COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and guidance for the Central community and applicants

Updated: Monday 4 May, 2020

Due to the ongoing global situation with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, and in line with advice from Public Health England and the UK Government, Central’s campus is now closed until further notice in order to protect our community and help with public efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Although Central’s buildings are closed, the School remains open and is continuing to operate online, with much virtual activity taking place including:

  • Teaching and learning for Central’s courses has now moved entirely online for the summer 2020 term.
  • A range of virtual short courses, as well as one to one tuition and business training, is now available.  Two hour taster sessions are also running to provide those who are interested in Central’s short courses with the chance to trial digital learning with us. Find out more on our Short Courses page.
  • A number of digital events will take place throughout the 2020 Summer term. These include research events, select showcases and exhibitions of student work where possible.
  • Collaborative outreach projects (including community work and international activities) have also moved online for the remainder of the 2019/20 academic year.
  • Interviews and Auditions for 2020/21 entry have now moved entirely online; applicants have been contacted by Central’s admissions team with further details.
  • Information sessions for prospective students, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, will continue to take place virtually. Visit our Discover Central page for more information.

This is a developing situation and one which we are continuously monitoring. Any changes or updates to guidance or advice will be published here, and we will continue to communicate with staff and students regularly through our usual channels (e.g. social media, email, newsletters, staff and student MyCentral pages, etc.).  

We want to ensure that members of our community feel informed and supported, and we will continue to provide regular updates.  For any questions or concerns related to Central’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) please contact c19advice@cssd.ac.uk.

For additional guidance and support:

If you need personal health advice specifically in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), you should visit the NHS Direct website for further information. Please do not attend your GP or emergency department without phoning in advance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Students: Your studies

Can I suspend my studies?

Students are normally expected to complete their studies without taking any breaks but we recognise that sometimes unexpected personal circumstances can occur which mean a student is no longer able to engage with their studies and a break becomes necessary. A student can then take some time out to resolve these personal circumstances before returning to complete their studies.

The policy exists to support students with changes to their individual circumstances, so COVID-19 and/or the adjustments that have been made to the format of course delivery for the remainder of the academic year are not in themselves sufficient grounds for a Break in Studies unless there was a significant personal impact on a student’s ability to engage with their studies as a result of the current situation.

I have childcare issues and/or caring responsibilities that mean my time is complex. Can I take a break?

Significant changes to individual circumstances occasioned by the current situation – including issues relating to childcare/caring arrangements – may constitute grounds for a break in studies where a student can demonstrate that they have impacted on their ability to engage with their studies.

Before proceeding with a formal Break in Studies request students should discuss their situation with the academic team and/or support staff to ensure that all alternatives avenues to a Break in Studies have been fully explored.

Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and in complete confidence. More information about the Break in Studies policy can be found on MyCentral.

Can we take our placements unit in the autumn term instead of now?

We are supporting students to continue with placements online where possible, and have developed other possibilities such as speculative projects that explore the same questions, where possible. In the current environment, the question of placements may be even more important for many of the organisations in which students may be working, given the challenges they are facing. We will consider possibilities for in-person placements where and when lockdown and social distancing measures are relaxed, but the timing of such governmental and external organisational decisions is not something Central can control.

Can we move the Graduation ceremony so we can undertake the summer terms in the autumn?

Academic staff have devised appropriate and robust alternative delivery plans for each course for the remainder of the academic year, and have in some cases rescheduled experiential units or projects outcomes originally intended for the early summer, where it has been practicable to do so, until later in the year. We continue to monitor the situation with regard to governmental policy and decisions regarding lockdown/social distancing and will update plans in line with this in order to enable students to graduate on time. 

Central’s aim is to give every student the opportunity to complete their degrees to the schedules that were set when they enrolled. As many students have external commitments and other plans, or may have made housing and other decisions with regard to the current situation, in order to ensure equitable treatment, we need to provide you with a way to graduate on time. However, part of the cross-School planning with Course Leaders involves providing opportunities for those who are available, to make up the experience of missed performance or placement opportunities. The ways in which this will be achieved will depend on how and when the lockdown and social distancing measures are relaxed.

Will my course dates remain the same?

