Academic Year 2020/21 - Staff FAQs

Academic Year 2020/21 - Staff FAQs

When will Lecturers start back?

We are planning to start the 2020/21 academic term on Monday 31 August 2020 with lecturers returning from summer break on Wednesday 12 August 2020. Maritime operations may return sooner with a date to be confirmed.

When will classes start in college?

Full time classes are due to start on campus (where it is safe to do so) and online from Monday 14 September. That is to allow teaching staff time to prepare course materials. A timetable for attendance will be published once we have finalised the detail and appropriate health and safety measures are in place.

We will be applying strict social distancing measures in our buildings and taking a new blended learning approach with on-campus as well as online classes. This approach follows guidance set out in the Scottish Government’s route map for easing lockdown restrictions while adhering to our commitment to deliver the best student experience possible in a safe and supportive way.

How will support staff and services access college buildings?

Some support staff have continued to work in our campuses since closure in March 2020. They have been supporting students in our Halls of Residence to keep them safe and making sure our campus buildings are maintained. It is clear that physical distancing guidelines will significantly reduce the number of people who can be on campus at any one time in the longer term. We are therefore developing guidance for when staff need to access our campuses and will share that with you in due course.

Is it safe to reopen? Should the College wait a bit longer?

It will be safe for college buildings to re-open on the dates planned. We have continued to take advice and guidance from Scottish Government and we are in regular contact with officials. We will continue to make sure our plans align with that and our firm focus is on the safety and wellbeing of students, our staff and service providers.

Have lecturers and unions been consulted/involved in the new approach to learning and teaching?

Initial consultation with Faculty Deans and across the Student Experience Directorate has informed our new delivery model principles and helped focus our College’s future priorities and investment decisions. In addition to engaging and consulting with trade union partners, all staff have been invited to tell us what they think via a staff feedback portal. We are encouraging you to tell us directly what we should start doing, stop doing and what could be further developed.

What does the new blended learning approach mean for me?

The planned measures will involve strict social distancing measures as well as involving on-campus as well as online learning and teaching. That means the theoretical elements of courses being taught online and practical elements being delivered on campus (City or Riverside). Different options being considered range from compressed units taught in blocks, staggered term starts for student groups and extended timetables, possibly to include Saturdays.

Will I need to work different hours?

We want to deliver the best student experience possible in a safe way and while making sure that the number of staff and students in campus at the one time complies with social distancing rules. That will mean new timetables being in place and some classes being delivered online. Our college team is working on that plan at the moment and we are consulting with lecturers on how best to deliver that. If you have questions, please speak to your line manager. You can also give comment/suggestions on our staff feedback portal.

How will we deliver practical classes while social distancing?

Classes which require equipment and/or take place in simulators, workshops, salons, kitchens or labs etc will still take place on campus (City or Riverside). We are still considering the best way of doing that. For example, it may mean reduced numbers of students attending only one or two days a week and in a socially distant environment. This is still under review so may increase or reduce as we follow the latest government guidance.

Will I be given Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Any PPE required within our campuses and/or particular vocational activities will be provided and in line with government requirements.

What about staff development/training?

Staff development is central to our new blended learning approach. Our Learning and Teaching Academy is currently offering workshops and a range of activities on curriculum design and delivery and all staff with teaching commitments are encouraged to attend.

Working online has been difficult without effective equipment. Will the College help with that?

We recognise that online teaching requires access to appropriate hardware and good WiFi and we are looking at how to deliver that where necessary and in a cost-effective way.

Will we be able to support students in person on campus?

We are acutely aware that social interactivity is an important part of our students’ positive college experience, therefore, we plan to open our campuses for a range of student activity such as guidance/peer support/tutorials and where necessary to complete practical courses with equipment, simulator-training and safety critical inductions. Students new to college and those with Personal Learning Support Plans will be given priority.

Are we also considering student engagement/feedback from our time in lockdown?

We have developed a dashboard for student engagement during lockdown and this will evolve as part of a comprehensive learner analytics system. That is in line with the refresh of the Student Experience Strategy to make it more accessible and to capture student progress and development.

How do I keep updated about the latest information on Coronavirus (Covid-19)? 

This page and MyCity will be kept up to date. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we are asking you to check these pages regularly to keep informed of the latest advice.

Updated: 5th June 2020.