The Student Room Group

Extenuating Circumstances was accepted and rejected again

I have been facing mental health issues and due to this, I didn’t sit for my final year exam. I have submitted an ECs but as I didn’t have a GP letter, it was rejected. Later, I got a letter from GP but the deadline for submitting ECs/Academic Appeal was well over. I still managed to extend the deadline from my uni as I had evidence from GP of not being able to submit during the time period.

My Personal Tutor emailed me and confirmed that my ECs was accepted but three days later, I got an email from Academic Appeal stating my ECS was rejected due to no sufficient evidence and also they mentioned that the submission was way over deadline and also stated that my mental health issue was used before and cannot be a reason for late submission. Can anyone help me with this? I am currently a student in Brunel University
Reply 1
Hey, I’m so sorry that you’re facing these troubles. I’ve been in the same situation as you at a different university and it made me feel so anxious and depressed. Universities need to understand that not everybody is able to get a letter from the GP for mental health reasons, if they understood anything about mental health they’d know that it’s hard to get out of bed, let alone schedule doctors appointments or physically go out to visit them.

What year are you in at university? It is unlikely that you will be withdrawn from your course, as there are usually procedures put in place for you to be reassessed and referred or deferred with your modules. You may asked to resit these in the upcoming academic year separately or alongside your other modules, and sometimes these can be capped if you haven’t had your EC request accepted.

It is rather strange how they had been accepted then rejected by the board, so try and schedule a meeting with your tutor or an academic adviser to talk this through and explain your situation. It is horrific that you can only use mental health as an extenuating circumstance only once, as these issues are rarely overcome within a short period of time. I would recommend appealing this and filing a complaint if otherwise.

Stay strong! I hope everything will improve for you soon
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
I have been facing mental health issues and due to this, I didn’t sit for my final year exam. I have submitted an ECs but as I didn’t have a GP letter, it was rejected. Later, I got a letter from GP but the deadline for submitting ECs/Academic Appeal was well over. I still managed to extend the deadline from my uni as I had evidence from GP of not being able to submit during the time period.

My Personal Tutor emailed me and confirmed that my ECs was accepted but three days later, I got an email from Academic Appeal stating my ECS was rejected due to no sufficient evidence and also they mentioned that the submission was way over deadline and also stated that my mental health issue was used before and cannot be a reason for late submission. Can anyone help me with this? I am currently a student in Brunel University

Here's what I think has happened (I do this every day):

The University are already aware of mental health issues from prior MCs and so accept that this is an ongoing thing. Presumably, you told them this previously, within the deadlines for MCs. Tis is good but it has also shot you in the foot a little, as I will explain.

You've told them once, on time, about mental health issues. So from the assessor's perspective, you should have told them on time this time too, and not left it so late. This is actually the standard line at basically every institution in the country. This is likely why they are saying it can't be used as a reason for the late submission rather than 'it can't be used as a reason for an MC claim' more broadly. Getting retrospective MCs is incredibly difficult. I've seen it happen in places I work about 4 times in the past 6 years.

If you were/are final year, withdrawal is generally a possibility for failure of a unit. I don't say that to scare you, but to know what you might be facing. You need to get onto this ASAP. it is also possible that they work something else out, a retake year (with or without attendance), an exit award etc. But you should know all possible outcomes.

The sticking point for me is really that they appear to have accepted them and then changed their mind. This, if accurate, is highly irregular.

Did the AA/PT say they had been 'accepted' or that they had been 'received' (or similar) - there is a difference and it is not usual to have AA/PTs directly involved with the MC panels. A lot of the time, AA/PTs are not even directly notified of outcomes.

If it is accurate then you might be able to appeal something on the grounds of the mark itself, administrative error or procedural misstep. To do this you really need to get your head together with the Student Union. Your AA/PT usually can't help much with this because it's a conflict of interests.

For steps you should take, I'd speak to the SU (I believe at Brunel it is ARC that you need).