The ending date for your course will remain the same; there may be some shifting of timings within that frame, including changes to session times and order of units. As many students have external commitments and other plans, or may have made housing and other decisions with regard to the current situation, in order to ensure equitable treatment, we need to ensure that you are able to complete in line with the initially published course dates.

Students: Assessment

Can you guarantee a grade safety net?

We have taken a number of steps to put in a safety net to safeguard your studies and to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in your academic progress at the School by the current situation. For more information, please refer to the No Detriment policy.

What academic support is available to me this term?

The Learning Skills programme offers high quality learning development to all Central students to enhance their academic success. This includes; research skills, academic writing, and English for academic purpose.

Information on the Learning Skills programme can be found on BrightSpace and you can email learning.skills@cssd.ac.uk to book an appointment.

Students: Attendance

Who do I need to tell if I’m absent or miss essential activity due to illness (COVID-19 or otherwise) this term?

The process for reporting or requesting absences on your course remains the same.

Although all on-site tuition, training and productions has been suspended until at least the end of the summer term, it is essential that we have a full and live record of students who are absent. For this reason please continue to report or request absences from any live timetabled sessions as normal – or as directed by your Course Leader/ Programmes Officer if they have made any changes to adapt to the current situation. The absence request form is available on MyCentral. If you do not request or report an absence, then this will be recorded as unauthorised (or Red Lit for BAAC students) as usual.

Please provide your Programmes Officer with as much information as possible on your illness and the medical advice you’ve received.

To help support NHS resources, we have relaxed the rules around providing a medical note if you are absent for more than 5 days. So if you are unwell but don’t need to visit your GP, please just report absent each day that you’re away from school - you don't need to request a doctor’s note.

If you are still living in a Halls of Residence and you are concerned about their processes around self-isolation, we advise that you speak to a Hall Manager or a member of their front of house staff. Each Hall will have their own continuity plans about how to support self-isolating students and continue services (e.g. catering) and you need to consult with them directly to learn about their plans. 

Can I do any work from home if I’m advised to self-isolate?

You should always follow medical advice given and ask medical professionals any questions about whether you need to self-isolate or take a short break to your studies in order to recover.

As you will have seen, the advice issued around coronavirus and at-risk areas has been changing relatively quickly and we would strongly recommend that students prioritise their health and seek medical advice before attempting to study from home whilst experiencing any health difficulty.

My course requires 100% attendance; what happens if I become unwell and I need to take time off?

Central continues to take the health and wellbeing of students seriously and you are encouraged to take the time to recover from any physical or mental illness. As an additional supportive measure, students who are advised to self-isolate as a result of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection will not need to provide medical certification and can self-certify for the full period. This is a relaxation of the usual 5 day self-certification limit and should help ease the burden on GP services and ensure you take the time to recover. If you are absent for an extended period of time and you are finding it difficult to re-engage or catch up, the School uses its Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedures as a supportive process to ensure that students are supported to study to the best of their ability and, wherever possible, to meet the required learning outcomes and complete their course.

How do I get an Extension on coursework deadline?

If you need to request an Extension for any upcoming submissions, the form is available on MyCentral. Extra time usually needs to be requested a week in advance of the normal deadline.

I am due to go on Placement outside of the UK, what should I do?

If travel is restricted to your host country is limited to essential travel then the Placements Officer and your Programme Leader will support you with your next steps – this may involve finding an alternative placement or exploring an Alternative Assessment. You can contact the Placements Officer on Placements@cssd.ac.uk for further advice and guidance.

Students: Resolving Issues

What do I do if I’m concerned or offended by someone’s behaviour online?

The Student Code of Conduct is still in place for all Central students and this applies to online behaviour.

If you have any concerns regarding the online behaviour of any member of the Central community and you would like to notify the School you can book in a Support Advisor meeting to discuss and/or complete a Student Disciplinary Notification Form (available on MyCentral).  If you would like to make a complaint about any issue (other than student behaviour) please submit a Complaint Form.

You can also access Central’s Report and Support pages on MyCentral for advice and information.

The Complaints and Disciplinary process will continue as usual, albeit remotely. If you have any questions or queries please contact abigail.fitch-hickson@cssd.ac.uk.

Why can't we have a have a refund when some elements of the course have changed?

