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SSG Helping students in difficulty

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									                       Helping Students in Difficulty

              A guide for Academic Tutors and Other Staff



Contents

1    Introduction

2    Summary of key points

3    Student difficulties

4    The pastoral role of University staff

5    Identifying difficulties

6    How should you respond?

7.   Confidentiality

8    Conclusion and further resources




                                    1
                     A Guide for Academic Tutors and University Staff

1.         Introduction

The guide is intended for University staff who have contact with students. It has been written to
provide information, advice and guidance to help academic tutors and other University staff
who, in the course of their work, encounter students who are experiencing personal difficulties
that are a cause for concern. It is focussed on all students who are experiencing problems in
their engagement with H.E.

Inquiries and requests for additional copies should be made to: -

Finlay Coupar on 01904 876713

The guide aims to:

    raise awareness of the kinds of difficulties that students may experience; .

    discuss briefly the pastoral role of University staff and the way all University staff can be of
     assistance in supporting students

    provide practical advice to help staff respond effectively

     and

    provide appropriate information for staff on sources of advice and support

We wish to acknowledge the work of Leicester University whose Guide “Helping students in
difficulty” was freely utilised in compiling this guide



2.         Summary of key points

          students may at any point in their studies require the intervention of professional
           services

          all staff can play a part in ensuring their safety and support; we all have a duty of care

          while the primary function of student services is to support, we can also persuade
           students of what is in their own best interests

          we have access to professional support; the proper agencies for support need to be
           advised of students in difficulty; staff – whatever their expertise - should be aware of
           role confusion.

          while most issues can be dealt with locally, the University referral process provides a
           mechanism whereby students can be referred for professional help N.B. the Head of
           Programme should be copied into any referrals

          the referral process is not an alternative to a case consultation or a standards review
           but can emerge from these as one further avenue of support.



                                                   2
        a student’s behaviour can be an indication of a problems (especially if it is unusual or
         extreme); you are not required to interpret behaviour only note its existence. (and
         where appropriate advise Student Services)

        unless there is a clearly identified problem with a an obvious agency for solution or an
         emergency students should be referred initially to Student Services (Finlay Coupar or
         Priscilla Preston tel. nos.: - 6713; 6522; 6519.

        in most cases of referral, it is good practice to check with all students whether or not
         the information imparted to you is confidential; (e.g. to comply with the Special
         Educational Needs Act 2001 it is imperative that staff ask students, who reveal any
         information relating to a disability, whether or not the information is confidential) if it is
         not then the context can be freely revealed to others who need to know. If it is
         confidential then students can be referred using the referral proforma which reveals
         nothing of the context.

        since staff have a duty of care it may be that in some situations there is a need for staff
         to disclose even in situations where confidentiality has been restricted; the only time
         when there may be a problem with this is where staff are members of some
         professional associations where there may be a conflict between the University’s duty
         of care and professional codes of ethics. Staff in this position have to balance
         conflicting demands.

        when a referral has occurred Student Services will only pass on information to others
         with the express agreement of the student

        in all cases of referral, data protection is not an issue since the referral proforma does
         not refer to specifics



                                1
3.       Student difficulties

Most of us experience difficulties of a personal or psychological nature at some time in our
lives. These are usually an unpleasant but relatively normal aspect of human existence, but
they can at times become so overwhelming that they impede our functioning. For students with
deadlines to meet and crucial examinations to prepare for, such difficulties can have a very
serious impact on their ability to sustain academic progress.

Students may experience periods of physical or mental illness, serious family problems,
bereavement and the break-up of close personal relationships or they may have an unplanned
pregnancy. Others may get into difficulties through their use of alcohol or recreational drugs or
                                                                                              2
financial mismanagement. Others may find themselves subject to harassment and bullying.

The intensive period of study required for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree course can
create its own particular pressures and for some students these may exacerbate other
problems, or even become the problem itself. There may be students who find the transition to
university and the separation from their family and friends particularly difficult, or who are
anxious about the standards of work expected from them.

