Students & Mitigation Evidence: A Way Forward Sarah Wilmer Student Adviser Leeds Beckett Students Union Advice Service Leeds Beckett Student Union Advice Service We are a team comprising of six Student Advisers and an Advice Service Manager. We offer practical advice to students on internal university procedures, housing (we are a CAB for students). We are open on a daily basis for students to drop in but students can also access our services via telephone and email.
We undertake training internally within the university and externally with Shelter/NHAS, Advice UK/CPAG. The Student Population in Leeds There are 60,000 students in higher education across Leeds: 1) Leeds University 2) Leeds Beckett University 3) Leeds Trinity University 4) Leeds Arts University 5) Leeds Music College 6) The Northern School of Contemporary Dance 7) Leeds City College Leeds has one dedicated student medical practice in the city centre and seven other practices within the main student areas of Leeds.
Leeds Beckett University Mitigation Process A Fit To Sit Policy was implemented in September 2013 after a consultation with university staff and the Students Union Students mitigate before handing in an assessment to seek an extension or to defer assessment before sitting an exam Information is available to students on the university website/ through academic and admin staff/support staff Also via the student union website and advice service The universitys four faculties have now been divided into 13 academic schools and mitigation panels sit on a monthly basis Evidence Students are asked to provide evidence of their mitigating circumstances
Health issues: evidence from a GP. This can be expensive 10.00/40.00 and not immediately available. For mental health related issues: Evidence from university counselling or, GP or other specialist agency. For other personal issues i.e. Bereavement. A death certificate is required to be shown. However should a student have to provide other evidence of how this issue may be affecting them? Work that Student Advisers have undertaken. Sat in as observers on mitigation panels Contacted 9 GP surgeries in the main student areas of Leeds Met with three GP practices and spoke with GPs/practice managers and other specialist support staff within the surgeries We found different opening hours/different ways of accessing
appointments/charges for supporting evidence The main feedback from GPs was that they are under pressure. Their main function is seeing patients & patient referrals. Letters for university mitigation is not part of their core work and is therefore a service that carries a charge. Other issues: Does your university consider these circumstances for student mitigation? Separation & Divorce Bereavement Homelessness
Domestic Violence Caring Responsibilities Eviction /Repossession Arranged Marriage & Honour Based Violence Family Breakdown Court Process Assault
Illness of partner/family member Redundancy Mitigation Evidence: A Way Forward Self certification for short term illness Other external support services
Fit note from GP Evidence Student Services From academic staff Leeds Health and Wellbeing Partnership meeting for post-16 education
Established in 2014 What is it? A meeting that takes place 3 times in an academic year, bringing together all the providers of post-16 education in the city to discuss student health related issues. The 3 themes we look at each year mental health, drugs and alcohol and sexual health. We invite Leeds based agencies to talk about the services they can provide to students. We aim this year to feed back to the Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). At the present time, mental health issues are the most prevalent. Moving Forward Our service will feed into any review of the university mitigation process in the 2019/2020 academic year
Part of our feedback will concentrate on issues surrounding mitigation evidence As part of our ongoing outreach, we will revisit contact with the 9 GP surgeries within the main student areas of Leeds Our outreach work with university staff teams continues Our team will also look at innovate ways in promoting the university mitigation procedure to all of our students
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