I'd be reading the Appeals literature and I'd particularly note Paragraph 9 in order to claim for an extended timeframe for your appeal. The regulations can be 'reasonably adjusted' to allow for criteria in the Equality Act 2010 to be satisfied. I'd try to push this request because (this depends on a diagnosis) you have a long-term mental health issue which satisfies the criteria set out in Section 6 para (1) Equality Act 2010:

A person (P) has a disability if—
(a) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

As per MIND, you need to demonstrate the following to class your mental health as a disability, and you do that by demonstrating that it:

has more than a small effect on your everyday life
makes things more difficult for you, and
has lasted at least 12 months, is likely to last 12 months, or (if your mental health problem has improved) that it is likely to recur.

If you can demonstrate this stuff, then my gut instinct is that they might be open to reconsidering their initial position - it is worth reading this and seeing if you can bring it to bear in your favour. You will likely need the help and support of a GP or other mental health practitioner. I've seen private therapist letters help with stuff like this.

Apologies for the wall of text, and best of luck.
Original post by gjd800
Here's what I think has happened (I do this every day):

The University are already aware of mental health issues from prior MCs and so accept that this is an ongoing thing. Presumably, you told them this previously, within the deadlines for MCs. Tis is good but it has also shot you in the foot a little, as I will explain.

You've told them once, on time, about mental health issues. So from the assessor's perspective, you should have told them on time this time too, and not left it so late. This is actually the standard line at basically every institution in the country. This is likely why they are saying it can't be used as a reason for the late submission rather than 'it can't be used as a reason for an MC claim' more broadly. Getting retrospective MCs is incredibly difficult. I've seen it happen in places I work about 4 times in the past 6 years.

If you were/are final year, withdrawal is generally a possibility for failure of a unit. I don't say that to scare you, but to know what you might be facing. You need to get onto this ASAP. it is also possible that they work something else out, a retake year (with or without attendance), an exit award etc. But you should know all possible outcomes.

The sticking point for me is really that they appear to have accepted them and then changed their mind. This, if accurate, is highly irregular.

Did the AA/PT say they had been 'accepted' or that they had been 'received' (or similar) - there is a difference and it is not usual to have AA/PTs directly involved with the MC panels. A lot of the time, AA/PTs are not even directly notified of outcomes.

If it is accurate then you might be able to appeal something on the grounds of the mark itself, administrative error or procedural misstep. To do this you really need to get your head together with the Student Union. Your AA/PT usually can't help much with this because it's a conflict of interests.

For steps you should take, I'd speak to the SU (I believe at Brunel it is ARC that you need).

I'd be reading the Appeals literature and I'd particularly note Paragraph 9 in order to claim for an extended timeframe for your appeal. The regulations can be 'reasonably adjusted' to allow for criteria in the Equality Act 2010 to be satisfied. I'd try to push this request because (this depends on a diagnosis) you have a long-term mental health issue which satisfies the criteria set out in Section 6 para (1) Equality Act 2010:

A person (P) has a disability if—
(a) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

As per MIND, you need to demonstrate the following to class your mental health as a disability, and you do that by demonstrating that it:

has more than a small effect on your everyday life
makes things more difficult for you, and
has lasted at least 12 months, is likely to last 12 months, or (if your mental health problem has improved) that it is likely to recur.

If you can demonstrate this stuff, then my gut instinct is that they might be open to reconsidering their initial position - it is worth reading this and seeing if you can bring it to bear in your favour. You will likely need the help and support of a GP or other mental health practitioner. I've seen private therapist letters help with stuff like this.

Apologies for the wall of text, and best of luck.

PRSOM
Reply 4
PRSOM

Thank you for your answer. Yes I’m currently in my final year. I had a total of 5 modules including my dissertation. I have not sit for 4 of the modules in May/June. I have also failed 2 mid terms exams and those modules were later withdrawn. I have contacted TPO, Student Union, Academic Appeals team, my personal tutor and any other relevant staff regarding this and none of them can answer why my modules were withdrawn. After doing some research, I found that resits con only be done for up to 40 credits. Due to that, they might withdrawn 2 modules and allowed me to resit for 2 (capped at D-) and was told that I will be eligible to get Ordinary Degree at most.

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