1
 See appendix A – evidence from Leicester University
2
 The University has a good record in dealing with bullying. Students subject to this and worried about
aggravating the situation in making a complaint should be advised that this University intervention has
been 100% successful to date.


                                                    3
It may be that this is the first time that they have left home for any length of time; they may have
difficulty establishing or defining their identify; they may actively choose to redefine themselves,
they may meet individuals whose personal histories are disturbing, or whose social skills or
whose behaviour does not accord with our perception of what is ‘normal’ There may be others
who experience pressure from partners, friends and family in pursuing a new career. Others
may find balancing University and family commitments particularly difficult.

They may find that they do not have the appropriate study or time management skills needed to
be successful at University. Many students have previously been high achievers and may put
themselves under considerable pressure to try to remain at the top.

3.1     University expectations of students

In a diverse community it is crucial that we respect our differences and do not allow either
prejudice or the exercising of our own freedoms to adversely affect the freedoms of others.

For this reason we include in Section 2 - Part 3 of the Student Guide a full statement of all
University policies, code of conduct and regulations which are all designed to help regulate the
activities of a community of learners. Students are required, on registration, to confirm their
acceptance of them.

While we hope that student’s periods of study with us will be entirely positive. Some students
as above may experience some difficulties with us, particularly in the early stages. Whatever
their age or apparent confidence, anyone is liable to feel vulnerable and they may find the
process of orientation in a new community difficult. Because of this they may display unusual
behaviour.

Where such behaviour is a symptom of a more fundamental issue, and where such behaviour
manifests itself in extreme forms, we all have a responsibility to ensure that students are
provided with appropriate support. Provided such behaviour does not interfere with the
freedoms of others we would ask all students and staff to respect such differences. Where this
does interfere with the freedoms of others, including the freedoms of staff to carry out their
contractual duties, the students’ contracts with the University provide us with mechanisms to
deal with inappropriate behaviour.



4.      The pastoral role of University staff

4.1     Academic Tutors

The University has a good reputation for its caring and supportive environment. We have
recently changed from a ‘personal tutorial’ system to an ‘academic tutorial’ system. This
change, which emerged from a review of student services, was taken partly in recognition of
the increasing demands on the time of academic staff and partly as a result of the recognition
of the expertise available centrally. While we need to preserve the significant ethos cultivated
by a concerned and caring staff we also need to make effective use of limited resources. This
handbook attempts to clarify boundaries of responsibility for staff in contact with students and
provide a framework for supporting our more vulnerable students.

We have a firm commitment to an academic tutorial system and we have a significant range of
student services to provide the appropriate quality of professional support for our students.
While we must ensure appropriate referral to student services it is inevitable that academic
tutors and other front line staff will be one of the first points of contacts for students. In such
roles staff need to make appropriate judgements about the need for effective and timely onward


                                                4
referral while also sensitively providing some initial support and guidance within their own levels
of expertise.

Most students make good progress despite the stresses and strains of University life, but when
their problems block effective learning, then action may need to be taken.

If the academic tutor system is working well, the tutor is likely to be the member of staff who
knows an individual student best, and is in the most appropriate position to monitor a student's
progress and provide initial advice and guidance and onward referral.

4.2     Other University staff

Other members of staff may find that they also play a significant role. These include: -

SU officers, student wardens, other Departmental staff (academic, technical, administrative and
clerical) corporate service staff (cleaners, domestic staff and porters) and central student
service staff.

Again we have an excellent record of all staff exercising their responsibilities to vulnerable
students. This extends from University cleaning staff and student wardens, for example, finding
evidence of student self harm, failure to integrate or of students being bullied/intimidated or
subjected to harassment. Other front line staff, for example, receptionists, administrators,
technicians who meet students on a daily basis may also find that they have knowledge and
insights about student dispositions and problems gleaned in passing or directly from the
student’s themselves.

