Stage 2

Staff working from September

As we begin the autumn term, Heads of Schools and Professional Services Directors will continue to have responsibility for assessing whether there are roles that are essential, meaning they must be performed on campus, as well as for broader staffing levels on campus and for taking decisions about the return of any staff.
 
In May the University confirmed it will be progressing with a blended learning approach in the autumn term, with a mix of campus-based teaching and remote learning.
 
We are investigating arrangements for teaching staff who will need to be on campus from September as the new teaching timetable requires; this timetable is currently being finalised and will be available soon.
 
We are also looking at the requirements for other staff with student-facing roles, and who will need to be on campus.

Before coming onto campus

We ask that you follow the steps outlined in our Return to campus: What you must do page.

HR guidance and tools for staff and managers on returning to campus:

Comprehensive guidance has been developed for staff on the return to campus, acknowledging that staff have individual needs. 

A toolkit for managers has also been developed to support them in addressing any individual concerns.

Where staff have individual circumstances that make their return to working on campus more difficult or limit their availability to return, the University has provided guidance for managers to support them in addressing any individual concerns. Wherever possible the University will look to support staff and address staff concerns.

Self-assessment tool

The University has developed a self-assessment tool to support staff and students identify if they have a clinical vulnerability to becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.  We are sharing this as some staff have asked how do they know if they are more vulnerable than others to suffering serious symptoms with Covid-19.  It is not a requirement to use the tool, but it might help if you have concerns and want to discuss them with your line manager. 
 
We want to support you and listen to your concerns. If the self-assessment tool indicates that you may be vulnerable or at high risk from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19, then you would need to speak to your line manager. We want to make clear the self-assessment tool is not a substitute for a medical assessment.
 
You can read more about the tool on our self-assessment webpage, including how it identifies increased vulnerability and provides next steps for people with underlying health conditions, or who are pregnant, and may be more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19.
 
The questionnaire was adapted from the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisors (ALAMA) guidance and is a great starting point for a conversation with your line manager.

Health & Safety guidance:

If you are returning to campus during Stage Two, please make sure you have familiarised yourself with all the available Health & Safety guidance for staff. 

Offices: If you are working in an office space, you should ensure you have read the Health & Safety guidance for working in office and low hazard spaces [PDF 836KB].  This includes guidance on determining the distance between colleagues in offices and use of other spaces.

Labs: If you are working in a laboratory then you should also read the relevant Health and Safety guidance [PDF 950KB]. 

Teaching spaces: Health and Safety guidance for teaching staff [PDF 840KB]

Performing Arts: Guidance for Performing Arts, Recordings or Loud Vocalisation [413.27KB]

Risk assessments:  As part of the phased re-opening of campus, guidance on risk assessments as well as assessments for the general use of teaching and office space are available to understand and view. Risk assessments have been reviewed by members of the University’s Health & Safety team.

These risk assessments are all available on the Health & Safety Covid-19 resources page (at the end of the accordion).

Ventilation: You can also access a detailed paper on the University’s ventilation surveys and checks.

Delivery of teaching during the pandemic:

As well as the health & safety guidance for staff in offices and labs, the University is producing a comprehensive guide for staff who will be delivering teaching. This will focus on the delivery of face to face teaching on campus and will be shared as soon as possible.

Last week the University confirmed that face coverings will need to be worn by students and staff in all indoor communal areas (aside from in offices), and that visors will be provided for academic staff in teaching spaces.

We know there are other questions with regards to the cleaning regimes of teaching spaces and guidance on moving around spaces and the use of materials.  This will all be included in the comprehensive Health & Safety guidance.

Face coverings – in indoor communal and teaching spaces

Indoor communal areas:

The University has also updated it guidance on face coverings, asking for them to be worn by students and staff in all indoor communal spaces on campus where 2m social distancing cannot be achieved. 

Teaching spaces:

Students will be asked to wear face coverings in all teaching spaces.  Academic staff should be able to maintain a 2m distance from the front of the class and so do not need to wear cloth face coverings. The University will provide face visors for academic staff to wear during classes, as an added protection that will allow students to see the academic’s face. Provided academic staff remain 2m distant from the students it is their choice whether to wear a face visor.

Some people are exempt from wearing face coverings for medical or other reasons. Please see the government guidance on who this applies to and when you do not need to wear a face covering. 

All students will receive lots of information about the need to wear face coverings along with a set of protocols for the classroom that will be very clear for everyone in all teaching spaces. 

We will also be outlining expected behaviours for students.

You can find more information about the use of face coverings. In addition there are a series of FAQ’s regarding face coverings.

Returning to campus buildings:

Over the summer, Professional Services teams put extensive work into planning for a return to campus, which of course involves our physical spaces as well as our behaviours.  These plans have been centred around:

  • Ensuring buildings and spaces are safe and ready to re-enter
  • Adjusting and communicating expectations around new behaviours that increase safety, security, teaching and wellness
  • Promoting the health and wellness of all students, staff and visitors
  • Creating and monitoring effective guidelines and adjustments to our campus
  • Adjusting spaces while balancing health, safety and financial implications

All buildings on campus are currently open having completed all the necessary risk assessments. 


  If you have any questions relating to our plans for Autumn 2020 please email covidquestions@sussex.ac.uk.

  If you have any questions relating to our plans for Autumn 2020, email covidquestions@sussex.ac.uk.

  We now have a hotline for students and parents to call if they have questions about our response, plans or student support which you can promote 
  01273 876500.