Whilst the nature of students’ academic experience will change, the teaching plans and additional resources (like Zoom) that we are providing have been approved because they are of equal value. We will be continuing to provide students with the same or increased academic and pastoral support, as well as maintaining the quality and standards of courses. Our commitment to supporting the continuation of learning and teaching activities also means that the costs have stayed the same or in some cases have increased. Where delayed essential experiential work is able to be rescheduled for those who are available to undertake it, as lockdown restrictions are relaxed, this work will be covered by the original fee and there will be no additional charge.

Students: Impact on my finances

What financial support is Central able to offer me if I find myself un-expectantly in hardship?

Central Hardship Fund (CHF)

Students financially impacted by the pandemic are encouraged to apply to the Central Hardship Fund (CHF) available to support all students*. Guidance notes and deadlines are published on MyCentral.

*Please note that the Fund cannot be used to cover tuition fee costs and it is not a salary replacement scheme for students employed by the School.

Crisis Loans

A Crisis Loan is a short-term loan that the school provides in order to help students that need a small sum of money to help them manage a financial short-term financial emergencies.

Unlike the Hardship Fund, Crisis Loans are not grants. This means that they need to be repaid.

Please see the Crisis Loan Guidance Notes on MyCentral for further information on how to apply.

For both these funds please contact SAS@cssd.ac.uk before submitting an application so that a Student Advisor is able to offer individual guidance and/or if you require financial advice and support planning your budget for the rest of term.

When should I apply for student finance?

The Student Loans Company is encouraging new and returning students to apply for finance early. Advice on applying for student finance for England can be sought on the GOV.UK website. Returning students are asked to apply by 19 June, 2020 for next year’s finance, and new students are asked to apply by 22 May, 2020. New students don’t need a confirmed place on a course to apply.

Students: Impact on my accommodation

I’ve given up my housing in London – what happens if I need to come back?

Central will work with students who have given up housing already to ensure that they are able to return safely and appropriately. You will not be required to be at Central outside of your initial term dates. Depending on governmental decisions around lockdown and social distancing rules, we will help students to consider options. Please contact SAS@cssd.ac.uk if you find yourself in this situation.

My contract has not ended but I have left London and will not return to the property. Do I still have to pay rent?

Your liability to pay rent will depend on a range of different factors directly relating to you and your fellow tenants’ current/future plans, what is written into the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement (contract) and other factors (e.g. if your possessions still in the property, if you intend to live in the property next year, if everyone in the joint tenancy intends to leave to leave a the same time).

In the first instance you should reach out to their letting agent or landlord to ask if there is a possibility of being released from your tenancy agreement or if they can agree to be more flexible about rent payments or reduce your rent payments.

Landlords and Letting agents might not agree to this request, but it is a good idea to ask and make them aware that you are experiencing difficulties relating to the outbreak.

My landlord won't let me end the tenancy and I can't afford to pay. What can I do?

There is a range of tenancy types and rental arrangements, and the laws and regulations governing them may differ accordingly. In general, payment of rent is a contractual obligation – students should seek advice from either the SAS (SAS@cssd.ac.uk) or the University of London’s Housing Services (housing@london.ac.uk) if you are considering withholding payment of rent or struggling to keep up with payments.

Both the SAS and University of London Housing Services can also complete contract checks to see whether there is a Break Clause built into your contract.

I live in Private Halls / University of London Intercollegiate Halls and will not return to the property. Do I still have to pay rent?

You need to speak to your halls provider or hall management team to find out whether they can allow you to leave your contract early or if they are offering any sort of rent waiver. Again, this will be at the discretion of your accommodation provider and may depend on your circumstances (e.g. are your possessions still in the room, the return of keys, etc.).

Remember, providers are under no obligation to release students from their contracts, however it is still worth asking what flexibility/fee waivers or rent reductions they can put in place for you if you are not living in your room.

I need to move out of a property or collect my belongings, how can I do this safely?

Communicate with your landlord so you are clear on what is needed.

Your contract will likely require you to clean and clear the property by the end date, otherwise you could face charges from your deposit and/or lose belongings. You may, therefore, need to arrange for your belongings to be stored or sent to you bearing in mind the advice about social distancing whilst arranging the collection of your possessions.

