‘Colleagues are penalised for raising health and safety issues’: a lecturer’s freshers’ week diary | Education

My colleagues and I set foot on campus for the first time since March. We had to schedule a time to visit as it’s still too dangerous for too many people to be present. This gives us an hour to understand how things work in our “Covid-secure” campus, just days before students start returning.

Most of us are pretty nervous about visiting the campus for personal reasons (children at home, ageing parents, partners who work for the NHS). Reports of the role universities are playing in new cases worry us, too. Several colleagues had something that swept through our overcrowded offices in February and early March which many of us now think was coronavirus. Members of staff and students’ families have died from the virus.

We have been assured by the university’s management that all is in place for face-to-face teaching: everything deep cleaned, numerous hand sanitiser stations, social

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