Covid-19: Message from the Principal

Dear Members and Friends of St Anne’s,

I want to keep you up to date with the position at St Anne’s as staff are working very hard to ensure that all members of the College are able to comply with the guidance being provided nationally.

Governmental guidance in response to the coronavirus pandemic is being regularly updated. Wherever you are, please do familiarise yourself with it and comply with the guidance. In doing so you are not only protecting your own health and that of people you live with, but you are also playing your part in reducing the impact of the virus on vulnerable people, on the NHS and on the economy. We all have a role to play.

We also are keeping up to date with decisions that the University is taking and supporting them in that decision making. If you have any questions then please first look at before contacting the College. Any information about teaching, assessments, admissions or examinations next term will be updated here first and I am sure you appreciate that staff are having to concentrate on the most immediate issues for now, rather than events that are some weeks or months away.

In St Anne’s we have moved to a new way of working;

  1. Staff presence on the site is at the minimum level necessary to provide essential services
  2. All other staff, including all academics, are working from home. Technical provision and guidance is being provided as far as possible and prioritised currently to supporting the most immediate essential services
  3. Students  in College accommodation have been asked to go home if that is feasible for them.
  4. All students in College accommodation who have no choice but to stay in Oxford are being moved into RDB in an organised manner. This is to facilitate self-isolation on an individual basis where national guidance advises this. It also means that the College can close down other buildings, thus making it easier to maintain essential services to remaining residents.
  5. Arrangements are in place to provide a basic 3 meals a day, 7 days a week service from the Dining Hall. A one way system is in place to facilitate social distancing while meals are collected for eating in rooms. Meals will be delivered to those in self-isolation. Cleaning, maintenance, security, IT and payroll will be retained as essential services.
  6. Systems to provide welfare and medical support remotely are being put in place

These are unprecedented steps for the College to take. However, I am confident that the changes we are putting in place now are the right ones to put us on the best footing for the difficult times ahead. I am hugely proud of our staff who, as ever, are pulling together to do a fantastic job, supporting each other and the students in our care.

Once these immediate practical changes are fully established we will start to apply ourselves more to the steps the College can take to mitigate the medium term impact on education, research, community life and finances of the College. You will understand that this will take a little longer. Please bear with us and await updates so we can make the best informed decisions possible. Be assured that we are very conscious of financial worries students and staff may have and will be supportive as the future becomes clearer. However in the next few weeks our treasury staff will only have the capacity to  deal with individual queries that relate to immediate and serious financial hardship.

Each of you I know will be concerned for your friends and loved ones. Please continue to act on the College values of being inclusive, supportive, collaborative, and outward and forward looking. Keep in contact virtually with your St Anne’s friends and colleagues and provide practical help if you can to those who may need it.

I hope this update has been informative and reassuring. A lot of people are working very hard to fulfil our duty of care to all members of St Anne’s and secure both the legacy and the future of the College.

With all good wishes to you and those dear to you,

Helen King, QPM