If you intend to move out of a property, please note that the UK Government has strongly advised against moving whilst social distancing measures are in place. The UK Government has stated that if moving is absolutely unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties involved are unable to reach an agreement to delay, all parties involved must follow the government’s advice on maintaining strict social distance to minimise the spread of the virus.

Where can I get further advice on accommodation issues?

The SAS works closely with our colleagues at the University of London’s Housing Services and they have produced a COVID-19 Coronavirus & Private Housing Rights webpage. This page is regularly updated and a valuable resource.

Please also see the UK Government's advice on COVID-19 and rented housing. If any government funded assistance schemes become available, students will be informed via email. If you have any questions about this or any other schemes or benefits, please contact SAS@cssd.ac.uk.

If your circumstances are not covered in the resources above please email SAS@cssd.ac.uk so we can learn more about your accommodation challenges and help you to plan your next steps.

Students: Disability, Dyslexia and Wellbeing Support at Central

Is the Student Centre still open?

Yes.

The Student Centre is continuing to offer support, advice and guidance to students on all non-academic matters. Office hours remain 9.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday.

This includes:  

Support Advisor Meetings 

You can still request Support Advisor Meetings with staff from the Student Centre via phone and video chat. These meetings offer a space to check in with staff who are experienced in supporting students’ wellbeing and offering support through a range of difficulties. Support Advisors are professional, non-judgemental, knowledgeable and approachable and are a good place to talk about your concerns. Advisors work across the Student Centre and offer a safe space for you to check in with staff, receive emotional support and talk about any difficulties you are experiencing. You can request a meeting by completing this online form or for more information about the meetings, please email SAS@cssd.ac.uk.

I have a diagnosed disability but hadn't previously contacted the Disability & Dyslexia Service to register or apply for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). Can I still do this?

Yes.

You can still register and apply for DSA unless you are within 10 weeks of the end of your course.

Note: you will need to provide evidence to submit with your application. Please contact dds@cssd.ac.uk to discuss your needs in full.

I have a registered Disability with the School. Can I still access my DSA funded support?

Yes.

Your equipment and software can still be delivered and 1:1 support is being provided remotely. Check your DSA 2 for details of your agreed supplier. If Central is named as your Mentoring or 1:1 supplier and you are experiencing difficulties accessing support please email dds@cssd.ac.uk.

If I have an IGRAS in place and my deadlines have been pushed back due to the COVID-19 crisis, am I still entitled to additional time for coursework?

Yes.

As usual if your ability to meet deadlines has been impacted by your registered disability or dyslexia then you can apply in the usual way to your Programme’s Officer.

If my mental health deteriorates or my condition/diagnosis changes, how do I make changes to my IGRAS?

Please contact dds@cssd.ac.uk to arrange a time to discuss any issues, concerns or changes so that they are able to provide advice, support and update your course team on how your academic studies may be impacted.

I was due to have an external Needs Assessment last term. Can I still book this in?

Yes.

Email dds@cssd.ac.uk to set this up. Note: Needs Assessments are currently conducted remotely.

Can I still have a dyslexia screening or diagnostic assessment?

Due to circumstances out of Central’s control, at present, external regulations stipulate that full Diagnostic Assessments are not possible remotely. If you have concerns about this or if you'd like to be contacted if the situation changes, please email dds@cssd.ac.uk.

Is Central’s Counselling Service still running?

Yes.

In the interim the Central’s Counselling Service is offering virtual sessions to all students free of charge. As usual students can complete an initial request for counselling form which is reviewed by the Counselling Team. They are then offered short term counselling if required, on a weekly basis. Students who require longer-term counselling will be supported in accessing external services that are able to provide this. Please contact Counselling@cssd.ac.uk for more information.

I don’t want to sign up for regular, weekly Counselling, can I speak with a member of staff about my emotional wellbeing as a one off?

Yes.

As detailed above you can still request a one off Support Advisor Meeting. We are now able to offer these support sessions with members of Central’s Counselling Service. Please note that these are not counselling sessions, but do offer a safe space for you to check in with staff, receive emotional support and talk about any difficulties you are experiencing. You can request a meeting by completing this online form or for more information about the meetings, please email SAS@cssd.ac.uk.

Students: Facilities

Can I come and collect my belongings from my Locker at Central?

