Swansea University

Appendix One

Students Requiring Specific Provisions and the Assessment Process

Each College may determine whether to form one College Special Cases Committee or whether to hold such boards at subject/discipline level.

Summary of Guidelines

  1. Any student who, for whatever reason, requests special allowance/consideration with regard to assessment, must make his/her needs known and be prepared to produce appropriate supporting evidence. [Principle A1]
  2. Long-Term, particularly medical, conditions should be scrutinized by the Disability Office in consultation with the College and the student concerned, with a view to drawing up an assessment regime which is practical, meets the individual’s needs and is acceptable to all parties.   Arrangements must be formalized and all parties concerned must sign an agreement. [Principle A1-6]
  3. The College concerned shall deal with short-term problems, although, where appropriate, they may wish to consult with the Disability Office. [Principle A7-13]
  4. Each College should set up a Special Circumstances Committee to deal with such cases.  It should meet as often as is appropriate to hear cases and to make recommendations on assessment to the Examining Board. Each College should also designate a member of staff to be a College Disability Officer and initiate a system whereby information on students requiring special provision can be recorded and maintained. [Principle A7]
  5. Each College Special Circumstances Committee should adopt the same procedures and use similar criteria.
  6. In the case of Joint Honours students requiring special allowance/consideration, the College Special Circumstances Committee involved should consult to make sure that the student is subject to consistent treatment.
  7. In a few very special cases, the College may have to adopt individual assessment regimes, which must be approved by the Chair of the University Progression and Awards Board.
    Double compensation of extenuating circumstances must be avoided.   Consequently, cases where allowance has been made should always be signalled.
  8. The University produces the following guides which Colleges may also wish to refer to:
    ‘Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties: A document on good practices including marking guidelines’
    ‘Policy on Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)’
    Both documents are available from the Disability Office.

Students Requiring Specific Provisions and the Assessment Process

Principles

A1

It is the student’s responsibility to inform the relevant College of any disability or of any extenuating circumstances, which might require special provision for assessment.   Students must be prepared to produce appropriate documentation in support. Their request, whether resulting from long-term disability or short-term circumstances, should be set out on a special form, common to the whole University, and supported, where possible, with written evidence.

A2

In the case of long-term disability, the Disability Office may be aware of many such cases prior to the students’ enrolling at the University. However, the original letter sent to new entrants, and University and College handbooks etc, should explain the need to register their claim.  The College should then ensure that all students wishing to make such a claim, are brought to the attention of the Disability Office.

A3

The Disability Office presently assesses students with long-term problems in order to provide for their needs. This evaluation of circumstance shall, in future, include recommendations as to necessary measures for assessment. In cooperation with the student and the College, the Disability Office will make an assessment of the student, taking into account appropriate medical or other advice.  If difficulties with assessment are foreseen, the Disability Office will make recommendations for a pattern of compensatory measures, in terms of extra time for exams, amanuenses, computer aid etc, as part of the normal assessment of the student.  It must be stressed that the role of the College representative in such consultations is not to evaluate the circumstances, but merely to inform the Disability Office of the nature of assessment within the College in question.

A4

Claimants should receive a statement of the compensatory measures, duly dated, and sign a declaration of acceptance.

A5

In the case of long-term disability, it may well be necessary to provide a variety of regimes for particular cases, based on an assessment made by the Disability Office. It is not ruled out that more than one session may be required for an examination, or that examinations may have to be timetabled in a different way from other students.

A6

Once the Disability Office has made an assessment and recommended compensatory measures, students in receipt of them may not be granted any further relief or aid in respect of this assessed need. Work shall be marked in accordance with the College’s marking conventions. If it is claimed that a condition has changed, application can be made to the Disability Office for a further assessment. Students should be warned, however, that such assessments cannot be applied retrospectively to increase allowances. It is, of course, recognised that some students with long-term problems may also develop short-term difficulties; these can be dealt with in accordance with the University’s Policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment.

A7

Every College should establish a Special Circumstances Committee.

A8

Special Circumstances Committee meetings shall be minuted.

A9

Special Circumstances Committees shall deal with all requests for special treatment:

  1. Long-term, usually medical, conditions. Special Circumstances Committees have a responsibility to ensure that the register of those students within their jurisdiction, who have asked for relief on these grounds, is up to date. The record held by the College should match the records held and circulated by the Disability Office. This will enable it to take heed of Principle A6 above;
  2. short-term and temporary circumstances.

A10

The Special Circumstances Committee should deal with any requests concerning coursework. Special requests concerning examinations are dealt with by the Chair of the University's Progression and Awards Board.

A11

It is suggested that requests for extensions of time for coursework (in whatever form) or other special considerations, be dealt with as closely as possible to the time when the work is handed in or otherwise completed.   Decisions must always be minuted.

A12

Where the College Special Circumstances Committee needs further advice to deal with a matter of concern, it shall consult with the Disability Office.

A13

The Special Circumstances Committee shall meet, as convenient, to deal with business, but always immediately before the convening of the College Examination Board and shall report and make recommendations to that Board. It should be noted that the final point of decision, as far as College is concerned, remains their Examining Board.

Particular and Exceptional Cases

It is anticipated that cases such as these will be few.

It is recognised that there will, from time to time, be cases which require very individual assessment regimes, which differ radically from those in force generally in College(s) concerned. Such need may arise from long-term or short-term cases. The suitability of any assessment regime should be agreed between the Disability Office and the College(s) concerned, and shall then be referred to the Chair of the University’s Progression and Awards Board for approval.

In any case where the Disability Office and a College or Colleges are having difficulty in arriving at an agreed assessment regime, the final decision shall rest with the Chair of the University Progression and Awards Board.