Covid-19: MetFilm School’s Response

Covid-19: MetFilm School’s Response

The information on this page is current on: 25th August 2021.

Covid-19: MetFilm School’s Response

We are, of course, deeply aware of the uncertainty, confusion, and fear that the pandemic is creating for us all, and particularly conscious of the questions that it must raise in your and your family’s minds about how your experience as a student will be affected. We hope that you will find the information on this page reassuring and informative.

At the London campus, you are able to attend teaching sessions in person – the timing of which is linked to your module schedules. In order to optimise your practical learning, there may be some adjustments to your timetables which will be communicated by your course teams in due course.  We recognise that many students will not be able to get back to the UK straight away and others will have periods of quarantine or self-isolation, and we are committed to continuing to provide remote access to your teaching and learning.

The Berlin campus remains open for limited practical filming purposes only.

With the likelihood of coronavirus restrictions being lifted across the country on 19th July, there is expected to be an increasing amount of coronavirus in the community. MetFilm School protocols will therefore remain in place for the foreseeable future, and it is imperative that you follow the coronavirus protocols. 

During the pandemic, we have learnt some valuable lessons about how to connect with our student community digitally, and as we are to return to a full campus experience, we are also committed to maintaining and building the enhancements around this experience that our digital environment can facilitate. This includes the Virtual Grindhouse, our new online community, home to a plethora of impressive guest speakers and curated opportunities from across the industry.

In addition, if you are unable to join us at the return to campus because of pandemic-related travel restrictions, visa issues, or other reasons – don’t worry. We will work with you directly to provide ways for you to engage in learning remotely, joining the course physically at a later date. We guarantee that you will not miss out.

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below will answer many of your questions. However, if you have further questions, current students can email help@metfilmschool.ac.uk, and new students and potential applicants can email info@metfilmschool.co.uk, call +44 20 8290 9119, or speak to our Admissions Team.


Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Will my learning experience be any different?

We are delighted to confirm that the MetFilm School London campus re-opened on Monday 8th March. The School is working hard to curate re-moulded deliveries of each programme, and your course teams will keep you up to date with our thinking and our plans as they crystallise.

In so doing, the school is working to the following principles:

  • each course will deliver all the original learning outcomes, and we will ensure that by the end of the programme you will have had the same level of practical activity and productions
  • we are taking advice from the government, public health agencies, and academic bodies, and will continue to work within government-imposed restrictions.
  • we are listening to your feedback to ensure the programme works for you
  • our no detriment or safety net policy, which you can read about here is designed to ensure that your academic outcomes and final degree awards are not unduly affected through no fault of your own as a result of the pandemic
  • we have re-ordered modules to delay practical tuition, exercises and productions which cannot be delivered online, and will schedule additional face-to-face practical workshops
  • there will be changes to your timetables, and your course teams will share this information with you as they become clear
How has the School’s approach to Teaching and Learning changed in response to Covid-19?

The School has developed an approach which we have called Mixed Teaching, designed to ensure that students get the fullest possible physical experience combined with the benefit of digital technologies.

  • The majority of teaching is in person – eg workshops, seminars, productions – with curriculum delivery adapted to keep students in consistent groups throughout so that these bubbles act as a C-19 mitigant. There are guidelines to minimise transmission risk for students and tutors.
  • Students who cannot be there for health or travel reasons are able to engage online, usually through Teams, and there will be enhancements available to tutors to enable better connection with the online community.
  • Where there are cohorts with significant numbers not present in-person, we can create separate online groups.
  • Online engagement is otherwise limited to situations where it is either impossible to do it safely in person (eg where we need more than one bubble to be there together, such as large lectures, visiting guest speakers of interest to large numbers, and programme meetings), or where it is more effective to do it online (eg 1:1 tutorials)
  • We are building alternative assessments so that students can still be assessed if the public health situation changes.
What if I can’t get there at the start of the programme?

