I don't know if it was agreed or not, because it was so close to the exams when they were asking, anyway, it is quite an intimidating atmosphere - there were about 200 people... I just felt very small and didn't want to put my hand up now in front of all these people and say, 'Can I have extra time?'
Ruth, 1st year, Diploma Social Work
On occasion academic staff will be approached by a disabled student for a request regarding assessment issues.
- A dyslexic student tells you that when you mark their essay they should not lose marks for spelling and grammar;
- You give a class test and a student comes to you before the start to tell you they will need 25% extra time;
- A blind student asks for brailled copies of past examination papers.
Most universities now have an assessment policy that is intended for use across all departments. In all cases when dealing with such a request you should refer to your own university's assessment policy.
However, it is good practice to be proactive in providing arrangements for disabled students and below are a few suggestions that you might consider:
- Obtain a list from your disability office or from the student records database so that you are aware of the number of students on their course who may require arrangements for disabled students.
- Disseminate information about provision for disabled students. This could take the form of a poster put up some time before the examination period begins or handing out information in lectures about the assessment policy for your university.
[ Download a sample poster in MS Word format. ]
- Course Leaders/Year Tutors might keep a central record of arrangements that are made for individual students. This will ensure that arrangements are made for the students in following years and will provide a measure of the level of support that each department or course is offering to disabled students during assessment periods.
If you are a member of staff in the Demos universities you may refer to your local policy which is listed below. Staff from other universities should refer to their own policies but may wish to read the policies of our universities to get an idea of what is available.
- University of Manchester :
- Awards and Examinations Office: Arrangements for Students with Additional Support Needs.
- Manchester Metropolitan University :
- Learning Support Unit: Examination and Assessment for Disabled Students.
- University of Salford :
- Salford Exams Policy (Rich Text Format file, 18Kb).
- Guidelines on the use of readers in examinations (Rich Text Format file, 19Kb).
- Guidelines on the use of amanuenses (scribes) in examinations (Rich Text Format file, 16Kb).
- UMIST :
- (available soon)
This website is a useful starting point for staff from other universities in the UK :