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Parents' Information Page

At Northumbria University we are committed to providing the best possible support for all of our students. We also recognise the vital role you play in advising, reassuring and supporting your son or daughter during their time preparing for and then experiencing university life.

We take our responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, our staff and our local communities seriously. We are working closely with our Students’ Unions, local authorities, public health organisations and the police to ensure we do everything we can to protect the safety and wellbeing of our students and those working at the University.

Parents Event

Parent or Guardian of a student in Year 12 or Year 13?

Want to find out more about how Student Finance works and have a chance to ask questions to an expert panel about university life?

Join us for one of two sessions, either 12:00-12:45 or 17:00-17:45 on Thursday 22nd October.

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full set of Covid-19 FAQs forstudents are available on our website but as parents/carers/guardians we recognise that you will have specific concerns and we hope to cover them in the additional FAQs below.

 

COVID-19 - FAQs for Parents

My child is self-isolating in private accommodation. How can I ensure they are supported and receiving help with shopping etc?

  • We have set up a system to support students who are self-isolating, whether they are a confirmed case or are isolating as a precautionary measure.
  • To access this support your child will first need to advise us that they are self-isolating through our online Report. Record. Support. form.
  • From here, a member of the Student Welfare team will contact them regarding the number of people living in their private accommodation and the support required.
  • From here we will provide a support package which includes a food parcel for their entire flat for every week they are isolating, for up to two weeks. Orders are required by Monday and Wednesday for delivery by a team from our Students’ Union.
  • These food parcels contain the essential supplies they require, such as fresh fruit and vegetables and staple food cupboard items. We will try to accommodate dietary requirements where possible, but this cannot be guaranteed.
  • Before this service is provided, your child will need to declare that they are isolating and abiding by government requirements. They are able to opt out of this service if they wish, but should be aware that no alternative support or financial package will be available.
  • Your child will also receive weekly welfare calls from the University’s Student Welfare team, who will route them into other University support services as required.
  • If your child is living in accommodation which is shared by both Northumbria and Newcastle University students, please note that you will receive support from your own university. As such, the support provided by Newcastle University may differ slightly to that provided by Northumbria.
  • Support is also available for students living at our London and Amsterdam campuses. They should follow the same process to advise us that they are self-isolating through our online Report. Record. Support. form. and our Student Welfare team will be in touch to discuss their needs

My child is self-isolating in university accommodation. How can I ensure they are supported and get help with shopping, laundry etc?

  • We have set up a system to support students who are self-isolating, whether they are a confirmed case or are isolating as a precautionary measure.
  • To access this support your child will first need to advise us that they are self-isolating through our online Report. Record. Support. form.
  • From here, a member of the Student Welfare team will contact them regarding the number of people living in their university accommodation and the support required.
  • If your child is living in one of our university owned/managed accommodation blocks, they will be provided with a link to our University Concierge service. From here, they can order food and essential supplies up to a set value during their isolation period which will be delivered normally within 24 hours. The concierge also offers laundry services. Should they wish to spend more than the set value they can do so, but will need to meet the cost of this from your own funds.
  • If your child lives in nominated university accommodation, managed by Unite, Nido and others, please look at the FAQ on self-isolating in private accommodation.
  • During the two weeks of isolation your child will receive regular welfare checks, as well as support from other University support services as required.
  • Before the University Concierge service is provided, your child will need to declare that they are isolating and abiding by government requirements. They are able to opt out of this service if they wish, but should be aware that no alternative support or financial package will be available.
  • If your child is living in accommodation which is shared by both Northumbria and Newcastle University students, please refer to their own university for the support package they provide.
  • Support is also available for students living at our London and Amsterdam campuses. They should follow the same process to advise us that they are self-isolating through our online Report. Record. Support. form. and our Student Welfare team will be in touch to discuss their needs

My child needs to get an appointment for a Covid test. Is there anywhere they can get one on campus?

  • The University is working to locate a walk-in Covid-19 test facility on our Newcastle city campus. We are currently talking to potential partners to explore how to do this.
  • In the meantime, Newcastle City Council has organised a temporary mobile testing unit close to our campus, off Stoddart Street in Shieldfield. This MTU will be available until Monday 12 October Appointments must be made through the usual NHS booking system. We hope this will make it easier for students who are concerned to get a test booked as quickly as possible.

