COVID FLEXIBILITY PROMISE. Find out how you can book with confidence here
Magdalen College Oxford

Our COVID-19 Response

Oxford Royale Academy is committed to delivering the same award-winning educational experiences within a safe and secure environment this summer. We have worked hard to ensure that our summer school programmes can operate in a COVID safe environment, and follow UK government guidelines on COVID safety.

We also understand the need for payment flexibility in these uncertain times and are happy to announce new flexible payment options for all new bookings to reflect this.

COVID Flexibility Promise

In uncertain times, we understand how important flexible booking arrangements are to our customers and students. We are therefore pleased to offer you an unrivalled flexibility package, designed to provide you with complete peace-of-mind when making your summer school booking.

For new customers booking after 1st August 2020, we offer an industry-leading COVID FLEXIBILITY PROMISE covering the following circumstances:

  1. Full refund if you cancel your booking, for any reason, before 30th April 2021.
  2. Full refund if UK government legislation obliges us to cancel all of our on-campus summer schools in 2021.

We are also pleased to offer:

  1. Free deferral of your booking to Summer 2022 when you notify us 30 days or more before your scheduled course start date.
  2. Free conversion to an online course delivered as part of our Oxford Summer School Online 2021 when you notify us 30 days or more before your scheduled course start date.
  3. Free transfer of your booking to a later session in Summer 2021 when you notify us 30 days or more before your scheduled course start date.

If you have questions about our flexibility package, or regarding any aspect of our safety regulations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


COVID Plan 2021

COVID restrictions and vaccine/treatment options are advancing at great speed and we’ve every reason to be hopeful. This plan gives you a clear idea of how we foresee running Summer 2021 given the information currently available. We will revisit this regularly to ensure that our plan is in line with the most recent global and local advice and best practice in all of our locations.


Our Safety Measures


Our small class sizes, large, well-ventilated classrooms, and access to outside space allow us the confidence to plan for lessons to be as collaborative and active as always. Students and their teachers will sit at a distance from one another as they work together, will sanitise their hands regularly, and may be asked to wear masks depending on the environment. This might mean that we limit the class sizes in some cases to ensure that there is enough space. Students who are isolating during class time but who feel well enough to join in with lessons will be able to beam into lessons online and interact as they would if they were there in person. This will also be true of all activities where this is at all possible.

We commit to supporting students in making up for lost time academically during this programme, and reigniting their enthusiasm for learning and making plans for their future.


Students everywhere have missed out on so much this year and we are committed to ensuring this summer is packed full of all the activities we can manage safely. We have a team of creative counsellors already planning for socially distanced fun – yoga in the college gardens, literary walking tours, outdoor drama productions and comedy evenings, and film nights on picnic blankets in the college quad. Our team are always ready to react to students’ own interests and ideas too.

Guest speakers

We have a fantastic panel of world-renowned speakers who love joining our programmes to address our interested students. In past years our students have been inspired by Richard Dawkins, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Shami Chakrabarti, Sir Andrew Motion, and a whole host of Oxford academics keen to share their own research, from working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, to emerging PTSD interventions, and Malaria tracking in Africa. This year our speakers may need to present by video link but they will be as open to taking questions and being part of discussions with our students as ever they have been.


We are so fortunate to have so many world famous sites on our doorstep. Even if we are unable to leave our cities this summer we will still have access to some of the most fascinating museums, libraries, world heritage sites and architecture in the world.

We commit to ensuring students are able to experience everything we can possibly provide during their stay this summer.


We feel strongly that young people have missed crucial time together over the past year, and that there is a lot of time to be made up! One of the huge perks of an ORA summer is the opportunity to make close and lasting friendships with like-minded people from across the world.

Our past students write to us years after their last visit and tell us of friendships that have lasted far beyond their course. In whatever way we can manage safely, our students will spend as much time together as they would like to this summer, challenging one another, supporting one another, and having as much fun as possible.


We will be allocating single rooms only this summer, and students will be prevented from visiting one another’s rooms, in order to ensure any student who needs to isolate is able. This summer we are unlikely to allow visitors to our programme.

Our host colleges have been operating successfully and safely throughout 2020 and have enhanced their own health and safety significantly.

Shared areas such as bathrooms and staircases will be deep-cleaned more regularly, windows will be open, hand sanitiser will be readily available, and no one but ORA students and staff will have access to shared areas during our programmes.


We think meal times are such an important time for coming together, for challenging, academic discussion, and for forging friendships. August dining halls make for the perfect environment to stimulate and inspire such discussion. These halls have been used by university students this year, and providing we are confident we can distance students safely we will make full use of these facilities too. Regardless, students will be provided with nutritious, catered meals throughout their programme as important fuel for jam-packed days!

Airport transfers

It is likely this year that we will arrange airport transfers as individual taxis rather than coaches. Many of our students have preferred this option in the past in any case. Please contact us regarding siblings or friends travelling together.

Medical facilities

We have always worked with a fantastic team of local nurses who take great care of our students on site, and are registered with a GP to whom all of our students have access should they need it. We have world renowned hospitals minutes from our colleges and open to all.


We will have clear and cautious advice surrounding the wearing of masks on our programmes which will be illustrated in all shared areas and enforced by staff. We will make masks available to all students and staff who do not have their own.


We will provide Covid-19 testing for all of our staff in advance of the programme, for any staff member or student displaying symptoms, and any students who are particularly at risk. We are monitoring changing advice and protocol on testing.


Any student or staff member testing positive for Covid-19 will be asked to isolate in accordance with current guidance. Every effort will be made to ensure that students have remote access to any aspects of the programme they feel able to be part of during this time. Students who will be required to quarantine on arrival should contact us for guidance on how best to proceed.


Oxford Royale Academy may add or remove initiatives as part of its ‘Book With Confidence’ flexibility package from time to time, and does not guarantee that any particular initiative will remain available to new bookings for the duration of the 2020-21 academic year. Any initiative available at the time of booking will apply to the booking, but initiatives that have been withdrawn will not apply to new bookings. Initiatives that subsequently become available shall not apply to existing bookings unless Oxford Royale Academy chooses to extend them to existing bookings.