Removal of 'Fit to Sit'

Date Passed: 19th November

Speaker: Tom Renhard

This Union Notes:

1. That UWE has passed a policy called ‘Fit to Sit’

2. The passed policy has yet to be implemented

This Union Believes:

1. ‘Fit to Sit’ is a system that for assessments that prohibits the submission of extenuating (or mitigating) circumstances if a student has attended their exam, or submitted their assignment. This is because the student is deemed to have declared themselves ‘Fit to Sit’ that assessment

2. A growing number of institutions are introducing, or considering introducing, such policies to replace the traditional post-assessment extenuating (or mitigating) circumstances procedure

3. The consequences of ‘Fit to Sit’ policies include students sitting assessments when they are unwell (physically or mentally) or missing assessments in order to be eligible to submit extenuating (or mitigating) circumstances, which may then not be accepted by the institution

4. Students with reasonable, and potentially acceptable, extenuating circumstances, may not submit a claim, despite having evidence, believing they have no choice other than to go ahead with the assessment, unable to cope with the uncertainty of whether their claim would be accepted

5. ‘Fit to Sit’ policies are unfair on students and put students in positions that may have a detrimental effect on their assessments and wellbeing

6. Students should not have to choose between sitting an assessment, and submitting extenuating (or mitigating) circumstances

7. Not all students are able to accurately assess their own fitness to sit an exam or submit an assessment

8. This policy will have a particularly detrimental impact on students with Mental Health issues

9. Many students’ will ‘solider on’ and are reluctant to miss an exam or a deadline. Some students’ believe this shows dedication to their degree

10. Institutions should not put reducing costs and red tape ahead of students’ rights and the fairness of assessments

11. That ‘Fit to Sit’ is unfit for purpose

This Union Resolves:

1. To call for the university to scrap its ‘Fit to Sit’ policy

2. That a full review of extenuating circumstances takes place with the university and with widespread student consultation to make sure that future policies fully consider students facing difficulties and enhance support

3. To lobby the institution never to implement policy that encourages students to miss exams over sitting them for fear of not being able to sit extenuating circumstances

4. To lobby Universities UK on this issue. To persuade their members to not introduce, or to abolish current, ‘Fit to Sit’ polices

5. To recognise existing NUS policy denouncing Fit to Sit and to refer to the National Organisation for advice and support in guiding the university to better support its students

6. To vocally support Students’ Unions in any campaigns to revoke current and/or implemented ‘Fit to Sit’ policies at other institutions

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