Students can request essential items from their locker via the Estates helpdesk on MyCentral. Arrangements will be made to send items to students directly.

Students: Supporting our international community

Where can I find up to date advice for International Students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak?

Government Advice is changing regularly and our colleagues at the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have collated all the latest government advice for International Students studying in the UK.

This page includes advice on all advice that has been confirmed by the UK Government as well as flagging the decisions that have not been confirmed yet.

If you have a question that is not covered in any of the webpages above or if you want to check with a member of the SAS Team for support or guidance, please email SAS@cssd.ac.uk and we will book in a meeting with a member of the SAS Team.

When should I apply for a visa?

Normally, you can apply for your student visa no more than three months prior to the start of your course, however you can only apply once you have everything you need to support your application. The majority of Tier 4 (General) Student Visa applications take approximately three weeks to be processed, although in some cases it can take longer than this.  It is very important to ensure that your application is completed correctly prior to submitting it to maximise your chances of a swift processing time. It is not advisable to book flights for travel to the UK until after the visa has been issued.

Visit the GOV.UK website for Student Visa Guidance.

Is it safe for me to travel?

No travel can be completely safe so wherever you travel, it’s your responsibility to plan for a safe trip and to make decisions about whether or not it’s safe enough for you to travel. Each individual trip is different and each person has their own very different view of what an acceptable level of safety means for them. This includes making a personal decision based on good advice on traveling back home to countries/areas considered to have been significantly affected by COVID-19.

Similar to medical advice, staff at Central cannot advise on your travel plans but we can point you in the right direction.

Specifically, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice page for coronavirus is the official guidance for people travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in countries worldwide. The FCO try to make objective judgements and will advise against all or all but essential travel when they judge that the level of risk is unacceptably high. This will help inform your decision on whether or not to travel.  You should also consult the information published by your home country/destination.

What if I can’t get back in time for the start of the Autumn term?

National restrictions on movement are of course beyond Central’s control. Please regularly check the Home Office website for visa advice and information on travel restrictions affected by coronavirus. Central will continue to support all students throughout the period of their enrolment.

I had to leave my accommodation in a hurry and I’m not sure if I'll be able to return to London. What should I do?

Please see the Accommodation section above and get in touch with SAS@cssd.ac.uk if you have any further questions.

I’ve been the victim of racism following the coronavirus outbreak, what can I do?

In response to reports and social media posts about hate incidents taking place in London and other cities, we want to remind you that guidance about reporting incidents of racism and hate crimes can be found on our Report and Support MyCentral pages. If have any concerns around your safety and would like to seek advice, Support Advisors within the Student Centre are available. 

All citizens and residents in the UK: External Medical Advice

Where can I find the most reliable, up to date information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The UK Government and the NHS will keep people informed of new advice and developments. Please check the following sources of advice frequently:

How can I protect myself and my community from Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Please visit the NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) page for the latest health advice.

Who do I contact for advice if I become unwell?

It is important that, wherever you are, you closely adhere to the guidelines of your government or local authority. This advice is constantly changing, so it is important to keep informed of these changes as they happen. In the UK, official government guidance can be found on the UK Government's website.

If you’re worried your symptoms relate to the Coronavirus, use the 111 online coronavirus service to check if you need medical help and to find out what to do next.

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19), but you can often ease your symptoms at home until you recover. View the NHS guidance on How to treat coronavirus symptoms at home.

We completely understand becoming ill in this current climate can be really stressful so the SAS can help point you towards medical advice if you’re having difficulty accessing this independently or if you’re finding advice confusing. However, staff at Central cannot give advice about your symptoms and will always signpost you towards the NHS so you can speak to a healthcare professional.

I live with someone who has coronavirus, what should I do?

Currently in the UK, to protect others, you must stay at home if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is called self-isolation.

View the NHS Advice about not leaving your home (self-isolation) and looking after yourself if you or someone you live with has symptoms.

I’m especially worried because I have a pre-existing health condition, what should I do?

Coronavirus can affect anyone, but people with pre-existing health problems such as weakened immune systems and people who have underlying chronic conditions including asthma, diabetes or heart disease are more at risk of developing severe symptoms. So if you have a long-term health condition you may be feeling anxious.

You should always seek advice on managing your condition from your GP as well as following all the hygiene and medical guidance and advice from the NHS. 

