1. Guidance overview
  2. Teaching
  3. What to expect in a COVID-secure teaching space?
  4. Managing your teaching space
  5. Technical and specialist spaces (including labs, IT labs, workshops, and studios e.g. Art & Design)
  6. Fieldwork
  7. Risk assessments
  8. What to do if you or a student suspect you may have COVID 19 Symptoms or have tested positive?
  9. If a staff member, student, visitor or contractor, becomes unwell with:
  10. Fire safety
  11. Office, meeting and social spaces
  12. Useful links

Guidance overview

This guidance is designed to support you when working on campus and sets out what the University is doing to make teaching spaces safe.

Teaching on campus is going to be very different this academic year and we want to provide you with some more detail in this guidance about how we can support you to safely teach students on campus in face-to-face activities and what to expect on campus. We have developed an approach that seeks to provide the best on-campus experience for students that we can, whilst keeping our campus safe.

This guidance will be updated, as necessary. Please take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with it and remind students of these guidelines whenever it is appropriate to do so.
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In most instances, teaching on campus is going to be very different from previous approaches. We have adopted an extended campus approach, which means we use a combination of face-to-face teaching on campus and remote online delivery, some of which might be in real-time other aspects might be pre-recorded and supported by teaching materials. You can find out more information on this through this link.

There are opportunities for you to receive support and professional development to assist you in delivering in this new format and the above website sets out the details.
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What to expect in a COVID-secure teaching space? 

  • All rooms will be set-up to enable appropriate social distancing.
  • Any desks which cannot be used will be marked.
  • There will be an access route along the length of the teaching space to enable desks to be accessed safely and providing access for those with mobility issues.
  • Where possible, excess desks will be removed from teaching spaces to increase the flexibility of the teaching space.
  • Cleaning and hand sanitising stations will be located either close to or within all classrooms depending on the room size and should be used as required. Wipes will be provided for the cleaning of IT equipment before and after use.
  • Staff and students will be advised to wipe down their desks and any other touchpoints, e.g. lecterns, keyboards, mice and light switches, before and after use.
  • To minimise touchpoints in teaching spaces, where these exist, please do not use the fixed polling devices and voting buttons within teaching spaces.
  • In rooms where mechanical ventilation is provided, this is on a fresh air supply. Windows should be open where possible to assist with ventilation. More information on ventilation is available.
  • If your classroom isn’t set-up in the way expected, or if a room feels stuffy or if sanitiser or cleaning supplies are running low, please contact the Estates and Facilities Helpdesk on x4444 who will attend to this as soon as possible.

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Managing your teaching space

Keeping our Community COVID Safe campaign – PowerPoint slides aimed at students

We have created a PowerPoint slide presentation for you to use at the start of your teaching sessions. This is to help you to embed our safety measures, protocols and messaging around COVID with your students. There are short URL links on some of the slides, which is where students can find further information.

  • Students must only attend teaching sessions on campus that they are scheduled to attend.
  • If there are fewer students in the room than the maximum capacity, it is suggested that further distancing from the front zone is supported, e.g. leave the first row empty, and/or students leave alternate chairs free to provide greater distancing.
  • Please remember that all furniture needs to remain as set out to enable social distancing to be maintained. To ensure this is adhered to, the location of furniture, including the cleaning materials table, will be marked in each room. Academic colleagues are encouraged to ensure that furniture isn’t moved by either themselves or by students so that social distancing can be effectively adhered to.
  • Students will need to fill up from the back to the front and leave the room in a reverse manner (Front then back. This may require some additional time at the start and end of sessions).
  • Students should only sit in the locations marked as safe spaces where they will be able to interact with other students and staff around them while maintaining social distance.
  • Where possible, installed microphone systems should be used to minimise the need to project your voice, which may increase the number of aerosols distributed. If the installed microphone system isn’t working, please contact the IT Helpdesk on x3333.
  • In order to reduce the chance of cross-infection, teaching staff should bring the resources they need for teaching e.g. whiteboard markers, flipchart pens and paper and sanitise them afterwards before further use. This should also include any items that may be used by students. Supplies of these will be provided for collection. Details of location and availability will follow.
  • General printing of session handouts, lecture slides/seminar slides, etc. is not allowed. Students should be reminded to bring a device they can access materials on (and directed to the hardship fund if needed). If courses or modules use ‘workbooks’ (e.g. labs, case studies etc) these can still be provided as a single pack as long as the student keeps their own (not shared). There may be necessary exceptions in materials based subjects (Art and design for example) and these can be discussed with HoD and ADTL as needed.

Classroom support

  • Starting on Monday the 7th of September, we will have the normal classroom call out process – call 3333 option 1 to provide remote support and if needed have IT support ready to go out. We aim to attend within ten minutes. Callers must respect social distancing when we attend classrooms. 
  • Extended hours – the length of the teaching day has increased beyond 6pm, we are supporting this through extending our support model.

Improved online support

Improved online support to give staff clear guidance on what to expect when they enter a teaching space.

improved online support pages preview

FAQ’s and troubleshooting guides to give staff the knowledge to quickly resolve their issue.

