By Teddy Coward, Co-Editor-in-Chief
The arrangements have been made ‘to optimise the availability of space for in-person teaching’.
The University of Bristol is to extend the teaching hours in a week for at least TB1, as part of its ‘Restart, Ramp-Up and Return’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a email to staff from Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady, the announcement sets out that the teaching day will run from 9am to 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Teaching on Wednesdays will run from 9am to 2pm and there will be no extension to the teaching day on Fridays.
There are currently no plans to use Saturdays for teaching purposes, unless this is already in place for a subject.
The decision was reached after discussions this week with the Trade Unions, Senate, Bristol SU and student focus groups.
In the message, Professor Hugh Brady explains the plans have been reached as ‘even at 1m [social distancing rules] with additional mitigations, we will have a reduced number of usable spaces for teaching’.
‘As a result, we have been discussing using our estate for an increased number of hours to optimise the availability of space for in-person teaching.
‘I appreciate that extending the teaching week is difficult for staff and students,’ he adds, ‘I want to underline that this is an emergency measure for current conditions.’
The arrangement will not mean staff teach longer hours or have a longer working week but that the hours are distributed ‘in accordance with the constraints process’.
Given the current unknowns around Covid-19 and social distancing measures, the University is currently only working on timetabling for TB1 and will review the extension of the teaching week in October.
Professor Hugh Brady also restates in the email that the University will have a range of measures in place for students and staff in the 2020/21 academic year.
These will include ‘relevant signage, one-way systems, hygiene stations, additional cleaning regimes, the use of face coverings supplied by the University and, if needed, additional face visors and PPE’.
The University’s working guide will be updated once again for the ‘return phase’ in late September.
Featured: Cameron Scheijde / Epigram
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