In such circumstances all staff (including student wardens) are encouraged to make use of the
                 1
referral process so that issues can be professionally addressed both through our support
systems and our code of discipline.



5.      Identifying difficulties

5.1.    Academic issues

The first time that academic staff may become aware that a student is experiencing difficulties
may be when a student is persistently absent from lectures or classes, fails to meet course
deadlines or when his or her coursework marks drop dramatically (or for 1st years - they fail to
meet required standards). Sometimes a student's problems may lead to them doing too much
work, but ineffectively, rather than too little, and this can also be a cause for concern.

                                                                                           2
In such circumstances staff must ensure the proper application of the Case Consultation and
                   3
Standards Review processes. These are crucial aspects of academic support and should not
be seen as punitive. Frequently, academic difficulties are accompanied by wider welfare issues,
(either as cause or effect). Consequently a student called to either a ‘Case Consultation’ or a
‘Standards Review’ can be (and in most circumstances should be as an automatic
requirement.) referred onwards to Student Services with copies of any relevant information.

Please note however, that any student, can be referred onwards to Student Services as an
option prior to a case consultation or standards review should any concerns be felt by tutors.
1
  Referral proformas can be obtained from line managers
2
  process information can be sought from HoP, DoF or Registry
3
  process information can be sought from HoP, DoF or Registry

                                                 5
In both the above instances the student referral pro-forma should be used with a copy to the
Head of Programme (HoP) (for referrals by non academic staff, Student Services will ensure
that HoP are kept informed). In being referred the student is being obliged to attend. While
such compulsion cannot force a student to accept support we can do our best to persuade a
student of the benefits of such support.

5.2        non academic issues

The first time non-academic staff may become aware that a student is experiencing difficulties
may be when a student is particularly isolated, of eccentric behaviour, is displaying evidence of:
- self harm, excessive alcohol consumption, drug taking or substance abuse, or disruptive
behaviour. In such circumstances they should advise their line managers or contact student
                                                    1
services directly and complete a referral proforma .

5.3        behavioural issues

One or some of the following behaviours may cause concern: -

     behaviour that indicates that the student is persistently tense, sad or miserable;

     loud, agitated or aggressive behaviour;

     very withdrawn or unusually quiet behaviour;

     erratic or unpredictable behaviour;

     unkempt personal appearance, significant weight changes or decline in personal hygiene

Such behaviour may:-

A. affect only the individual

B. have an impact on the wider community whether of staff or students.

C. A student’s behaviour can be worrying –especially if this is seen as a significant change to
   previous patterns, but its impact may be only on the student themselves and may not affect
   their academic performance. In such circumstances staff must use their judgement as to
   appropriate action. If there is any doubt over action then the University referral system
   should be used. Otherwise action can range from informal monitoring, attempting to
   engage the student with your concerns and eliciting their support in seeking the help of
   student services to confidential referral if this option fails. In the last two cases please use
   the formal referral pro-forma to indicate concerns even if this is in confidence. At the very
   least this may allow us to monitor the situation from a distance.

D. A student’s behaviour can be worrying – especially if this is seen as a significant change to
   previous patterns and may not affect their academic performance, but its impact may be
   manifest on staff and fellow students even if this audience is limited. In such
   circumstances there may well be disciplinary issues around appropriate professional
   engagement with staff, as well as support issues. It is essential in such cases that student
   services are aware of the problem. Please refer such matters initially to your Dean of

1
    these can be obtained from line managers

                                                 6
       Faculty (DoF) since it may well be that local disciplinary action can be taken effectively. The
       DoF would in such circumstances discuss such action with the Director of Student Affairs
       and resolve any further involvement of student services and/or more significant disciplinary
       action. In so doing please use the referral pro-forma with a copy to the student so that they
       are aware of your concerns and your referral.

5.3.       Welfare issues

Where you become aware that there are welfare issues impinging on a student’s ability fruitfully
to engage with their University experience please try and persuade the student to seek the
support of Student Services. Where such persuasion is effective, confirm the process by
formally referring the student to student services with copy to the student and the HoP.

