116 Additional consideration processes should be part of a wider framework of study skills and other support, so that students are encouraged to develop good study habits and the resilience to deal with life events in the same way that an employee might be expected to do at work. Early intervention where a student appears to be experiencing difficulties is key. The aim should be that students only need to use the additional consideration process if their circumstances are severe and have had a significant impact on their performance or ability to study.
117 A student who makes repeated requests for additional consideration may have an underlying issue and may need additional support. It is important that providers can spot those students so that they get the help they need. This may mean involving the provider’s mental health or disability support staff or asking the student to seek medical help or advice. Providers should therefore have mechanisms in place to identify when a student is making repeated use of the additional consideration process. Repeated use of the process should trigger a conversation with the student about their support needs.
118 More formal support for study (or fitness to study) processes can be followed when there are concerns that a student’s mental or physical health is significantly affecting their ability to participate fully and effectively in their academic studies, or life generally at the provider. The additional consideration process should explain when, and under what circumstances, a student may be referred to the support for study procedure. The aim of a support for study process is to assess whether students who have a pattern of ill-health or prolonged ill-health need additional support to continue with their studies, or whether they may need to take time out from their studies. Annex 1 contains guidance on support for study processes.
CASE STUDY 13: Identifying students who need additional support
A student asks for additional consideration several times during their first year. The student says they are finding it difficult to cope with their studies and with life in general. Separately, the student’s personal tutor notices that they are frequently absent and that when they do attend, they appear withdrawn and say they haven’t slept or eaten properly. When the student makes another request for additional consideration, the provider refers the student to its support for study process. The provider meets with the student and encourages them to make an appointment with its counselling service and to see their GP. Additional support is put in place for the student and they successfully complete their first year.