Guidance for staff on student administration and support
The role of the Proctors in relation to disabled students is to give approval for examination adjustments, investigate alleged misconduct, taking disability into account if necessary, and investigate complaints or academic appeals including disability-related factors affecting performance after examinations.
The Proctors, via the Examinations Administration Processes team (EAP), are responsible for agreeing adjustments for examinations. Students who have registered their disability with the Disability Advisory Service should apply for adjustments through their college Senior Tutor. Non-matriculated students should apply through their department Disability Lead. Typical adjustments may include extra time, use of a word processor, coloured paper, additional time for rests and timetabling requests. Special arrangements for other forms of examinations, such as vivas, may also be requested.
The adjustments should be specified either by the Disability Advisory Service or by a medical doctor through a medical certificate. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for the correct documentation from a medical professional or Disability Advisory Service. For students registered with the disability service, colleges should apply for special adjustments through the Disability Advisory Service who will send the request to the EAP team with the necessary documentation. For students who are not disabled but who have a medical condition, the request for special adjustments should be sent by the college directly to the EAP team accompanied by the medical certificate which specifies the adjustments requested.
The request for adjustments is made in the context of the normal examination arrangements, normal practice within the University and any special case set out for the student. The student has the right of appeal to Education Committee if the Proctors do not allow the adjustments requested. Students should apply for reasonable adjustments well in advance of their examinations, preferably in the Michaelmas Term. Where appropriate, once approval has been given for alternative arrangements, this will be valid for all University examinations taken during the course of study. However, it is the responsibility of the candidate to apply for any changes to the arrangements and to inform the EAP team of any material change in circumstances that might affect the suitability of the arrangements.
The Proctors cannot dispense individual examination candidates from the provisions of the regulations (eg to take examinations in different formats, to miss or defer taking written papers, to submit work late, or to have additional re-sit opportunities). Applications for these types of adjustments must be made to Education Committee via Senior Tutors or other responsible college officers. Students with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) or other disabilities can apply, in exceptional cases, to Education Committee for their courses to be structured differently (eg taken over a longer period) and for the mode or timing of examinations to be modified. Such needs must be discussed with the relevant Senior Tutor once the student’s place at Oxford has been confirmed.
The Proctors are also responsible for investigating alleged misconduct in breach of the University Regulations. If a disabled student is accused of a disciplinary offence, the Proctors should be informed of the disability where this is relevant to the case. If the student wishes to have the disability taken into account as a mitigating factor, appropriate medical evidence should be provided. If the student is asked to attend the Proctors for an initial interview, the student should inform the Proctors of any special arrangements required, or ask their college or Disability Advisory Service tutor to do so on their behalf. These might include requirements for physical access, relating to sensory needs, breaks in the interview, whether the person should be accompanied by a carer or mentor (this would be in addition to their normal right to be accompanied by a member of the University). The Proctors will ensure that, as far as is reasonable, suitable arrangements are provided. Similar arrangements will be provided if the student is referred to a Student Disciplinary Panel. The Proctors will inform the Secretary to the panel of the arrangements required, with the consent of the student.
Disabled students who wish to make a complaint or academic appeal should follow the standard procedure.
If a student feels that during or after an examination they have been disadvantaged in that examination due to their disability, or a disability has been retrospectively diagnosed, the student should apply to the Examinations and Assessment team through their college with an appropriate medical certificate under Part 13 of the Examination Regulations. Information submitted in this way before the final meeting of the Board will be forwarded to the examiners.
Where students wish to make the examiners aware of factors affecting their performance after the final Exam Board meeting, they should apply to the Proctors within three months of the publication of results. The Proctors will only forward medical or other information to the Examiners after the final meeting if one of the following criteria is met:
The candidate’s condition was such as to prevent them from making an earlier submission;
The candidate’s condition was not known or diagnosed until after the final meeting of the examiners;
There has been a procedural error that has prevented the candidate’s information from being submitted.
Disability Advisory Service
3 Worcester Street
Tel: 01865 280459