It is the direct responsibility of Divisions to ensure that the provision of non-subject specific training programmes for postgraduate students is consistent with the University’s responsibilities to ensure that disability-related issues are given appropriate consideration and that students have the opportunity to identify any requirements.
In the case of the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions, Divisional Offices are the point to which postgraduate requests for extensions are submitted by students who are funded by the AHRC and ESRC, in order that requests can be confirmed as consistent with funder regulations. Divisions may wish to consider whether they wish to extend this role to one of exercising broader oversight of disability-related extension requests in order to support consistency of response.
In their capacity of reviewing examiners’ reports, Divisional academic committees should be encouraged to exercise scrutiny in relation to disability issues. The Policy and Guidance for Examiners emphasises that examiners are obliged to consider evidence of circumstances which may have affected a candidate’s performance, even in cases where adjustments to examination have been agreed. Divisions should, as part of their role in scrutinising examiners’ reports, monitor them for evidence of any common issues in relation to examination arrangements for disabled students.
The use of the Common Framework as a vehicle for sharing good practice can be facilitated by divisional bodies providing appropriate forums (through existing committee structures, for example). Divisional offices should maintain a list of the departments, courses or training centres under their remit and identify the disability leads and coordinators responsible for disability provision in each case. They should ensure the Disability Advisory Service is provided with an accurate list and is advised of any changes of structure or personnel.