Term 2 at RCS – Covid Update
As you are aware, government and health responses to the Omicron variant are creating a fast-moving and fluid situation in terms of guidance and regulation.
The RCS senior management team continues to be in active engagement with government and public health colleagues and will continue to do so throughout the winter break. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we continue to prioritise the safety and well-being of our community in any decisions taken.
What will happen at the start of Term 2?
At this time, and based on the current guidance we have, Term 2 at RCS will recommence as currently planned. As already outlined, staff working in roles that support learning, teaching and the student experience, will continue to work largely on campus. Professional services teams and those not directly engaged in supporting learning, teaching or the student experience will, where possible, work from home.
Will there be any changes to learning and teaching?
Based on existing sectoral guidance we will resume T2 as currently planned. Current government guidance for HE supports the local risk assessment of activity to determine the best way to deliver safely, and this aligns with the approach we have been taking.
Should there be changes to our guidance, then some changes to the learning and teaching programmes may be required. I’m grateful to the ACG group which has been working on developing academic contingency plans.
It’s helpful too to note that current Ministerial advice to the HE and FE sectors in Scotland recognises the importance of maintaining in-person activity next term, and so we are working to ensure that whatever risk mitigations can be put in place to support this, are implemented.
We are confident under current guidelines that we have implemented as many measures as we can to support safety in our buildings and minimise the risk of COVID outbreaks. Additionally, the regular testing that we are asking our entire community to undertake is one of the best tools we have to guard against outbreaks, because testing regularly will pick up infection in individuals hopefully before it has chance to spread through groups.
When we will communicate again:
Should there be any significant changes to public health or sectoral guidelines over the holiday period we will communicate with the RCS community as soon as we understand any substantive implications for us. We will do so by email and through RCS’s social channels. We do appreciate this is a rapidly evolving situation and do want you to enjoy the holiday season as much as possible without constantly reviewing emails. We will only communicate during the holiday period if we have an essential update to share.
Under all circumstances, we will send an all-community update email on Monday, January 3 to share the most current update we have for the start of Term 2.
Finally, I did want to reiterate my hope that everyone will have a break. Attached you can find details of services you can be in contact with, if you need. The SU has kindly agreed to set up a Facebook page for those students who are remaining in Glasgow over the break.
Dr Lois Fitch