Reporting Covid-19 Symptoms or a positive test

  • How to report a Covid-19 case
  • In the event that a student shows symptoms of Covid-19, needs to quarantine or self-isolate, we have a ‘Report, Record, Support’ process in place. We ask all students to follow the steps on this web page
  • Our Student Life and Wellbeing Team will then contact the student to arrange to support their learning and any to discuss the provision of other support they may need.       
  • Self-isolation expectation
  • In the event that a student shows symptoms of Covid-19, they should immediately self-isolate.  They should not come onto campus and should make sure to follow government guidance on isolating safely.
  • It is important that the student notifies our Student Life and Wellbeing Team of self-isolation by following the Report, Record, Support steps. Information is available on this web page 
  • Where a student is required to self-isolate, they should not leave their household – which in this case will largely be the cluster flat in which they live.
  • Students within Northumbria University managed accommodation have access to a 24/7 concierge service ‘Circles’ via our partners Sodexo Student Living to assist with food, drink and other needs (such as laundry) throughout their period of self-isolation.
  • Students living out-with Northumbria University managed accommodation should in the first instance approach their landlord to establish and engage with the support services in their residences.
  • Where a student is unable to access services within their residences (such as concierge support) or are in need of additional support, they should contact our Student Life and Wellbeing Team who will assess the needs of the student and  provide the appropriate support.  Where necessary, food and other welfare support will be provided and left outside the students’ room or flat.
  • The University will assess each case and if required, regular contact will be made to the student(s) by our Student Life and Wellbeing Team to stay in touch and keep up to date with their health and wellbeing.
  • Can I pick my child up if they test positive and are ill?
  • The University understands that students who are self-isolating may find it a difficult time and that they will require support from their families, but this should be provided at a distance. 
  • In line with government guidance where a student is required to self-isolate, they and their household members should not leave their household –  for students, this will largely be the cluster flat in which they live.
  • Will the University penalise students who do not comply with the safety measures?
  • We wish to work with our students to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we know that the majority of our students will follow all advice and guidance.
  • The health and safety of our staff, students and wider community is the number one priority for the University.
  • When a student registered/enrolled they will have been asked to abide by a student code of conduct which included expected levels of behaviour. So, we take incidences of rule-breaking extremely seriously.  More information can be found in the Handbook of Student Regulations.
  • Breaches of these rules may result in disciplinary action against the student, which could result in fines and in the most serious cases suspension or removal from their course.  
  • People aged 18 or over can be fined by the Police: £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days. £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400.  Fines have already been issued by the police against students, for taking part in activities which are against these guidelines.
  • Additionally, organisers of illegal gatherings, such as house parties, can be fined up £10,000

Health, Care and Support

  • What support will be available from the University if your child has to self-isolate or has tested positive for Covid-19?
  • It is important to notify our wellbeing team of a positive Covid-19 test by following the Report, Record, Support steps. Information is available on this web page
  • The University will assess each case and if required, regular contact will be made by our Student Life and Wellbeing Team to the student(s) within the flat to stay in touch and keep up to date with their health and wellbeing.
  • How to register with a GP
  • It is very important for all students to be registered with a local doctor’s surgery. Please encourage your son/daughter to register as soon as possible.
  • How to Register with a GP
  • What support is available for students with health concerns who have been shielding?
  • Students who are shielding due to a disability or a long-term health condition will be supported with reasonable adjustments to their learning, teaching and assessment. This is accessed through an appointment with our Accessibility and Inclusion Team, where a Disabled Students Support Recommendations (DSSR) will be agreed. Continuing students can access this through the Help and Support section of their Student Portal, and new students can submit enquiries via the Contact Ask4Help form.
  • Support available will also include any adjustments that are recommended for students living in University accommodation.  

Learning and Teaching

  • How will teaching be delivered?
  • Northumbria University opens for teaching from 28 September. The health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff will always be our top priority and to ensure this, students will be taught both online and on campus. This makes social distancing easier to achieve by reducing the number of people on campus at any one time, and ensures all students have access to a high-quality learning experience. You can watch a video from our academic staff which explains blended learning here.
  • What will they miss if they are self-isolating?
  • Our Student Life and Wellbeing Team will contact a self-isolating student to arrange to support their learning and any other support they may need.
  • Access to library and learning resources
  • We understand that students may be in difficult circumstances and digital exclusion has increased during the pandemic. We are providing support and a limited number of laptops are available for those who cannot otherwise access their online learning. We can also provide funding for internet costs.  
  • There are specific eligibility criteria for these to ensure we are supporting students most in need. Each student will be considered eligible if they are from a Low Participation Neighbourhood (POLAR4 Quintile 1 or 2). You can find out if you're eligible via this web page. If the student is a carer, a student seeking asylum including a Sanctuary Scholar, a BAME student, estranged student, care experienced student or a mature student. If the student has other circumstances which they believe would make them eligible, please click ‘other’ on the application form and give us further information. 
  • If a student requires this support, they should complete this application form and the Inclusion Team will get back to them to discuss their individual circumstances.