Some students will tell you that there is a problem, or may readily respond if you express your
concern. However, others may conceal their difficulties so successfully that the nature of their
problems cannot easily be detected. A student may also feel embarrassed or concerned about
the consequences of telling someone in their Faculty or hope that the problem will just go away.

If you are concerned about such a student it may be appropriate to inform other staff
particularly in Student Services or ask the student's friends if they have concerns about his or
her well being. You can also seek advice from the Director of Student Affairs, the University
Health Service or the University Counselling Network who are happy to talk to any member of
staff with worries about a student.

Where such persuasion is ineffective but where their welfare issues are impacting on a
student’s performance then the case consultation/standards review process will provide an
opportunity for formal referral.



6.         How should you respond?

Should you have any doubts about a student’s welfare you should refer them to Student
Services. The first step would normally be to talk to the student in order to find out more
about their situation. You may discover that they are already seeing a counsellor,
psychiatrist or doctor and talking to the student and showing your concern may reassure
the student and allay your own worries. Where you identify significant issues, or are not
reassured by your conversation with the student, or you are unable to get the student to
talk to you, you should formally refer the student to student services with a copy of the
referral pro-forma to the student and the HoP.

Identifying sources of support

There is a range of student support services available at the University, each offering a slightly
different kind of specialist advice. It can sometimes be difficult to know which is the most
appropriate in any given situation. The student may have more than one problem, or the most
obvious problem may not be the one that is most central. In such circumstances it is
reasonable to refer them to Finlay Coupar or Priscilla Preston.

If you talk to the student about their concerns and you are aware of the range of services
available to them, you should be able to guide them to an appropriate service. Information to
help you is given in Figure 1, the list of services in the final sections of this guide and in the
Student Guide which is available from University reception or student service staff.



                                                  7
If you are still unsure, seek advice from any of the services listed.

What is most important is that you encourage a student to make contact with a service that is
acceptable to him or her. You should initially encourage the student to take the initiative by
contacting the service him or herself since students who seek support themselves are more
likely to benefit from that support than those who are pushed into doing so. However, where
students lack this initiative you should still seek to refer students to specialist services.

There may be times when the student finds it very difficult to make the first move, particularly
when they are very depressed. In such circumstances it may be helpful if you take a more
active role by telephoning or writing to the appropriate service to ask for an appointment.

Offering support yourself

Having talked to the student about their problems, you may feel that you can support them
yourself. A few minutes of your time and your reassurance may be all that is required.
However, providing emotional support for students can be very demanding. It is also a
dangerous activity to undertake without training. It may be appropriate to offer support to help
the student to manage their course work, but always make it clear that you are not able to offer
help with their personal or psychological problems. Counsellors or doctors may sometimes
contact an academic tutor (with the permission of the student) to discuss ways of helping a
student to manage their work during an emotional crisis or period of illness.

It is very important both for your sake and that of the student that you do not let
yourself get out of your depth or lose sight of the boundaries of your role in relation
to the student. Your help and support can be both valuable and very important in helping a
student to achieve their potential, but you are not a surrogate parent, or counsellor and
students need to be encouraged to learn to manage their own lives.

Responding to emergencies

Very occasionally, students exhibit behaviour that gives rise to very considerable concern.
There may be evidence of:

   suicidal tendencies;

   risk of self-harm or harm to others;

   serious physical illness;

   alcohol or substance abuse or addiction;

   hearing voices or holding fixed irrational beliefs;

   a complete lack of functioning academically or in other areas of life.

In such cases, the need for intervention on behalf of the student and on behalf of their
colleagues and members of University may be urgent. If the student will accept help, then refer
them immediately to the Health Centre or the Disability Unit (or, if they are already a client, to
the Counselling Service). This can be expedited either by making the appointment on the
student's behalf, and if necessary walking with him or her to the Centre, or supporting him or
her in referring themselves (perhaps by allowing them to phone from your office) and then
checking that they have done this later. In such circumstances please advise student services
of the circumstances surrounding events.

