Covid information for students
Government relaxation of Covid rules
Following England moving to Step 4 of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown in July 2021, most legal restrictions have been lifted. As a result, the below information does not currently apply.
All students are expected to follow the Covid safety rules in place on campus and in the city, to protect our whole community.
This includes wearing masks, social distancing and mixing with others in line with the Government's rules. The University has an updated disciplinary process in place for students who break the rules, which is set out below.
COVID breaches in residential settings
This guidance should be applied with due consideration to:
- The legal restrictions and government guidance in place at the time of the breach in question; and
- The intent and circumstances of the breach.
At the time of writing, the law states that from Monday 17 May you must:
- Limit social contact to gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors, and to up to six people or two households indoors.
- Wear a face covering in certain indoor settings, unless exempt.
- Maintain social distancing.
How breaches will be dealt with
There are some breaches of the above guidance that will initially be dealt with via a verbal educational warning. These include:
- Not wearing a face covering in an indoor setting (unless exempt).
- Failing to maintain social distancing following a request from Halls Staff.
- Refusal to follow a reasonable request relating to COVID safety measures from Halls Staff.
A first offence will result in a verbal warning but will be formally recorded in the student record. A second offence within the same category regardless of whether the offence is the same will require investigation (see below).
All other breaches of legal restrictions and government guidance will be considered under the Code of Student Behaviour and will require an investigation to be undertaken by an Authorised Person (either the Halls Manager, or the Community Tutor, if in private accommodation), with the potential for further consideration by a standing disciplinary panel. In line with the Code of Student Behaviour, students will receive 10 working days’ notice of any panel hearing they may be invited to attend.
The penalty subsequently applied will depend on intent, mitigation, the seriousness of the offence, and whether it is a repeated offence. This includes:
- Breaching self-isolation and quarantine rules.
- Committing a second offence, where an educational warning has already been issued.
Each case will be considered upon its own merits and the intent of the breach will increase or reduce the level that the case is dealt with.
The Authorised Person will determine whether a written warning is appropriate in the specific case in question, or whether the full range of penalties available under the Code of Student Behaviour should be considered by a disciplinary panel. In the latter case, suspension pending the panel hearing will be considered.
Contributing factors to be considered by the panel
In considering the level of penalty to be applied, due regard will be given to contributing factors including intent, seriousness of the breach, the number of offenders involved, mitigating factors, whether the offender(s) have received positive COVID test results or are awaiting results, and whether non-residents have been invited on to the property. There may be circumstances under which other factors contribute to this decision.
Suspending students from the University
The University retains the right to suspend students who are intentionally putting others at risk. Suspension can be put in place at any stage in the disciplinary process, dependent on the assessment of the severity of the student’s actions.
Suspension from Halls
In line with current legal protections against the eviction of renters, students will not be suspended or excluded from Halls of Residence. This will be reviewed in line with changes to government guidance but the following general principles will apply:
- No student will be asked to return to a high risk area.
- No student will be asked to return to a family who are self isolating, or where one or more residents are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
- No international student will be asked to return home abroad.
Suspension from Halls of Residence may be applied as a deferred outcome from the disciplinary process.