COVID-19 Response Education Policy and No Detriment

8 January 2021

As the lockdown continues, we are very aware of the effects that the pandemic has had on your lives, and we continue to seek ways to support you during these difficult times.

Last year, the sudden disruption during Trimester 2 of the 2019/20 academic year meant that we had to move quickly to put in place measures to support your learning with little time or warning. Whilst the pandemic continues to affect all our lives, the context this year is different.

We spent the summer of 2020 redesigning our teaching for online and on-campus delivery, invested in supporting software, and adapted all assessments. The aim of these measures was to minimise disruption that you may experience whilst you complete your qualification with us.

In November 2020, we committed to keep the measures we have put in place to support you under review. We have now initiated another review to consider the full range of actions we have to support you during the on-going global pandemic.

To date we have introduced a range of changes to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on you and your course, we have:

  • suspended the requirement to provide documentary evidence in support of Exceptional Circumstances claims
  • continued to be sympathetic to exceptional circumstances claims related to IT failure or lack of availability of such technology
  • amended our assessment processes and removed formal controlled examinations for the academic year 2020/21
  • invested in IT support for students
  • provided significant additional hardship funding for those in need.

We will continue to review the measures outlined above to ensure they best support you for the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year. This will include consideration of a ‘no detriment’ approach for Trimester 2 2020/21.

No Detriment policy

The ARU No Detriment Policy (NDP) that was used in Trimesters 2 and 3 of the 2019/20 academic year was explicitly designed to help minimise the impact of the sudden and unprecedented disruption caused by the March 2020 lockdown which occurred three quarters of the way through Trimester 2. With very short notice and little time to plan, the delivery and assessment of many modules changed significantly for Trimesters 2 and 3 in 2019/20.

We recognise the difficult circumstances under which all our students are studying at present. However, we have planned for assessments under Covid-19 conditions for this academic year, and this planning has included the new changes (outlined above) that were introduced last academic year.

Due to the national lockdown that started on 5 January 2021, we are currently reviewing what we can do to support our students. We will publish the outcome of this review at the end of January.