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Technical and specialist spaces (including labs, IT labs, workshops, and studios e.g. Art & Design)

  • In all instances, the occupancy of technical spaces will be restricted for social distancing.
  • Occupancy numbers have been determined through the preparation of detailed marked-up drawings reflecting the room layouts (including the positions of fixed furniture and equipment) have and “workflow” within the space.
  • These drawings will inform (and necessarily form a key appendix to) all risk assessments and will be communicated with staff and students upon induction to space.
  • A series of additional control measures including visors and other PPE will be provided where deemed necessary by the activity-specific risk assessments.
  • For self-directed learning, technical equipment can be booked via Connect2 when not being used for teaching. Technical and specialist spaces (e.g. workshops, studios and creative spaces) can also be accessed by students for self-directed learning when there is sufficient capacity and they are not being used for teaching. It is important that these spaces are used safely and they will either be open access or will have bookable “workstations” that are spaced to allow for social distancing.
  • If space is not available given social distancing measures, students are expected to find an alternative safe space or return at a different time. Spaces will be monitored by technical staff on a “drop-in” basis.

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  • Guidance on fieldwork has been developed to help ensure that fieldwork can continue whilst adhering to appropriate Covid safety measures. Fieldwork is defined as any offsite work carried out by staff or students for teaching, learning and research. It includes both UK and international fieldwork and group and individual work.

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Risk assessments

  • The classroom risk assessment is limited to cover standard classroom teaching activities.
  • There is a need for Academic staff to ensure that classroom activities that require group work are risk assessed. Further support on this can be sought from your Line Manager.
  • Guidance and information on the risk assessment process, along with a toolkit and a range of generic risk assessments can be found on the Covid-19 H&S Resources This will continue to be updated.

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General principles of response to a potential case of COVID-19 in the workplace

  • The University requires that any student or member of staff who has symptoms of COVID-19 to remain at home and self-isolate in line with Government guidance.
  • Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting the University community. Make sure you know how to spot relevant symptoms.


Response to a member of the University community showing symptoms

If anyone in the University community becomes unwell with:

  • A new continuous cough or
  • A high temperature or
  • Has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

They are expected to:

  • Return home immediately (or stay at home if already there).
  • Notify the University by filling out the COVID-19 reporting form or by calling Hallam Help on 0114 225 2222.
  • Members of staff should also inform their Line Manager, students should inform their tutors.
  • Follow the government guidance regarding self-isolation.
  • Book a COVID-19 test following the government information remembering to inform the testing centre that they are a member of the Sheffield Hallam community.

When a member of the university community returns a negative test

Where a test is negative, the individual can return to the University as soon as their symptoms have gone.

NOTE: If a member of staff has helped someone with symptoms they DO NOT need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves.

If helping someone who has developed symptoms, wherever practicable:

  • You must wear a face cover or a surgical mask and maintain at least a two metre distance.
  • Provide the person with a face cover or surgical mask and ask the person to wear it, if tolerated.
  • Keep the area ventilated.
  • If there are windows in the room, open them to improve ventilation.
  • Anyone who may have been in contact with a suspected case of COVID19 should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds afterwards.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Contact the Facilities Directorate (FD) for advice and guidance on cleaning.
  • Do not start cleaning if you do not have/or are not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Contact FD instead.

Cleaning and isolation of rooms

Should a teaching space need to be removed from Timetabling following the notification of a positive case from CHART, the space will be isolated for 72 hours.

During this time, the Domestic Services Team will clean the space wearing appropriate PPE. If required, a deep clean would also be undertaken. Where possible, ventilation will also be increased in the space during this period.

All surfaces that the symptomatic person might have touched must be cleaned and disinfected, including:

  • Objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids.
  • Workstation, work equipment, including DSE peripherals and handheld tools.
  • All potentially contaminated high-contact areas/surfaces such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells.

Once this has been completed, the space will then be available for teaching to recommence.

Multiple outbreaks in the workplace

If there is more than one case of COVID-19 associated with a workplace, the University will contact the local health protection team to report the suspected outbreak.


Everyone connected to a suspected/confirmed case of COVID19 will maintain confidentiality relating to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Fire safety

  • Fire drills will be temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 Risk. To help manage fire risk, all Academic colleagues should familiarise themselves with escape routes prior to the start of a teaching session and advise students of the safe escape routes at the start of every teaching session.
  • In the event of a fire or a fire alarm activation, Academic staff on campus remain responsible for ensuring their classroom is evacuated and that all students in their group move to the safety muster point. On exiting a building, all colleagues must ensure that the spaces they pass on the way out including other rooms and toilets are checked to ensure that all people have left.
  • During an emergency evacuation, the priority is to escape to an ultimate place of safety as quickly and safely possible. Therefore, all COVID-19 mitigation arrangements within buildings, e.g. social distancing, one-way routes etc, will no longer apply during an emergency evacuation. We encourage the use of face coverings during evacuation as a mitigation.
  • Once outside, social distancing is to be maintained whilst at the assembly point and returning back into the building when safe to re-enter.

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Office, meeting and social spaces

  • The University encourages the use of remote technology was possible for any face-to-face meetings.
  • All social spaces across campus will be clearly marked and set out to maintain social distancing.
  • Please refer to the university’s guidance on business meetings.

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Useful links

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