If you have a long term condition and you’re worried about how this will affect your studies please contact the Disability team at Central on DDS@cssd.ac.uk for advice.

Applicants and offer-holders: Advice

With the safety and well-being of both our applicants and those within the Central community being our priority we have decided to suspend all in-person audition and interview activity with immediate effect.

We hope you understand why we have taken this decision. At this point, we feel it is the only responsible action for all those involved.  All auditions and interviews for Central's courses will be conducted remotely and with immediate effect.

What this means:

  • Instead of attending a live audition we will be asking all applicants to submit a recorded audition online (performance courses) or to complete interviews online.
  • Details on the specifics for each course and process are currently being sent to all scheduled audition/ interviewees.
  • If you have not received an email with information about the new format for your audition or interview, or if you have any other questions at all, please contact us on admissions@cssd.ac.uk.

We appreciate the weeks and months that our applicants have spent preparing for their auditions and interviews. This new format is different, but everything is different at the moment. One thing has not changed: Central wants you to do well and we wish you the best of luck in your audition or interview.

I am unwell due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and will not be able to submit my forthcoming audition video in time or attend my online interview. What should I do?

If you are unable to submit your audition video in time or attend your online interview due to illness as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please email our Admissions team as soon as possible on admissions@cssd.ac.uk.

I made an application to Central, how long will it take to hear back on the outcome?

We appreciate your patience during this time. There is a slight delay during the current situation, but the Admissions team is working to process all applications as quickly as possible, and are aiming to contact applicants within two weeks.

I have an offer from Central. Will my course still be running in autumn?

Central is open for applications to its courses as usual.* Central is monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following advice from Public Health England and the National Health Service. We expect to return to onsite study in autumn 2020** as permitted within government guidelines and social distancing measures. We are doing careful planning for every scenario to offer all students education and training relevant to the current industry and the challenges it faces under the pandemic.

*Please note that auditions for our BA Acting courses are now finished.

**The next cohort of the following courses will now commence in January 2021: MA Acting, MA Music Theatre.

What happens if I can’t study on my chosen course next term?

In the first instance, Central will make every effort to offer an equivalent programme of study. In the case that we are unable to find a replacement programme for which you are qualified and with which you are happy, Central will refund your deposit (for postgraduate programmes) in full. Central will also refund deposits in full where students are unable to commence their studies because of governmental restrictions relating to COVID-19

Can I defer my place until 2021?

Undergraduate and postgraduate applicants: Central has a limited number of places for each course, and considers every applicant individually by interview and/or audition. We are therefore not able to grant deferred entry onto any of our courses. If you have accepted a place but wish to defer you will need to re-apply during the following admission cycle and be considered again by the Admissions Tutor for your course.

When should I apply for a visa?

Normally, you can apply for your student visa no more than three months prior to the start of your course, however you can only apply once you have everything you need to support your application. The majority of Tier 4 (General) Student Visa applications take approximately three weeks to be processed, although in some cases it can take longer than this. It is very important to ensure that your application is completed correctly prior to submitting it to maximise your chances of a swift processing time. It is not advisable to book flights for travel to the UK until after the visa has been issued.

Will I be able to travel to the UK to start the course?

National restrictions on movement are of course beyond Central’s control. Please regularly check the Home Office website as well as the website of your home country for visa advice and information on travel restrictions affected by coronavirus.

When should I apply for student finance?

The Student Loans Company is encouraging new and returning students to apply for finance early. As part of this, they have produced a new guide on applying for student finance for England. Returning students are asked to apply by 19 June 2020 for next year’s finance, and new students are asked to apply by 22 May 2020. New students don’t need a confirmed place on a course to apply.

I am currently looking at accommodation options and understand that I should arrange this as soon as possible. The tenancy agreements currently on offer need to know the School’s term start dates but I’m worried these might change before I’m due to start. What should I do before signing the contract?

When you should plan your accommodation search or when you should sign tenancy agreements is a challenging question to answer in these exceptional circumstances. The most important piece of advice that we can provide is that we strongly advise that you only sign a tenancy agreement if you are certain you can commit to the dates listed in the contract.