If you are unable to join us at the start of the course or rejoin us because of pandemic-related travel restrictions, visa issues, or other reasons – don’t worry. We will work with you directly to provide ways for you to engage in learning remotely, joining the course physically at a later date. We guarantee that you will not miss out.

Please stay in touch with the team, and we will give you guidance.

What will happen if the public health situation changes?

The School has an Outbreak Plan which it has developed in consultation with Public Health England and will adapt to local and national changes in line with public health guidance at the time. Depending on the extent of the outbreak and guided by the National Institute for Health Protection (NIPH), restrictions will be implemented in a phased manner, according to the following 4 tiers:

  • Tier 1: this is the default position, whereby the School provides a combination of face-to-face tuition and – where necessary and appropriate – online learning – following our Mixed Teaching approach explained in the MFS London Coronavirus Secure Operating Procedures, which is consistent with the latest public health guidance.
  • Tier 2: this is the fallback position, where we would have to move to an increased level of online learning.  We will prioritise the continuation of face-to-face provision based on their own risk assessments. In the majority of cases, this will be for those parts of the courses where it is most beneficial (for example, practical projects).
  • Tier 3: this is where stricter measures are needed, whereby we will increase the level of online learning to retain face-to-face provision for priority courses and in as a limited number of situations as possible. Students will need to follow government guidance published as part of any additional restrictions applied locally. We will support students by keeping services for students open.
  • Tier 4: this is the last resort, and we expect the majority of provision to be online, with buildings open for essential workers only.

Regardless of the tier of restriction currently in place for teaching provision, all schools and universities, students and staff are required by the government to comply with guidance issued on wider restrictions. National Institute for Health Protection (NIPH) will issue and regularly update guidance on how any additional restrictions imposed will apply to students moving between university and home.

The School will get in touch with all students as quickly as possible if there are any changes to our operations or teaching as a result of public health guidance.


Student Health and Wellbeing

Will I need to book a test?

Testing plans for asymptomatic students

As with all HE providers MetFilm School is working with local partners to offer:

  • two tests to all students upon their return
  • ongoing twice-weekly testing to all

We have set an expectation that all in order to keep yourself, your fellow students, and staff safe expectation you should take up the testing on offer.

For full details of testing requirements including how to book a test please visit: https://www.metfilmschool.ac.uk/me/covid-19-testing/.

 

Testing students using lateral flow devices (LFDs)

The government will continue to work closely with providers to support the delivery of regular testing via LFDs for all students, including providing advice on encouraging student participation where appropriate. Individual HE providers may choose to offer tests to students using different testing technologies and government, and the government will support smaller providers by teaming up with larger providers.

 

How students should be tested

You should be tested twice in your first week of return – immediately upon your return and then again three days later. We will then be offering students twice weekly testing thereafter. This should be done immediately before you visit campus. We are offering all students and staff free home testing kits in order to complete tests.

If you have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for COVID-19, you are likely to have developed some immunity. If you have had a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test in the last 90 days through NHS Test and Trace and been recorded as a positive case on the national system, you do not need to be tested again within that time period if you are asymptomatic. You are still required to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive case, even if this is within the 90-day window. If you have had a positive coronavirus in the last 90 days, you must inform MetFilm School, using the online survey.

 

Negative result

Students that test negative as part of the twice-weekly testing programme should continue to follow any national or regional tier restrictions.

 

Positive test result

Upon notification of a positive test result (LFD or PCR), you are legally required to self-isolate for ten days and contact tracing will be initiated. A confirmatory PCR test will be required for LFD tests taken at HE asymptomatic test sites.

 

Supporting students who need to self-isolate

For those students who do need to self-isolate, we will take steps to ensure students are safe and well looked after during their self-isolation period.

What do I do if I think I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you are feeling unwell, you should stay at home for 10 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly.
  • You should also stay at home for 10 days if you live with someone who has the above symptoms and you should do this from the first day they have symptoms.

