End of term arrangements for students and asymptomatic testing centre

Arrangements for the end of term and information about the asymptomatic testing centres we will be running on campus from 30 November to 9 December 2020.

This information was sent to all colleagues in an all staff email on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Dear colleagues, 

Further to the Government’s recently published guidance on student movement and plans for the end of term teaching I am writing to confirm arrangements for the end of term and share more information about the asymptomatic testing centres we will be running on campus.

End of term

Face-to-face teaching will now end on Wednesday 9 December, two days before the end of term (Friday 11 December). This is to enable students who want to leave their term time address to travel during the Government’s ‘student travel window’ between 3 and 9 December. Online teaching will continue as planned until the end of term.

Asymptomatic testing centres

In accordance with Government guidance to enable students to travel safely and be confident they aren’t carrying coronavirus without showing any symptoms, we are providing asymptomatic testing facilities on campus (in the Refectory and in The Edge), between 30 November and 9 December. 

In an email being sent later today, students will be advised that if they have no face-to-face education activities scheduled after 2 December, they should book a test in the earlier part of the travel window and travel as soon as possible. If they have face-to-face teaching commitments between 3 and 9 December, they are advised to book a test as soon as their timetable allows within the travel window. 

Students on clinical placements are considered essential workers and are exempt from this process. They should continue their placement as planned.

Students who are on a University work placement, who are planning to travel after the student travel window, will need to follow the government guidance about arrangements for the area in which they are living.

International and EU students currently in the UK can return home to their home country, subject to any restrictions in place at their destination

The email being sent to students outlining these arrangements can be viewed on the coronavirus website 

For more information about end of term arrangements and asymptomatic testing, please see the FAQs on the coronavirus website 

End of term arrangements for staff

We are aware that there may be colleagues who are also planning to travel and would like to take advantage of the asymptomatic testing facility. As you will appreciate, we have had just two weeks to set up this facility and our main priority and focus must be to enable students to travel during the travel window. We are exploring whether it might be possible to extend this service beyond 9 December for staff and PGRs planning to travel to a different address over the winter break.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you must book a test through the established NHS Test and Trace process and report a positive result to the University, even after the asymptomatic testing facility is operational. Asymptomatic testing is not for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms. 

To remind you, we have extended the University closure period over Christmas 2020 and New Year. We will be closed to normal business activity from Monday 21 December and resume on Monday 4 January 2021. Our aim is to make sure that our entire staff community can take a proper break away from work, even if the timing of this break may vary for some colleagues who will be involved in critical University activity. Read more about the closure period

Arrangements for January

As set out in an email to all staff on 6 November, subject to any further restrictions that might be placed on us in the future, our current approach to teaching and learning will continue. 

Where it is safe, practicable, and pedagogically advantageous or necessary, teaching will continue to be delivered face to face. However, in instances where those criteria cannot be met, we will continue to recommend that teaching is moved online. We expect students to join us in Leeds next term, but if for any reason they are unable to do so they will be able to study remotely, with support.

We are expecting that current working arrangements to continue into next term, with the general principle being that staff and PGRs who can work effectively from home will continue to do so, coming onto campus only where that is necessary to deliver or support research, student education or the student experience, or because of another agreed reason to work on campus. 

If you work with students

When you are interacting with students, we would be grateful if you can check that they have seen the communications about end of term arrangements, raise awareness of the process and point them towards the FAQs on the coronavirus website for more information.

Next steps

We will be sharing more information with you early next week. In the meantime, I’d like to say thank you to you all for following safety guidance and working with us to keep our community safe. 

And to the staff and students who will be working in the asymptomatic testing centres over the next few weeks - a special thank you for all you are doing.

Best wishes,

Roger Gair
University Secretary

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