  • If you are interested in Private Rented Accommodation, we usually suggest that students aim to start their search for properties in July/August with a move in date around mid-September. We would advise waiting until then as properties usually become available at this time and we hope there will be clearer information from the government around social distancing and how it might affect the start of your studies and your property search.
  • London has lots of private accommodation options so even if you leave your search until August, it is still possible to find a property in the Private Rented market. You can also think about looking in different areas of London to broaden out your search and think about what your commute might be.
  • Some landlords or agents are using different methods to viewings to showcase their properties (e.g. online viewings). However, we would advise caution against paying a holding deposit or signing a contract for a private rented property you have not actually seen.
  • If you are interested in a room in a Private Hall, we are aware of some accommodation providers who are offering ‘free-cancellation’ promises but these are often restricted to very specific circumstances and not always related to the current situation. It would also be wise to look to see if the provider has a ‘Flexible Check-in date’ policy, which may allow you to change the start date of your agreement if required.
  • If you are interested in applying for a room in Central’s allocation of the University of London’s Intercollegiate Halls, please email SAS@cssd.ac.uk for more information.

If you have any questions about the points above, please email SAS@cssd.ac.uk and a member of the SAS Team will respond to your query. The SAS are planning digital versions of our Sharers Day events to help students to meet each other online and form groups that can share properties together. More information about these will be released soon.

Are you still accepting the IELTS Indicator Test?

Yes.

My exams have been cancelled.  How will my final grades be decided?

Following the Government's recent announcements that this year's summer exams, including A levels and other qualifications, have been cancelled, the exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to affected students.  This means ensuring students are awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work that they have put in.  Everything is being done to support students and ensure that they can progress to higher education in 2020.

Please be reassured that at Central we audition and interview all applicants, so predicted grades only play a small part in our decision making.

Further details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Parents/Carers of students and offer holders: Advice

I am a parent or caregiver of a student or offer-holder at Central. How can I receive more information?

The safety and wellbeing of our Central community is paramount, and we are continuously monitoring the situation for further changes.

Central is proactively following advice from Public Health England, and we have robust procedures in place to support our community. Those affected can contact support services including the Student Centre team.

We will continue to communicate any updates to our guidance with our community.

In line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation Central staff cannot discuss any matters relating to a student or offer holders' registration at the School with any third party however, you can access Information and Guidance regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus at Central on this page.

Staff: Advice

I have been advised to self-isolate.  What should I do?

You should always follow medical advice given and ask medical professionals any questions about whether you need to self-isolate before returning to work.

If you have been advised to self-isolate, you will need to log this with your line manager, Human Resources on hr@cssd.ac.uk, and c19advice@cssd.ac.uk.  Please provide as much information as possible on your illness and the medical advice you’ve received.

Please also let us know when you were last on campus and if you’ve been in close contact with any other members of the Central community outside of this.

You can find more information and advice on self-isolation on NHS pages.

The usual 7 day self-certification period for illness is currently being relaxed for staff who are self-isolating or who have been diagnosed as having a confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

I am concerned about forthcoming travel plans. What advice is available?

The latest travel advice is available from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and guidance is regularly updated as situations develop. This list of countries and areas is constantly evolving so please refer to the FCO website for the most up-to-date list.

The safety of our staff and students is paramount. If you have specific concerns about travel, either recent or in the future, please refer to the FCO’s website for guidance.  For concerns about travel related to Central business or learning, please contact c19advice@cssd.ac.uk, Human Resources on hr@cssd.ac.uk or speak with your line manager.

I am feeling anxious, nervous or worried. What help is available?

For some people the threat of illness can be upsetting or stressful. You may find your mood and feelings being affected and you may feel anxious, worried or have problems sleeping. There are simple things you can do that may help, such as staying in contact with friends and relatives on the phone or by social media and you may find it helpful to talk to them, if you want to.

Read more from the NHS about looking after your mental health and wellbeing and Central’s own Mental Health and Wellbeing pages.

Staff can also access assistance through the School’s Employee Assistance Plan, Legal & General. Log in and access information can be found on the HR section of MyCentral.

Where can I find additional information?

Additional information, including an extended FAQ document, can be found the staff page on MyCentral. You can also contact c19advice@cssd.ac.uk, Human Resources on hr@cssd.ac.uk or speak with your line manager.