from Department for Health and Social Care for supplies beyond end of September 

Face coverings 

  • In line with government guidelines, face coverings are no longer expected 

  • We encourage face coverings when moving around indoors and in contact with those you do not regularly spend time with 

Ventilation 

  • The maximum occupancy for central teaching rooms continues to be guided by the capacity based on ventilation requirements, as outlined by government guidance 

  • When working on campus, we recommend that you make the most of available opportunities for ensuring good ventilation, such as opening windows or doors 

Meetings 

  • For the autumn term, all calendared meetings should be held virtually by default 

Teaching and Learning in autumn term 

 

Guidance for teaching at a distance

 

Lectures – occupancy levels 

  • lists all 'active' teaching rooms, which were used for autumn term 2020, and their maximum capacities. These are rooms which were used for at least one teaching session in the autumn term, including both central and school-owned spaces, and both standard and practical rooms 

Guidance for managers 

 

Returning to campus: IT equipment 

 

Self-isolation guidance 

  • Updated to reflect changes to government guidelines from Monday 16 August, staff no longer need to self-isolate if double vaccinated and showing no symptoms – will need to book PCR test instead 

The Major Recovery Team continues to review our response and has plans to allow us to adapt quickly if circumstances change.   

Smart/Flexible Working: there were also a number of questions about our plans for new ways of working. A full update on this will be sent to all colleagues next week  

A video recording of the event is available below: 

 

You can also access the recording on Microsoft Stream. 

ShapeThe next all-staff briefing is ‘Setting the path to our centenary year and will take place on Wednesday 22 September,14:00-14:50. In it the Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort and Parveen Yaboob will focus on our plans for the University in the lead up to our centenary in 2026. 

All colleagues will be sent an Outlook Calendar invite ahead of the session. If you have any queries, please contact communications@reading.ac.uk. 

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