If this affects you, you should read the government’s advice on staying at home.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home, you can though use the 111 online coronavirus service to get more advice.

For full advice on what to do if you have symptoms, please click here.

What Should I do if I think I might be part of a vulnerable group?

The government advises that you self-isolate if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Elderly
  • have a pre-existing medical condition which affects or immune system or respiratory system.

Please read the government’s advice on vulnerable groups.

Please contact your Course Leader and the Welfare Team on 020 8280 9119 or admin@metfilm.co.uk and, if able to do so, keep up with your studies using our online learning support and resources.

For full advice on what to do if you have symptoms, please click here.

Should I self-isolate?

It is important that you follow the latest official advice on self-isolation, social distancing and other measures. If you are self-isolating do not come to the campus.

For the latest guidance about whether you need to self-isolate and for how long, please see this page on the NHS website.

For full advice on what to do if you have symptoms, please click here.

Is MetFilm School open?

At the London campus you are able to attend teaching sessions in person – the timing of which is linked to your module schedules. In order to optimise your practical learning, there may be some adjustments to your timetables which will be communicated by your course teams in due course.
We recognise that many students will not be able to get back to the UK straight away and others will have periods of quarantine or self-isolation, and we are committed to continuing to provide remote access to your teaching and learning.

The Berlin campus remains open for limited practical filming purposes only.

We are committed to offering all current and new students the full practical experience that you signed up to, physically on site.

Who should I contact at MetFilm School with concerns?

If you have any concerns about the coronavirus, please contact Student Services on 020 8280 9119 or admin@metfilm.co.uk.

For full advice on what to do if you have symptoms, please click here.

Who can I talk to if I’m feeling very worried or down, or I have an urgent problem?

Our Student Welfare team will be available to support you and will respond between 9-5, Monday to Friday. You can contact us on 020 8280 9119 or admin@metfilm.co.uk.

For urgent support outside these hours please contact:

  • The Samaritans – 116 123
  • NHS Direct – 111
  • Emergency services – Fire, Police or Ambulance – 999
  • Nightline – 020 7631 0101

For full advice on what to do if you have symptoms, please click here.


Current International/Tier 4 Student Advice

What if my visa is about to expire?

If you are still in the UK and your visa is due to expire, you should follow the advice on the official government webpage.

You can also contact Student Advice compliance@metfilm.co.uk who will be able to help you and give you further advice.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the government has implemented a number of immigration concessions to assist visa holders in the UK who have been impacted by global travel and health restrictions.

International students considering study in the UK should be aware that visa concessions for those on Tier 4 visas allow for the ongoing provision of online learning for the duration of the academic year 2020/21. Government continues to keep further visa concessions under review.

Government has confirmed that international students studying by distance/blended learning who are due to complete their course in 2021 will remain eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by specific dates as set out in the student concessions guidance, and meet the other requirements of the route.

Students who are studying courses lasting longer than a year in length, which are not due to be completed in 2021, will still be eligible for the Graduate route even if they have studied all or part of the 2020/21 academic year via distance learning due to the pandemic.

Students will not be penalised for being unable to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) while coronavirus (COVID-19) measures are in place.

I am a Tier 4 student who has returned home, should I continue to study on-line and will my visa be affected?

If you are a Tier 4 student who has returned to your home country, please ensure that you fully engage with your teaching through Teams and any other platforms to which you are directed by the School. This is important as your online attendance will be monitored. MetFilm School will also monitor assignment submissions.

If you are actively engaging with your studies, as indicated above, your current visa will not be affected. However, although there have been some changes to the current Home Office attendance monitoring requirements to take into consideration on-line learning, students who do not have a record of engagement, will still be subject to the current University and UKVI regulations and may be withdrawn from their course. Please keep in contact with your course leader.

Who do I contact if I need advice regarding my return to the UK?