 

Students in University Accommodation

  • What happens if cases are confirmed in your child’s accommodation block?
  • The University will fully co-operate with the Local Public Health Protection Team and determine the measures to be implemented.   
  • We have experience of working with Public Health England previously with meningitis outbreaks in our residences and are confident that a pragmatic approach in the best interests of our students would ensue. 
  • As with individual confirmed cases, we are setting up our accommodation in household family bubbles. Anyone living in the same flat as a confirmed case would need to isolate as per government guidelines for 14 days.  
  • These students would receive the full support of our residence teams.  Students within Northumbria University managed accommodation have access to a 24/7 concierge service ‘Circles’ via our partners Sodexo Student Living to assist with food, drink and other needs (such as laundry) throughout their period of self-isolation.
  • In the event of confirmed case(s) in our residences, a risk assessment will be undertaken in conjunction with Public Health England.  This may result in actions such as common areas being closed, and deep cleaning undertaken in common areas with high touch points. 
  • If we have to close any of our residences, we have relationships with other accommodation providers in the city where we would safely re-house students. 
  • Under what circumstances will the University ‘lock down’ its residences?
  • Within University residences, we have defined individual household bubbles as the most effective way to contain the spread of Covid-19.  Where individuals within the bubble display symptoms or have tested positive, their household must self-isolate – not the entire residence, block or floor.
  • We would therefore regard a full ‘lockdown’ of our residences as an extreme measure, however one we would be prepared to take to protect the health and wellbeing of our students.
  • We are providing our students with support and advice to try and prevent this situation from materialising – highlighting that they must adhere to government advice on social distancing both inside and outside of our residences
  • Any lockdown would be undertaken following full engagement with the Local Health Protection Team and a thorough risk assessment process.

 

  • Security presence and breaking lockdown rules
  • We have security staff present to provide out of hours support in University managed halls
  • Covid-19 marshals are on campus and in university student accommodation to provide advice and support
  • If one of our residents believe that another resident is breaking the rules in relation to social distancing and any government guidelines including bubbles, they have been encouraged to report this using QR codes on display (anonymously if they wish) to teams within our residences. They can also contact University Security on 0191 227 3999 24/7 or alternatively by downloading the SafeZone app which connects with University Security and also local emergency services in the event of imminent danger.
  • An email will be sent to the residents reported to remind them of the guidelines,  the incident will be captured on incident tracker software and frequent offenders identified, whereby the issue will be escalated.
  • Visitors
  • In line with the local restrictions announced by the government on 17th September, residents should not socialise with anyone outside of their own household or support bubble – indoors or outdoors.
  • In the context of student accommodation, households typically comprise of the residents of an individual cluster flat or, in the case of Claude Gibb and Lovaine Hall, the residents within a corridor.
  • Please remember that once a student moves into university accommodation they are in that household/cluster and are no longer part of their home/parental household.
  • External visitors will not be permitted into University-managed residences.

 

Students in Private Accommodation

  • What support will the university give my child in private accommodation?
  • It is important that a student with Covid-19 symptoms or self-isolating makes their accommodation provider, and any flatmates, aware so that they can take the necessary actions and offer support. The University has been in contact with many providers to provide them with details of the support we are available to provide to Northumbria Students.
  • What support will be available from the University for students self-isolating or who have tested positive for Covid-19?
  • It is important to notify our wellbeing team of a positive Covid-19 test by following the Report, Record, Support steps. Information is available on this web page: www.northumbria.ac.uk/covid19/report-record-support
  • Our Student Life and Wellbeing Team will then contact the student directly to assess their needs and arrange the support required for their learning and any other support they need.
  • The University will assess each case and if required, regular contact will be made with the student(s) to stay in touch and keep up to date with their health and wellbeing.

