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Pregnancy, parenthood and childcare - CS072201

A student on a nursing course made an academic appeal against a fail grade for one module. The appeal was rejected.

The provider’s procedures allowed the student 10 working days to request a review of that decision. On the last day, the student asked the provider for an extension to the deadline, explaining that they had suffered a bereavement of a parent. The student was working full time, had four young children and was experiencing medical issues relating to their current pregnancy. The student was also waiting for input to their appeal from the students’ union and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). 

The provider allowed the student an extra 7 days to submit the forms, and told them to include reasons for requesting the extension, and evidence “if appropriate”. The student submitted the forms by the extended deadline and included evidence from medical professionals about their health during the pregnancy. 

The provider rejected the student’s request for a review because it was submitted late, in particular noting that the student didn’t include any evidence relating to the advice that they said they had been waiting for. The student complained to us. 

We decided that the complaint was Justified 

It is reasonable for providers to have deadlines for students to challenge its decisions. But this student had given several reasons why they had been unable to meet the deadline and had supplied some supporting evidence. The provider had not clearly explained that it needed evidence specifically about the involvement of the RCN or that the evidence about the student’s pregnancy-related medical issues was not on its own a sufficient reason to explain the late submission. 

We recommended that the provider should consider the student’s request for a review, as if it had been received in time, and that it should review its processes for considering extension requests. 

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