Please contact the Student Support team who will be able to give you further information regarding your travel/visa by emailing compliance@metfilm.co.uk.

You may also find it useful to check the latest travel advice given by Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance.


New Students starting in Autumn 2021

Can I still apply?

For further information on how to apply, please visit our How To Apply pages for Undergraduate study and Postgraduate study.

Will I still be able to study in the UK?

MetFilm School supports nationwide and international efforts to limit risk of infections from the coronavirus disease. The special occupational health and safety measures described in this plan are designed to safeguard the health of students and staff whilst enabling our educational programming and productions under carefully considered and designed specific conditions.

In so doing, the school is working to the following principles:

  • each course will deliver all the original learning outcomes, and we will ensure that by the end of the programme you will have had the same level of practical activity and productions
  • we are taking advice from government, public health agencies, and academic bodies, and will continue to work within government-imposed restrictions.
  • we are listening to your feedback to ensure the programme works for you
  • our no detriment or safety net policy, which you can read about here is designed to ensure that your academic outcomes and final degree awards are not unduly affected through no fault of your own as a result of the pandemic
  • we have re-ordered modules to delay practical tuition, exercises and productions which cannot be delivered online, and will schedule additional face-to-face practical workshops
  • there will be changes to your timetables, and your course teams will share this information with you as they become clear
What is the start date in Autumn 2021?

Start dates are now on the course pages of the website and have been communicated to all students enrolled on programmes.

When can I apply for my visa?

Once you have accepted your unconditional offer of a place or cleared your condition on the offer you hold and paid your first years fee, we will check your documentation to ensure that you will be eligible to obtain a visa and subject to you having the appropriate finances in place, we will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS). Further guidance on visas is available on our Visas and immigration page. Visa decisions will be made by the UKVI.

What if there are still border restrictions or I cannot get to the UK?

Yes, if you are unable to join us at the start of the course because of pandemic related travel restrictions, visa issues, or other reasons – don’t worry. We will work with you directly to provide ways for you to engage in learning remotely, joining the course physically at a later date. We will work with you to ensure that you catch up on any practical learning that you have missed.

What are the current UK quarantine requirements?

See section below “Self-Isolation requirements for students arriving in the UK from abroad”

Can I start my course online?

Yes, if you are unable to join us at the start of the course because of pandemic related travel restrictions, visa issues, or other reasons – don’t worry. We will work with you directly to provide ways for you to engage in learning remotely, joining the course physically at a later date. We guarantee that you will not miss out.

Will the campus be safe?

When you are on campus, we will follow current MetFilm  guidance and best practice in both the Higher Education and film production worlds to ensure that you are as safe as possible. In the event of any further public health lockdowns, we will ensure that your learning experience continues remotely, and all practical production activities and film productions will be rescheduled. We will ensure that your learning goals, filmmaking experience, and qualifications are not harmed.

How will I be supported?

Met Film School has various digital platforms which we use to deliver online learning and support to students when not on the campus. You will also be supported by your programme team, and the School’s Student Services and Academic Support team – which you will also be able to access online if you should have any problems.

What happens to my laptop if I have to start my course online?

If you are on a programme which includes getting a laptop from MetFilm School, you will get the laptop when you arrive in London and start on campus. If you are delayed by a longer period that initially anticipated, please stay in touch with us and we will give you further guidance.


REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS ARRIVING IN THE UK FROM OVERSEAS

What are the compulsory UK government requirements for people arriving in the UK?

