Bristol Uni are not making immediate changes to face to face teaching despite lockdown

A meeting with Bristol City Council today confirmed that the institutional risk is ‘slightly lower’

Bristol University have said they are not going to make any immediate changes to face to face teaching, despite calls from the SU and Bristol UCU to move teaching online for TB1.

In a statement to The Bristol Tab, the university said that they met with Bristol City Council today to undertake a risk assessment which determined that the institutional risk is actually “slightly lower than it was”.

The meeting confirmed that “no changes to the measures currently in place are required from a health perspective”.

The university say they are going to confirm their approach towards face to face teaching during the lockdown period tomorrow, as the Department for Education advises that universities in England should “consider increased levels of online learning where possible”.

A spokesperson for the university said: “We have met with Public Health England and Bristol City Council today [Monday 2 November] to undertake our regular institutional risk assessment process in relation to COVID-19. It was noted that, overall, our university institutional risk is now slightly lower than it was, and no changes to the measures currently in place are required from a health perspective.

“On this basis alone, we would not vary our current balance of in-person and online education or our approach to research activities. We are also mindful that the Government has made it clear that even during lockdown universities should stay open, along with colleges and schools.

“However, we note the Department for Education (DfE) guidance that ‘universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible’ and are awaiting more detailed guidance on this.

“We will take this into account in our decision-making, along with local institutional risk assessment and wider staff and student feedback.

“We hope that the further guidance from DfE will be received in time to inform our decision, but recognise that an early clarification of our approach during the lockdown period will be important to help us all plan. We will therefore confirm our approach tomorrow.

“We recognise that many staff and students will be concerned about this new lockdown and its impact on family and friends. The health and wellbeing of all our students and staff is very important to us and we have a range of support and wellbeing services available.”

Before the national lockdown was announced, Bristol moved in to “Tier 1+” amid fears of moving to Tier 2.

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