                                                 8
If the student will not accept help, then you should phone the Health Centre, Disability Unit or
the Counselling Service and seek the advice of a doctor or counsellor. In the very rare
situations when you believe that there is imminent danger of harm to self or others, call an
ambulance or the police straight away.

When a student will not accept help

Except in the circumstances described above, there is little that can or should be done if a
student is not prepared to talk to you about his or her problems or to seek help from others.
However, it is good practice to make sure that there is a note of your concerns in the
appropriate departmental files, and that senior staff in the student's department are aware that
there may be a problem EVEN IF THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM IS NOT DISCLOSED.

Figure 2. How should you respond?, summarises the main issues from this section.



7.       Confidentiality

General Practitioners, counsellors and clergy are, bound by professional codes of practice and
ethics to maintain confidentiality in most circumstances.

Academic tutors and other staff have an absolute duty to maintain confidentiality within the
University in respect of student’s data unless the student themselves have waived that
right. An example of this latter situation would be student disability information sent to HoP
which has been approved by the individual students for appropriate dissemination.

Where student behaviour/disposition is publicly observable there are no issues of confidentiality
although there obviously issues of propriety in conveying this information to others

Feel free to pass on that information to student services, hopefully with the student’s knowledge
but this may not always be possible.

Where a student discloses to you personally, then please identify with the student as soon as
possible the status of the exchange (whether confidential or not). Where the information is
disclosed in confidence, and where necessary, then try to secure the student’s co-operation in
conveying that information to other significant staff. Where a student wishes confidentiality to
be maintained then a student can still be referred onwards using the referral proforma since this
does not necessitate disclosing the details of any confidential information.

In order to comply with current legislation – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act
2001, any disclosure related to a student’s disability should be dealt with in the following way.

Staff should ask the student if he or she has provided this information in confidence or whether
the intention is for the information to be passed on

        Referring the student to the disability adviser or whoever is the relevant person to take
         the next step

        Ensuring that, even if the student has said he or she will self-refer, the information is
         passed on by the staff member to the disability adviser.

This guide has suggested that it may be helpful for those concerned about a student to share
those concerns with other colleagues, or even talk to a student's friends. It is important that
students feel that they can trust staff and talk freely to them. As a consequence it is expected

                                                 9
that staff treat personal information about a student with discretion, and only pass on that
information when it this has been acceded to by the student.

However you have no legal obligations to retain the confidentiality of information
imparted to you by students, particularly in respect of issues of illegality and threat to
others. As a University employee you may have a duty of care and responsibility which
obliges you to inform the University of significant student issues and where this is the
case you must notify the student that information will be passed on and to whom this
information will be given. You are therefore not constrained by the same ethical
considerations as General Practitioners, counsellors and clergy unless you have ethical
constraints imposed on you by your professional associations.

Where you believe there may be a potential clash between these responsibilities you should
seek immediate advice from the Director of Student Affairs or your professional body.

Academic tutors, and other academic and University staff are sometimes contacted by
concerned parents, and others asking for information about their offspring/friends. It is the
University’s position that personal information about students (even their presence on campus)
must not be disclosed to anyone outside the University, including parents, without the
student's express permission. If in doubt please refer any inquiries to Priscilla Preston, Finlay
Coupar or the Registry.



8.      Summary & further resources

Student life is inherently stressful; moderate amounts of stress can be motivating and
energising, but very high levels of stress or anxiety can be very debilitating, impeding academic
performance. University staff can play a very important role in helping students to cope with the
stress of their lives and their problems. Often just listening to a student and showing that you
are concerned is all that is required to alleviate an acute but temporary crisis. By being aware
of the symptoms and behaviours which may be indicative of serious emotional or psychological
distress, and of the appropriate support services available to students, you can also help to
prevent a student's problems escalating or leading to academic failure.