Arrival procedure for students travelling to the UK from overseas

Different restrictions apply to students arriving from overseas (known as the traffic light system) depending on the level of risk. Risk will be based on factors such as the level of community transmission, variants of concern, levels of testing, genomic sequencing and reporting. This will provide the UK government with the flexibility to adapt to the evolving health situation around the world whilst keeping our borders open. Countries will be sorted into three categories:

  • red list countries – high-risk countries
  • amber list countries – moderate-risk countries
  • green list countries – low-risk countries

Students will need to comply with the following measures, depending on which country they have departed from/travelled through in the preceding 10 days:

Measure Green Amber Red
Passenger locator form Yes Yes Yes
Pre-departure test Yes Yes Yes
Managed quarantine at hotel No No 10 days
Self-isolation at own accommodation No 10 days N/A
Test to release N/A On day 5 No
PCR testing On or before day 2 On or before day 2 On or before day 2
Further PCR testing No Day 8 Day 8

Students should refer to the latest information on country risk levels before travelling.

Before arriving in the UK, all students should:

  • check the very latest information on entering the UK
  • ensure you arrive in the UK ON or AFTER the day your Student Visa begins (early arrivals will be required to leave the UK and return on the correct date)
  • inform their provider when they intend to arrive on campus so that they can be appropriately supported
  • check the arrivals procedure for the country that they are travelling from or through, and whether that country is on the red, amber or green list
  • ensure that, prior to departing for England, they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of departure – more information on pre-departure testing is available
  • book and pay for a travel test package which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and – in some instances – on or after day 8. More information about quarantine testing is available
  • complete a passenger locator form upon arrival
  • check whether the country they are travelling from is a ‘red list’ country, meaning they will need to complete their quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. These students should see the guidance for students who have been in or transited through, a ‘red list’ country (see below) in the last 10 days
  • while travelling, remember to follow the safer travel guidelines, and plan ahead to avoid busy times
  • speak to their travel insurer
Guidance for students who have transited through a red list county in the last 10 days

Students should be aware that the UK has introduced travel bans for arrivals from some countries (otherwise referred to as ‘red’ countries) as part of measures taken to protect the UK from new strands of COVID-19. The ‘red list’ will be regularly updated.

British and Irish Nationals, or third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK – including international students – will still be able to enter the UK if they have been in or transited through a ‘red’ country in the last 10 days, but they will be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival for ten days. Residence rights includes those with an entry clearance or visa that grants such leave, for example, students, holders of existing leave to enter or remain such as those students with biometric residence permits, and holders of EU Settlement Scheme (‘EUSS’) leave.

Individuals who have been in, or transited through, a ‘red list’ country in the last 10 days and who are not British or Irish Nationals, or third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will not be granted entry to the country. The cost of quarantining in a hotel will be borne by the traveller. Students must book the managed quarantine package in advance of travelling. More information on booking and staying in a quarantine hotel is available.

Students cannot use the Test to Release scheme if they have been in or through ‘red list’ countries in the 10 days before they arrive in England.

Students should review the full red list country guidance available here.

Guidance for students who have transited through an amber list country in the last 10 days

All international arrivals who have departed or transited through an amber list country outside the Common Travel Area should self-isolate immediately in their own accommodation for 10 days when they arrive in the UK.

When students arrive in England, they must travel directly to the place they are staying and not leave until 10 days have passed. They should:

Students travelling from an amber country, who do not need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel, may be able to exit self-isolation early via Test to Release.

International arrivals from amber list countries have the option to reduce their self-isolation period by taking a COVID-19 test from a private testing provider 5 full days after arriving in England, with a negative result releasing them from the need to self-isolate. Read the Test to Release for international travel guidance. Look at the list of providers of tests for Test to Release.

Students planning to use the Test to Release scheme must still book a travel test package and take a test on or before day 2, unless they are exempt. Even if individuals get a negative result from their Test to Release and are released from self-isolation, they will still need to take a test on or after day 8 if travelling from an amber list country to check that they do not have COVID-19.

Students who have chosen to self-isolate for 10 days instead of taking a private Test to Release are not expected to take a further LFD test (administered by their HE provider) at the end of their self-isolation period when they initially return to campus.

This information is also available as a document.

