I want to update you on a number of things this week directly related to activities in September:


Health and Safety


  • The Estates Team has been very busy making adaptations to buildings across our campuses following appropriate Government and other sector/industry guidance. Some of these adaptations were completed in time for the start of the postgraduate trimester three return to campus in July, and work will continue through August and into September to adapt and prepare all buildings ready for the start of Semester one.

  • A paper outlining this work is available on Sulis, but in summary these adaptations include:

    • Hand sanitiser stations at entrances and exits of all buildings.

    • Additional hand sanitiser stations throughout buildings.

    • Screens fitted to reception desks.

    • One-way systems for all buildings and signage to direct people.

    • Social distancing and hand washing/sanitising reminder signage throughout buildings.

    • Enhanced cleaning regimes for all buildings, including more regular cleaning of touch points such as door handles and push plates on doors.

    • Reconfiguration of room layouts to allow for social distancing.

    • Secured ventilation of spaces with outdoor air.

    • Adaptation of ventilation systems to ensure correct and safe direction of airflow.

    • Toilet ventilation in operation 24/7 and windows to remain closed to ensure the safe direction of airflow.

    • Mechanical ventilation set to run at normal speed during occupancy and at least two hours either side to ensure the spaces have clean air. 

    • Switching of air handling units to ensure recirculation to 100% outdoor air.

    • Purchase of several air cleaning systems to help with continued use of spaces that have poor ventilation.

    • PPE will be made available centrally by the University, for use where assessment of higher risk activities have identified a need.


  • The Health, Safety and Environment Compliance Group continues to work on providing a robust approach to Covid-19 specific risk assessments for buildings and spaces, with related building and system adaptations noted accordingly. Pages on Sulis have been updated to reflect this and to provide templates for wider use, whilst specific training has been provided to key colleagues including members of the University Health and Safety Committee. 


Location of work

  • As I have said before, staff should work from home if they are able to do so and aren’t required to work on campus to fulfil their role. If you are unsure what that means for you individually, please speak to your line manager as soon as possible. When determining where people work, line managers should take into account the personal circumstances of staff members including physical and mental health and wellbeing, childcare and other caring responsibilities and the ability to travel to work on campus.


  • Because of anticipated social distancing requirements a huge amount of work has been done by the Estates Team to determine room capacity because we know that we will need more space for student teaching and learning than before. This work coupled with timetabling a mixture of online and on-campus delivery means all space that can be used for student learning will be. We have asked some teams whose roles do not require them to be on campus, to give their office space over to student teaching and learning. Thank you very much to those teams who have agreed to do this. It will mean our efforts to support the student experience are greatly enhanced. 


  • If you are expecting to work from home until the end of Semester 1 or beyond, you may need some additional IT equipment such as a screen, keyboard and mouse. You can now request a ‘Work From Home Package’ to be delivered directly to your home address via Apollo. Useful information and guidance about working from home is also available on Sulis.


  • We are anticipating that more students will want/need to drive to campus due to reduction in public transport capacity, so it is important that staff who do not need to work on campus work from home so car parking doesn’t become too compressed for those students and staff who need to park on campus.


Move-in dates for students


  • This week we will be writing to all international students who we expect to be joining us in September to advise them of the likely two-week isolation they will need to observe when they arrive in the UK. We are strongly encouraging those students to move into their halls of residence or private accommodation on or by 1 or 2 September so they can self-isolate ahead of all other students arriving back to us and so they can join in safely in any in person welcome activities.


  • If international students arrive by 2 September to move into university-owned halls of residence, their accommodation for the two week isolation period will be free of charge.


  • All other students will be invited to move into halls of residence from September 17. In the event that there is a local lockdown within the UK in the area they live in, we have asked that they remain at home until it is safe to travel and contact covid@bathspa.ac.uk to inform the University they will be joining us later than planned. 


  • All students moving into halls of residence accommodation will be sent moving instructions from the University Accommodation team w/c 17 August which will provide them with more details.


As I said in my last email, there is a lot going on at the moment, so a lot of information to take in and process. Please remember that copies of all my emails to you and our current students, as well as FAQs about our planning for the next academic year are available on the ‘Planning 2020-21’ section of Sulis. We have also shared key information with students and applicants which you can read on the University website.


I know there is still a lot of uncertainty around what school provision and childcare will be available come September, so please know that we will continue to encourage you to work flexibly if you have childcare or other caring responsibilities. Please talk to your line manager to make sure you find the best balance between your work and other responsibilities.


Finally, I would like to thank you all again for your efforts in adapting to our new ways of working and your continued support of our students. I know it hasn’t been easy and there is no doubt we still have challenges to face, but as I said at the very beginning of this, our collective spirit and efforts will see us through a very difficult time and we will be stronger as a result when we come out the other side.


Best wishes




Professor Sue Rigby


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