For further advice on University and local support please refer to the current Student Guide.

The University’s Disability Unit offers workshops for academic tutors and training sessions on
mental health awareness for all categories of staff. For more details contact the Disability Unit
on extension 6540




_______________________________________________________________

QA Reference:          SSG11
Maintained by:         Student Services
Last Updated:          September 2003




                                                10
Appendix A

Evidence (from Leicester University students) indicates the kinds of issues which impact on
student in general.

Table 1 summarises some of the results that emerged from this study.

   Issue/concern %

   Ability to manage and complete course work 60%

   Ability to set priorities, make decisions and manage time 59%

   Dealing with concerns regarding study skills 58%

   Improving my self-esteem and confidence 48%

   Dealing with concerns about illness in my family 41%

   Getting used to university life 40%

   Coping with sadness, depression or mood changes 40%

   The death of a significant person 39%

   Understanding and coping with loneliness 32%

   General worry about my health 26%

   Managing anxieties, phobias or panic attacks 23%

   Dealing with concerns about divorce/separation in my family 21%

   Coping with racism 15%

   Dealing with concerns about drug use 14%

   Dealing with concerns about alcohol use 13%

   Concerns about a previous experience of sexual abuse/incest 8%

   Concerns about a recent experience of sexual assault/harassment 7%

   Experiences of homophobia 5%

Table 1: Some of the causes of concern in the student population. Percentages are of the total
student sample (N = 1620) rating the issues as crucially or very important in making them feel
highly stressed or distracted.




                                              11
Figure 1: What is the most appropriate source of support or advice



NB Where possible use the referral pro-forma copied by e mail to F.Coupar and P.Preston for ALL referrals. Where this is not possible or where an appropriate service has
already been identified

e mail directly to the service. f.coupar@yorksj.ac.uk; p.preston@yorksj.ac.uk;



  Is there anxiety about a particular study                         WRITING SUPPORT
  problem?
                                                     Use referral report pro-forma to P Mills copied by e
  For example: -study skills; time management        mail to F.Coupar
  revision techniques
                                                     p.mills@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6537



  Is the problem related to a student’s disability                    DISABILITY UNIT                         Is there a clear psychological or emotional
  or learning requirement? (actual or potential)                                                              problem?
                                                     Check with HoP on any information on the
  For example: -hearing loss; visual                 student’s disability Use referral report pro-forma to    For example: - bereavement; relationship
  impairment; dyslexia; long term condition          E.Maynard copied by e mail to F.Coupar;                  breakdown; eating disorder

                                                     e.maynard@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6540



  Is the problem due to loss of motivation or                    COUNSELLING NETWORK                          Is the student particularly stressed about
  difficulty concentrating? Does the student
  seem depressed? For example: low                   Use referral proforma to B.Harrison – where              exams or workload?
  mood/low energy; difficulty in sleeping;           possible copied by e mail to
  general loss of interest; loss of self-
  confidence                                         b.harrison@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6683

                                                     dunnett@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6917



  Is there an obvious physical or mental health                       HEALTH CENTRE                           Is the student experiencing panic attacks
  problem?
                                                     Contact directly by telephone 6626                       or disabling anxiety; working unrealistic hours;
                                                                                                              avoiding starting or finishing work?


                                                          12
Is there a guidance issue re career                                CAREERS                         Is the student concerned about his/her use of
aspirations or future intentions                                                                   alcohol or drugs?
                                               E mail s.cross @yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6708



                                                              STUDENT FINANCE

                                               Use referral report pro-forma to S. P Preston
                                               copied by e mail to F.Coupar
                                               f.coupar@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6713
                                               p.preston@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6939



Is there a practical problem?                             CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU

For example: -accommodation; finance: legal    Contact by telephone tel 6891(University College)
issues; family commitments; visas;             or 636066 (local)
immigration etc




                                                     DIRECTOR FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS                  Are you unsure of where to refer