Guidance for students who have transited through a green-list country in the last 10 days

International arrivals that have transited through a green list country do not have to self-isolate in their accommodation or enter managed quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival, but they are required to:

  • ensure that prior to departing for England they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of departure – more information on pre-departure testing is available
  • book a travel test package before travelling to the UK. This involves taking a COVID-19, test on or before day 2 for variant surveillance. Students should use the booking portal to book their travel test package
  • complete a passenger locator form upon arrival
  • ensure they follow public health guidance: to reduce social contact, maintain social distance, adopt good hand and respiratory hygiene measures, and self-isolate and get tested if they have symptoms

All international students should get tested twice a week after arrival at their HE provider, as is the case for the rest of the student population.

This information is also available as a document.

Points of advice for those self-isolating in shared accommodation
  • You should avoid shared spaces as much as possible – including as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas
  • everyone should wash their hands lots of times during the day – do this for 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • always cough and sneeze into a tissue – then throw the tissue away and wash your hands
  • in communal areas, try to stay at least two metres away from other people as much as possible
  • think about wearing a face covering when you are in the same room as another member of the household
  • use a different bathroom if possible. If you use the same bathroom clean it each time after you use it. Wipe all surfaces you have touched using strong household cleaner (disinfectant)
  • use different towels
  • do not share a bed
  • do not use the kitchen at the same time
  • clean surfaces that you often touch several times a day with a household cleaner/detergent
  • use a dishwasher – if this is not possible, wash and dry each person’s things separately
  • use a different sponge and tea towel for each person
  • do not shake dirty washing before putting it in the washing machine – if you do not have a washing machine, wait three days after your staying at home period ends before taking it to be washed
  • put rubbish such as tissues and disposable wiping cloths into rubbish bags that are tied shut, then put these bags inside a second bag – you should wait three days before you put them outside for the rubbish collection
  • while you are self-isolating arrange for food and medication to be delivered
  • tell people delivering things to your home to leave them outside and let you know they are there – they must not come into your home
  • do not use taxis or public transport and do not allow social visits from friends and family – use your phone and social media to keep in touch.
How to order food in self-isolation?

If you are self-isolating with friends or relatives, please arrange for help for food to be delivered to you, observing social distancing guidelines.

If you are in accommodation on your own, your best option may be supermarket deliveries. For example, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Waitrose all offer a delivery service which can be booked online. If you are encountering issues with the food you can contact: wellbeing@metfilmschool.ac.uk for advice.

What do I do if I develop Covid-19 symptoms while in self-isolation?

Please follow the UK government instructions and National Health Service guidelines if you develop coronavirus symptoms while in self-isolation.

If you have a confirmed case of Covid-19 you must let us know.

Can I study while I am self-isolating?

Yes. you can enrol online, undertake our pre-induction course and start your studies while you are self-isolating. There will also be induction activities and materials.

What can I do for my own wellbeing?

Our Wellbeing Team recommend the following resources for you:

What activities are available at MetFilm School?
  • If you are self-isolating before your course starts, there is a pre-induction course which you are encouraged to engage with. It has references to a lot of viewing and reading materials which will both entertain you and prepare you for your programme.
  • You will also be invited to join the Virtual Grindhouse, our online community, where you will find guest speakers, opportunities, and other information.
  • Once your course starts, you will be able to engage with your learning online until you are able to join the course in person.
What sources of advice are available at MetFilm School?
  • Counselling
  • Disability & Mental Health
  • General wellbeing
  • Finance & funding advice
  • Local medical services information

Complaints

What steps can I take if I'm not happy with any aspect of provision or service and I'd like to raise my concerns?

If at any point you are not happy with the Schools action (or lack of action) in relation to any aspect of your experience (including teaching) you can provide us with feedback by raising it with your course manager, course leader or a member of Student Services staff. You can also provide feedback which is formally noted through the student representation system. Staff are usually very responsive to student concerns. In the rare event that you remain unhappy after discussing your concerns with staff, you can contact the Student Complaints Team: complaints@metfilmschool.ac.uk.