16 Occasionally, there may be circumstances that have a wider impact and that affect most or all students at a provider. For instance, students’ studies may be impacted by staff taking industrial action or by public health emergencies such as outbreaks of epidemic disease. Providers should normally take steps outside of their additional consideration processes to mitigate the disruption caused. In doing so, providers should think about the needs of individual students as well as students more generally. Such steps might include adjusting how teaching is delivered and when, changing assessment methods from exam to coursework or to online testing, only examining students on material that has been taught or delaying assessments until later in the year. It might also include taking the circumstances into account when making decisions about a student’s progression or degree classification, provided that can be done in a way that protects academic standards. Providers should communicate clearly and frequently with students and staff about the arrangements being considered, including expected timeframes for when they might be put in place.
17 There may be some students who benefit less than others from the arrangements made. For instance, a student who uses a scribe for exams may not have access to equivalent support if exams are replaced by online tests sat remotely. Delaying assessments until later in the year may impact students who have a deteriorating health condition. Some students may not have access to reliable fast broadband to benefit from online teaching and assessment; some may have additional caring responsibilities that take time away from their studies. Consequently, some students may need to use the additional consideration process when the impact of the disruption on them is particularly severe and is not mitigated adequately by the steps taken by the provider.