                                               Use referral report pro-forma to S. P Preston
                                               copied by e mail to F.Coupar
                                               f.coupar@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 76713
                                               p.preston@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6939



Does the student need to use the Complaints                   STUDENT’S UNION                      Is the problem related to the preparation of an
Procedures ?                                                                                       academic appeal?
                                               E mail n.mcdonald@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6889



Is the student in need of spiritual guidance                     CHAPLAINCY

                                               E mail j.clines@yorksj.ac.uk; tel 6606




                                                    13
     EMERGENCY SERVICES   Is there a clear danger to the student or to others?

           TEL 999




14
Figure 2: How should you respond?



Remember that most issues can be dealt
with locally BUT: -
                                                                      If the student will accept help:



                                                                call emergency services

                                                                refer him/her directly to the Health Centre

            Is the problem urgent?

                                                                refer him/her to the Counselling Service or the
                                                                 Disability Unit

Do you think that                                               support the student in referring him/ herself,

   there is a real risk of the student hurting   YES            but check later that he/she has done this.
    her/himself or others?

   the student is seriously physically ill?                    depending on the risk -call emergency
                                                                 services

   there is a real risk of suicide ?                           depending on the risk -refer him/her directly
                                                                 to the Health Centre



   there is a potential risk of the student
    hurting her/himself or others?

   he/she has stopped functioning                YES

    academically or in other areas of life (eg                      If the student will not accept help:

    cannot get out on bed in the morning)?

                                                                telephone the SS yourself to seek advice or
                                                                 support the student in referring him/her to
                                                  YES            Counselling Service yourself to seek



                                                             (*In exceptional circumstances, where

                       NO                                        someone may be at risk, GP’s can visit

                                                                 without the patient’s prior agreement).           ad

                                                                call emergency services




                                                        15
    Is the issue still serious even if non   YES                 Onward refer to any/some of the

                   urgent?                                                    following



   Do you know who you should consult                      Director of Student Affairs, Student Services

    for advice?                                              Development Officer, Counselling Network,

                                                             Health Centre, Students Union, Chaplaincy,

                      NO                                     Writing support, Disability Unit, Careers,

                                                             International Office, Student Finance, Citizens

                                                             Advice Bureau,




                                                                     Offer appropriate support



        Could you help the student?          YES            If you are clear about the help that the student

                                                            requires, then provide the student with the

Do you have the time and/or the skill?                       appropriate information. This might include

                                                            listening to the student’s concerns

                      NO                                    offering practical advice

                                                            providing reassurance

                                                            showing your concern by following up

                                                             your conversation at another time.

                                                             Beware of getting out of your depth or of
                                                             role confusion



Refer the student to someone else or seek               If the student does not want any help and you have
advice                                                  no recourse to the referral process then make a
                                                        note of your concerns in the Faculty files




                                                   16
                                       STUDENT SERVICES

                                            REFERRAL

Student name………………………

Address……………………………..

Tel no………………………………..

Mobile……………………………….

E mail address…………………….



Programme…………………………

Year of Programme……………….

Head of Programme………………

Academic Tutor……………………



Date………………………………….



Dear                     ,



We are concerned about your academic progress/welfare/your ability fruitfully to engage with your
University career. We therefore need you to meet with Student Services to discuss your situation
and to see what can be best achieved for your future benefit.

A copy of this document will be sent/e mailed to your Head of Programme for information and to
Finlay Coupar (Director of Student Affairs) and Priscilla Preston (Deputy Director of Student
Affairs) who will arrange to see you to discuss your situation and advise you of the kind of support
that may be available.

Yours sincerely,




N.B. Note for tutors and other members of staff. This referral process/proforma is not
designed as an alternative to the case consultation or standards review processes. These
should proceed as normal having been instituted as a consequence of a student’s
academic deficiencies. Any support issues which arise in these contexts should also be
addressed to Student Services.

Once completed a copy of this document should be passed to the Head of Programme for
information.


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