Extenuating Circumstances Form

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In order to respond to the current situation in the UK, in relation to the impact of COVID-19, the University of Sheffield has updated the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure to allow students to self-certify and report medical and personal circumstances, without the need to provide supporting evidence or the authority of a health care professional.

  • You must read the Extenuating Circumstances Form: Explanatory Notes before submitting the Extenuating Circumstances Form. This provides further information on what constitutes extenuating circumstances, and what delaying submission of an Extenuating Circumstances form may mean for the possibilities of receiving appropriate support and mitigation for your circumstances.
     
  • The downloadable form is a Word document that you can edit and save. You do not need to print the form in order to complete it.
     
  • Once you have completed the form, you need to email the completed Word document to your academic department.

Find out your academic department's email address 

If any absence is likely to be prolonged, e.g. your illness/medical condition may last for several weeks or months, you are strongly advised to apply for an official Leave of Absence.

If you are planning to take time off from your studies in the future, e.g. there are other personal circumstances which will necessitate a prolonged period of absence or you want to take an extended period of time out to undertake a non-compulsory work placement, you will need to apply for an official Leave of Absence.

If you are self-isolating:

You are not required to submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form (ECF) if you have to self-isolate, or to cover issues such as general levels of anxiety in relation to the pandemic, adjustment to learning via blended learning, or short-term/infrequent IT issues that do not affect/impact assessment.

If you have had to self-isolate, you should contact your academic department in the first instance. Please also let the University's support services know that you are self-isolating by completing the CV-19 Coronavirus self-isolation declaration Google form (which will be available from the week commencing 14 September 2020). The form will signpost you to the sources of welfare support available during this time. If you are simply following government guidance and staying at home in order to halt the spread of the virus, you do not need to complete the Google form.

It is important to stress however that your health and wellbeing and those of your fellow students is the first priority. As such, self-isolation for those too unwell to engage in online learning as stated by Public Health England is vital and doing so will not harm you academically, nor will it impact any Tier 4 visa restrictions for international students. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has indicated that it will work to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the situation.

What if I cannot complete my assessment because of COVID-19 or other circumstances?

If you think that you have symptoms of COVID-19, or you have been in close contact with someone with symptoms, please follow the guidance on self-isolation and do not visit your GP surgery.

If you have to self-isolate or your circumstances affect your ability to complete assessments, you should contact your academic department in the first instance.

Please also let the University's support services know that you are self-isolating by completing the CV-19 Coronavirus self-isolation declaration Google form (which will be available from week commencing 14th September). The form will signpost you to the sources of welfare support available during this time. If you are simply following government guidance and staying at home in order to halt the spread of the virus, you do not need to complete the Google form.

It is important to stress however that your health and wellbeing and those of your fellow students is the first priority. As such, self-isolation for those too unwell to engage in online learning as stated by Public Health England is vital and doing so will not harm you academically, nor will it impact any Tier 4 visa restrictions for international students. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has indicated that it will work to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the situation.

How long can I use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to self-certify for?

You can use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to self-certify for the full duration of the period covered by your extenuating circumstances.

Do I need evidence?

No. You can use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to self-certify. You do not need to provide evidence and you will be automatically be considered for mitigation in line with the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Procedural Guidance.

What if I have extenuating circumstances which are not COVID-19 related?

During the Autumn Semester of the 2020-21 academic session, you can self-certify for any valid extenuating circumstances using the Extenuating Circumstances Form.

You do not need to get supporting evidence and you will automatically be considered for mitigation in line with the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Procedural Guidance.

I'm worried about self-isolating and the consequences on my assessment. What should I do?

If you think that you have symptoms of COVID-19, or you have been in close contact with someone with symptoms, please follow the guidance on self-isolation and do not visit your GP surgery.

If you have to self-isolate or your circumstances affect your ability to complete assessments, you should contact your academic department in the first instance.

Please also let the University's support services know that you are self-isolating by completing the CV-19 Coronavirus self-isolation declaration Google form (which will be available from week commencing 14th September). The form will signpost you to the sources of welfare support available during this time. If you are simply following government guidance and staying at home in order to halt the spread of the virus, you do not need to complete the Google form.

It is important to stress however that your health and wellbeing and those of your fellow students is the first priority. As such, self-isolation for those too unwell to engage in online learning as stated by Public Health England is vital and doing so will not harm you academically, nor will it impact any Tier 4 visa restrictions for international students. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has indicated that it will work to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the situation.

A Note on Timely Notification of Extenuating Circumstances and Academic Appeals

You are encouraged to contact your academic department at the earliest possible opportunity of any circumstances that are affecting your ability to engage with your programme of study, so that support and guidance can be provided. Engaging with all aspects of your course regularly gives you the best opportunity of academic success.

It is understood that, exceptionally, there can be valid reasons as to why you may not be in a position to submit your Extenuating Circumstances in a timely manner. However, you are reminded that it is better to have your Extenuating Circumstances considered at the correct time, because presenting Extenuating Circumstances later, through the Academic Appeals process, will take time to conclude and offers no guarantee that or a mark or award will be changed. An Academic Appeal will also normally require evidence to support any claims you make; for example medical evidence (which is not currently required for Extenuating Circumstances submission).

In addition, the Academic Appeals process does not just require satisfactory evidence of the issues that affected your performance in your assessments. An Academic Appeal is unlikely to be upheld simply because you have evidence of illness; as you are also expected to provide detail and evidence to support why you could not submit an Extenuating Circumstances form at the correct time. Late disclosure of circumstances on the basis that a student did not feel comfortable bringing the circumstances to the attention of the academic department prior to the relevant meetings/boards, or wanted to await their results before presenting the information, are not normally considered valid reasons as part of an Academic Appeal.

The Academic Appeals process is a confidential process, however, in order to ensure that robust consideration can be given to your case, your form and any supporting evidence you provided will be shared with your Head of Department(s) or delegate and may also be shared with other University staff whose input is deemed necessary to offer robust consideration of your case. In addition, a Faculty Officer, and the Administrators of the process will also have access to the documentation provided. Submitting an Extenuating Form at the correct time, however, allows for your information to be considered by a very small and limited number of staff within your Department(s).

The Academic Appeals Procedure is a formal University process. If you choose not to submit Extenuating circumstances at the appropriate time, and instead opt to submit them as part of an Academic Appeal once your results are published, you could be leaving it too late to receive the most suitable support and mitigation should your Academic Appeal be upheld. In the past, students have missed the opportunity to resit, or continue on their programme next session, because their Academic Appeal was unsuccessful, or the outcome came too late for them to continue uninterrupted.