Health and Safety

  • What additional measures are in place to keep students safe?
  • Robust measures are in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.
  • Students will be provided with two reusable face coverings and sanitiser and will be asked not to attend campus if they are displaying any Covid-19 symptoms.
  • If students develop symptoms at any time they must stay at, or go to, their home/flat/residence and self-isolate and arrange for a test, if the test is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. Household contacts must isolate for 14 days as per current guidance
  • If a student is confirmed as having Covid-19, then we would take all steps to assist the Local  Health Protection Team to trace those students and staff they have been in contact with and advise them of the need to self-isolate.
  • An assessment to will be undertaken in consultation with the Local  Health Protection Team to determine what additional measures are needed before activities can resume.
  • Should in-person sessions be compromised for any period of time, online delivery will be re-introduced.
  • It is important for students to notify our Student Life and Wellbeing Team of their self-isolation by following the Report, Record, Support steps. Our team will then contact them to arrange to support their learning and any other support they need.

Fees and Funding

  • Am I entitled to a refund or reduction in light of current situation?
  • The University will deliver excellent teaching through its state-of-the-art online platform, Blackboard Ultra, combined with face-to-face classroom teaching and lab/clinic/studio access where appropriate.
  • The level of support and the student experience will also be excellent and combine to ensure that student fees still represent excellent value for money at Northumbria.
  • We believe the wide-ranging support for learning and progression we have put in place in response to Covid-19 does this and ensures student fees still represent value for money at Northumbria. 
  • In line with government guidance for the sector, there are no plans for fee reductions. Costs for teaching have not reduced, and in fact are higher for some things.
  • Information on fees has also been made clear at a sector-wide level in an online FAQ by the Department for Education

Social Activities

  • Broader Student experience
  • We are providing full access to resources including the libraries, student zones, digital hubs, cafes, most sports facilities (including the gym in Sport Central) and the Students’ Union.  At the start of teaching on 28 September, all of these facilities will be open for use, subject to ongoing review in respect of safety.  There will of course be a heavier reliance on online activities and those which can be socially distanced. 
  • Our support services continue to be available 24/7 as they have been for a number of years, to help students with advice and guidance where required.
  • Our catering facilities are open, focusing largely on take-away provision.

I have further questions - who can I speak to?

  • Any questions from concerned parents in respect of University-managed accommodation should be directed to Facilities and Estates rc.accommodation.office@northumbria.ac.uk
  • Any questions from concerned parents in respect of individual student welfare concerns should be directed to Student Life and Wellbeing swi@northumbria.ac.uk
  • Any emergency out of hours queries should be directed to our Security Team who will pass on the request to the most appropriate contact 0191 227 3999 or 0191 227 3200 (Emergency only)

ONLINE LEARNING FROM 8 OCT

Changes to learning and teaching from 8 October

In response to the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Newcastle and the impact this is having on our University community, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities have today agreed to move to the Department for Education’s Tier 3 as set out in the DfE’s guidance for universities. You can read the full statement on our latest updates page. 

Will my child still be able to access facilities such as the library and computer space?

The University Library, together with Digital Commons and all other open-access IT Hubs will remain open in order to provide the IT facilities for students to access online learning. The library is open 8am-10pm. Sport Facilities and the Students’ Union will also remain open. 

Will there be a reduction in course fees during the period of online only teaching?

The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP announced in May 2020 that tuition fees will remain the same for the coming academic year for all universities delivering quality teaching and learning. We are confident that students will be able to fully engage with their programme of study effectively, whether online or on campus, and therefore in line with the ministerial guidance students will be charged the full published tuition fees.

My child doesn’t have suitable IT equipment for online learning, is there any financial support to allow them to buy a laptop?

We understand that students may be in difficult circumstances and digital exclusion has increased during the pandemic. We are providing support for those who cannot otherwise access their online learning. Students who don’t currently have a laptop or internet can apply for support from the university for these. Students can find out more on the Student Support page or by searching for ‘Support your access to online learning during Covid-19’ in the Help and Support section their Student Portal. 

My child has special education needs/learning difficulties and struggles with online learning – is there support available to help them?

Our Disabilities Advisers are here to provide students with advice, guidance and support, whether they are a student with dyslexia or dyspraxia, a long-term medical condition, a sensory impairment, a mobility impairment, an autism spectrum condition or a diagnosed mental health condition. To access support:  

If they are a new student, they should submit an enquiry via this Contact Ask4Help form 

If they are a continuing student and have access, please submit an enquiry via the ‘Accessing disability and dyslexia support’ article in the Help and Support section of your Student Portal

I’m worried this situation is affecting my child’s mental health – what support is available for them?

Students can get online mental health support from Kooth which is available to all Northumbria University students, wherever you are, via mobile, desktop or tablet. They can access it straight away here or you can read a bit more here.    

Find out more about the support available in the Counselling and Mental Health Support section in Help and Support on your Student Portal or on our website. 

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